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One of my favorite fall back recipes that is easy to make and always a family pleaser is my Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe. It’s one of those recipes that is comforting, hearty and a total family pleaser! The meatballs are tender, juicy and flavorful and made with simple ingredients, then tossed in a marinara sauce and spaghetti.
It’s easy to make homemade spaghetti meatballs with a few simple ingredients. The meatballs really take any spaghetti recipe to another level by making the meal for filling and satisfying. The kids absolutely love it!
Be sure to try my vegan meatballs too!
How do you make spaghetti and meatballs
Start by combing the ground beef with the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, minced onions, garlic (I used my frozen garlic), seasoning and an egg. I use dried Italian seasoning, but you can use basil, oregano, thyme or a combination of them. You can even throw in some fresh herbs.
Next, form the mixture into about 10-12 meatballs and place them on a large skillet or deep pot with enough space in between them. You want to sear the meatballs on all the sided until browned, about 1-2 minutes per side. You don’t have to fully cook them at this point though.
Next add the marinara sauce on top of the meatballs and mix everything together gently. You want to cover it, lower the temperature to a simmer and let the meatballs continue cooking with the marinara sauce for 15-20 minutes.
That’s a great time to be cooking the spaghetti – check out my top tips on how to cook pasta. So when the meatballs are done cooking, you can drain the spaghetti and transfer it right on top of the meatballs and marinara. Then toss everything together.
Tips for making spaghetti & meatballs
- Use your hands when combining the meatballs mixture. It will be so much faster to use your hands and easier to make sure that all the ingredients are will combined.
- Use an ice cream scoop with a trigger release to make the meatballs. That makes it go by much quicker and creates evenly-sized meatballs. I also have this nonstick meat baller (Amazon affiliate link), which works really well and no meat sticks to it.
- Don’t overcrowd the skillet when cooking the meatballs. You want to leave at least an inch in between the meatballs so they don’t end up steaming. We want to get a nice sear on them instead. Work in batches if necessary or just use a large skillet to fit the full recipe like I did.
- Cook the pasta al dente and don’t rinse. For the best texture of these spaghetti and meatballs, don’t fully cook the pasta because you’ll be tossing it with the marinara sauce and meatballs, which will further cook and soften it. Be sure to get all my cooking pasta tips.
- Lean how to make your own marinara sauce – it’s so flavorful!
Frequently asked questions
My rule for any dishes that have meat and/or eggs is 3-4 days in the fridge. It’s best up to 3 days after cooking, but you can definitely push it to 4 days if necessary.
Yes you can freeze them together. I would recommend freezing the meatballs on their own before adding the marinara sauce and spaghetti. However, you could freeze the meatballs with the marinara. You can also freeze with the spaghetti. Just make sure to cook it al dente if you are intending to freeze it.
Yes! Bake at 400ºF for 15-20 minutes, or until meatballs look browned and cooked through.
This spaghetti and meatballs recipe is definitely a keeper and regularly on rotation around our house. There are usually enough for leftovers and it still tastes great the next day. I hope you try it for your family!
For more pasta recipes:
- Easy Baked Spaghetti
- Baked Feta Pasta
- Chicken Meatballs with Marinara over pasta
- Baked Pasta with Ground Turkey
- Arrabiata Pasta with Shrimp
- Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats
- Cheese Stuffed Shells
- Chicken Meatballs with Marinara over pasta
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
This Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe was originally published on March 19, 2017. I’m updating the recipe today slightly and re-sharing it today with more step-by-step photos. Here’s the original photo!
Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 1 pound 85-90% lean ground beef
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2-3 tablespoons minced onion
- 2-3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ounces spaghetti noodles
- 25 ounces marinara
- Fresh basil for serving
- In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the meatballs: ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, onions, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Use your hands to combine the ingredients together until they’re moist and well blended.
- Use an ice cream scooper or meat baller to form 10-12 meatballs. Set aside on a plate until the mixture is complete.
- Heat a deep large skillet or Dutch oven on medium heat, add the olive oil and then place the meatballs on the skillet. Cook the meatballs until browned on all sides, about 1-2 minute per side. They do not need to be fully cooked at this point though.
- Add the marinara sauce to the skillet and gently toss to combine with the meatballs. Lower the heat to low, cover the skillet and cook the meatballs in the sauce for 15-20 minutes, turning the meatballs occasionally.
- Cook spaghetti according to package instructions until al dente, drain and return to the empty pot.
- Add the cooked spaghetti noodles over the meatballs and marinara and toss gently to combine. Serve warm with fresh basil, if desired.
- Instead of ground beef, you can use ground turkey or ground chicken
- Instead of fresh onions and garlic, you can use onion powder and garlic powder.
- To make it gluten-free, you can also make this with gluten-free pasta and almond flour instead of breadcrumbs.