A Glug of Oil

Easy and delicious recipes including midweek dinner ideas, English and world cuisine.

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Easy meatballs recipe in a rich, smoky chorizo and tomato sauce served with crispy potatoes. 

You can serve the meatballs and sauce with spaghetti if you prefer.

Meatballs in tomato and chorizo sauce with crispy potatoes.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

*Post updated September 2022

This is another of my copycat Marks and Spencer Gastropub recipes and I have to say, every mouthful was totally delicious.

If the list of stuff looks long and too much to do, it's because I've broken it down into three parts for each part of the meal; meatballs, sauce and potatoes.

If you buy good quality minced pork with a low-fat content your meatballs will be tender and delicious. I use minced pork that's 5% fat.

Yes, you will pay a bit more than say minced pork with 20% fat but at the end of the day, you are just paying for a load of fat.

Tinned tomatoes

It's also worth buying good quality tomatoes, I know I'm always going on about tinned tomatoes but some cheap brands are in the juice which is pale and watery.

This will, of course, have an effect on the sauce, but I totally understand if you can't afford them. If that's the case don't worry, just drain the tomatoes from the juice.

You can even use a mixture of minced beef and pork which would be a great idea and is what I use to make this lasagne recipe.

For this though, I was just trying to copy the Meatballs in Tomato and Chorizo Sauce with Spicy Potatoes from the Marks and Spencer Gastropub range.

Meatballs cooking

Do you need to remove the skin on the chorizo?

For this, I used dry-cured chorizo, the one that comes in a ring and is tied at the top.

Now, although some can be eaten as it is, most of this type has to have the skin removed because it's actually undigestable! 😉

Usually, it's the authentic chorizo rings that you have to remove the skin before cooking.

So, please be sure to read the packaging and it should tell you there.

The other kind of chorizo sausage is raw and so has to be cooked, so do check which one you are buying to be sure.

How to make meatballs 

Recipe Top Tip!

It's best to use minced pork that hasn't been frozen because on defrosting it does tend to be a bit on the wet side.

If you have to use defrosted pork mince you can always add half a cup of lightly toasted breadcrumbs to the mixture.

Meatball ingredients

Prepare the ingredients as shown in the recipe.

Ingredients to make meatballs in a bowl

Add them to a mixing bowl and carefully mix to combine. Take care not to overmix or the meat will be overprocessed and mushy.

Meatball mixture in a glass bowl

At this stage, you can fry a tiny amount of the mixture in a frying pan and taste. That way you'll know if you need to add anything else to season them.

Once you're happy using your hands roll them into meatballs and cover with clingfilm. 

Pop them into the fridge to allow them to firm up a bit and stop them from falling apart when cooking.

Meatballs covered in clingfilm

When you're ready, heat up a little olive oil in a frying pan and cook turning gently so that they brown evenly.

Meatballs in tomato and chorizo sauce.

Serve with the sauce and potatoes as per the recipe. Or, you could just have them with my Super Quick Vegetable Sauce for Pasta

Can you Freeze Meatballs?

Yes, you can freeze them but ONLY if you didn't use meat that had already been frozen.

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe card below!

meatballs in tomato sauce recipe, Marks and Spencer Gastropub, beef meatballs
main, dinner,
Yield: 2-3
Author: Jan Bennett
Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

My Marks and Spencer copycat meal as sold in their Gastropub range.
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 50 MinTotal time: 1 H & 10 M


For the meatballs
  • 400g minced pork - no more than about 5% fat
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion - peeled and finely chopped
  • freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 egg - yolk only
  • salt and pepper to taste
For the sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ of a chorizo ring (about 8 inches in length)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 onion - very finely chopped
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • ½ a red chilli - seeds in
  • ½ a red bell pepper
  • 1 x 400g tin of cherry tomatoes - good quality ones or the juice will be tasteless and watery
  • ¼ of the empty tomato can of red wine
  • a splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley to serve
For the spicy potatoes
  • However many potatoes you fancy making - peeled and diced
  • a couple of teaspoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
  • salt and black pepper to taste


