Meatball Marinara Cups…

Love these little meatball cups, a rich flavourful marinara sauce and moist meatballs with an ooey gooey cheese top. Delish.

5% fat mince can often be really dry if you over cook it so our little tip is to always under cook your meatballs in this dish before they go in the oven, this way they don’t over cook and dry out in the last 10 minutes of cooking in the oven.

Some recommended items from our kitchen to make this dish…

  • A big time saver for chopping veg with a veg chopper, from onions to carrots this is a god send to chop quickly.
  • Double sided dry and liquid measuring spoons for times when you need to measure both liquid and dry ingredients.
  • A decent set of knives for chopping, with a knife sharpener which is always handy.
  • Yorkshire pudding tray
  • Cheese grater with varying grater sizes.
  • Pasta spoon, I can’t live without this spoon, makes life so much easier dishing up spaghetti.

**NOTE: just a quick note about the seasoning we use in this dish, we have used a spice kit available from SpiceNTice which have all the spices you need all included in one kit so we don’t need to rummage through the spice cupboard for lots of different ones. Their spice kits and rubs are all Slimming Club friendly (Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Calorie counting etc). For 20% off your order you can use our code HICKMAN at the checkout.

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Meatball Marinara Cups

Serves 2 – 1 HexA or 6 syns per person


  • 250g 5% fat pork mince
  • 250g 5% fat beef steak mince
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • ½ sachet SpiceNTice meatball marinara kit (**See note above about this meal kit)

Marinara Sauce:-

  • 2 500g cartons passata
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 courgette, grated
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 2 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 beef or vegetable oxo cube
  • ½ sachet SpiceNTice meatball marinara kit (**See note above about this meal kit)

You will also need:-

  • 200g dried spaghetti
  • 40g light mature cheddar, grated – 1 HexA or 6 syns
  • 30g red leicester, grated – 1 HexA or 6 syns
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C fan.
  2. In a mixing bowl add the meatball ingredients, apart from the egg and mix everything together until everything is well combined. Slowly add the egg a little at a time and mix together. You don’t want to add too much or it just goes sloppy, you just need enough egg to bind the mixture together.
  3. Make golf ball sized meatballs and place on a plate ready to start cooking.
  4. Heat a little oil (syn accordingly) or use frylight if you prefer in a large frying pan.
  5. Fry the meatballs in batches until browned, don’t over cook them or they will dry out, we will be cooking them further in a few more steps.
  6. Make your marinara sauce by gently frying the onion, garlic and celery until starting to soften, add all the other ingredients to your pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Whilst the sauce is simmering away cook your spaghetti according to the packets instructions but cook them for a few minutes less than what the packet says.
  8. Drain the pasta and add a few spoonfuls of the marinara sauce and half the cheese and stir to coat the spaghetti.
  9. Frylight or lightly oil (syn accordingly) a yorkshire pudding tray (a link for the one we use is above). Add your spaghetti into little nests and make a small well in the centre.
  10. Add 3 meatballs into each nest, add a small amount of marinara sauce over the top and sprinkle over the rest of the cheese.
  11. Bake in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden.
  12. Serve with a salad, some homemade garlic bread using your B choice or just some simple steamed vegetables.

This dish makes lots of leftovers if only serving 2 people like in the recipe. Simply pot the remaining sauce and meatballs up and either freeze once cooled down or turn into lunches for the week. Cook some extra vegetables and pasta or serve with salad.