Spaghetti and Meatballs. The PERFECT meatball, tender, juicy and loaded with flavor simmered in a rich marinara sauce. This is the one and only spaghetti sauce recipe you will need! Always a huge hit with the family and every guest!
This spaghetti and meatball recipe is so quick and easy to toss together! The meatballs and sauce are made in the same pan which means fewer dishes and an epically flavorful sauce. Plus I’m sharing all of my tips to ensure a tender, juicy meatball that won’t break apart when you cook it!
How to make the Best Meatballs
- Use Italian seasoned bread crumbs. This adds a wonderful flavor to the meatballs and the fine texture of the bread crumbs is perfect for soaking up the juice from the meat and the eggs making these meatballs juicy and tender.
- Sear the meatballs in the pan, getting a good sear on the meatballs helps them to get wonderful flavor, hold their shape, plus we get to use all those delicious brown bits leftover in the pan when we make our sauce.
- Mix the meatballs up with your hand. Using a spoon won’t get the job done and we don’t want to overmix with a mixer and wind up with tough meatballs.
- For ALL the tips and tricks on meatballs you’ll want to check out my Classic Meatball Recipe post.
How to make Spaghetti Sauce
Once the meatballs are seared on all sides, remove them from the pan and set them aside. Using the same pan continue with making the sauce.
- Saute the onion, once they are tender and translucent, add in the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
- Stir in some tomato paste. This will add a thickness to the sauce.
- Add in the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, ground black pepper and salt.
- Stir all together.
- Add the meatballs back in.
- Let the sauce simmer and finish cooking the meatballs for at least 30 minutes. This helps the flavors to develop and soak into the meatballs also. While the sauce simmers, prepare the spaghetti noodles.
Then the last step is adding the noodles! You can either add the noodles to the sauce and stir together, let it sit at a low heat for a few minutes. I feel this infuses more flavor to the noodles. Or you can serve the noodles with the sauce spooned on top. Either way, this will be a huge hit for the entire family!
More Easy Family Dinner Recipes:
- Chicken Caprese Mac and Cheese
- 20 Minute Texas Chili
- Cheese Enchiladas
- Swedish Meatballs
Spaghetti And Meatballs
- ½ cup onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 (14 ounce cans) tomato sauce
- 2 (14 ounce cans) crushed tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1½ tsp dried oregano
- 1½ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt, more to taste
- 1 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 lb spaghetti noodles
- parmesan, grated
- Mix the ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, grated parmesan, minced onion and minced garlic together in medium sized mixing bowl. Slowly pour in the milk and mix using hands to ensure thoroughly mixed. Mixture will be wet.
- Heat oil in a large pan or dutch oven over medium heat.Using hands roll meatball mixture into small balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place in the pan coated with oil.
- Heat oil in a large pan or dutch oven over medium heat.
- Using hands roll meatball mixture into small balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place in the pan coated with oil.
- Cook the meatballs over medium heat, turning while they cook, until browned on all sides. Cook in batches if needed to avoid over-crowding.
- Once all meatballs are seared remove from the skillet and set aside. (do not worry if the meatballs are cooked through, they will finish cooking in the sauce)Drain the grease from the pan, but leave all the blackened bits.
- Return the pan to the stove at a low heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.Stir in the tomato paste.
- Pour in the tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes. Add in the oregano, basil, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine. Add in the light brown sugar and stir.
- Return the meatballs to the pot. Gently mix into the sauce.
- Bring sauce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering cook the spaghetti noodles according to their directions. Combine the sauce and noodles together in the sauce pan, or just pour the sauce directly over the noodles.
No lie: best spaghetti and meatballs I’ve ever had! And so easy! Can’t put my finger on why this was so much more special than any other spaghetti and meatballs recipe, but it WAS! I used plain panko and added some dried Italian spices–that was really the only thing I did diff. SOOOO good! Adding this to my “rotation”!
The meatballs get
Cooked in olive oil with chopped onions and minced
Garlic. Other recipes include chopped onions & minced garlic in the ground meat and then fry in olive oil
Just asking you to make sure I’m reading the instructions correct. Thank yoy
The meatballs are cooked. And then the spaghetti sauce is made, and that is why onions and garlic are cooked in the pan, for the sauce.
