Lunch Box: Mini Meatball Marinara

I’ve tried so many different recipes for meatballs and what can I say… I love every one of them. I can’t run away from the fact that my family and I love meat. The last recipe that I’ve tried was Gordon Ramsay’s meatball marinara. It was lick my fingers good, but I made a little changes-I know it’s a crime changing already perfectly delicious recipe but it was going in the lunch box and it can get pretty messy especially if it’s for kids. (I added a link down under his name where I found original recipe)
Now what I changed is that I didn’t bake the meatballs in the homemade marinara sauce, however I did bake them. I poured the sauce in the little container, put the meatballs on the toothpick- cheese and bread on the side, so it was more like a build yourself a type of sandwich. 
I also made this a night before and just preheated in the morning, just to make sure you know all the preheating food safety rules and placing them in the plastic –>read the post HERE.
My kids go bananas over this, and I am sure yours will too. It’s fun for kids to bring something new, fresh, and on top of it delicious to school however as I said many times before this is one kick a** work lunch too. 

Delicious homemade Lunch Box for kids/school or work Meatball Marinara

Mini Meatball Marinara
slightly adapted from Chef Gordon Ramsay

  • 3/4 cup (6 oz-170g) Ground Beef
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz-170g)Ground Pork
  • ½ bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Dash of Salt and ground Black pepper,or to taste
  • 3 Tbs. fine breadcrumbs
  • Milk, enough to cover breadcrumbs( about 4-5 Tbs.)
  • Plain flour

For the marinara sauce:

  • 1 can (32 ounces) whole Italian plum tomatoes and their juices
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, halved
  • ½ red chili, finely sliced (or less)
  • Small bunch basil
  • 1 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Drizzle of Olive oil


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F(180°C/gas mark 4). Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk.
  2. Lightly fry the shallots, garlic and chili for about 2 minutes or until soft. Add the tomatoes along with the basil, and oregano. Simmer to reduce, approximately 7 minutes.
  3. While the tomato sauce is cooking, make the meatballs. To the meat add the parsley, Parmesan, garlic and add soaked breadcrumbs, mix well. Season with a little salt and pepper.(use gloves if you don’t want to touch the meat w/bare hands)
  4. Shape into walnut sized balls and lightly coat the meatballs in the flour and fry in hot olive oil just until golden. Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.  –> I skipped that last part and placed the meatballs on the parchment paper and baked them for 10 minutes in the hot oven without the sauce.
  5. In a meanwhile, I let the sauce cool down just for 7-10 minutes and then pour it in the blender and pulse until smooth in texture. Pour the sauce back in the pot and reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until slightly thickened. Add olive oil, stir and serve over the meatballs. 
These are perfect when served over pasta, or in the sub sandwiches.

Note* If you do not eat pork you can omit it and use more ground beef (Fat % is up to your preferences)

I paired this meatball marinara with:
  • Bread, any of your choice
  • Shredded Mozzarella cheese as a topping
  • Baked waffle fries – 
  • Celery sticks + artisan lettuce
  • Fresh Mixed Berries-blueberry, raspberry and blackberry
  • Green Apple
  • Water for a beverage
Homemade Lunch Box: Mini Meatball Marinara

Happy and Healthy Week!

your friend,

Sandra Widgets

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