14/08/2014 16:58 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Jack Monroe's Turkey Meatballs


I love a good meatball and, to make these go further, I add mashed beans to the mix to pad them out. If you don't have hordes to feed on a budget, you can leave the beans out - but leftover meatballs can be tossed into a stew or kept in the fridge for a few days so don't be afraid to make a pile of them! Like with traditional Italian meatballs in tomato sauce, I suggest tipping some chopped tomatoes into the frying pan to heat through for 5 minutes along with the cooked meatballs at the end. You can then serve this atop a pile of spaghetti.

Makes: 20 meatballs approx.


1 x 400g tin of baked beans or haricot beans
1 onion
1 chilli
1 slice of bread
a handful of fresh parsley
1 tablespoon flour, plus extra to shape the balls
500g turkey mince
2 tablespoons oil


1. Drain and rinse the beans, put into a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until tender. Drain the beans and tip into a mixing bowl, then mash to a pulp.

2. Peel and finely chop the onion and finely chop the chilli, and toss into the mixing bowl with the bean pulp. Grate in the bread, finely chop the parsley and add that too. Add the flour and stir to combine. Add the mince and mix well with a wooden spoon or - as I prefer to do - use your hands.

3. With lightly floured hands to prevent sticking, form the mixture into balls. Around 1 tablespoon of mixture will make a decent-sized meatball. For little mouths, use a teaspoon -these also cook faster! Fry the meatballs in the oil in a frying pan for 10 minutes on a medium heat, turning occasionally, until cooked through, then serve.

Tip: Make leftover meatballs into a delicious Greek stew by putting them into a pan with some rinsed and soaked white beans, chopped onion, a little paprika and chicken stock to cover. Add a sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves or mixed dried herbs. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Read our interview with Jack here, talking frankly about life on benefits, fussy eaters and why politicians just don't get the daily struggle to put food on the table.

Recipes extracted from 'A Girl Called Jack' by Jack Monroe (Michael Joseph, £12.99)​