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5 from 2 votes

Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

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.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: homemade spaghetti and meatballs, how to make meatballs, meatball recipe, meatballs, spaghetti and meatballs
Servings: 4
Calories: 320kcal
Cost: $20



  • 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.
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Serving: 6g | Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 124mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 14IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 4mg