My Best Spaghetti & Meatballs Recipe
My Best Spaghetti & Meatballs Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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My Best Spaghetti & Meatballs Recipe

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I remember as a kid going to the Old Spaghetti Factory and getting a big plate of cheesy spaghetti, meatballs and garlic bread. My recipe brings back those memories and satiates everyone's appetite for Italian food. —Erika Monroe-Williams, Scottsdale, Arizona
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1 hour Cook: 50 min.
MAKES:10 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1 hour Cook: 50 min.
MAKES: 10 servings


  • 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground veal or additional ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • SAUCE:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine or beef broth
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • Hot cooked spaghetti
  • Additional grated Parmesan cheese

Nutritional Facts

1 cup (calculated without pasta and additional cheese): 290 calories, 15g fat (4g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 974mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 4g fiber), 18g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Add beef, pork and veal; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-in. balls. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Brown meatballs in batches; drain.
  2. In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 3-5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook and stir 3-5 minutes or until paste darkens. Add wine; cook and stir 2 minutes to dissolve any browned tomato paste.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, parsley, sugar, salt, pepper and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 15-20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Add basil and meatballs; cook 20-25 minutes longer or until meatballs are cooked through, stirring occasionally. Serve meatballs and sauce with spaghetti. Sprinkle with additional cheese. Yield: 10 servings (2-1/2 quarts).
Editor's Note: To make soft bread crumbs, tear bread into pieces and place in a food processor or blender. Cover and pulse until crumbs form. One slice of bread yields 1/2 to 3/4 cup crumbs.
Originally published as My Best Spaghetti & Meatballs in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2016, p23

Full-Bodied White Wine

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

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