Jamie Oliver's meatball buns are the kind of mess you won't mind getting yourself into

Cheesy, hearty, and warm, this five-ingredient meal is the ultimate companion for a cold, winter night

Published February 12, 2021 1:35PM (EST)

Jamie Oliver (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Jamie Oliver (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

It's always nice to feel like you're eating the (even slightly) fancy version of a simple meal. After days (months) of throwing together odds and ends, eating leftovers, and ordering in, all we want to do at Salon Food is cook up something crave-worthy and delicious for dinner. 

Good news: Jamie Oliver got the memo. He just shared a simple, protein-packed, and oh so fancy Sloppy Joe alternative. The cherry on top? Covered with melted cheese, sandwiched between toasted buns and dunked in warm tomato sauce — it's the ultimate companion for a cold, winter night.

One of the many 5-ingredient meals from Oliver's "Quick & Easy" cookbook, you only need a handful of ingredients to assemble what's destined to become a favorite weeknight staple: messy meatball buns. Plus, you'll have a hot meal on the table in about 20 minutes flat!

You'll start by combining ground beef and pesto, plus seasoning the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. This blend gets divided into 12 pieces, which are then rolled into individual portions. Using a non-stick frying pan —we like the Five Two Essential line from Food52 — brown the meatballs on high heat.


A post shared by Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver)

Once you have golden meatballs sizzling away in a pan, pour in a can of tomatoes. Break them up with a spoon, and let them come to a boil. Then grab some Mozzarella, and spread it over the meatballs.

When the Mozzarella melts and the sauce has thickened, spread a generous helping of pesto onto toasted hamburger buns. In addition to the meatballs, add some extra sauce to your buns (but be sure to save the lion's share for dipping).

With only five ingredients and six total steps, you're already finished cooking and ready to give your sandwich a dunk. Enjoy Jamie Oliver's full recipe for messy meatball buns here.

For more of our favorite recipes from Jamie, check out: 

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By Mayu Evans

MORE FROM Mayu Evans

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Comfort Food Dinner Food Jamie Oliver Meatballs Recipe Sandwiches