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spaghetti and meatballs served with garlic and bread and topped with fresh basil

Best Ever Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

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An authentic Italian family spaghetti and meatballs recipe that's huge on flavor!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword best spaghetti and meatballs, classic spaghetti and meatballs, homemade spaghetti and meatballs
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins
Servings 10 servings
Calories 296
Author Kim



  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves
  • 4 1/2 cups tomato sauce (I bought one 33.5 ounce carton and one 8 ounce can)
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 4 (6 ounce) cans water (use the tomato paste cans to measure out your water)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (coconut sugar works)
  • 1.5 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1.5 teaspoons dried oregano


  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 lb. ground beef or ground bison or another pound of ground pork
  • 1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs (4 slices of bread ground in food processor)
  • 1/2 cup very finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for pan frying meatballs


  • 1 box pasta, garlic bread, Parmesan cheese, fresh basil and a fresh green side salad


  • Heat olive oil in a very large pot or dutch oven. Sauté onion for about 5 minutes and until soft. Add garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, sugar, basil and oregano. Simmer 3 hours with loose lid and stir occasionally.
  • While sauce is simmering; combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. I used my hands to thoroughly combine ingredients together.
  • Roll meat mixture into meatballs and pan fry in a large skillet with olive oil. You will most likely have to do this in several batches, depending on the size of your skillet. You will not want meatballs to be completely cooked, just browned around the outside.
  • Add meatballs to simmering sauce for the last hour of sauce cooking time.
  • Enjoy sauce and meatballs served over your favorite pasta.



Nutritional information includes meatballs and sauce (not pasta). I made each meatball weigh about 30 grams, which made 39 meatballs. Nutritional information is based off of each person getting about 4 medium meatballs and an equal amount of sauce. 
Freezing meatballs: Let the sauce and meatballs cool completely, then ladle into freezer-safe containers, leaving about an inch of room for expansion. I like to double this recipe and freeze half for a quick dinner on a busy weeknight.
Meatballs and sauce will keep well in the freezer for up to about four months. When you're ready to enjoy, defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat over medium-low heat on the stovetop.
While meatballs are heating, boil up some fresh spaghetti for an easy meal ready to go!


Serving: 4meatballs w/ sauce | Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.5g | Protein: 22.4g | Fat: 12.8g | Saturated Fat: 5.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 70.3mg | Potassium: 706.4mg | Fiber: 4.8g | Sugar: 13.6g | Vitamin A: 1100IU | Vitamin C: 12.1mg | Calcium: 159mg | Iron: 3.7mg