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Italian Meat Sauce with Meatballs Recipe

This chunky, meaty sauce has a bit of heat from the sausage and red pepper. It's delicious served over pasta.—Jane McMillan, Dania Beach
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 4-1/4 hours YIELD:8 servings


  • 1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 12 frozen fully cooked Italian meatballs (1/2 ounce each), thawed and halved
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan and Romano cheese blend
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Hot cooked pasta


  • 1. In a large skillet, cook the sausage, onion and pepper over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a 4-qt. slow cooker. Add the meatballs, tomato sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste, Parmesan cheese blend, garlic and seasonings. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until hot and bubbly.
  • 2. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cook 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Serve with pasta. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 cup (calculated without pasta): 326 calories, 21g fat (9g saturated fat), 55mg cholesterol, 1287mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 3g fiber), 21g protein.

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Wine Pairings

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.