Spaghetti and Meatballs

Dinner, Quick and Easy

This comforting Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe is here for us when we need it most! These meatballs are light-as-a-feather, initially roasted and then braised in sauce. This combination makes leftovers, which reheat like a dream.

A very big part of me hopes and wishes that you read this blog post title as, “Spaghetti and a Meat-a-balls!” ***Chef’s Kiss***

I feel like I just talked about my love of gangster movies a few weeks ago but I really do love that scene in Goodfellas where they’re all in jail and they’re like, who cares, so what! And cook up this like massive feast. Oh and that one guy slices the garlic with a razor blade? So unnecessary but so awesome.

Spaghetti and Meatballs Reheat Like a Dream

This recipe serves four and leaves you with leftover meatballs. They reheat like a dream. The next day, I placed the leftover meatballs in between two pieces of bread and let me tell you…HEAVEN.

You can reheat the spaghetti and meatballs (or just meatballs solo) in the microwave OR on the stove with a lid on low heat.

Ingredients for the Best Meatballs

  • Italian bread crumbs. Some recipes are call for day old bread. You can use this too is you want. I like to use finer bread crumbs.
  • Parmesan-Reggiano. A must in meatballs.
  • Onion and garlic. I like plenty of garlic. It’s generous.
  • Italian parsley leaves. Fresh herbs are a win. If you don’t have any fresh parsley, you can add a teaspoon of dried. 
  • One egg. This helps bind the meatballs together and make them a bit light. 
  • Crushed red pepper, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. 
  • Ground pork and ground beef. This combination makes for super delicious flavorful meatballs. I typically buy grass-fed ground beef (90/10) and then the pork adds some nice flavor and fat.
  • Jarred sauce. You can also make homemade sauce pretty easily. But I have to say, I’m partial to Rao’s Jarred Marinara Sauce. So good and makes everything easy.

How to Cook Spaghetti and Meatballs

  1. Soak the breadcrumbs with the milk. Give them a mix and let them sit.
  2. Grate the Parmesan. I like to use the food processor for everything. It makes everything a breeze. Grind up the Parmesan.
  3. And then add the chopped onion and garlic. Along with everything else: parsley, egg, crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper.
  4. Add the pork and beef to a large bowl. And then top it with mixture. Mix everything with your hands. You really have to get in there and squeeze the meat with the bread crumb mixture to really combine it.
  5. Divide the balls into 2-ounce portions. I used a 2-ounce cookie scoop and put them on a greased baking sheet. And then I rolled the scoops into balls.
  6. Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes. 
  7. Meanwhile, warm up the jarred sauce. And then transfer the roasted meatballs to the sauce, cover the lid and cook them for an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Boil the pasta. Drain the pasta. And then add sauce to the pasta. here’s the thing: you could skip this step. And just add a bit of sauce from the meatballs to the pasta. But I personally think it’s essential to have my spaghetti super saucy.
  9. Add the pasta to the pot with the sauce. Toss and then serve!

Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serving Size: 4
Calories: 320kcal
This comforting Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe is here for us when we need it most! These meatballs are light-as-a-feather, initially roasted and then braised in sauce. This combination makes leftovers, which reheat like a dream.



  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, (like canola, vegetable, avocado oil)
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 1/2 ounces grated Parmesan Reggiano, (1/2 cup grated Parmesan)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/3 cup Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef, (I used grass-fed)
  • 1 (28-ounce) jarred tomato sauce


  • 1 pound spaghetti or bucatini, (or pasta of choice)
  • 1 (28-ounce) jarred tomato sauce (see notes below)


To Assemble the Meatballs:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Brush a half baking sheet with the neutral oil and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and milk. Let them stand for about 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the Parmesan chunks to the food processor. (If you’re using grated, skip this step.) And pulse until the Parmesan is in little bits. And then, add the chopped onion, garlic, parsley leaves, egg, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper, and reserved bread crumb mixture. Pulse until totally cohesive, scraping down the sides as needed, and then blending one last time.
  • *If you don’t own a food processor, no biggie, you can grate the Parmesan (or buy grated Parmesan), and mince up the onion, garlic, parsley with a knife. And then mix everything in a bowl vigorously until cohesive.
  • Add the ground pork and ground beef to a bowl. Pour the onion combination and mix together gently until everything is combined. I definitely, like, squeezed the meat between my fingers to get everything thoroughly combined.
  • Divide the meatballs into 2-ounce portions and roll each portion into a ball and place them on the prepared baking sheet. I used a 2-ounce cookie scoop to portion out the meatballs and then went back and rolled them with my palms.

