Joe Wicks' beef meatballs recipe

(613 ratings)

These big beef meatballs from Joe Wicks take 15 minutes to prepare and can be cooked in bulk and frozen.

Joe Wicks' beef meatballs
(Image credit: Maya Smend)
  • healthy
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time45 mins
Total Time1 hours
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories590 Kcal30%
Sugars7.5 g8%
Saturated Fat14.4 g72%
Protein52.3 g105%
Fat34 g49%
Carbohydrates18 g7%

Joe Wicks’ big beef meatballs can be served with pasta, rice or in a baguette for a tasty sandwich. 

If your family loves Wicks’ chicken pie recipe, you need to try these meatballs next. For this recipe, Joe uses a combination of beef and lamb mince. He explains: ‘It works so well. It gives the meatballs much more flavour. I think once you try these you’ll be coming back for more.’ 


  • 500g lamb mince
  • 250g beef mince
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 12 pitted black olives, roughly chopped
  • 20g pine nuts, roughly chopped
  • Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 jarred red peppers (about 100g), drained and roughly chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 110g balls of mozzarella

To serve:

  • mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • Salad or steamed green beans




  • Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan, Gas 4).
  • Put the lamb and beef mince in a bowl and add the breadcrumbs. Crack in the egg and chuck in the olives, pine nuts, chopped parsley and red peppers.
  • Get your hands stuck in and knead all the ingredients together until the mixture is well combined. With damp hands, shape the mixture into 12 large balls and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof pan over a medium-to-high heat. When the oil is hot, chuck in the red onion and fry, stirring regularly, for 2 minutes. Tip in the chopped tomatoes along with a quarter tin of water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
  • Place the meatballs in the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes, then carefully flip them over with a large spoon. Tear up the mozzarella balls and lay a little piece on top of each meatball. Any remaining cheese can be scattered in the sauce.
  • Slide your pan into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the meatballs are fully cooked through and the cheese has melted and turned golden brown on top. Scatter over the mint leaves and remaining chopped parsley and serve with a helping of salad or steamed green beans.

Top tips for making Joe Wicks' big beef meatballs

If you don’t like the flavour of lamb you could use a combination of pork and beef mince instead. Alternatively, just use 100 per cent beef mince. Continue reading for instructions on how to freeze the meatballs and more helpful tips.

Are meatballs better in oven or fried?

Frying meatballs can result in a lovely deep brown crust on the outside but they have a tendency to dry out and can take much longer to cook all the way through. Joe’s recipe cooks the meatballs in the sauce and then finishes them in the oven to keep them moist and juicy. 

How do you freeze beef meatballs?

Once the meatballs are cooked through, allow to cool and freeze in portions. If you are batch cooking, it is best to leave out the mozzarella and add when you’re ready to eat the meatballs instead. Defrost in the fridge overnight then reheat in the oven until piping hot. 

What do you eat meatballs with?

This is a reduced carb recipe from Joe which is why he suggests serving the meatballs with salad or green beans. However, if you’re not avoiding carbs you could serve with your favourite pasta. Rice is another popular choice. Jacket potatoes and warm baguettes are unconventional but tasty options too. 

Cooking for Family and Friends: 100 Lean Recipes to Enjoy TogetherView at Amazon 

Cooking for Family and Friends: 100 Lean Recipes to Enjoy Together by Joe Wicks (Bluebird, £9) - View at Amazon 

This is a great book to have to hand when you’re entertaining for loved ones. There are chapters on low-carb meals, post workout recipes and even takes on takeaway favourites like his BBQ Ribs with Dirty Corn. 

We have a guide on how to make meatballs if you need more tips. But you might also like our collection of Joe Wicks recipes including Joe Wicks’ lentil Bolognese.

Joe Wicks

Joe Wicks aka ‘The Body Coach’ rose to fame after his Instagram videos started to go viral. With 15-minute recipes and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts to do at home, Joe quickly became one of the most followed personal trainers in the country.

With contributions from