Budget Meal: Meatballs & Cream Sauce with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Broccoli

meatballs and cream sauce with broccoli and sweet potatoes

Servings: 3
Cost per serving: $3.25
Cost per meal: $9.75
Prep time: 35 minutes
Estimated calories per serving: 400

For this week’s budget meal I’ve paired a Sweden-inspired entrée of meatballs and cream sauce with a delicious side of roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli. The cream sauce recipe is adapted from the one found in IKEA’s Real Swedish Food Book (hence the mL instead of cups) and uses milk instead of cream; the sweet potatoes and broccoli recipe is adapted from this one by Divas Can Cook.

Budget Meal 1 Ingredients white pepper salt sweet potato water milk olive oil soy sauce bouillon flour broccoli meatballs
Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Broccoli

You will need…

  • 2 cups frozen broccoli
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • salt

I called for frozen broccoli here, but you can of course use fresh, chopped broccoli instead. That would require about 1 pound of broccoli.

1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.

2. Wash the broccoli and sweet potato and pat dry. If you are using fresh broccoli, go ahead and chop it into bite-size pieces.

3. Chop the sweet potato into small chunks using a chef’s knife. I found it easiest to first chop it in half length-wise, and then to again chop each half in half length-wise to make quarters. Then you can cut the potato into chunks pretty quickly like so…

how to chop a sweet potato

4. Toss the sweet potato chunks and broccoli in a large bowl with some olive oil. Just enough to coat.

5. Arrange your vegetables on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Sprinkle with the minced garlic and salt. (See our tutorial on mincing garlic here if you’re not sure how to do that.)

how to lay out vegetables on a baking sheet for roasting

6. Put the baking sheet in the oven, and head on to the meatballs and cream sauce recipe so you can get the meatballs in the oven close to when you put the vegetables in. You’ll be letting the vegetables roast for about 25 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender and the broccoli is slightly browned on the tips.

Meatballs & Cream Sauce

You will need…

  • 20–24 frozen turkey meatballs
  • 200 mL (0.85 cups) water or beef broth
  • 100 mL (0.42 cups) milk
  • 1 TB flour
  • 1 tsp soy sauce (just use a leftover packet from Chinese take-out!)
  • 1 TB butter (optional)
  • salt and white (or black) pepper to taste

You’ll notice that I’m asking you to buy frozen meatballs instead of make them yourself. You can make them on your own if you like—you could even be a pro and hand-make a stash to keep in the freezer—but hey, you choose our battles, right? (Especially when you’re a sleepless college student like me.) Also, the butter is optional because the original recipe doesn’t call for it, but then again the original recipe calls for cream and not milk.

1. Arrange your meatballs on a baking sheet. Now hurry up and stick these in the oven since you just put the roasted vegetables in! Like the vegetables, they will take 25 minutes to bake, which gives you time to make the cream sauce.

Meatballs on Baking Sheet

2. For the sauce, swirl the water or beef broth (I prepared beef broth with a bouillon cube) in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the water is warm, add the milk, and then stir in the flour.

how to make swedish cream sauce

3. Finish by stirring in the soy sauce, butter, and seasonings. Stir occasionally as you wait for the rest of the meal to finish cooking, and then serve the sauce over your meatballs.

Enjoy your delicious meal!

P.S. Since I felt so good about saving money and cooking a nutritious meal, I decided to treat myself to a chocolate chip cookie in a mug. (Don’t worry, I shared it with someone!) Ever tried making one? You can get that tutorial from no. 2 pencil here.

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