Meatball Marinara

  • 10MINS
  • 20MINS
  • Serves 3
  • 335KCAL

This Meatball Marinara is perfect for the whole family, in fact it's that good they probably won't even realise it's a slimming-friendly meal.

  • Batch Cook pinchofnom.com
  • Dairy Free pinchofnom.com
  • Everyday Light pinchofnom.com
Easy Peasy Meatball Marinara pinchofnom.com

NutritionPer Serving

  • Calories335
  • Carbs27g
  • Protein3g
  • Fat7.9g
  • Saturates2.9g
  • Sugars18g

For the full list of ingredients and comprehensive instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. Before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know in the blurb!

Marinara sauce is an Italian recipe made with tomatoes, garlic, herbs and onions. Like many traditional Italian dishes, there are many variations, but our version is packed full of vegetables…which can only be a good thing, right?

We used shop bought, low-fat meatballs for this Meatball Marinara recipe, but you could make your own using 5% minced beef.

We like to use good quality chopped tomatoes because we’ve found that some cheaper brands can be watery and less flavoursome. If you are going to make a traditional Italian dish, you really do need traditional Italian tomatoes.

What diets is this Meatball Marinara suitable for?

This Meatball Marinara recipe is suitable for a dairy free diet.

It can be made gluten free as long as you swap out the following ingredients for gluten free versions;

  • Vegetable stock cube

Please make sure to double or triple check all of your ingredients if you’re cooking for people with allergies.

How Weight Watchers friendly is this Meatball Marinara recipe?

Weight Watchers’ new PersonalPoints plan calculates each individual’s Points allowance based on their unique food preferences and goals. This means we’re no longer able to offer exact WW points for our recipes.

The good news is that all of our recipes are still Weight Watchers friendly! If you have any questions about your Points budgets or you’re unsure how a certain recipe will fit into your plan, please reach out to Weight Watchers directly.

Do you need any special ingredients to make this Meatball Marinara recipe?

This recipe does not require any special ingredients.

Hints & Tips

Below we added some of our communities most common hints and tips. We hope you find them useful.

NEW TIP
Vegetables
Great way to use up left over veg from other recipes in the week.
NEW TIP
Slightly Different to recipe
I had 24 meatballs so did 2 stock cubes but beef and used passata instead of tomatoes a extra tbsp of tomato puree didn't add courgette and when everything was mixed threw some garlic and onion granules then stuck in oven to cook the meatballs.

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‘Super delicious, would definitely have this again.’

Emma

How many calories are in this Meatball Marinara recipe?

There are 335 calories per portion in this Meatball Marinara, which means it falls into our Everyday Light category.

This Meatball Marinara recipe is perfect if you’re following a calorie controlled diet and fits well with any one of the major diet plans such as Weight Watchers.

As a guide, an average man needs around 2,500kcal (10,500kJ) a day to maintain a healthy body weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000kcal (8,400kJ) a day. Obviously, if your goal is to lose weight then you might want to adjust these slightly! You can read more about these recommendations on the NHS website.

Step 1

Sauté the onions and garlic in a few sprays of low calorie cooking spray, until they start to soften.

Step 2

When the onion starts to soften, add the meatballs, carrots and celery and continue to cook until they start to brown.

Step 3

Add the courgettes and mushrooms, and allow to cook for a few minutes.

Step 4

Add the herbs, tomato puree and chopped tomatoes. Stir well.

Step 5

Mix the stock cube in about 100ml of boiling water, then add that to the pan. Mix well, then bring to the boil.

Step 6

Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Step 7

Serve 6 meatballs per portion with spaghetti, pasta, rice, chips or whatever you fancy.

What can I serve with this Meatball Marinara recipe?

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How do you know when this Meatball Marinara recipe is cooked?

You should cook this Meatball Marinara until it has a thick and rich sauce. This will take around 20 minutes.

How long can you keep this Meatball Marinara in the fridge?

Once you’ve put it out, ideally you should eat it within 4 hours.

If you allow any leftovers to cool, make sure to refrigerate in a container with a lid and chill. You can keep leftovers of this Meatball Marinara in the fridge for approximately 3 days or so.

Can I freeze this Meatball Marinara recipe?

Yes you can! This recipe can be frozen, but please remember to do the following;

  • Freeze it as soon as it is cold enough.
  • Use a container or bag that is suitable for freezing.

Don’t forget to add a label with what it is, and on what date you put it in the freezer!

How do I reheat this Meatball Marinara?

From chilled: Place in a microwave proof container with a loosely fitting lid and heat for 4-7 minutes until piping hot.

From frozen: Allow to defrost, and heat covered in the microwave for 3-5 minutes then stir. Cook for a further 5-7 minutes until piping hot.

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Meatball Marinara

This Meatball Marinara is perfect for the whole family, in fact it's that good they probably won't even realise it's a slimming-friendly meal.
  • Prep Time
    10 MINS
  • Cook Time
    20 MINS
  • KCals 335
  • Carbs 27G

Ingredients

  • 18 low fat meatballs
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 large carrots chopped finely
  • 1 onion chopped finely
  • 1 stick celery chopped finely
  • 4 good sized mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 1 courgette finely diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 good pinch italian herbs or 1 handful of fresh. chopped basil and some dried oregano
  • low calorie cooking spray
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • freshly ground black pepper optional to taste
  • salt optional to taste

We use a fan assisted oven for all of our recipes. Check out our oven temperature conversion guide.

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Instructions

  1. Sauté the onions and garlic in a few sprays of low calorie cooking spray, until they start to soften.
  2. When the onion starts to soften, add the meatballs, carrots and celery and continue to cook until they start to brown.
  3. Add the courgettes and mushrooms, and allow to cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add the herbs, tomato puree and chopped tomatoes. Stir well.
  5. Mix the stock cube in about 100ml of boiling water, then add that to the pan. Mix well, then bring to the boil.
  6. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve 6 meatballs per portion with spaghetti, pasta, rice slimming chips or whatever you fancy.

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4 comments

See what others have to say

Jessica gibsonMonday 19th April 2021

Can I slow cook this recipe ? Thanks

Reply

    HollyWednesday 21st April 2021

    Hey Jessica, we haven’t tried this recipe in a slow cooker but if you have a look HERE you will find some information on converting recipes for the slow cooker, hope that helps!

    Reply

Katie clarkeWednesday 7th August 2019

I always change stock I just use what ever stock I’ve got in then cupboard 🙂

Reply

SARAH-JANE WebbMonday 17th December 2018

Could I use beef stock cube instead of veg stock? As thinking of making it in the next couple of days and have already been shopping and have no veg stock at home? Thanks

Reply

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