Spaghetti and Meatballs in homemade marinara sauce. These are amazing “WOW”-inducing MEATBALLS – so tasty and juicy and BIG! We’re sharing all of our secrets for incredibly tender and flavorful meatballs.
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Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe:
The secret to getting uber tender meatballs is bread; yes, bread. And the secret to getting uber flavorful meatballs is in the combination of meats – I’m talking about lean ground beef with sweet Italian sausage.
You’ll finish these up by simmering them in the super yummy and easy home-made marinara sauce. This are seriously the best spaghetti meatball recipe I’ve ever tried.
Store-bought meatballs can’t touch these (in an MC Hammer kind of way) – I have no idea why I keep referencing Mr. Hammer? I think I grew up in the 90’s, in Seattle.
Ingredients for Meatballs (makes 22-23 meatballs):
- White bread is best but you can use whole wheat or other soft sliced bread
- Use lean ground beef – 7% to 15% fat content
- If you aren’t able to find Italian sausage meat only, use sausages and remove casings
- Use freshly grated parmesan or finely shredded pre-packaged
- Do not skimp on the garlic in the meatballs or the sauce
Ingredients for Marinara Sauce:
- It seems like alot of chopped yellow onion but it shrinks considerably
- If you use “Crushed tomatoes with basil” you can omit the fresh basil if desired
- Bay leaves are nice, but optional if you don’t have them on hand
How to Make the Best Italian Meatballs:
1. Combine diced crustless bread pieces with 2/3 cup water and set aside for 5 minutes then mash together with a fork.
2. In a large mixing bowl (I use my KitchenAid mixer to do the work), add: 1 lb ground beef, 1 lb sausage, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 4 minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 egg and the mashed moist bread crumbs. Mix until well combined.
3. Form into 1 1/2″ meatballs (about a flat ice cream scoop’s worth of meat). Dredge/roll meatballs in flour. Heat a deep, large, heavy skillet or a Dutch oven over medium heat with about 3 Tbsp oil. Add meatballs in batches so you don’t crowd the pan and saute until browned on all sides (6 min total or 2 min per side). Remove meatballs to a separate dish and set aside (don’t worry about cooking through at this point).
How to Make Marinara Sauce:
1. In the same skillet over medium heat, add more oil if needed and saute 1 cup chopped onion stirring often until soft and golden (5 min). Add 4 cloves minced garlic and stir 1 minute.
2. Stir in 2 cans of crushed tomatoes and 2 bay leaves. Bring to a light boil (stir to make sure it’s actually boiling and hot and not just letting bubbles to the surface).
3. Add meatballs back into the pan with tomato sauce, partially cover and cook at a gentle simmer for 30 min, turning the meatballs occasionally. Meatballs will be tender and sauce will be thickened. 5 minutes before your sauce is done, stir in chopped fresh basil and add salt and pepper to taste.
1. Cook pasta according to package instructions until aldente or softer if your family loves it that way! Truth be told, I love slightly overcooked pasta. Drain pasta and return to the empty pot.
2. Pour sauce and meatballs over spaghetti and toss gently to combine. To serve family-style, transfer to a large platter, garnish with more parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves if desired and serve hot.
More Family-Favorite Pasta Recipes:
Creamy Shrimp Pasta – so creamy with plump juicy shrimp
Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo – Mom’s classic recipe
Chicken Tetrazzini – creamy, cheesy and easy with rotisserie chicken
Watch Natasha Make Spaghetti and Meatballs:
This recipe is also great for meal prep and to-go lunches since it freezes and reheats really well. I hope this becomes a new favorite recipe for you!
♥ FAVORITE THINGS ♥
Shown in this post: (nope, no one paid us to write this; just stuff we love):
* The Le Creuset French Ovens are made to last a lifetime. They’re lovely too.
* These glass bowls by pyrex are perfect for prepping & serving. Love them!
* These Joseph Joseph utensils sit next to the stove and they get used. ALOT!
What is your all-time favorite comfort food?