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The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

Nothing fancy here. No crazy creative meal you never thought of. Just simple, clean, delicious comfort food that needs to be shared.

I did make my own marinara for this meal, but I’ll be the first to admit that I often use jarred. No offense to home cooks everywhere, but there are some jarred sauces on the market that are hands-down just as good (if not better) than homemade, so if you’re short on time (and I know how that feels)…by ALL means take the shortcut! :) But it doesn’t take many ingredients to whip up your own delicious sauce.

This is my go-to spaghetti and meatball recipe, and everyone I’ve ever served it to has loved it (just ask my BFF, I made it for her when she was in town!). It’s full of garlic and cheese, and it’s just good for your soul. Since today is Soul Food Sunday, and since we eat this meal so often, I decided it was the perfect time to give you my secret recipe. It won’t let you down.

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

by Lauren

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 2 hours

Keywords: entree Italian


Ingredients (serves 4)

For the Sauce

  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic (about 2 T.)
  • 1 T. Italian parsley
  • 2 15 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 t. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 t. red pepper flakes
  • 2 t. salt (more to taste)

For the Meatballs

  • 1/3 lb. ground beef
  • 1/3 lb. ground veal
  • 1/3 lb. ground pork
  • 1 T. chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 c. finely diced yellow onion
  • 2 t. finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/4 c. Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 c. finely grated Parmesan cheese


For the Sauce

Heat 2 T. olive oil over medium heat in wide saucepan.

Chop the onions, garlic, and parsley finely.

Add the onions to the pan first and sautee until they just begin to brown.

Add the garlic and sautee for another minute or two until the garlic is lightly toasted.

Add the crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, and red pepper to the pan.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and let the sauce simmer, covered, for an hour.

After an hour, stir and taste. Add more salt if needed. Stir in the parsley and cover the pot again until it’s ready for the meatballs.

For the Meatballs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour 1/3 c. oil into a baking sheet (don’t worry, you’re not going to be eating all that oil!). I use a mixture of olive and canola.

In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the beaten eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, garlic, and onion.

Add the meats and combine well (use your hands and get in there!) to make sure all the ingredients are well incorporated.

Use your hands to make roll the meat mixture into 12 large balls.

Take the balls and place them onto the oiled baking sheet, rolling each ball around the pan to coat it in oil.

Bake the meatballs in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until they start to turn a nice golden brown on the outside.

Using tongs, remove each meatball from the pan and place into your hot pot of marinara on the stove. Discard the oil in the pan.

Stir the meatballs and sauce gently and replace the cover.

Let simmer another half hour while you prepare the pasta of your choice according to the package directions.

Drain pasta, toss it with olive oil, and top with sauce and meatballs!

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And voila!

Oh and don’t forget your salad. 😉

Thanks for reading!


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{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Olivia March 25, 2012, 5:36 pm

    Aw those look great! I love good old fashioned meatballs in tomato sauce!
    Olivia recently posted…Saturday Ice CreamMy Profile

  • Helen March 26, 2012, 12:47 pm

    I love a good marinara sauce!! We have this dish frequently at my house. The hubster is half Italian, and it is actually one of my boys’ favorite dishes :)
    Helen recently posted…Put Me In CoachMy Profile

  • Jen@FoodFamilyFitness March 27, 2012, 11:15 am

    My mouth is watering and my stomach is growling, this has been placed on my meal plan for next week! I can’t wait to make this!!!
    Jen@FoodFamilyFitness recently posted…BusyMy Profile

  • Tasha March 6, 2014, 1:49 am

    In the section that says “In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, garlic, and onion.” Is this where you add the eggs, I’m sure it is but I just want to make sure?

    Cant wait to try!

    • Lauren @ Dash of Soul March 6, 2014, 1:52 am

      Yes, you’re totally right, the eggs go in with those ingredients! :) Thanks for letting me know, I’ll edit the recipe!

  • Russell January 17, 2017, 12:16 am

    While I respect your opinion and appreciate this post, I must tell you that if you think ANY jar of sauce is as good as home made, you need to come over and try mine.
    Not only is it lacking all the crap they put in jars to preserve it, but using the best ingredients always shows in the end result.
    Just my opinion. Thanks again!

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