To Cook the Meatballs:

  • Transfer to the oven to roast for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, pour the jarred tomato sauce in a pot and warm it up over low heat and cover so it’s ready and waiting for the meatballs.
  • Open the oven and remove the baking sheet. The meatballs will have browned slightly and rendered out some of their fat—this is good! Transfer the meatballs, one by one, to the sauce. Bring the sauce to gentle simmer, lower the heat to low and cover. Cook the meatballs for an additional 10 minutes.
  • These meatballs can be cooled completely and then refrigerated or frozen for up to 3 months. This recipe makes enough meatballs to accommodate 2 pounds of pasta so if you make 1 pound of pasta, you’ll end up with meatball leftovers.

To Make the Pasta:

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the pasta in and cook according to the package’s instructions. I cooked my bucatini for about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander.
  • Pour the other 28-ounce jar of tomato sauce into the pot. Turn the heat to medium heat and allow the sauce to warm up for about 1 minute. Add the pasta and toss in the sauce.

To Serve:

  • Divide pasta amongst bowls. Top with 3 meatballs, a sprinkling of Parmesan-Reggiano and Italian parsley.


***If you don’t have a food processor, you can absolutely grate the parmesan by hand, mince up the onions, garlic cloves, parsley leaves and mix them in a bowl with the egg, spices and soaked bread crumbs.
Le Creuset Dutch Oven | Cutting Boards | Food Processor | Stainless Steel Bowls | OXO Measuring Cups | OXO Measuring Spoons | Food Scale | Le Creuset Braiser
CuisineAmerican, Italian
Keywordhomemade spaghetti and meatballs, how to make meatballs, meatball recipe, meatballs, spaghetti and meatballs
Nutrition Facts
Best Spaghetti and Meatballs
Amount Per Serving (6 g)
Calories 320 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 32mg11%
Sodium 124mg5%
Potassium 76mg2%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin A 14IU0%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 23mg2%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen

If you make this recipe, let me know on Instagram!

Looking for more pasta recipes? Here are some favorites: 

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


Leave a Reply

  • Reply thecitygourmand April 12, 2013 at 1:53 am

    This is a never fail recipe in my repertoire as well but tend to only use one type of mince. Must try a blend next time 😉

  • Reply Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe April 12, 2013 at 4:03 am

    I SO love reading your versions of typical Italian dishes, it’s truly interesting seeing how the cuisine of your own country is “translated” all over the world! Making spaghetti with meatballs on Sunday is a tradition for my family…we’ll try your recipe for sure!

    xo, Elisa

  • Reply Mandie @ Oh So Decadent April 12, 2013 at 4:44 am

    I’m not looking forward to the Popsicles for dinner either, I can always go for a spaghetti dinner, but it just doesn’t seem logical to eat when it’s 1018191 degrees outside. Thankfully it’s in the 30s again today on the east coast so we still have some time. I love the simplicity of your meatball recipe, it sounds delicious! Perfect for the last cold weather of the season :).

  • Reply Marie @ Little Kitchie April 12, 2013 at 5:12 am

    I’ll join you in eating this every single day – dinner PERFECTED.

  • Reply Bev @ Bev Cooks April 12, 2013 at 5:15 am


  • Reply Tieghan April 12, 2013 at 5:55 am

    This is perfect!! Currently it is a full on snow storm right now. All I want is comfort food and nothing beats pasta!

  • Reply Abby @ The Frosted Vegan April 12, 2013 at 6:18 am

    After having spaghetti for 4 months straight, once a week, I got reallllly tired of it, but this..this is making me crave it again!

  • Reply Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) April 12, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Oooh!! I didn’t make this exact version–but I have made Marcella Hazan’s meatballs (which I think are part of that recipe or at least on the next page) and they are fabulous. Yours look amazing too!

