Spaghetti and Meatballs

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If you want a classic dinner, this Spaghetti and Meatballs is a perfect choice. This recipe has a base of al dente noodles, holding up juicy meatballs made with beef, pork, and veal. Finish it off with the zesty and rich, homemade marinara sauce and you have one amazing dinner.

a white bowl filled with spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread on the side, a white and blue towel underneath the bowl, and a pot of meatballs in the background.

You can never go wrong with choosing a classic for dinner. Classic recipes are those meals countless families reach for when dinner time rolls around and have for dozens of years. Spaghetti and Meatballs is one of those recipes and for good reason. It’s easy, but so satisfying. All ages rave over it, and on top of that, it’s epic comfort food.


How to Make Spaghetti and Meatballs


  1. Make the sauce – In a large pot over medium heat, cook the onion in heated oil until translucent. Add the garlic, red chili flakes, basil, salt, and pepper. Cook until the garlic is golden. Add the rest of the marinara sauce ingredients, stir, cover, and simmer.
  2. Make the meatballs – Turn the bread to crumbs using a food processor. Add all the ingredients for the meatballs to a bowl, and mix thoroughly using your hands. Roll into balls resembling golf balls then fry in oil for about 7 minutes, working in batches.
  3. Combine the sauce and meatballs – Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and let the mixture continue to simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until meatballs are tender.
  4. Serve – Prepare spaghetti per the box’s instructions. Pour the marinara and meatball mixture of the top of the noodles, garnish with fresh basil, lots of grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!


a collage with four photos. One photo shows a dutch oven with herbs, onions, and a wooden spoon. One photo shows tomatoes and wine, another photo shows the meatball mixture, and the final photo shows rolled raw meatballs.

Tips and Recipe Variations


  • Storage – Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. If freezing, keep the sauce and meatballs separate from the noodles and freeze the sauce and noodles together or separate in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Do not freeze the noodles.
  • Reheating – If reheating from the fridge, simply pop it in the microwave. When reheating the meatballs, cover with a damp close so they don’t dry out. If reheating from the freezer, allow the ingredients to come to room temperature on their own before following the other steps.
  • Garnish – You can top your spaghetti and meatballs recipe with freshly chopped herbs such as parsley, shredded parmesan cheese, shredded mozzarella, etc. 
  • Make it spicier  If the crushed red pepper wasn’t spicy enough for you, dice up a jalapeno and add it to the marinara sauce. This will add a nice extra kick to your meal.
  • Make it mild – If you don’t like any spice at all, remove the red pepper flakes from the recipe. There’s no need to replace them with any other ingredients.
  • Make the sauce thicker – If your marinara sauce is too thin, let it simmer longer uncovered. This will allow some of the extra liquid to evaporate off.
  • Make the sauce thinner – If your sauce is extra thick, you can always add a bit of water. I wouldn’t add too much more as you don’t want to dilute the flavor.

What Can I Serve with Spaghetti and Meatballs?


Anything you would serve with an Italian meal or would get at an Italian restaurant is a great idea! Here are a few good ideas to serve as sides:

  • Garlic bread
  • Side salad
  • French bread
  • Oven Roasted Vegetables
  • Toasted Ravioli
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes


Can I Use Other Pasta in Spaghetti and Meatballs?


Of course! There are not many pasta types that can replace spaghetti, but the marinara sauce and meatballs go well served over most pasta types. Some great options are penne, angel hair, bowtie, corkscrew, rigatoni, etc.

a spoon holding a small portion of spaghetti and a meatball with a fork on top.

For dinner tonight, go for this Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe, you will enjoy dinner very much! 

More Pasta Recipes You’re Sure to Love:


You can find more delicious recipes and cooking tutorial videos on Youtube and Facebook.

a white bowl filled with spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread on the side, a white and blue towel underneath the bowl, and a pot of meatballs in the background.
5 from 1 vote

Spaghetti and Meatballs

This classic spaghetti & meatballs recipe is a great go-to favorite. Made with rich homemade marinara sauce and the perfect meatballs, this dish is packed with a delicious flavor that's perfect for a family meal.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
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Marinara Sauce

  • 35 ounce canned peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1.5 lb blend of beef, pork, and veal
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 slice white bread
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder, optional
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat a large pot over medium-low heat, add onions and cook until translucent
  • Add fresh minced garlic, basil, and red chili flakes, season with salt, pepper, and cook until garlic turns golden and fragrant.
  • Add plump tomatoes, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper, and stir, breaking up tomatoes until well combined.
  • Cover and simmer over medium-low heat
  • Place the slice of bread in a food processor and mix until fine bread crumbles
  • Combine beef, veal, pork, bread crumbs, parsley, fresh minced garlic, egg, milk, chili powder, parmesan cheese, and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Using your hands mix gently, careful not to over mix.
  • Roll meat mixture into golf-sized balls and then fry the meatballs in vegetable oil over medium-high heat, working in batches. Brown them on all sides. Each batch should take about 7 minutes.
  • Place the browned meatballs in the sauce and let it cook for an additional 30-40 minutes or until the meatballs are tender and fully cooked through.
  • Add some fresh basil and serve over Spaghetti


Calories: 580kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 170mg | Sodium: 728mg | Potassium: 1023mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 885IU | Vitamin C: 31.3mg | Calcium: 307mg | Iron: 6.6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 580
Keyword: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce
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