These little beef meatballs are a great way to introduce beef meat to your baby. They are really easy to make, requiring no special cooking skills and are ready in under an hour. What's also great is that you can have an emergency stash of beef meatballs in the freezer for those busy days when you want something healthy to eat, fast and effortless. Enjoy!
When it comes to meat, many parents wonder what is the best way to introduce it to their babies, especially if they don't have any teeth out yet. These little beef meatballs are really soft and juicy, full of nutrients and iron rich, making them a great option for your little ones.
Their shape makes them easy to hold as a whole or cut in half for babies as young as 6 months. Older kids and adults can enjoy them with some veggies on the side for a full meal or you can add a couple in a wrap with some tzatziki dip or hummus and some salad. Such a versatile dish!
👩🏻🍳 Why you should try my recipe
- Easy to prep, not requiring many cooking skills.
- Full of nutrients and goodness from the meat and veggies.
- Perfect for babies and toddlers to hold with their little hands.
- Freezable for batch prepping or a quick meal on a rainy day.
- Easy to pack: lunchboxes, picnics and snacks.
- Great for babies that follow the Baby Led Weaning method.
To make these blw friendly beef meatballs, we will need some ground beef, onion, garlic cloves, carrot, tomato, egg, vinegar, olive oil, oats, oregano and ground pepper.
There are some optional ingredients you could use to enhance the flavor and add some more aroma to the beef meatballs. I often like to add a little bit of paprika or a teaspoon of dried mixed herbs.
For full quantities and to print the recipe, see the recipe card down below.
🔪 Step-by-step Instructions
So get your ingredients ready and let's get started!
01. I start by grating the carrot. The carrot is going to make the meatballs more juicy and sweet, plus you get some more vitamins and goodness.
02. In a food processor, I add the oats and blend them until they become fine like powder. Alternatively, you could use some plain breadcrumbs, the ones without any added flavor or salt.
03. Now, I add the tomato, onion, garlic cloves and olive oil to a food processor and blend them all for a few seconds.
04. In a big bowl, I mix all the ingredients. The ground beef, carrot, tomato, onion, chopped garlic cloves, oregano, egg, oats, vinegar, olive oil and ground pepper.
05. Then I leave it in the fridge for 10 minutes to rest and enhance the flavors. This will help the oats to absorb the moist and bind the meatballs mixture.
06. I take a small piece of the mixture and form a ball around the size of a golf ball. You could also shape them in little barrels about the size of your picky finger. I'll leave it to you.
07. I place the meatballs on a tray lined with parchment paper, leaving about a finger space between them. I bake them in a preheated oven for 30 minutes, then turn them around and put them back in the oven for 10 more minutes to get a nice color on all sides.
- You could substitute the oats with plain breadcrumbs.
- Instead of ground beef, you could use ground pork.
- Instead of oregano, you could use a teaspoon of mixed dried herbs.
🍽 Serving suggestions
Babies (6-12 months): These baby-friendly beef meatballs are great for little ones that are starting their solid journey. You can cut them in half so it's easier to hold them with their little fingers or offer them as a whole when they have improved their grip.
I love to serve them with some veggies on the side like broccoli or cauliflower or some steamed carrot for some extra goodness. You could also offer them with some yogurt dip or hummus on the side.
All other ages: For all other ages, children and adults, you could add a little bit of salt to the mixture for some extra flavor. You could serve them with some veggies on the side and a dip, or you could add a couple in a wrap with a sauce of your preference and some salad.
If you make two batches of these delicious beef meatballs or you have some leftovers, then you could store them in the fridge and consume them within 3 days. You could also store them after being cooked in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Personally, I like to store some in the freezer uncooked. The recipe yields around 30 meatballs, so I would bake half of them and then store the rest in the freezer for a busy day. After shaping them, I put how many I want to freeze on a tray and put it in the freezer for half an hour. Then I take them out and put them in a freezer bag, so they don't stick together and become one mass.
You could then thaw the beef meatballs overnight in the fridge and bake them the next day, or you could put them on a lined tray while they are still frozen, brush them with some oil and bake as usual.
- Mix the ingredients well for 2-3 minutes to let all the flavors blend together.
- Let the mixture sit in the fridge for 10 minutes to enhance the flavors and for the oats to absorb any water and be easier to shape.
- To store in the freezer, put them first on tray for half an hour and then store them in bags so they don't stick to each other.
- When choosing the ground beef to use, go with one that has 15%-20% fat as you need the fat to get juicy and soft meatballs.
Beef meatballs are a great option for babies starting their solid journey. They are easy to chew and have an easy-to-hold shape. They are also a good source of iron and other nutrients making them very healthy and good for babies and older children.
Yes, you can replace the ground beef with ground pork or use half of each when making the meatballs. Opt for a ground beef or pork that has some fat in it and it's not very lean, like 80%-20% as the fat will make the meatballs more juicy.
Yes, you can cook the meatballs straight out of your freezer. Place them on a lined tray and brush them with some oil to prevent drying out. Then bake them as usual in a preheated oven, turning them over half way through.
For a healthier option, go with baking the meatballs in the oven on a lined baking tray. It's also less messy, requires less effort as you only need to turn them once and you can cook bigger batches.
Easy Beef Meatballs - Baby & Child Friendly
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 egg
- ½ cup oats
- 1 carrot
- 1 tomato
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- Grate the carrot coarsely and add it to a bowl.
- In a food processor, add the oats and blend until they have a fine, powdery texture. Add the oats to the bowl.
- In a food processor, add the tomato, onion, garlic cloves and olive oil. Blend for 30 seconds until all chopped and add to the bowl.
- Add the ground beef, vinegar, oregano and ground pepper to the bowl. Mix all the ingredients well for 2-3 minutes.
- Cover the mixture with some cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Take a small piece of the mixture and form into a ball about a golf size.
- Place it on a tray lined with parchment paper. Continue with the rest of the mixture, placing the meatballs with a finger space between them.
- Bake in a preheated oven to 180℃ / 350℉ for 30 minutes. Turn over and bake for 10 more minutes.
- You could substitute the oats with plain breadcrumbs.
- You could store the meatballs in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you liked my baby-friendly beef meatballs, you should try some of these recipes too: