Best Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins

Made with both ground beef and ground pork, with Italian herbs, Parmesan cheese, and a flavorful, easy, homemade spaghetti sauce, this is the best spaghetti and meatballs recipe ever and it is classic Italian-American comfort food at it's best.

Course: Dinner, Main Course, pasta
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Italian meatballs, spaghetti and meatballs
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 780 kcal
Author: Amy Nash, House of Nash Eats
  • 4 slices stale Italian bread, soaked in water, then squeezed out and torn
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Oil, for browning or frying
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked according to package directions until al dente
  1. Soak bread in water then squeeze out as much liquid as possible and tear bread apart.  Add bread to a large bowl with the ground beef, ground pork, eggs, bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, salt, basil, garlic, basil, fennel, oregano, and pepper.  Gently mix to combine using your hands. 

  2. Cook meatballs using one of the following methods:  

    Oven-Baked Meatballs: Place a wire cooling rack on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray. Arrange meatballs on top and bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. 

    Pan-Seared Meatballs: Heat about 1/4-inch of oil (I use half olive oil, half vegetable oil) in a large cast iron skillet. Brown meatballs in batches, cooking 2-3 minutes per side and turning with a spatula to create a nice crust around outside of each meatball.  Transfer the partly cooked meatballs to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes until done OR set aside to add to the spaghetti sauce and simmer for 15-20 minutes in the sauce until meatballs are cooked through.

    Pan-Fried Meatballs: Heat an inch of oil over medium-high heat in a large cast iron skillet until it shimmers, then cook meatballs in batches for 3 minutes on one side, then carefully flip and cook another 2-3 minutes on the second side. Remove meatballs to a paper-towel lined plate and cook remaining meatballs. 

  3. Pour off any oil left in the pan from searing or cooking the meatballs but don’t wipe out the fond (those browned bits on the bottom of the pan). Make the spaghetti sauce by sauteing onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil for a 3-4 minutes, then add garlic and cook 1 minute more.  Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, basil, oregano, parsley, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and black pepper and stir to combine.  Add the partly cooked meatballs if using the second, pan-searing method mentioned above.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly.

  4. While sauce simmers, cook the spaghetti according to package directions until just al dente.  Drain well then toss with the meatballs and spaghetti sauce, or serve separately.  Serve with freshly chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top.

Recipe Notes

Recipe makes 12 large meatballs, 24 medium meatballs and 50 small meatballs.  Cooking times will need to be adjusted if making smaller meatballs.

Nutrition Facts
Best Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 780 Calories from Fat 324
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 55%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 168mg 56%
Sodium 1105mg 46%
Potassium 596mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 73g 24%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 7g
Protein 37g 74%
Vitamin A 6.6%
Vitamin C 4.2%
Calcium 17.8%
Iron 24.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.