Tender beef meatballs

    1 hour 5 min

    This meatball recipe is a little different than others - it uses apple sauce. Don't let this put you off, it's the apple sauce that makes these meatballs extremely tender. Meatballs are formed with beef mince, apple sauce, croutons, Cheddar cheese and then baked in a creamy sauce. Serve with pasta.

    12 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 1 egg
    • 125ml milk
    • 60g herb seasoned croutons
    • 160g apple sauce
    • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
    • 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic or to taste
    • 60g grated Cheddar cheese
    • salt and black pepper to taste
    • 675g minced beef
    • 1 (295g) tin cream of celery condensed soup
    • 125ml evaporated milk
    • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:1hr5min 

    1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Spray a 23x33cm or similar sized baking dish with oil spray.
    2. Whisk the egg and milk together in a large bowl and stir in the croutons. Allow the croutons to soak up the milk mixture for about 2 minutes.
    3. Lightly stir in the apple sauce, onion, garlic, Cheddar cheese and salt and pepper; mix in minced beef with your hands until thoroughly combined.
    4. Form the meat mixture into 3.75cm balls and place into the prepared baking dish. In the same bowl, whisk together the cream of celery soup with evaporated milk. Pour the sauce over the meatballs.
    5. Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven until the sauce is bubbling and thickened and the meat is no longer pink in the middle, about 45 minutes.
    6. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese 15 minutes before end of baking and bake until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the centre of a meatball should read 70 degrees C.

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    Reviews in English (9)


    Yum, my husband said these were the best meatballs I've ever made. They are so moist & flavorful. I will admit that I subbed ingredients that I had on hand. I only had 1 pound of 85/15 sirloin. I had homemade ww seasoned bread crumbs so I used a bit less milk. I only had monterrey jack. I always sneak veggies in so I added garlic, carrots and celery with the onion & chopped very fine in the food processor. I cooked them at 325 for longer just to make sure the carrots cooked. We are eating it over ww penne. Delish! I'll make meatballs with natural applesauce often!  -  13 May 2010  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This was very good. Nice and homey. It had a creamy mild sauce and wasn't weird with the celery at all. I only had chipotle cheddar on hand so that is what I used. My hubby loved this and went back for seconds. I didn't have canned milk so I used 2% and it turned out fine. Thanks Pipster, we liked this a lot.  -  11 Jan 2012  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    These were very good. A nice change from meat loaf and other ground beef dishes. I am always looking for new things, after 40 years of cooking you kind of run out of ideas. I made these as the recipe was written. Served with salad and buttered noodles. Thanks for the recipe, from one grandmother to another :-)  -  12 Jul 2010  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)