Filder Under:Dinner, Gluten-Free

Reader Interactions


  1. Carrie

    5 stars
    The thing is- these meatballs are incredible whether you’re a toddler or not. But the fact that the toddler, who is so hot and cold on everything else we serve her, will always always ALWAYS go for these is a huge bonus. AND I was able to work in extra veggies??? Magic. Honestly, they can just stop anyone else from trying to make another meatball recipe bc we’ve already achieved perfection.

  2. zena

    5 stars
    So here is the thing, this recipe is amazing, soft, tender, tasty, and easy. My son is 2 and a half, he is been giving me a hard time with meals and food in general, so I have been trying to look for recipes that is healthy and doesn’t have too many ingredients. I tried it today ,I put it on the dinner table and he just came tasted it and started eating. I was sooooo happy I will do it for him regularly.
    Thank you I will definetly check more recipes from you. 🤗🤗

    • Amy Palanjian

      Ground chicken is often moister than ground beef, so you might just need a little bit more breadcrumbs but they should work otherwise!

  3. Megan Cole

    These look incredible! I’m trying to figure out Kindy lunches at the moment, do you think these would be ok without the sauce? Really struggling for healthy, tasty ideas!

    • Amy Palanjian

      2/3 of my kids prefer these without sauce so they can work that way! (If you put “lunch” into the search bar you’ll see a lot of other ideas too.)

  4. katie

    5 stars
    ive made these three times. i dont add cheese and use oat milk but other than that i follow the recipe exactly . these are so good and you definitely can’t tell that there’s veg in them! my whole family love them.

  5. Christi

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! I want to make it for my daughter who is allergic to eggs… do you think if I replaced the eggs with “flax eggs” that it would still turn out well? Thank you!

  6. Candice

    Hi. We’re dairy free. What alternative can I use instead of parmasen? Or can I just leave the cheese out of the recipe? 🙂

    • Amy Palanjian

      You can leave it out or use a df equivalent. If you leave it out, you may need a little extra salt and the meatballs won’t have the same flavor but they should still work to make them that way!

  7. Michelle

    Hi! My baby is allergic to dairy. What kind of alternate milk do you think will taste good as a substitute for milk in the recipe? Thanks!

    • Amy Palanjian

      Yes, you can pan saute them in a small amount of olive oil, turning as they brown and cook through, or poach them directly in a pot of simmering marinara sauce.

  8. April

    5 stars
    Just made these in the pressure cooker (5 mins on high) with a cup of veggie sauce. So tender and so delicious! Another hit—baby ate 2! Thank you!

  9. Joanne

    5 stars
    Loved the meatballs. But wondering if it will hold a shape for meat loaf. Add more breadcrumbs? Can if remain free form loaf shape?

    • Amy Palanjian

      I haven’t tried it as a meatloaf but I think it would work well as a free form loaf shape that’s fairly short. Maybe add a bit more breadcrumbs just to be on the safe side!

  10. Monica

    5 stars
    These were amazing. Toddler starting to get picky and he loved them. I didn’t have fresh parsley and used 1/4 c cilantro and thyme for those that have asked about cilantro, it works. Thanks!

  11. Becks

    5 stars
    My 6yr old ad 2 yr old loved this paired with your marinara sauce – only way I’ve been able to get my daughter (2) to eat mince. They both love this combo with pasta and great for freezing for quick, but healthy meal in the evening. Thanks.

  12. Sue Nicholls

    5 stars
    Made these today and they turned out great! I didn’t have Italian breadcrumbs so I made my own using plain breadcrumbs and herbs/spices. These are so tasty, they are great for the whole family. Thanx for the recipe!

  13. jackie

    5 stars
    Not just for toddlers, these meatballs were delicious! I doubled the batch and after baking, froze these for when my 14-month old starts up daycare in a few weeks.

    • Amy Palanjian

      I haven’t tried that but it may work. Maybe use instant oats or grind up your oats a little in a food processor or blender so the consistency is more similar to breadcrumbs?

      • Lupita

        5 stars
        Just following up to let everyone know the rolled oats (thrown in food processor) was successful! 🙂 thank you’! My toddler and my friends baby LOVED these!

    • Amy Palanjian

      Yes, though they may have more fat come off due to the pork so just set them onto a paper towel lined plate once they come out of the oven (if you want!)

    • Amy Palanjian

      You could leave it out or try it with DF cheese. I haven’t tried that, but use one that you like the flavor of if you do.

