How to make mini meatball lasagne

Lasagne has to be the ultimate comfort food.  But constructing the lasagne from layers of mini meatballs might even be an improvement on this all time classic. Traditionalists might roll their eyes and making all the mini meatballs is a bit fiddly but the result is pretty spectacular.


This recipe is from Adam Liaw’s regular Good Weekend column, always a great source of dinner inspiration. My main tip would be to make sure you have an extra deep lasagne dish as the layers mean that this lasagne quickly becomes fairly thick. Mine towered out of the dish which gave it a somewhat “rustic” appearance.   


Meatballs out of the oven
Meatballs out of the oven

I made a few minor changes to the recipe. I don’t think there’s any need to pre cook the lasagne sheets (I didn’t bother) and I’ve tweaked a few ingredients as well. Whichever way you go about it, this mini meatball lasagne is a great reinvention of a family classic and would be an absolute winner for any Footy Grand final get togethers this weekend. 

Layering up the meatballs
Layering up the meatballs
Mini Meatball Lasagne
Taking the traditional lasagne up a notch.
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7252 calories
406 g
1784 g
414 g
463 g
201 g
3746 g
8887 g
96 g
8 g
177 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 7252
Calories from Fat 3669
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 414g
Saturated Fat 201g
Trans Fat 8g
Polyunsaturated Fat 25g
Monounsaturated Fat 152g
Cholesterol 1784mg
Sodium 8887mg
Total Carbohydrates 406g
Dietary Fiber 23g
Sugars 96g
Protein 463g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For mini-meatballs
  1. 500g pork mince
  2. 500g beef mince
  3. 5 slices white bread, crusts removed and torn
  4. ½ cup milk
  5. 1 egg
  6. 50g butter
  7. 1 tsp salt
For tomato sauce
  1. ¼ cup olive oil
  2. 1 large brown onion, grated
  3. 1 carrot, grated
  4. 1 stick celery, grated
  5. 2 cloves garlic, grated
  6. 2 tbsp tomato paste
  7. 3 x 400ml can diced tomatoes
  8. 2 bay leaves
  9. ½ tsp salt
  10. freshly ground pepper, to taste
For white sauce
  1. 150g butter
  2. ½ cup plain flour
  3. 1 litre full-cream milk
  4. ½ tsp salt
  5. 2½ cups grated mozzarella cheese
  6. 250g dried lasagne sheets
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 180c.
  2. 2. For the meatballs, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a coarse paste is formed. With wet hands roll the mixture into small meatballs, no more than two centimetres in diameter. Basically they need to be as tiny as you can make them. The smaller the better! Place these on a lined baking tray and bake for 10 minutes until the meatballs are just cooked through.
  3. 3. For the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the grated vegetables. Fry for about five to 10 minutes, stirring frequently until very fragrant. Add the tomato paste and fry for about two minutes, then add the tomatoes, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
  4. 4. Simmer sauce partially covered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and topping up with a little stock or water if it starts to look too dry. Add the meatballs to the sauce, stir them through gently and cook for a further 15 minutes. Then set sauce aside to cool for 20 minutes.
  5. 5. For the white sauce, stir the butter and flour in a medium saucepan over medium heat for two minutes until foaming, then add the milk a little at a time, whisking constantly to remove lumps until a thin sauce is produced. Simmer for five minutes, then stir in the salt and stir through two cups of the cheese.
  6. 7. To layer the lasagne, first reserve about 15 meatballs with a small amount of sauce for topping. Place one-third of the meatball mixture in the base of a baking dish - you need one that's at least seven centimetres deep.
  7. 8. Top the meatballs with a layer of lasagne sheets, then a layer of white sauce, then another layer of lasagne sheets, then repeat the layers two more times, ending with a layer of white sauce.
  8. 9. Dot the reserved meatballs and sauce all over the top of the lasagne and scatter with the reserved cheese.
  9. 10. Bake the lasagne for 20 to 25 minutes until the cheese is melted and the top of the lasagne is lightly browned.
Gourmet Chick
Lasagne ready to go in the oven

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