Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe
Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

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This authentic Italian recipe was given to me by my cousin's wife, who is from Italy. It's so hearty and satisfying, everyone's eyes light up when I tell my family that we're having this for supper! —Etta Winter, Pavillion, New York
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 1-1/2 hours
MAKES:6 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 1-1/2 hours
MAKES: 6 servings


  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 cups water, divided
  • 3 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 6 slices day-old bread, torn into pieces
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 pound ground turkey or beef
    With Johnsonville Italian Sausage.

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  • Hot cooked spaghetti
  • Additional Parmesan cheese, optional

Nutritional Facts

1-2/3 cups (calculated without spaghetti and additional cheese) equals 373 calories, 13 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 123 mg cholesterol, 1,201 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 26 g protein.


  1. In a Dutch oven, combine the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 cup water, onion, sugar, oregano, bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt, garlic and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1-1/4 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, soak bread in remaining water. Squeeze out excess moisture. In a large bowl, combine the bread, eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley and remaining salt, garlic and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into thirty-six 1-1/2-in. meatballs.
  3. Place meatballs on a rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 20 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to spaghetti sauce. Simmer, uncovered, until heated through, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf. Serve with spaghetti with additional Parmesan if desired. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs in Country Ground Beef 1993, p70

Nutritional Facts

1-2/3 cups (calculated without spaghetti and additional cheese) equals 373 calories, 13 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 123 mg cholesterol, 1,201 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 26 g protein.

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Reviewed Jun. 17, 2014

Six slices of bread for one pound of meat & 2 eggs? Seems like a lot. For even 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of meat I use only 1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs or 2 slices of bread and 1 egg. I do one egg per 1 pound of meat. When in season I use fresh basil. Gives the sauce and meat a wonderful refreshing taste.

Reviewed Dec. 14, 2013


Reviewed Feb. 17, 2013

The time to make was to long and the meatballs were tasteless.

Reviewed Feb. 10, 2013

What a great recipe. My family and I loved it. Could hardly wait for it to be done cooking. The only thing I did differently was to use my blender to smooth out the tomatoes because my hubby and daughter don't like tomato chunks. Will be making this again.

Reviewed Jan. 28, 2013

nice american standard. meatballs are tender, but i think they are made with a little too much bread - it does make it spread though, makes a lot of spaghetti. my family ate with relish.

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