Spaghetti and Meatballs

4.6 from 10 votes

This Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe is full of juicy, tender and delicious meatballs- it's a wholesome, hearty and easy dinner for the whole family

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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.

Large skillet of spaghetti and meatballs topped with basil

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.

Process shots to show the meatballs mixture

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.

Process shots to show cooking the meatballs followed by adding the sauce and adding the pasta

Tips for making spaghetti & meatballs

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Lean how to make your own marinara sauce – it’s so flavorful!

Frequently asked questions

What do you serve with spaghetti and meatballs?

We usually will do garlic bread or my Mediterranean style olive oil garlic bread to keep it traditional. I also like adding a simple salad on the side like a caesar salad.

How long is spaghetti and meatballs good for?

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.

Can you freeze spaghetti and meatballs?

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.

Can I bake the meatballs in the oven instead?

Yes! Bake at 400ºF for 15-20 minutes, or until meatballs look browned and cooked through.

Bowl with spaghetti and meatballs in a marinara sauce

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:

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!

Spaghetti and Meatballs in Marinara Sauce with authentic Italian flavors and an easy homemade recipe that's hearty and comforting for the whole family!

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs

This Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe is full of juicy, tender and delicious meatballs- it's a wholesome, hearty and easy dinner for the whole family
4.6 from 10 votes
Servings 6 servings
Course Entree
Calories 436
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3-4 days in the fridge. You can also freeze the meatballs in an airtight container up to 3 months.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
  • 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.
Nutritional Data: The information below is an automated estimate and could vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used. It’s estimated for about 2 meatballs and 2 ounces of pasta per person.

Nutrition

Calories: 436kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 80mg, Sodium: 355mg, Potassium: 396mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 87IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 92mg, Iron: 3mg

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Large skillet of spaghetti and meatballs topped with basil

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Comments

  1. I won’t tell you how old I am but I am retired, so that give you an idea. Believe it or not, I’ve never made meatballs. I was always intimidated by them, I couldn’t imagine making a good tasting meatball. Well, I made your spaghetti and meatball recipe and it was delicious. One of my favorite recipes so far, although I think I say that about every one I try. This was just delicious and honestly very easy to make but looks impressive at the same time. On to my search for my next favorite recipe!

  2. This is the grossest thing I have seen all day, and I just finished playing Street Fighter 3.

  3. Thanks so much for this easy to make recipe. I wanted to make spaghetti & meatballs forever but I was too scared that it might fall apart. This was a great & easy to make recipe. My 4/5 year old loved it too. Thanks so much.

  4. This was soo good! I followed your tips for cooking the pasta and mariana sauce, made a whole difference. How have I been cooking pasta the wrong way all this time?

    I made the meatballs in the oven while cooking the sauce. Was a real time saver and very delicious

  5. Hi Yumna, can i bake the meatballs in the oven? If so, for how long and what temperature?

    Thanks and cant wait to try it!

  6. We had this last night & it was delicious! I added some mushrooms & black olives to the sauce. I will definitely make it again!

  7. We had this last night, easy recipe & easily followed, we added an oxo cube into the sauce because it was very very tomato-ey, clean plates all around and extra in the freezer for another time!

    1. How awesome! So glad you enjoyed the recipe and I like the idea of adding the oxo cube to the sauce. Thanks so much for sharing!!