Meatballs with lemon tagliatelle recipe

(62 ratings)

Meatballs with lemon tagliatelle is a great dish for the whole family. It is easy and cheap to make and really filling too.

Meatballs with lemon tagliatelle
  • healthy
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Five A DayOne
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories350 Kcal18%
Sugar2.2 g2%
Fat21 g30%
Saturated Fat9.1 g46%
Salt0.06 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein22.2 g44%
Carbohydrates18.5 g7%
Salt0.06 gRow 7 - Cell 2

A secretly healthy pasta dish with tender meatballs in a light, fresh sauce.

Meatballs with lemon tagliatelle is a summery version of meatball pasta, with extra vegetables and a zesty crème fraîche sauce that means you spend minimal time over a hot stove. And at only 350 calories per portion, this is one of our most popular healthy pasta recipes, recipes. It also makes a great family dish (feel free to double all the quantities if you're making it for more than three). Plus, it's quick to make. You don't need to spend time forming the meatballs - in fact, the trick of adding them to the pan roughly formed keeps them really tender and delicious. Adding chilli flakes is optional, but we love the little kick they give. 


  • 225-250g (7½-8oz) veal, pork or turkey mince
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp herbes de provence, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 150g (5oz) tagliatelle
  • 1 courgette
  • Knob of butter
  • Pinch of dried chilli flakes, optional
  • 2-3 tbsp crème fraîche or half-fat crème fraîche




  1. Put the mince into a large bowl and grate in zest from half the lemon and add the herbs, if using, and season well. Heat the oil in a pan and add small portions of meat (about 14), roughly clumped together, and cook them over a med heat, without moving them in the pan for 5 mins. Flip them over and cook for another couple of mins, or until browned all over. Tip them out into an ovenproof dish and keep them warm in the oven on a low temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, add the pasta to a pan of boiling water and cook for 6 mins.
  3. Cut the ends off the courgette and use a vegetable peeler to pare it into ribbons around the core.
  4. Heat the butter in the frying pan, add the courgette ribbons, along with the chilli flakes, if using, and sauté for a few minutes until softened.
  5. Drain the pasta, reserving a little water in the pan, put the pasta back in the pan and mix in the crème fraîche and the rest of the lemon zest and juice, to taste. Stir in the courgette ribbons and meatballs. Serve hot.

Top tips for making meatballs with lemon tagliatelle

Lower the calories and fat content by using half-fat crème fraîche. For the lowest calories, use lean turkey mince for the meatballs, which tends to be around 125 calories per 100g, whereas lean pork is about 185 and lean veal about 145.

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Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 11 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies