Gino D'Acampo's light spicy meatballs recipe

(1020 ratings)

Gino D'Acampo's light spicy meatballs are from his brilliant cookbook The I Diet. Meatballs make a delicious family meal and you're sure to love this recipe

Gino D'Acampo's light spicy meatballs, gino d'acampo recipes, Gino recipes, meatball recipe, meatballs
Preparation Time15 mins (plus 20 mins chilling time)
Cooking Time1 hours 10 mins
Total Time1 hours 25 mins
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories506 Kcal25%
Sugar6.9 g8%
Fat18.7 g27%
Saturated Fat6.7 g34%
Salt1.8 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Salt1.8 gRow 5 - Cell 2

Gino D'Acampo's light spicy meatballs recipe is an easy recipe which is perfect for the whole family. Made in under an hour and a half, this traditional Italian dish is bursting with flavour thanks to the rich tomato sauce and mixed spices of chilli and paprika. The tender meatballs in this recipe are really easy to make - perfect for getting the kids involved in the cooking. Gino says, about his famous meatball recipe: 'Every time I make meatballs at home, my boys love to get involved and of course, because they made it, they feel very proud when they eat it.' We just can't get enough of this classic Italian meatball recipe. Top with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and watch clean plates appear all round.


  • 500g lean minced beef
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100g
  • 4tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 40g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½tsp paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 x 720ml bottle of sieved tomatoes (passata)
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 300g cooked brown rice, to serve




  1. Put the minced beef, garlic, breadcrumbs, parsley, Parmesan, chilli flakes and paprika in a large bowl. Season with salt and break in the egg. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly with your hands, then shape into 12 equal sized balls. Place on a plate, cover with clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 20 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, tip the passata into a large saucepan and place over a medium heat. Season with salt and pepper, add in the basil leaves, bring to the boil then remove from the heat.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and gently fry the meatballs over a medium heat for 5 mins until golden brown all over.
  4. Once ready, place the meatballs in the tomato sauce and return the pan to a low heat. Cook for 1 hr with the lid half on, stirring occasionally. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a little water.
  5. To serve, divide the rice between six serving plates, place 2 meat balls on each serving and spoon over the tomato sauce.
  6. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Top Tip for making Gino D'Acampo's light spicy meatballs

'You don’t have to use chilli flakes and you can definitely substitute the beef mince with pork or lamb or even mixed together'

Gino D’Acampo is a much-loved, cheeky TV chef who often appears on ITV’s popular daytime chat show This Morning. Born into a large family in Napoli, Italy, Gino’s been working in kitchens since he was young and fell in love with the industry age 11 when he walked into his grandfather’s restaurant. Gino’s Italian heritage has a huge influence on his recipes. From a classic margherita pizza to a four-cheese macaroni cheese with peas, we’re sure to have a Gino D’Acampo recipe your whole family will love! With three children of his own it is perhaps no surprise that so many of Gino’s recipes are perfect for the hustle and bustle of a busy home. As well as regularly appearing on This Morning to share his culinary skills and the odd cheeky joke or two, Gino has also had several TV shows of his own including most recently Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape which aired in November 2018 on ITV. He also won over much of the nation back in 2009 when he was crowned winner of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. Gino has several best-selling cookbooks out including Gino’s Pasta, Home Baking and Gino’s Italian Escape. At the heart of all of his recipes is the belief that good ingredients can speak for themselves. On his website Gino explains: ‘My grandfather said that a good recipe doesn’t need lots and lots of ingredients because if the ingredients are top quality and full of flavour, why would you want to cover up or change their taste