Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe.

Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe.

Spaghetti and Meatballs
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5 from 6 votes

Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Spaghetti and meatballs with homemade marinara sauce. Learn how to make delicious Italian meatballs - so tender and big! The best homemade pasta.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Spaghetti and Meatballs, Spaghetti Meatballs
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 (2-3 meatballs per serving)
Calories 696kcal
Author Claudia Martinez
Cost $18-$23


Meatball Ingredients (Make 22 to 23 Meatballs):

  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil for frying or use vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour for scooping meatballs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage, wrappers removed
  • 1 pound lean beef (7%-15% fat)
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 3 slices white bread (without the crust), cut into cubes or torn

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • salt and pepper as needed
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 56 ounces pureed tomatoes, (from 2-28 ounce cans)
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 medium yellow onion (1 cup chopped)

other ingredients:

  • 1 pound macaroni


How to make the best Italian meatballs:

  • Combine bread slices with 2/3 cup water, set aside 5 minutes, then mash with a fork.
  • In a large bowl add: 1 pound ground beef, 1 pound sausage, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 4 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 egg and mashed bread crumbs. Mix until well blended.
  • Form into 1 1/2" meatballs (about a flat ice cream scoop of meat). Scrape/roll meatballs in flour, flicking off excess. Heat a deep, large, heavy skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat with about 3 tablespoons Meatballs in 2 batches without crowding in skillet and fry until browned on all sides (about 6 minutes in total or 2 minutes per side), remove meatballs and set aside (don't worry about cooking at this point).

How to make easy marinara sauce:

  • In the same skillet over medium heat, add more oil if needed and fry 1 cup chopped onion, stirring frequently, until soft and golden (5 minutes). Add 4 crushed garlic cloves and stir for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • My heart 2 cans of mashed tomatoes and 2 bay leaves. Boil it over low heat (stir it to make sure it really boils and isn't just sending bubbles to the surface).
  • Add the meatballs back to the skillet with the tomato sauce, partially covered or covered with a strainer from stains to reduce splattering and simmer for 30 minutes, turning the meatballs occasionally. The meatballs will become soft and the sauce will thicken. Five minutes before the sauce boils over low heat, add chopped fresh basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

How to make spaghetti and meatballs:

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions until done (or to desired doneness), then drain and return to the empty pot.
  • Pour the sauce and meatballs over the pasta and toss gently. For family-style serving, transfer to a large platter, garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil and serve hot.


Basil is nice but optional if the jar of tomato puree has basil as one of the ingredients.

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Claudia Martinez

Written by Claudia Martinez

I am Claudia Martinez, the creator behind the food blog where I share our family’s favorite recipes. When I am not in the kitchen, I enjoy spending quality time with my husband and my children. We invite you to join us on our blogging journey!

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Recipe Rating

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  1. 5 stars
    I found the meatball recipe was too moist so they didn’t really form a ball and fell apart during cooking. I think 2/3 c. water was too much. next time I would try just bread crumbs…no water.

  2. 5 stars
    Another stellar recipe! I’ve only made meatballs once before and it wasn’t very successful. This recipe is very easy to follow and made for a wonderful, tasty meal! My store didn’t have Italian sausage so I just used regular pork sausage and added some Italian seasoning. Followed the rest of the recipe as is and it was perfect! I wanted to step away from just opening a spaghetti sauce jar with noodles and this was an easy and very tasty way to do it.

  3. 5 stars
    I just made this dinner tonight and it cabe out wonderful. I used fresh parsley and added 2 tbs of sugar. Besides this I followed it to the T. The meatballs came out better than I ever would have expected. Yummm!! Thank you so much. Will keep this on rotation.

  4. 5 stars
    Fantastic. I had a go to crockpot sauce I’d used for years, but was looking for something more. This was it! Soooo much better. The only changes (absolutely not necessary) I made was to sauté some mushrooms ahead of time to add in, and a few sprigs of thyme. Just glorious.

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