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Meatballs with Spaghetti Sauce

“A friend gave me the recipe for this traditional favorite. It’s her Italian mother-in-law’s recipe from the old country, and it tastes wonderful,” writes Denise Linnett of Picton, Ontario.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 25 min.
  • Makes
    2 servings


  • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon 2% milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 ounces lean ground beef
  • 2 ounces ground pork
  • SAUCE:
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) whole tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Hot cooked spaghetti


  • In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Crumble beef and pork over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-3/4-in. balls.
  • Place meatballs on a greased rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160°; drain.
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce and paste, water, parsley, sugar, basil and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add meatballs to sauce; simmer 5 minutes longer or until heated through. Serve with spaghetti.
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.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 544 calories, 24g fat (8g saturated fat), 186mg cholesterol, 1445mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 9g fiber), 37g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • bakingmad
    Oct 29, 2020

    This is the only spaghetti and meatballs recipe I make since finding it in "Cooking for 2", a Taste of Home magazine published years ago. I make a few changes to best suit our taste, but nothing that alters the recipe significantly. In the meatballs, I use equal amounts of ground beef and pork; quick oats instead of bread crumbs; omit the milk; use dried parsley; minced garlic instead of powder; add a small amount of finely chopped onion; and add a touch of basil. In the sauce, I use diced tomatoes instead of whole; dried parsley; and add just enough water to make it the consistency we like. Sometimes I just make the sauce and freeze it in 1- and 2-cup containers to use in recipes that call for jarred spaghetti sauce. It works great and homemade tastes so much better than the jarred stuff. My husband says these meatballs and sauce are better than any he's ever had in a restaurant!

  • Paul
    Jun 16, 2020

    Very good!!!! I used what I had on hand which was diced Italian style tomatoes, Italian style tomato paste, Didn't have garlic but used 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic not sure if that was enough, Nor did I have fresh parsley. Nor did I make the meatballs, I already had out some ground beef fried it and put it in loose. I think meatballs would be better next time I will have frozen meatballs on hand using maybe 6 of them.

  • slmacbeth
    Nov 24, 2017

    I used diced tomatoes instead of whole. It wasn't bad, but a little too acidic for me, with all those canned tomato products.

  • Kim0827
    Jan 28, 2017

    Sauce was good. Did not use meatball recipe. Did not use whole tomatoes

  • Killerchef
    Nov 22, 2015

    Very good!

  • Anthea4566
    Aug 19, 2013

    No comment left

  • kmuldoon
    Oct 11, 2012

    I just made the sauce, it is delicious. It gets better the next day. The only thing I did different was put it thru the food processor. What is the calorie count just for the sauce??

  • Katielabonte
    Jun 14, 2011

    Awesome recipe. Decided not to use ground pork. You end up with alot of sauce. SSOOOO GOOD!

  • mobetzmoore
    May 14, 2009

    No comment left

  • lsimons
    Dec 5, 2006

    No comment left