Hungarian-style meatballs

Hungarian-style meatballs


40 people made this

About this recipe: Minced turkey and mushrooms make succulent meatballs – delicious simmered in a sauce of smooth passata with red and green peppers. Paprika warms the dish and new potatoes turn it into a complete one-pot meal.

Norma MacMillan

Serves: 4 

  • 30 g (1 oz) butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 340 g (12 oz) mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 340 g (12 oz) minced turkey
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 550 g (1¼ lb) small new potatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tbsp plain low-fat yogurt to serve
  • fresh flat-leaf parsley to garnish
  • Paprika and pepper sauce
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 litre (1¾ pints) passata
  • pinch of caraway seeds

Prep:35min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:1hr20min 

  1. Melt the butter in a heavy-based frying pan. Add the onion and mushrooms, and cook over a moderate heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. The mushrooms give up their liquid initially, but this evaporates to leave the mixture greatly reduced, dark in colour and very thick. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and allow it to cool slightly.
  2. Add the minced turkey to the mushroom mixture and use a fork to break up the mince. Add the breadcrumbs, egg, parsley and a little salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Wet your hands to prevent the mixture from sticking to them, then shape it into 20 walnut-sized balls. Set aside.
  3. To prepare the sauce, heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the onion and cook for 4–5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and red and green peppers, then continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 2–3 minutes. Stir in the paprika and cook for 1 minute, then pour in the passata and bring to the boil over a high heat.
  4. Stir in the caraway seeds and salt and pepper to taste. Add the meatballs and the potatoes to the simmering sauce, taking care not to break up the meatballs. Bring the sauce back to simmering point, then cover and simmer gently for 35 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  5. Ladle the meatballs, potatoes and sauce into bowls and swirl a little yogurt into each portion. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Some more ideas

Omit the potatoes and serve the meatballs in their sauce with noodles or spaghetti. * Replace the turkey with lean minced lamb and use chopped fresh thyme instead of the parsley. Add 2 cans flageolet beans, about 400 g each, drained, instead of the potatoes and several pinches of crushed dried chillies instead of the caraway seeds and paprika.

Plus points

Minced turkey is a low-fat source of protein and a good source of zinc as well as vitamins B1, B2 and niacin. * When eaten regularly and in quantity, potatoes are a useful source of vitamin C – new potatoes contain the most and eating them unpeeled retains the maximum goodness as the nutrients are concentrated under the skin.

Each serving provides

B6, B12, C * A, B1, B2, folate, niacin, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc * calcium, selenium

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Reviews (5)


Good recipe overall. Followed it pretty closely but not religiously. I chilled the meatballs in the fridge before cooking them to let them firm up. The sauce is not a hot one: silky smooth with a peppery edge - very nice - 08 Nov 2010


Something else. Didn't bother doing the spuds; thought spaghetti would go better (definitely works well). Added a touch of Dijon mustard to the meatball mix for a little sharpness. No need for the yoghurt - it's not a spicy recipe. In fact, I might stick half a chilli in next time. - 08 Nov 2010


Very tasty. I was a bit liberal with the butter at the beginning which made the mixture a bit moister than it should be but turned out fine. I didn't have passata so I used 2 cans of chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. - 29 Jan 2016

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