    Totally agree on the whole perplexing meatball phenomenon — I always forget to make them, love them when I do, only to forget to make them for another 12 months or so… 🙂

  • Reply Amanda - The Anti Mom April 12, 2013 at 6:55 am

    I could eat spaghetti and meatballs everyday!! now you have me craving it 🙂 looks sooo good, especially with that freshly shaved cheese!!

  • Reply Belinda @themoonblushbaker April 12, 2013 at 8:22 am

    I have always sort comfort in a bowl of spaghetti and meat ball. This is a wonderful recipe with such flavourful meat balls (I tried it tonight). thank you so much for sharing

  • Reply Allison April 12, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Despite being a rockin’ home cook, I still don’t have a go-to recipe for spaghetti and meat-a-balls. I cannot wait to try this one! Sounds fab!

  • Reply Jen @ Fresh from the... April 12, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I always seem to forget that I enjoy meatballs as well, though for some reason I pretty much never buy raw beef at the grocery. Ever. Oh well.

  • Reply joanna April 12, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    ahhh!! it is so rainy in philly today. all i want this a giant bowl of this tonight.

  • Reply Nicole April 12, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Spaghetti and meatballs just makes me think of this:

    But also, your version looks really good.

  • Reply dishing up the dirt April 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    It’s been far too long since I’ve had a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs! This looks delicious.

  • Reply [email protected] ThousandStoryKitchen April 12, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    I love it when someone spends time on Spaghetti and Meatballs and gets it right! You made this look awesome. Can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply Kitty Quintana April 13, 2013 at 5:33 am

    I’m ready to dive in this pasta!!!

  • Reply kiersten April 13, 2013 at 7:58 am

    i totally read it as “spaghetti and a-meat-a-balls” !!!!!!!

    • Reply Adrianna April 13, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      Ha. Good. Very good.

  • Reply A Gathering of Links VII | Rachael Gathers | Rachael Gathers April 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    […] From A Cozy Kitchen, because who doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs? […]

  • Reply anna @ annamayeveryday April 15, 2013 at 10:45 am

    This looks delicious which is no mean feat as spaghetti and meatballs isn’t the easiest to get a good photograph of (I’ve tried) well done you, really makes me want to try these!

  • Reply Tina April 16, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Dude love the simplicity of this. That sauce is killer love love love!!

  • Reply Katie @ Blonde Ambition April 16, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Such wonderful photos! Growin’ up with an Italian mama, comfort dishes to me always include pasta and tomato sauce. Always.

  • Reply Lauren April 18, 2013 at 5:06 am

    Did you blend the sauce before you served it? I used San Marzano diced tomatoes, and it just didn’t feel right.
    LOVED the meatballs…I learned the milk + breadcrumbs trick on FoodNetwork–works every time!!

  • Reply Jara Nachbar April 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    i’m making this recipe RIGHT now and, i’ll tell ya, my whole house smells incredible and the sauce just started to cook. i’m thrilled to eat this! spaghetti and meatballs is my favorite dinner ever 🙂 thanks A!

  • Reply Lisa December 16, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Good blog post. I absolutely appreciate this site. Thanks!

  • Reply social media June 22, 2014 at 4:47 am

    Thanks fοr sharing yoսr thoughts about Itɑlian. Regards

  • Reply Marisol Devereaux July 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    This is really attention-grabbing, You are a very professional blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and sit up for looking for
    more of your great post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks

  • Reply Faye October 24, 2014 at 3:55 am

    Your recipe looks sensational!

  • Reply Dutch meat balls April 6, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Spaghetti Meatballs, no doubt this will be my kids target for today evening snacks as they love spaghetti very much and when its mix with meat ball then no doubt it will be rich like heaven…..Will try this and let you know how well they enjoyed it!

    Last day I made Dutch Meat Balls got the Idea from the website:

    Oh! my god…..believ me it was really a succelent dish…

  • Reply ginger Carbone March 14, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    5 stars
    This is the EXACT recipe my Italian grandmother taught me. Only difference is she fried the meatballs and
    then added to sauce.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme March 16, 2020 at 6:24 pm

      ahh yes! that’s an old school move, i find that the oven is a bit less messy! 🙂