Beet meatballs

Beet meatballs

Do you like beetroot? I love it any way – fresh, cooked, canned (yes, I know), in burgers, in cakes, in soup, in salads. And after being inspired to create this recipe by Nigel Slater, I now also love it in meatballs.

Sure, beetroot can be a pain in the arse because it stains almost everything, but they’re also rich in vitamins, carbs and proteins. They do have a very high sugar content – about 10% of a beetroot is sugar – but fortunately it’s released slowly into the body.

Beet meatballs

Now apparently the Romans used beetroot as an aphrodisiac and The Lupanare, (the offical brothel of Pompeii), has pictures of beetroots on its walls (alongside other interesting pictures… hehee). And since we’re on the topic of brothels, a euphemism that was used in the 20th century for visiting prosties is to “take favours in beetroot fields”.

Wow, this post went straight down to the gutter. That was a surprise! I’m now a bit scared of the search terms that will lead people to my site…

Beet meatballs

But back to beets, meats and balls (whoops – there’s the gutter again). I made these meatballs after flicking through a Nigel Slater book. I didn’t follow his recipe, but just used it as an inspiration. The meatballs are made from a mixture of shredded beetroot, pork and beef mince, fresh coriander, salt and pepper – and that was it! And they were GREAT – very, very moreish, and I loved that the sweetness of the beetroot complemented the meatiness. And at times I thought they tasted a lot like char sui with the whole sweet/pork thing.

Next time I make them, I’m going to add some chilli. I think they’ll be even better a bit spicy, though I do tend to think that about most foods.

What’s your favourite way to eat beetroot? And err – what do you reckon about the whole aphrodisiac thing? 😀

Beet meatballs

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: Makes about 30 small meatballs

Beet meatballs


  • 400g raw beetroot, peeled and shredded/grated
  • 350g beef mince
  • 250g pork mince
  • Small bunch (40g) fresh coriander, washed and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt (You need at least this amount because of the beetroot’s sweetness)
  • Plenty of pepper
  • Chilli to taste (if desired)


  1. In a big bowl, mix together the shredded beetroot, beef mince, pork mince, coriander, salt, pepper and chilli (if using).
  2. With wet hands, take a tablespoon of the mince mixture and roll into balls / flat discs. Continue until all the mince is rolled up. Let them sit for about an hour so they’ll bind and not fall apart when you cook them.
  3. Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat and add a splash of oil. When the pan is hot, cook the meatballs for several minutes on each side, or until fully cooked.
  4. Eat and enjoy!


Inspired by Nigel Slater’s Tender V1