Kid-Friendly Meatballs with Secret Veggies

I have to admit, I have been dependent on a lot of the organic frozen foods for my kids. It’s just so quick and easy to have around, but it’s not very “from scratch.” Being a working mom with a busy schedule, I cook all of the time but my oldest son is picky and doesn’t want the dinners that I make for everyone else. He likes his basics, so having organic, store-bought freezer foods around is a life-savor for me. Well, this quarantine has forced me to get back to making everything from scratch! (which is easier than you think!)

Meatballs are easy! They are easy to make and easy to eat AND easy to sneak in veggies. I am constantly attempting to get my kids to try more veggies. These Kid-Friendly Meatballs with Secret Veggies have carrots, which also add a nice sweetness, and kale, which allows them to get a tiny hint of the flavor without really knowing it and building a taste for it. Meatballs also freeze well! So, instead of spending the money on store-bought frozen meatballs geared towards kids, you can make them yourself.

Tips for Kid-Friendly Meatballs with Secret Veggies

*Use room temperature ingredients…even the meat. This allows for everything to mix well without being clumpy.

*I like to use a food processor to make the veggies and shallot really small so that the kids don’t have a big chunk of anything. If you do not have one, you can chop them up really small instead.

*When scooping the meatballs, make sure they are all the same size so they cook evenly. You don’t want any of the meatballs to be undercooked!

*I recommend using half turkey and hald ground beef but you can use any meat you like.

*If you want to freeze these, allow them to cool completely and place them in a freezer-friendly container like a sealed ziplock bag (make sure to label it with the date). First, place them in the fridge to cool completely and then put them in the freezer when they are completely cooled.

Kid-Friendly Meatballs with Secret Veggies


1/2 pound organic ground turkey

1/2 pound organic ground beef

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup whole milk (half and half works as well); room temperature

1 egg; room temperature

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup fresh parsley or fresh basil, freshly chopped

1 large carrot (or about 4-5 baby carrots)

1 small shallot

1 garlic clove, minced; optional (I usually leave the garlic out for the kids but I know some kids love it)

1/2 cup chopped kale

salt and pepper to taste


Place the shallots in the food processor and process until finely chopped

Repeat with the carrots and the kale; do them all separately

In a medium-size skillet over medium heat, drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil

Pour in the vegetables and sprinkle with salt

Cook until softened stirring often (add in the garlic at this point if using)

Once cooked, set aside and allow the veggies to cool

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

In a large bowl conbine the two portions of meat with the breadcrumbs, milk, egg, cheese and fresh herbs

Use two forks to combine them, this will help to keep the mixture light

Add in the cooled veggie mixture and stir again with the two forks to combine

Careful not to overmix, that will create a tough meatball

You can also use your hands to mix this

Use a cookie scoop or a tablespoon measuring cup to scoop the meat onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper (aluminim foil can also be used if you like) then roll them with your hands to create a nice “meatball” shape

This will make roughly 40-45 meatballs depending on how big you make them

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the centers are cooked completely

Allow to cool and serve!

These can be served plain with a side of ketchup or you can add them to a pan with tomato sauce and cook them for a bit in the sauce and serve with pasta!

Kid-Friendly Meatballs with Secret Veggies

Kid-Friendly Meatballs with Secret Veggies

Kid-Friendly Meatballs with Secret Veggies

Kid-Friendly Meatballs with Secret Veggies

Kid-Friendly Meatballs with Secret Veggies

Kid-Friendly Meatballs with Secret Veggies