Homemade spaghetti and meatballs is a classic dinner recipe that everyone loves. It’s is easy to make and full of Italian-inspired flavor. A quick meatball recipe, an easy marinara sauce, and spaghetti noodles come together to make one delicious dinner.
Wondering what to cook tonight?! You certainly can’t go wrong with a fresh batch of Spaghetti and Meatballs…I mean, who doesn’t love this Italian-American dish?! It’s an all-time favorite among kids and adults alike, can be whipped up in just 20 minutes, and requires basic pantry staples for a budget-friendly and satisfying meal.
Add your favorite tomato-based sauce to your meatballs and noodles like this Rao’s marinara sauce or even make your own homemade marinara sauce from scratch if you wish. It’s an extremely versatile dish that can be stored well and made in advance, making mealtime an absolute cinch!
What Are Spaghetti And Meatballs?
Spaghetti and Meatballs is a classic Italian-American dish that includes ground beef meatballs and spaghetti in a tomato-based sauce.
The original Italian recipe, called “maccheroni alla chitarra con polpette”, is made with flat sheets of freshly made pasta that are pressed through a frame, creating guitar-like spring pasta with flat edges. The pasta for this original dish is thicker with square edges compared to spaghetti (which is thinner and rounded).
Like most households, spaghetti and meatballs are a family-favorite dish that my kids love to eat any time of the day! In fact, I’ve made quite a few different versions (flavors and cooking methods) of this simple yet super delicious recipe including One Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs. It’s a budget-friendly, flavor-packed, and filling meal that shouldn’t be underestimated.
Homemade Spaghetti And Meatball Ingredients
- Spaghetti noodles: I use thin spaghetti noodles because that’s what my family likes, but you can use any spaghetti like noodles you prefer.
- Italian style meatballs: For this recipe, you will use 5 pounds of prepared meatballs. You can find them in the freezer section at your local grocery store.
- Avocado oil: You can use acocado oil or a vegetable oil if you choose.
- Cheese: The best cheese to use is freshly grated parmesan cheese. If you don’t have it, you could use shredded mozzarella cheese, instead.
- Seasings: What makes this recipe the best is the italian, garlic, and parsley seasonings you’ll use.
Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for a full list of exact ingredients!
How To Make Stovetop Spaghetti And Meatballs
Pull up your sleeves and get ready to make the best spaghetti and meatballs you’ve ever had! The whole family will want to know what you did differently.
Step 1: Cook the Spaghetti
First, bring a large pot of water to boil on the stovetop, add the spaghetti noodles and cook for 8-9 minutes. Once cooked, drain the water and spaghetti and set the spaghetti aside.
Step 2: Cook the Meatballs
Next, Heat a large pan or skillet on medium-high with oil. Once the oil has heated, toss the meatballs into it. Brown them on all sides and cook through.
Then, start to lower the heat and add the spaghetti sauce, seasonings, and cheese to the meatballs. Once the remaining ingredients are added to the skillet, make sure that everything is warmed through by continuing to cook on medium-low heat, stirring as you go along.
Step 3: Combine the Spaghetti and Meatballs
Finally, using tongs, add the spaghetti noodles to the meatballs and sauce, making sure to coat the noodles well in the sauce.
Serve your spaghetti and meatballs with a sprinkle of cheese and parsley.
Can I Use Frozen Meatballs?
Definitely! While frozen meatballs can be used in this recipe, I recommend that you thaw them first before adding them to the heated skillet to ensure that they are cooked through completely in the time allocated in the recipe. If you want just the meatballs, try my homemade baked meatballs. They are super simple and freeze beautifully.
How Much Spaghetti Do I Need?
This recipe (which serves 10) calls for 13 oz. uncooked spaghetti noodles which are close to 1 pound.
If you know that you’ll only need 5 or fewer servings then go ahead and half the recipe ingredients (including the noodles), otherwise store any leftovers as convenient meals to be enjoyed over the following days.
Can I Use Different Noodles?
Of course, you can! Spaghetti is the Italian-American choice of pasta for this classic dish but there’s nothing stopping you from adapting your meal by using Ziti noodles, angel hair pasta, or any other pasta of your preference.
Always make sure to read the cooking time guideline for different pasta on its packaging.
Can I Use Homemade Marinara?
Yes! The great thing about spaghetti and meatballs is how versatile it is. You can use any pasta sauce that you enjoy the most or make your own homemade Marinara Sauce from scratch!
Homemade sauce is full of fresh ingredient goodness and really boosts the overall flavor of a dish. It can also be stored in the refrigerator for additional use, later on, should you have any homemade sauce remaining.
Side Dish Recommendations
Enjoy your Spaghetti and Meatballs as is or add the following side dishes:
You could also serve your spaghetti and meatballs with homemade rolls or flaky savory biscuits but I usually like to steer away from adding additional starchy foods with this already starchy main meal.
How To Store Leftovers
Since this recipe makes about 10 servings, it’s likely that you may have some leftovers. You’ll be happy to know that leftover spaghetti and meatballs can be stored for up to 1 week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Reheat your leftovers in the microwave, adding a splash of water and some additional sauce (especially since pasta absorbs sauce during storage), or reheat on the stovetop in a skillet.
Can I Freeze Meatballs?
Yes! Cooked meatballs can be frozen for up to 2 months. First, allow the meatballs to cool completely on a baking sheet. You can then flash freeze them for about 2-3 hours before transferring the meatballs to an airtight container or Ziploc bag for freezer storage.
Thaw frozen meatballs in the refrigerator overnight and reheat them to use in your favorite meatball dish!
Tips For Making Spaghetti And Meatballs
- If you don’t have garlic salt then use regular salt combined with 2 tablespoons of minced garlic. Another alternative is garlic powder or you can even omit the use of garlic completely.
- I’ve used avocado in this recipe but olive oil would work just fine too.
- If you love fresh herbs then consider adding chopped fresh basil for garnish in addition to the freeze dried parsley (or parsley flakes) or as a substitute for the parsley.
- 13 oz uncooked spaghetti noodles (nearly 1 lb)
- 1.5 lb pre-prepared italian style meatballs
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 jar of your preferred spaghetti sauce. (This recipe used 24 oz. rao's sauce)
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp garlic salt
- 3/4 cup freshly grated parm cheese
- 3 tbsp freeze dried parsley (parsley flakes are fine) optional for garnish.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stovetop, add the spaghetti noodles and cook for 8-9 minutes. Once cooked, drain the water and spaghetti and set the spaghetti aside.
- Heat a large pan or skillet on medium-high with oil. Once the oil has heated, toss the meatballs into brown them on all sides and cook through.
- Start to lower the heat by adding the spaghetti sauce, seasonings, and cheese with the meatballs. Once the remaining ingredients are added to the skillet, make sure that everything is warmed through by continuing to cook on medium-low heat, stirring as you go along.
- Using tongs, add the spaghetti noodles to the meatballs and sauce, making sure to coat the noodles well in the sauce.
- Serve your spaghetti and meatballs with a sprinkle of cheese and parsley.
How to make spaghetti in the Instant Pot
Yall know how much I love my Instant Pot. If you are looking for a quicker way to get dinner on the table, try my Instant Pot spaghetti and meat sauce recipe. It’s quick, delicious and easy.