To make the sauce
  1. Whiz the onion, garlic, chilli and red pepper in a food processor.
  2. Heat a tiny amount of oil in a medium-sized frying pan and add the smoked paprika.
  3. Fry the diced chorizo until it looks nice and is getting on for crispy. Remove and set aside; do not wash the pan you want to keep that lovely orange oil.
  4. Add the whizzed-up ingredients and cook over low heat until the onion is nice and soft but not coloured - you’ll need to keep stirring as you don’t want it to burn.
  5. Use the empty can to measure out about a ¼ of the can of red wine and add that to the pan. Cook until the wine has reduced to nothing.
  6. Add the chorizo and the oil to the pan stir in the tomatoes including the juice and add the Worcester sauce and sugar.
  7. Simmer until it’s a nice consistency; not too thick or too thin.
  8. Give it a good stir and turn off the heat until you’re everything else is ready.
To make the meatballs
  1. Whiz the onion and garlic in a food processor and tip into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Stir in the cumin and chopped parsley along with a little salt and some pepper.
  3. Mix in the minced pork gently with a fork. Don’t over mix or the meet will go horrid and over-processed looking.
  4. *Take a tiny amount of the mixture and fry off a tiny bit of oil as you want to make sure the seasoning is right.*
  5. When you’re happy, shape into 14 small meatballs using your hands and put them on a plate.
  6. If you’re not cooking them straight away, cover them with cling film and refrigerate.
When you are ready to cook the meatballs
  1. Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan. Fry the meatballs for about 12-15 minutes whilst turning until they're cooked through and as evenly browned as you can get them.
  2. Add the sauce to the pan and heat through.
To make the spicy potatoes
  1. Peel enough potatoes as you fancy and cut them into smallish cubes - about 2cm (1 inch).
  2. Pour a little oil into a large mixing bowl and add some salt, pepper and say 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper.
  3. Give it a stir and stir in the potatoes – making sure they’re well coated with the oil and the seasoning.
  4. Tip them onto a preheated baking tray and bake on the middle shelf for about 40 minutes.
  5. After the first 15 minutes give them a mix around so they colour on both sides.
  6. As the cooking times of potatoes vary depending on the variety used the time could differ - you want them to be cooked through and are a nice colour.
  7. Serve immediately the whole dish and sprinkle with the chopped parsley whilst everything is piping hot.
Did you make this recipe?
@aglugofoil #aglugofoil


  1. Mmmmmm. This is my kind of meal... I love the sound of the sauce and the spicy potatoes.

  2. Looks great as always Jan! Yummo!! by the way I could not print the recipe out. The page told me I was not authorized to view it! Just thought you should know! xxoo

  3. Looks great as always Jan! Yummo!! by the way I could not print the recipe out. The page told me I was not authorized to view it! Just thought you should know! xxoo

  4. Ooooooh this looks sublime, I bet you done a much better job than M&S aswell!

  5. Mmm I love the spicy flavours in here - like the chorizo and the cumin in the meatballs. Yum!

  6. Marie - it you should be able to print it now.
    Somehow it was set so that only I could view it!.....Not very helpful was it?!

  7. I look at and read so many recipes, but everytime I come here, I want what I see. Simple homecooking!! This is my favorite comfort food!

  8. Just delish! I just love the sound of this.

  9. The recipe looks great and i'm going to try making the sauce later.
    One thing i will say though... In the ingredients there is half a chilli and half a bell pepper in the sauce. No where in the process was this mentioned.

  10. Will - I've had a look and is does mention them in the 'Sauce' bit.
    I have to say I have just added the word 'and' (shown here as AND) to the following couple of sentences that was already there:

    'Whiz the onion, garlic, chilli AND red pepper in a food processor.

    Heat a glug of oil in a flame proof dish or large frying pan. Add the whizzed up ingredients and cook over a low heat until the onion is nice and soft but not coloured. You’ll need to keep stirring as you don’t want it to burn.

    PLEASE let me know if it now reads right?
    Cheers Jan

  11. Great recipe! Went down a treat with the hubby :-) thanks


I love to hear from everyone so thanks for taking the time to comment. Please note comments containing links will NOT be published.