Meatball Mania with Sweet and Savory Ostrich meatballs

Over the past year, I have noticed a sharp increase in meatball offerings on restaurant menus and in magazines. There seems to be a meatball mania and I am loving it.

A bowl of tomato and herb coated beef meatballs

A bowl of tomato and herb coated beef meatballs from Rudy’s

I have been using chicken, turkey, porc, lamb and now ostrich mince for my meat eaters who cannot seem to get enough of my various juicy and flavour packed meatballs. Depending on the occasion, I will make them on sticks, as in the kofta tradition, bite size, so that they can be picked up with a toothpick and now these ostrich meatballs for a fun tapas experience.

Sharing food, tapas style, has become my favorite way of eating. Getting a little more of a taste of something, then moving onto another sensory experience, is my go to date. It reminds me of eating with my family, when we were little children. All five siblings had to order something different from the menu when we were out for dinner. Then, with forks ready, we were allowed to dip into everyone’s dish at the table, creating a bit of a frenzied spectacle.

My brother Colin has never recovered from our dining mayhem. To this day, whenever we are all out together in a restaurant, he stands at the ready, with fork and knife in hand, to defend the onslaught of pecking forks, looking for an unguarded morsel of food.

A sweet and savory ostrich meatball

A sweet and savory ostrich meatball

What is lovely about this ostrich meatball recipe is that it can be shared with many people around the table as an appetizer or served on a bed of rice or noodles as a main. It is up to you to decide. Start rolling and see where it takes you!

Rolled and ready for cooking

Rolled and ready for cooking

Sweet and Savory Ostrich Meatballs

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 14-16 medium meatballs


  • 500 gm ostrich mince (1 lb)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup coriander, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs ( might need more depending on the moisture of the mince)
    for the sauce:
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup chutney
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients.
  2. Add additional breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet and does not hold together.
  3. Using a tablespoon or your fingers, scoop out mixture, depending on your desired size of ball and roll in the palm of your hand.
  4. Place on a plate, ready for cooking.
  5. Once all meatballs are formed, heat up a grill pan and cook all the meatballs.
  6. Place the cooked meatballs in an ovenproof casserole, pour over sauce and heat in oven at 180C (375F) for 20 minutes.
    for the sauce:
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Pour over meatballs then heat in oven


Other types of mince can be used just need to watch how moist the meat is to decide how much breadcrumbs are needed.

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