  14. Kim

    5 stars
    Wow this is an amazing recipe! It was very easy to follow and my 16 month-old loves it! I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate beef into his diet and this is definitely a keeper! Even I enjoyed them 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

  15. Cat

    Great recipe, my toddler loves these! Do you need to put the mince through the processor, or could I just mix in the mince? Ta

    • Amy Palanjian

      I haven’t tried it but I bet they would. Maybe half the carrots to start with and see if the batter holds together well before adding more in.

  16. Joan

    My grandson loves these! I’ve made with turkey instead of beef and broccoli instead of carrots too! Can I use fresh cilantro instead of parsley?

    • Amy Palanjian

      I’m so glad! You could use cilantro but it will have a much stronger flavor so I’d only do that if you know he likes it.

    • Amy Palanjian

      Hi! From the fridge, you can simply warm through in the microwave or in a pot of sauce. From frozen, you can thaw overnight in the fridge and warm through in the microwave or in a pot of tomato sauce. OR, you can put frozen meatballs into a pot of tomato sauce and simmer until thawed and warmed.

    • Amy Palanjian

      If you chopped the vegetables very, very finely (like a mince) you could give it a try! You might be able to chop the veggies finely in your blender on a low to medium speed depending on which kind you have.

  17. Caroline

    5 stars
    We have just had these for supper and they were delicious. I didn’t have an egg so reduced the amount of breadcrumbs and they held together nicely. I added some dried herbs and a touch of cumin. My toddler and husband loved them.

  18. Alen

    I’m about to try this but would just like to ask out of curiosity, is the milk necessary ? Does it provide flavour or help the mixture in any way? Are milk alternatives a good replacement? Or if allergies are a problem do we just leave it out completely?

  19. Vivacious Tight

    5 stars
    These meatballs are FIRE!!! Super stupid good… crazy tasty… freakin good! I didnt have fresh parsley, so I added a bunch of dried instead and. they. were. SO BOMB! My 17 month old girl didnt like them, but dude…. I’ll make these for myself once a week! Heavy rotation! ?????????

    • Amy Palanjian

      I haven’t tried them without egg but you could leave it out and reduce the breadcrumbs by maybe about half, or replace the egg with 1/4 cup mashed roasted sweet potato. I think both of those options should work okay. Please let me know if you try it!

  20. Elisabeth

    5 stars
    I made this recipe tonight and they turned out great, exactly as written.
    I have now made several of your recipes for my picky three year old, and I am so excited at how wonderful they all have been.
    Before I had my son, I was obsessed with cooking and fancy, involved recipes – things that haven’t really fit into my lifestyle post-baby. Your recipes have made me excited about cooking again – they are relatively quick, use simple, healthy ingredients, and I have enjoyed them just as much as my son has.
    Thank you so much for bringing joy back into my kitchen!

    • Amy Palanjian

      I haven’t tried it with all pork and I worry that they would be very soft since pork tends to have more fat. Maybe try it with half pork and half beef first? And yes, you do basically grind the veggies up—not quite paste like, but fairly close.

  21. Melissa M.

    5 stars
    These are great, my 21 month old LOVES them and we eat them too. He won’t eat carrots otherwise. So easy, I made a big batch and froze them. Heated them up in the toaster oven when needed. Going to try making them with spinach today, we’ll see if it works!

  22. Katy

    You say not to use vegetables with strong flavours, then you add onions! My children and I absolutely hate onions, and can find even the smallest onion in anything. Almost everyone says that you can’t taste them but you can!

    • Amy Palanjian

      So interesting! To me, onions are mild when cooked but something like kale would have a strong green flavor. Proof that we’re all unique!

  23. Bethany

    I made these tonight to have with my Dad’s famous spaghetti sauce. Not only did my 15 month old love them, so did my whole family! Nobody knew about the carrots u til I mentioned it 😉
    What are the baking instructions from frozen?

    • Amy Palanjian

      Hooray!!! I’m so glad to hear that they were such a success. You can either simmer frozen meatballs in a pot of sauce on medium-low until warmed through or thaw overnight in the fridge and then warm through in the microwave in 30 second increments.

    • Amy Palanjian

      I would think that would work/taste fine though I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure! Please let me know if you do try it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Toddler Won't Eat?

Here's Help!

My favorite tips for getting your littles to enjoy their food!

free email bonus

toddler drinking green smoothie square
Send this to a friend