Best Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe
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Best Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

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4.5 30 35
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One evening, we had unexpected company. Since I had some of these meatballs left over in the freezer, I warmed them up as appetizers. Everyone raved! This classic recipe makes a big batch and is perfect for entertaining. —Mary Lou Koskella, Prescott, Arizona
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 2 hours
MAKES:16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 2 hours
MAKES: 16 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (12 ounces each) tomato paste
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 can (29 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups soft bread cubes (cut into 1/4-inch pieces)
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 pounds spaghetti, cooked

Nutritional Facts

1 serving: 519 calories, 18g fat (6g saturated fat), 106mg cholesterol, 1043mg sodium, 59g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 4g fiber), 30g protein.


  1. In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions; saute until softened. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in tomato paste; cook 3-5 minutes. Add next six ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 50 minutes.
  2. Combine the first seven meatball ingredients. Add beef; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls.
  3. In a large skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add meatballs; brown in batches until no longer pink. Drain. Add to sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until flavors are blended, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with hot cooked spaghetti. Yield: 16 servings.

Test Kitchen Tip
  • Instead of frying, you can bake the meatballs at 400° on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet until golden brown. It will take about 20 minutes or so.
  • Originally published as Spaghetti 'n' Meatballs in Country Woman September/October 1995, p29

    Full-Bodied White Wine

    Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.

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    dschultz01 User ID: 1076910 267890
    Reviewed Jun. 11, 2017

    "Meatballs were excellent, sauce was just ok. Tasted too much like tomato paste. Be sure to brown the meatballs in a nonstick pan."

    Robby1 User ID: 1478802 264636
    Reviewed Apr. 13, 2017

    "I've made this recipe a few times and it so good and flavorful. easy to prepare and everybody loves it!"

    PrplMonky5 User ID: 6612040 245135
    Reviewed Mar. 8, 2016

    "This review is only for the meatballs. I cut the meatball recipe in a quarter since I only had 3/4lb ground beef. It worked out really well. For the "soft bread cubes", I just used Italian bread crumbs. I also added just a tad more garlic, and only did about half the extra salt that it called for. These were very yummy! I think I've found my new go-to meatball recipe! I will definitely make these again, and I'd be curious on how they'd taste with actual bread cubes. Keeper!"

    Kupa User ID: 8385460 235714
    Reviewed Oct. 27, 2015

    "I saw this yesterday and tried it for dinner. Only modification was I did not have parsley and I added Rosemary instead. Lot's of flavour, loved it..."

    ShannonMLeger User ID: 4216848 233036
    Reviewed Sep. 17, 2015

    "These were easy to make and absolutely delicious! The only modification I made was I left out the salt. I will definitely be making these again!"

    nanabrenda58 User ID: 8282427 222280
    Reviewed Mar. 7, 2015

    "This recipe was incredibly flavorful, loved it! !"

    Hannah0418 User ID: 1795891 200929
    Reviewed Oct. 29, 2013

    "These are THE BEST meatballs I've ever made"

    Neck1 User ID: 2901370 15056
    Reviewed Oct. 24, 2013

    "I thought 1 tablespoon of salt was too much. Next time I will use 1/2 tablespoon or even a little less. You can always add salt, you can't take it out. Otherwise, we loved these meatballs!!!! I will only make this recipe!"

    gaylene2 User ID: 3368539 10479
    Reviewed Oct. 24, 2013

    "This was a five star recipe. It was delicious. I would have liked MORE sauce. So next time I will double it!"

    Timbergurl1 User ID: 4047214 15937
    Reviewed Oct. 24, 2013

    "Wonderful. I use this recipe mainly for the meatballs, as I have my own sauce that I adore, but the sauce from this recipe is delicious as well. It's all so easy to throw together and you can always count on it to taste great!"

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