Spaghetti and Meatballs

4.96 from 122 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
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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!

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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.
5 from 122 votes
Servings 6 servings
Course Entree
Calories 544
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
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  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook al dente according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, drain and return the pasta to the pot, covered.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Use your hands to combine the ingredients together until they’re moist and well blended. Form into 16 meatballs.
  • Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and then place the meatballs on the skillet. Cook the meatballs until browned on all sides, 5-7 minutes total. They do not need to be fully cooked at this point though.
  • Add the marinara to the skillet and gently toss to combine with the meatballs. Lower the heat to low, cover the skillet and simmer the meatballs in the sauce until the sauce is thickened, 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve the cooked spaghetti noodles with the meatballs and sauce.


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 garlic, you can use garlic powder.
  • To make it gluten-free, you can also make this with gluten-free pasta and almond flour instead of breadcrumbs.


Serving: 2cups, Calories: 544kcal, Carbohydrates: 68g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 86mg, Sodium: 927mg, Potassium: 794mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 717IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 110mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine Italian
Course: Entree

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  1. Valerie says:

    Yumna, I have tried so many or your recipes and honestly each one has turned out perfect. Your spaghetti and meatball recipe is no exception. My husband is very particular about texture and taste of meatballs and is not very complimentary of most recipes. He only likes his Dad’s homemade recipe. He was quite impressed with your recipe. Thank you for answering so many of our questions as a standard part of all of your recipes. You make cooking enjoyable once again. Please keep it up. You are doing great work here!!!!!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      That’s amazing! Yay!! So glad to hear it!

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