Tasty Beef & Bacon Meatballs

This is a recipe I’ve made on and off over the years that is a crowd favourite. I had promised my wife I’d cook this for the last couple of days, and finally got around to making it.


  1. Food processor
  2. Mixing bowl
  3. Air Fryer or Oven
  4. Pots and pans

Meatball Ingredients

  • 300 grams of minced beef 
  • 200 grams of minced pork
  • 150 grams of bacon 
  • 50 grams of diced mushroom (use the same ones in the sauce)
  • 100 grams of onion (about one small onion, diced) 
  • 2 gloves of garlic
  • 25 grams (about 1/2 a cup) of flat leaf parsley 
  • 25 grams (about 1/2 a cup) of fresh basil 
  • 50 grams of parmesan cheese 
  • 70 grams breadcrumbs (optional)
  • 7 grams garlic powder
  • 5 grams smoked paprika
  • 1 egg
  •  Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce Ingredients 

  • 150 grams of mushrooms (button, shitake, portobello) 
  • 100 grams diced onion
  • 300 grams of cherry tomatoes 
  • 25 grams of dried Italian herbs mix (or your choice of herbs)
  • 100 grams baby spinach 
  • Left over basil leaves from the meatball 
  • 400 gram tinned diced tomato 
  • 20 grams tomato paste (liberally) 
  • Half can of water 
  • 10ml Worcestershire sauce 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Making the meatballs

  1. In a food processor, combine the onion, garlic, parsley, bacon and mushroom. Pulse until all evenly cut and ready. This took 15–20 pulses for my processor. 
  2. Transfer to a mixing bowl, add the beef and pork, spices, breadcrumbs and egg. Mix gently to combine. The breadcrumbs can help with the texture and structure, but aren’t necessary. 
  3. Get the air fryer started at 190 °C. Line the basket or tray with parchment paper. 
  4. Using a spoon, scoop out a golf size portion of the meat mixture. Roll it into a ball and place on the baking sheet. Repeat until all mixture is used.
  5. Put the meatballs in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up. This helps keep their shape.
  6. Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes until they are golden brown. Stopping at 10 minutes, to tun them over. 

Making the Sauce

  1. Half the cherry tomatoes and put them in the air fryer with a sprinkle of salt for 12 minutes. This can be done while you make the meatballs first. This will also preheat the air fryer when you’re cooking the meat balls. 
  2. While the tomatoes are roasting, get the pasta water on the boil. You can use any pasta you like. Spaghetti, penne, Fuseli, it’s up to you. 
  3. While the meatballs cook, prepare the sauce. In a saucepan, add the diced onions and brown off. 
  4. Add in the mushrooms, Italian herbs and let this reduce and brown. 
  5. Add the tinned tomatoes and half a can of water, then add the tomato paste. 
  6. Next, add the Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste. 
  7. Let the sauce reduce by about 10% and reduce it to a low simmer until the meatballs are ready. 
  8. Stir in the basil and baby spinach.
  9. Once the meatballs are cooked and browned, add them to the sauce and cover them. Let them cook for a further 5–7 minutes until coated nicely. 
  10. Ready to plate and eat. 


  1. You can choose any pasta you want.
  2. You can use whatever sauce recipe you’d like, I wanted to include the one I used to make sure the recipe was complete.


I hadn’t made this recipe in nearly seven years and adjusted it slightly with the ingredients I had. The last time I made this, I had just moved to Vietnam and, it was one of the first meals I made for friends that came to my new studio in district one.