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Lunchbox Comfort Food: Pork meatballs in tomato sauce

Andréanne Tremblay-Lebeau

Andréanne Tremblay-Lebeau

Healthy eating:

Registered Dietitian

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When I was little, my grandmother would often serve meatballs when I came to visit. It was my dream comfort food, with a delicious sauce that soaked into your potatoes. This version calls for ground pork balls and a tomato sauce, but however you prepare them, meatballs remain a winter comfort favourite.

8-10 kid’s servings (or 5 adult servings)

Preparation time: 45 minutes



  • 450 g Lean ground pork
  • 2 Finely chopped green onions
  • 1 Clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup (125 mL) Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. (5 mL) Italian seasoning
  • To taste Salt and pepper


Tomato sauce

  • 2 tsp. (10 mL) Olive oil
  • 1 Medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. (30 mL) Garlic tomato paste
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Reduced-sodium beef stock
  • 1 tsp. (5 mL) Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. (5 mL) Granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp. (5 mL) Cider or sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp. (5 mL) Cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tbsp. (15 mL) cold water
  • To taste, Salt and pepper


  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, green onions, garlic, breadcrumbs, eggs and Italian seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Using your hands, press about 24 meatballs, using 1-2 tbsp. (15-30 mL) of meat for each.
  3. In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté half the meatballs for 5-6 minutes. Repeat with the remaining meatballs. Set aside.
  4. In the same pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes while stirring.
  5. Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, beef stock, Italian seasoning, white sugar and cider vinegar. Add the pork meatballs you set aside earlier.
  6. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to low heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  7. Add the cornstarch dissolved in cold water while stirring. Bring back to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add cornstarch dissolved in cold water as needed to adjust the consistency of your sauce.
  8. Season to taste and serve with colourful vegetables and rice or whole grain pasta.

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