Frugal Comfort Food- Meatballs & Potatoes Recipe

Meatballs and Potatoes

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Meatballs and Potatoes

Meatballs and potatoes are a hit in my house.

My kids aren’t picky eaters, but they definitely have their favorites. Because I meal plan each week, I always ask my family what one meal they’d like to have that week.

It helps me make meals that everyone looks forward to and it saves me from having to draft the entire meal plan by myself (side note: I hate thinking of what to cook for dinner).

This recipe is by far one of the most cooked recipes in my house. My kids absolutely love it and it super comforting and really budget friendly. It’s a win on all accounts.

Plus, it’s super simple to make.

And did I mention, it’s super frugal and will save you a ton of money?

Let’s get into the recipe.

The ingredients you’ll need:

½ onion (brown or red, whichever you have on hand), minced

.75-1 lb. ground beef- I happen to use less than a lb. this time, just the way the butcher packaged it. Also, feel free to substitute ground turkey if you want.

1 8oz. can of tomato puree

2 small russet potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes

⅛ cup of rice flour- this makes it moist and you never know it’s there. Feel free to leave it out or add breadcrumbs (adding breadcrumbs may change it’s texture a little).

1 TBSP Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Garlic Powder

This recipe feeds about 4-5 people. Here is the cost breakdown:

Onion- I bought it at 5lbs. For $1, so ½ onion (½ lb.)= $0.10

Ground Beef- bought on sale at $2.99/lb. Used about .8 of a lb. = $2.76

Tomato puree- I stock up when it’s on sale at 5 cans for $1. 1 can= $0.20

Potatoes- bought 10 lbs for $2.69, used 2 potatoes (½ lb.)= $0.14

Rice Flour- bought for $1.39 at the international market, used ⅛ cup (9 servings of ¼ cup per package)= $0.08

Olive Oil- bought 1 gallon for $8.99, barely used anything, let’s say $0.10, okay?

Seasoning- pretty minimal, not going to include cost

Total for meal= About $3.38 for about 4 people, $0.85 per serving.

First step is the get the meat balls in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Combine ¼ onion, rice flour, ground beef, and salt, pepper and garlic powder into a bowl.

Combine the mixture, but don’t over work the meat.

Once the mixture is well combined, start forming small tablespoon-size balls and put them on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until meatballs are golden brown.

meat balls
Meatballs before they entered the oven.
meat balls

While the meatballs are baking, sweat the other ¼ onion with olive oil on medium heat until translucent, about 1-2 minutes.

sweat onion

Then, add the tomato puree, salt, pepper and garlic powder.


Once it starts to bubble, cover and reduce heat to low. Leave for about 7-10 minutes or until you see it slightly thickened.

Using the can of tomato puree, fill twice with water and add it to the thickened tomato puree.

tomato sauce

Change heat to high and add the potato.

dice potatoes
This is 2 medium sized potatoes, diced. This is before they were washed in cold water.

Let boil for about 15-20 minutes or until the potato is fork tender.

potatoes and meatballs

Your meatballs should be out of the oven by now. 10 minutes into the potatoes cooking, add the meatballs so they can soak in some of the sauce.

Serve with rice and thank me later. 🙂

Meatballs and Potatoes


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3 Responses

  1. Hi, I stumbled across your page on Pinterest. I’m enjoying your site so far, now about this recipe. There isnt rice flour available but you stated the bread crumbs can be substituted. Have you tried it with bread crumbs? If so, where they homemade or store bought? I’m asking because I really want to try this recipe but became a little hesitant when you mentioned the texture will be different when using bread crumbs. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Katrina, thanks for asking such a great question! Yes, I have tried it with store bought bread crumbs, the texture just isn’t as smooth as with the rice flour, but it’s still good! If you have an international or ethnic market near you or even and international aisle at your supermarket, you may be able to find rice flour nowadays. Also, you can find it on Amazon. But, don’t spend more than a $2-$3 on it, it should not be expensive. If it is, stick to the bread crumbs. 🙂 Hope this helps!

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