Slow-Cooked Spaghetti and Meatball Soup Recipe

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I first sampled this spaghetti sauce at my sister-in-law's and had to have the recipe. After all these years, I still think it's about the best I've ever tasted. —Jackie Grant, Vanderhoof, British Columbia
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 5 hours
MAKES:20 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 5 hours
MAKES: 20 servings


  • 1 cup finely chopped onion, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1 can (46 ounces) tomato juice
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Hot cooked spaghetti, cut into bite-size pieces

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 135 calories, 6g fat (3g saturated fat), 33mg cholesterol, 550mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 1g fiber), 13g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup onion, salt and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-in. balls. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown meatballs with remaining onion.
  2. Transfer to a 6-qt. slow cooker; add the tomato juice, tomatoes, tomato sauce, celery, bay leaves, garlic and Italian seasoning. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until heated through. Discard bay leaves. Serve with spaghetti. Yield: 20 servings (about 4-1/2 quarts).
Editor's Note
  • Based on reader feedback we took this recipe back to the Test Kitchen and decided it makes a much better soup than a pasta dish. Enjoy!
  • Originally published as Slow-Cooked Spaghetti and Meatball Soup in Taste of Home Ground Beef Cookbook 1999, p69

    Medium-Bodied Red Wine

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

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    Angel182009 User ID: 6228642 217036
    Reviewed Jan. 5, 2015 Edited Mar. 2, 2017

    "My family really enjoyed this meal. My husband who doesn't like spaghetti at all loved it and he thought the meatballs were great in it. The only thing I did differently was I used garlic powder in place of the minced garlic."

    homemadewithlove User ID: 4311884 46443
    Reviewed Dec. 5, 2013

    "Lacked flavor and I even added an egg and Italian seasoning. Husband said it needed sugar, kids did not like. I will not make this again. Good thing I halved the recipe."

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