Easy to make budget-friendly meatballs

I always try to switch things up in the kitchen because my teenage son is very picky though he doesn’t even know how to cook.

First and foremost I usually buy grounded beef instead of mince because of the cheaper price of course. Mince is mostly lean, I would rather go for ground beef for some much-needed fat but the mince still works well too for meatballs.

Budget-friendly Meatballs

This time around I tried meatballs for the 1st time and they were the best I ever tasted I promise you. According to mom, this is my grandmother Beatrice Khumalo's recipe so I had to try it too.
Course: Main Course
Keyword: budget-friendly, easy, ground beef, meatballs
Servings: 3
Author: Phiwe


  • Non-stick sausepan


  • 500 g ground beef
  • 15 ml garlic powder optional
  • 15 ml onion powder optional
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tomato medium
  • 2 slices brown bread
  • 15 ml braai spice
  • salt to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 150 ml cooking oil


  • Method :I suggest you mince the onion, garlic and tomatoes 1st to use later. Make sure you chop it finely as if you are going to make the famous Zulu braai relish (ushatini oluhlaza). We don't want to have big chunks of onions and garlic in our meatballs.
  • To make bread crumbs I use a toaster or oven to toast/grill the brown bread till its extra crispy. You can use white bread if that's what you have. Let it cool, blend or grate it to make homemade bread crumbs and set aside.
  • In a bowl now mix your ingredients. Start with the ground beef, then add onion, tomato, garlic, seasonings, and bread crumbs. Mix well till everything is incorporated then add the egg which acts as a binding agent. Using a spoon to measure, scoop the ground beef mixture so that you will have even-sized meatballs. Shape the mixture into little balls using the ball of your hands. I think the word ball has been overused on this post lol! That is how you shape your meatballs and now are ready to fry.
  • In a nonstick saucepan heat your cooking oil on high heat and fry the meatballs. Please make sure you use a non-stick saucepan but this can still be done if you do not have one but just be sure you don't burn your meatballs. Fry the meatballs for 2 minutes on each side and remove from the stove. You don't want them to be overcooked, especially if you will still add them to your tomato sauce or relish later. Once you are done frying then you can make your favourite sauce and just add them in and enjoy with rice, spaghetti or roti.


I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did. Another thing that is optional is adding cheddar cheese in the center of each meatball before frying. Make them in a bigger size as home-made burgers, play around, and make the recipe yours.

Leave a comment below and check out more budget-friendly recipes on my Food page.


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