When I think of ultimate comfort food dinners Spaghetti and Meatballs definitely tops the list. Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole and Lasagna Casserole are up there, too, but there’s something about Spaghetti and Meatballs that makes the whole family happy – it’s one of the most requested dinners at our house! Savory homemade meatballs in marinara sauce served with pasta – sounds like something that’s a weekend-only dinner, right?
Well, this Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe is super easy and quick! You don’t even have to cook the meatballs separately like most recipes, so it’s totally doable during the week. Jason LOVED the meatballs – it is the BEST Meatball Recipe! He informed me he could skip the pasta and sauce and just eat the meatballs and that would be just fine!
Not only are the meatballs great but they’re so EASY to make. They’re easy to prep because you don’t have to chop anything! No peeling pesky garlic cloves, no chopping onions that make you cry, and no high-maintenance steps. Yes, you have to roll them out but without all the extra prep to make the meatball mixture, you’ll have your meatballs mixed and rolled in no time!
So, we’re going the homemade route with the meatballs but with the sauce, we’re taking a serious short-cut. Yes, homemade sauce is great but during the week? Um, no thanks.
What do I need to make this?
If you’d rather skip my (very helpful, I think) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this delicious Spaghetti and Meatball recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.
- Ground beef
- Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- All-purpose flour
- Olive oil
- Pasta sauce
- Parmesan cheese
How do I make Spaghetti and Meatballs?
- Make the meatballs – combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and egg in a large bowl. Shape into 12 meatballs. Roll the meatballs in the flour and shake off the excess.
- Cook the meatballs – heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Place the meatballs in the pan and brown them on all sides. You aren’t cooking them through at this point, so once browned remove them from the pan.
- Simmer – pour the marinara sauce into the same pan and bring it to a simmer. Add the meatballs to the sauce, cover the pan, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through. While the meatballs cook, boil the spaghetti in a separate pot following the package directions.
- Serve – spoon the sauce and meatballs over the hot spaghetti. Garnish with grated Parmesan.
What tools do I need?
- large mixing bowl
- large pan or skillet (with a lid)
- spatula or spoon
- large pot
Tips for Making the Best Spaghetti and Meatballs!
- When making your meatball mixture be careful not to over mix it, which change the texture of your meatballs. You want them soft and juicy!
- When you roll the meatballs, don’t pack them too tight! Just grab some of the mixture and lightly pat and roll it in your hands just until the meatball holds together. That way your meatballs won’t be too dense.
- I already mentioned it, but when you brown the meatballs don’t cook them all the way through because they will finish cooking in the sauce. Overcooked meatballs can be too dry, so only brown them for a few minutes.
- If you have a favorite homemade marinara sauce you should use it! Since this is a weeknight-friendly dinner I use my favorite jarred marinara sauce. So, pick your favorite!
What should I serve with spaghetti and meatballs?
I love serving Spaghetti and Meatballs with side dishes you might get at a restaurant! One of our favorite is this easy recipe for Olive Garden Breadsticks. Pair your spaghetti and bread sticks with a quick and easy Greek Salad for a quick and easy meal.
My kids also LOVE these Four Cheese Pizza Dunkers which are a little faster to whip up!
Can you cook raw meatballs in sauce?
You can cook raw meatballs directly in the sauce instead of browning them first. If you do, keep in mind that the meatballs may not be as flavorful. Browning them first gives them a crust that adds lots of flavor. Also, while they will give your sauce a meatier flavor, they could fall apart in the sauce. Although you could just call it bolognese if that happens! Finally, depending on how much fat your meatballs have, they could make the sauce greasy. If you try cooking them in the sauce let us know in the comments how it went!
Do you have to brown meatballs before cooking in sauce?
You don’t have to brown them first, but doing so creates a lot of flavor and gives your meatballs a nice texture. As they brown, a crust develops on the outside which gives them more flavor (and will add more flavor to the sauce, too!).
How long does it take to cook meatballs in sauce?
If you brown meatballs first, they should only take about 20 minutes to finish cooking in the sauce. If you cook the meatballs in the sauce, without browning them in the sauce, they will take about 40 minutes to cook through.
Are you ready for Spaghetti and Meatball night? I know you’re going to love this easy recipe! If your family loves spaghetti as much as mine does be sure to check out some more of our favorite spaghetti recipes!
More delicious twists on Spaghetti!
Love spaghetti like our family? Here’s a few more ways to mix up your spaghetti recipe!
WATCH THE STEP BY STEP VIDEO FOR THIS SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALL RECIPE BELOW:
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Try it and love it? Rate it, please!!! ? Seriously though a five-star rating below will make my day! If you snap a photo, please be sure tag me on Instagram at @julieseatsandtreats or #julieseatsandtreats so I can see your delicious Spaghetti and Meatballs!!
Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 c. Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb 10 oz pasta sauce
- 8 oz spaghetti
- 1/2 c. grated Parmesan Cheese
How to Make Meatballs
- Combine ground beef, bread crumbs, sea salt, pepper & egg. Shape into 12 meatballs.
- Dredge or roll your meatballs in flour making sure to dust off the excess. Heat a deep, large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat with 3 Tbsp olive oil.
- Add meatballs to pan and saute until browned on all sides. About 6 minutes total. Then remove meatballs and set aside. They will not be cooked through at this point, just browned on the sides.
How to Make Spaghetti and Meatballs
- In skillet or dutch oven that you previous used (you might want to wipe out the grease) add spaghetti sauce and bring to a simmer. Gently add in meatballs, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.
- In the meantime bring water to a boil and cook spaghetti according to directions.
- Serve over hot spaghetti. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.
- Be careful not to over mix your meatballs, which change the texture of them. You want them soft and juicy!
- When you roll the meatballs, don't pack them too tight! Grab some of the mixture and lightly pat and roll it in your hands just until the meatball holds together. That way your meatballs won't be too dense.
- When you brown the meatballs don't cook them all the way through because they will finish cooking in the sauce. Overcooked meatballs can be too dry, so only brown them for a few minutes.
- To save even more time feel free to substitute frozen meatballs instead of making your own homemade meatballs.
- If you have a favorite homemade marinara sauce you should use it! If you have a favorite homemade spaghetti sauce use that!