You heard it here first folks.
The tomato is about to be dethroned as the go-to fruit for your meatballs.
Enter the delicious cherry. Especially the incredibly convenient, de-pitted frozen cherry.
Which will take your humble meatball from it’s tomato-laden Italian roots, to a sweeter more exotic middle eastern affair. That also happens to be nightshade-free.
You’ll never use the words ‘meatball’ and ‘boring’ in the same sentence again.
- 450 g meatballs
- 2 handfuls frozen cherries
- 4 handfuls snow peas or sugar snaps
- greek yoghurt or feta to serve
- 1 small handful pistachios
- 1 small bunch parsley or mint
Crank your oven to 250C (480F).
Place meatballs, frozen cherries and snowpeas / sugar snaps on a rimmed baking tray. Pop in the oven and set your timer for 12 minutes.
When the timer goes, check to make sure the meatballs are cooked through - and give them longer if needed.
Serve meatballs and veg with yoghurt / feta, pistachios and mint / parsley sprinkled over.
Variations & Substitutions for Cherry Meatballs
home made meatballs – mix 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, coriander and smoked paprika with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 450g (1lb) ground (minced) meat and 100g (3.5oz) almond meal. Form into balls and use in the recipe above.
pantry – use frozen green beans, broccoli or peas instead of the sugar snaps.
vegetarian – lentil balls or zucchini falafels.
different protein – chicken breast or thigh fillets (may need longer to cook), sausages, pork chops, pork fillet, salmon fillets, white fish fillets and see above for vegetarian ideas.
dairy-free – coconut or cashew yoghurt or replace with roast almonds.
more substantial (carb lovers) – serve with warm pita or rice.
more substantial (low carb) – more meat, more pistachios or add avocado.
different vegetables – cooked beets, zucchini, asparagus, eggplant, capsicum (bell peppers), fresh or frozen green beans, broccoli or peas. Or serve with baby spinach leaves or salad.
different herbs – basil, dill, coriander (cilantro).
different nuts – almonds, walnuts, macadamia, hazelnuts, pecans.
different dairy – goats cheese, creamy blue cheese, ricotta.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
meatballs – freeze them.
frozen cherries – will keep in the freezer for months.
snow peas or sugar snaps – you can freeze them.
yoghurt – usually has a shelf life of a month or so. Otherwise, have it for another meal like breakfast! Don’t freeze.
feta – keeps for months unopened in its packet. Or can be frozen..
pistachios – keep them in the pantry.
mint – best to use for another meal. leaves can be frozen but will wilt when defrosted so not ideal. Alternatively make a mint oil by packing washed and dried leaves in a clean dry glass jar and covering with extra virgin olive oil.
parsley – will keep in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag for a few weeks. Can be frozen or make a parsley oil by packing the leaves into a clean jar and covering with extra virgin olive oil.
Problem Solving Guide
bland – more salt! Or add in a flavour bomb.
too dry – overcooked meatballs. Next time get it out earlier. For now a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil will help.
no oven – pan fry the meatballs, cherries and veg separately.
Yes! Just cook as per the recipe but keep the toppings separately. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or can be frozen.
Clearly didn’t here it first. Scandinavians have been using sweet fruit, like lingonberries, forever. Do you do any research? Even the food network has a recipe. They’re even sold at EVERY SINGLE IKEA. yikes.
Clearly you didn’t have to be so rude in your reply.
There is no Ikea near me so I wouldn’t even know what is sold there.
Jules is a health coach, I don’t think she needs to do deep dives on the internet for research. She provides plenty of additional information with her recipes for which I am grateful.
Perhaps next time you want to share your knowledge on a particular recipe you could do it in a more positive way.
lingonberries are not sweet by the way! but cherries are totally different idea!
Loved the cherry alternate.Jules.. To the somewaht bluny critic…nowhere did she claim it was original, just a different take on tomatoes.
Yummy thanks from NZ