Beef Meatballs on Herby Cauliflower Rice

A super-tasty, low-carb midweek meal. We snuck basil pesto into our meatball mixture for extra flavour. Use the reduced-fat, gluten-free kind if you can find it at your store and save calories where possible. We also bulked up our meatball mixture with high-fibre ground flaxseed instead of breadcrumbs – making these meatballs suitable for those with a gluten-intolerance. This recipe may look a little daunting, but all three components can be done at the same time, with the entire dish ready in 25-30 minutes, including the prep time. Thankfully, most supermarkets now sell cauliflower rice already blitzed, saving cleaning time too!

Serves 2

Calories per serving = 484 kCal

Macros per serving:

  • FATS – 25.2g
    • of which saturates 5.3g
  • CARBS – 19.8g
    • of which sugars 17.8g
  • PROTEIN – 37.5g


For the cauliflower rice
300g blitzed cauliflower
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
1 tsp olive oil
one large handful parsley, chopped to yield 1 TB
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

1 tsp olive oil
¼ red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1 TB red wine vinegar
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tsp tomato concentrate
pinch sugar

For the meatballs
250g extra-lean beef mince
2 TB pesto (some supermarkets sell reduced-fat)
¼ red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
2 TB ground flaxseed
1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp chives, chopped to garnish


  1. Start by making the cauliflower rice. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with greased foil. In a large bowl, combine the blitzed cauliflower with the dried herbs and olive oil. Spread the mixture out on a tray and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, removing the tray and stirring the mixture halfway (after 10 minutes). Set aside to keep warm.
  2. While the cauliflower is cooking, make the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a pan and lightly fry the onions and garlic until softened. Add a dash of red wine vinegar, followed by the tin of tomatoes. Cook partially covered with a lid on a low simmer, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the sauce is on the heat and cooking, combine all the ingredients for the meatball mixture (apart from the olive oil) in a bowl and form into small ping-pong size balls of approximately 30g each. Heat the olive oil in a separate pan and brown the meatballs for a few minutes until golden all around. Remove and set aside on a tray lined with paper towel to absorb the excess oil. At this point the meatballs have not fully-cooked through, only browned on the outside.
  4. After the tomato sauce has been cooking for 10-15 minutes, stir in a pinch of sugar and the tomato concentrate. Then, place each of the browned meatballs into the sauce and simmer the mixture for an additional 5-8 minutes. This will ensure the meatballs cook all the way through.
  5. When ready to serve, remove the cauliflower rice from the oven, stir in the chopped parsley and season well with salt and pepper. Divide between two dinner plates. Spoon the tomato mixture on top, along with the meatballs and scatter over the chopped chives.

Tree nuts
Wheat (may contain)





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