Spaghetti and Meatball is everyone’s favorite, young and old alike. Plump, perfectly seasoned meatballs simmer in marinara sauce, then get served with fun twirly spaghetti.
Serve this comfort food classic up for a Sunday dinner, or whip it up on a weeknight to make your regular day feel special.
Lately, we’ve been hooked on Italian-American food. We’re binge watching the Soprano’s, and seeing Tony chow down has really stirred up some cravings.
But if you had to pick one single dish that epitomizes the cuisine, I bet you would say Spaghetti and Meatballs!
Why Everyone Loves Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Comfort: This dish is the epitome of comfort food. The combination of tender pasta, succulent meatballs, and rich marinara sauce creates a warm, satisfying meal that appeals to all ages.
- Budget-Friendly: With simple, cost-effective ingredients like ground meat, pasta, and jarred or homemade marinara sauce, this dish can feed a crowd without breaking the bank.
- Family-Friendly: Even the pickiest eaters fall in love with spaghetti and meatballs.
- Nostalgia: For many, spaghetti and meatballs evoke memories of childhood, family gatherings, or that favorite Italian-American restaurant.
- Versatility: Whether it’s a weeknight dinner or a special gathering, spaghetti and meatballs fit the bill.
Ground meat – We use an equal mix of ground beef and ground pork. Ground lamb or veal can also go into the mix. If you’re limiting red meat, you can use ground chicken or turkey, but avoid anything leaner than 90/10, or your meatballs will be too dry.
Marinara sauce – We often make a double batch of our Homemade Marinara Sauce and keep a couple of jars in the freezer. You can also follow the same sauce recipe here after removing the meatballs. Reduce the amount of olive oil to 2 Tbsp, then add the meatballs into the sauce after it simmers 5-10 minutes. If using jarred sauce, our favorite is Botticelli.
Gluten-free options – If you’re avoiding gluten, use gluten-free pasta. In place of the breadcrumbs in the meatballs, you can use rolled oats or cooked rice.
Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe
1. Form the meatballs: Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Blend by hand until just mixed. Form into 1.5-2 inch meatballs. We like them on the larger size, but whatever your preference they should be equal sized.
2. Sear the meatballs: In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add meatballs and brown on all sides. Do not overcrowd, work in batches if necessary. Remove browned meatballs to a plate.
3. Add the sauce and simmer: Add marinara sauce into the pan, and stir to deglaze. Bring to a simmer, then add meatballs back in. Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes. If making the sauce from scratch, simmer for 10 minutes before adding the meatballs. After simmering, remove lid and cook till sauce has thickened to your liking.
4. Cook the pasta: While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water (approximately 1 tsp salt per quart of water) to a boil. Cook spaghetti according to package to al dente.
5. Finish the dish: Mix the pasta in with all of the sauce and meatballs, or mix only 1-2 cups of sauce with the pasta, then serve remaining sauce and meatballs on top of the pasta in individual servings. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Mixing the Meatballs: When combining the meat and other ingredients, be gentle. Over-mixing can make the meatballs tough. Use your hands to lightly mix until just combined for the perfect tender texture.
- Searing: Brown the meatballs in batches, if necessary, to ensure even searing. This will lock in the flavors and create a beautiful crust on the outside.
- Quality Marinara: Whether you opt for homemade or store-bought marinara, using a high-quality sauce makes a big difference in the final taste. If making homemade, be sure to use San Marzano tomatoes.
- Pasta Cooking: Cook the spaghetti just until al dente for the best texture.
- Simmering: If you’re in a hurry, you can simmer the sauce for less time. But make sure the meatballs are cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165°F.
What to Serve with Spaghetti and Meatballs
We often chow down on a big ol’ bowl of spaghetti and meatballs all on its own. That being said, it’s great with a side of crusty bread. Try our easy No Knead Bread.
Make Ahead, Leftovers and Storage
You can easily make the meatballs, or the meatball sauce, ahead of time. It’s gets even better as the flavors mingle. Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
If you plan on having leftovers, we recommend only mixing a cup or two of the sauce in with the pasta and storing it separately. If all is completely mixed together, the spaghetti can absorb a lot of the sauce, resulting in a drier dish.
More Great Pasta Recipes
- Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
- Fettucine Alfredo
- Pasta alla Norma
- Pasta Primavera
- Penne alla Vodka
- Pasta Puttanesca
- Gigi Hadid Pasta
- Jambalaya Pasta
- Pesto Pasta
Make the whole family happy by cooking up a huge batch of our spaghetti and meatballs. Tony Soprano would be proud!
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Spaghetti and Meatballs, in our Gypsy Bowl… enjoy!
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2/3 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
- 1 pound ground beef (we use 85/15)
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 48oz marinara sauce (see note 1)
- 1 pound spaghetti
- parmesan cheese, for serving
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and parsley. Add breadcrumbs and ground meats, and mix by hand until well combined. Do not overmix.
- Form the mixture into 1½-2 inch same-sized meatballs.
- In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add meatballs and brown on all sides. Do not overcrowd, work in batches if necessary. Remove browned meatballs to a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add marinara sauce into the pan, and stir to deglaze. Bring to a simmer.
- Add the meatballs into the sauce, reduce heat to medium low, simmer covered for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove cover. Continue simmering until the sauce has thickened to your liking.
- While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water (approximately 1 tsp salt per quart of water) to a boil. Cook spaghetti according to package directions to al dente.
- To serve: You can either mix the pasta in with all of the sauce and meatballs, or mix only 1-2 cups of sauce with the pasta, then serve remaining sauce and meatballs on top of the pasta in individual servings.
- Serve topped with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- You have a few options for the sauce. Option 1: Make Homemade Marinara Sauce ahead of time. We like to make double batches and keep a few jars handy in the freezer. Option 2: You can also follow the same marinara recipe after removing the meatballs. Simply reduce the amount of olive oil to 2 Tbsp, then add the meatballs into the sauce after it simmers 5-10 minutes. Option 3: Use a good quality store bought marinara. Our favorite brand is Botticelli.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 599Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 155mgSodium 1486mgCarbohydrates 40gFiber 5gSugar 11gProtein 39g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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