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Saucy Spaghetti and Meatballs

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Saucy Spaghetti and Meatballs with homemade marinara is a family favorite around our house. Seasoned with Italian spices, Parmesan cheese, and garlic, these flavorful meatballs bake in a pan with beef broth to keep them moist.

Pan drippings are added to the homemade marinara which gives it a delicious richness the longer it simmers. This homemade meatball recipe heartily serves a family of four with plenty of leftovers to make meatball sandwiches or that can be frozen for later use.

These Italian meatballs are delicious and extremely tender, and although they take a little time to prep, they are very easy…just mix, shape, and bake!

A close up of a plate of food, with Meatball and Spaghetti
 

Mama Mia, that’s a spicy meatball! Remember the old Alka-Seltzer commercial with the Italian gentleman eating spaghetti and meatballs?

Well, you won’t need an antacid with these meatballs, but they are tasty and can be spiced up if you like by adding a little extra crushed red pepper flakes.

I’ve been making these meatballs for several years after I first found the recipe in a Cuisine at Home magazine that showed up in our mailbox.

As an added bonus, these basic meatballs can be served along with the homemade marinara (see the recipe below) over your favorite pasta. One recipe makes a lot of meatballs, so I usually freeze half of them after they have baked and cooled to use at a later time.

A close up of a pot of spaghetti sauce

Helpful tips for making perfect meatballs:

  • Use ground beef chuck or 80 percent lean ground beef to add flavor and to help hold the meatball’s shape during baking.
  • Eggs in the meat mixture also helps to bind the meatballs together.
  • Use a one ounce scoop, such as a cookie or ice cream scoop, to make uniform size meatballs. Scoop the mixture into your hands and then roll gently to finish shaping the meatballs.
  • Place the meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet and pour enough beef broth onto the pan to cover the bottom. This keeps the meatballs moist.
  • Don’t overcrowd the meatballs on the baking sheet so that they can brown nicely on all sides.
A close up of a pot of spaghetti sauce

For this recipe you may need…

A dish is filled with food, with spaghetti and meatballs

Saucy Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is a great meal idea when you are hosting a crowd. With this recipe you’ll get 4 to 5 dozen meatballs, depending on the size you make.

I usually freeze half of the baked meatballs to use later, but if you are serving them all at the same time, you will want to double the ingredients for the marinara just to make sure you have enough sauce.

A dish is filled with food, with spaghetti and meatballs

You may also like these quick and easy dinner recipes that also use ground beef:

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Yield: 8 servings

Saucy Spaghetti and Meatballs

A dish is filled with food, with spaghetti and meatballs

These Italian meatballs are delicious and extremely tender, and although they take a little time to prep, they are very easy...just mix, shape, and bake!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1-2 cups beef broth, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds ground chuck

Marinara

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 3 cans, 14.5 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup reserved meatball pan drippings
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

For Meatballs:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Stir together all ingredients (except ground chuck) using only 1/2 cup of the beef broth. Add the ground chuck and mix together thoroughly.
  3. Shape into meatballs about 2" in diameter (may use a 1 ounce scoop to make this easier). Place on baking sheets lightly coated with cooking spray; do not crowd together. Cover bottom of pan with additional beef broth.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes, or until just cooked through. (Reserve pan juices for the marinara.)

For Marinara:

  1. In a large pan, sauté onions in olive oil over medium high heat until tender.
  2. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. For spaghetti and meatballs, add desired number of cooked meatballs to sauce and simmer uncovered another 10 minutes, or until heated through.

Notes

Recipe by Cuisine at Home Magazine.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 Servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 626Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 189mgSodium: 1413mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 6gSugar: 12gProtein: 44g

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ABOUT SHEILA
Sheila Thigpen, author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. Living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters and two fine sons-in-law, are active in their church, love to travel, and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. Follow Sheila on YouTubePinterestInstagramFacebook, and Twitter!

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CINDY C BEAL

Friday 3rd of January 2020

These are the BEST meatballs I have ever made. I too got the recipe from "Cuisine At Home" magazine, but now I can't find my copy. I am thrilled to find it here! Thank you!

p.s. that magazine was always full of killer recipes....wonder if it is still published?

Wendy

Friday 19th of September 2014

These "Alka-seltzer free" meatballs look delicious, Sheila! :) There are so many great lines from old Alka-seltzer commercials! I had forgotten this one! My son especially loves adding spice (red pepper flakes, Siracha) to just about everything, so I know he will enjoy these meatballs. I often make double recipes of dinner foods and freeze half. Nothing like having dinner ready in the freezer on a busy weekday!

sheilathigpen

Friday 19th of September 2014

Thanks, Wendy! I was really struggling with coming up with my food story and that commercial just popped into my head! I decided it was funny and worth sharing -- good for a Friday laugh :) I also like these meatballs for Meatball Subs, which I'm sure will make it to my blog before long.

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