Yummm! Just had this for dinner and even my meat-loving husband raved about it! Thanks for the share. Thanks, for sharing this delicious recipe.
Thank you so much!
Hi what size cans should I use for the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes?
Omg YYYUUUUMMMMM!!! I found this recipe scrolling through Pinterest and decided it looked too good not to try it. I was really full but went back for a secret d bowl and now I’m overflowing but my god… my mouth is still watering! THANKS!
Xx Lauren from Sydney Australia
So happy you enjoyed!!
This sauce was like my Mom and just delicious. The only thing different I did was add parm cheese to meat balls. Thank you
Hi! Was wondering if you could tell me approximately how many servings this makes? Having 7 people over for Sunday dinner and curious if this is enough 🙂
Hi Maggie!! This recipe makes a large batch of spaghetti. It calls for (2) 1 pound boxes of noodles. It is my definite go to meal when we’re having company or I want left overs. It’s so hard to say for 7 people, are they 7 adults with healthy appetites?? I always prefer to have extra food for leftovers and to send home with people than to not have enough. You would most likely be good for 7 people, but it might be close. I would just go for 1 and 1/2 of the recipe. If you need help breaking that down let me know! Enjoy your Sunday dinner!
Hi, What size of tomato sauce and diced tomato cans should I use?
Hi! I always use the 14 or 14.5 ounce size cans. Happy cooking! xo
I cannot say enough about this recipe!! SO easy and SO tasty! I made the traditional Sicilian Christmas dinner of Spaghetti and Meatballs yesterday (Christmas) and used your pasta sauce recipe.. I will never ever make it any other way!! My daughters a butter noodle eater but she tried a bite from my plate and couldn’t get enough sauce for herself. Even after everything was cleaned up and kids were in bed my husband had mentioned it again and again “man that spaghetti was good.” WIN!!!!! Thank you for sharing!!
Thanks so much Staci!! Your comment made my day! I’m so happy you enjoyed the spaghetti sauce recipe 🙂 It’s one of our favorites too!
That’ so funny you hated it as a kid! I thought every kid loved spaghetti. I really shouldn’t talk, since I hated donuts of all things. (yeah, a little weird. Not I love those too.) Pinned this gorgeous pasta!
Thanks so much Laura! And what was wrong with me?! All those years I missed out on that amazing meal! Thanks for the pin 🙂
Oh my goodness. That’s some incredible spaghetti!
This looks so amazing!! My fave meal of all time 🙂
Hi! Gonna try this recipe tonight, and I have a question (Warning: I only recently started teaching myself how to cook, so this might sound a little dumb). After you cook the meatballs and drain the oil, do you cook the sauce WITH the meatballs or do you remove the meatballs and make the sauce by itself? Thank you so much. 🙂
Hi Lydia!! First off no worries!! This is not a dumb question. I always drain the grease from the meatballs, leave the meatballs in the pan and make the sauce with the meatballs. I hope this turns out for you!! Let me know 🙂
This looks awesome! I’m planning on making it for my husband tonight. One question…how big (ounces) are the cans of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce? Thanks!
Thanks so much Katie!! I hope you guys enjoy 🙂 I used 14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes and 15 ounce cans of tomato sauce! Let me know how it turns out!
Thanks! I’ll let you know! 🙂
My husband and I absolutely loved it! I actually just made a meatball sub for lunch with the leftovers. Yummy! Thanks! 🙂
I’m so glad!! The meatballs are the best aren’t they?! I have another recipe for the sweet & spicy meatball sliders, same meatballs, different sauce. Sooo good!!
You already know I love this recipe. Besides the fact that is sounds delicious, I love how perfectly organized the noodles are in those closeup photos 🙂
Thanks so much Andi!! Taming noodles is not an easy task! Especially when moving them gets red sauce everywhere! Only another food photographer would understand 🙂
Serene, I am so in love with this sauce and meatballs! I love how much it makes … because, leftovers are the best. 🙂
When I saw your link over at Marvelous Mondays, I knew I had to come take a peek. I could eat spaghetti every night and yours looks fantastic! Your photography is beautiful as well. So glad I found your beautiful blog. I’m going to have a lot of fun exploring! Have a great day.
Thank you so much Robyn! I would totally be happy eating Spaghetti every day too!! Thanks for such wonderful compliments 🙂 Happy Monday! I hope you have a great week!