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Under 30 Minutes

Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs

No pasta's more iconic than spaghetti and meatballs, and now, it's a breeze to make -- the meatballs simmer right in the sauce.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs

Source: Everyday Food, 2009


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti


  1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. In a bowl, combine Parmesan, parsley, garlic, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Add beef and breadcrumbs; mix gently. Form into 16 balls.

  2. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium. Add meatballs, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente. Drain, and return to pot; add meatballs and sauce, and toss gently. Serve with Parmesan.

Reviews (23)

  • jd 26 Mar, 2014

    The meatballs were great! I liked them because they weren't too dense (even though I made them with 93% lean organic ground beef). I substituted dried parsley for the fresh b/c I didn't have any - and my girls would be adverse to "green things" in their food. ;-)

  • ginaboston1 21 Mar, 2014

    I came across this recipe in an issue of Everyday Food a few years ago and it has become my "go-to" for a quick spaghetti and meatballs. Great for a weeknight when you don't have a lot of time to make homemade sauce. I love how the meatballs "poach" in the sauce and flavor it as well. I make this recipe gluten free by using gluten free bread crumbs in the meatballs, gluten free spaghetti, and making sure the crushed tomatoes are gluten free.

  • giuseppinadirisio 16 Feb, 2014

    I am Italian and we do NOT eat spaghetti with meatballs . This is your "Italian" food!!

  • jsnobles 25 Oct, 2013

    I used my go-to McCormicks Thick and Zesty sauce mix, but I made the meatballs following this recipe, and they were absolutely delicious. I made them ahead of time, drained the fat and stored them in the fridge. Then all I had to do, was add them to the hot sauce to warm them up. Next time I plan to make three batches and freeze them.

    I wouldn't change a thing about the meatball recipe. They were moist, and very flavorful, whereas my former meatballs, had always been very dense and dry.

  • betsyolsson 20 May, 2013

    This is one of my favorite recipes. The meatballs turn out moist and flavorful. I think I will drain some of the fat after browning the meatballs the next time I make this because it was a bit greasy.

  • madekane777 14 Jan, 2013

    This recipe was so good and tasty and mom and boyfriend could not get enough of it. Only thing I did different was added onion to the meat mixture and I drained a bit of the fat before putting in tomatoes...I think the olive oil really gives it a great taste...

  • CookNovice 21 Nov, 2010

    It was my first time to make meatballs with this recipe, and I was so amazed at how easy it was to make meatballs. (I used to buy them!) Whenever I repeat this recipe, I use spaghetti sauce in a jar: "Spiinach and Cheese," to sneak in some extra veggies. Sometimes I add finely choped carrots and fresh spinach to the meatball mixture too. This is a family favorite!

  • leslieblue 14 Sep, 2010

    As promised, this recipe was extremely easy and was one of those rare dishes that required a shopping list of only two or three items. Try adding a teaspoon or so of red pepper flakes for a bit of spice---definitely kicks up the dish.

  • heidimatcham 4 May, 2010

    Very yummy and easy to make. Added mushrooms, herbs and garlic to the sauce. Oh, and broccoli too.

  • threesonsfarm 4 May, 2010

    anyone tried this with ground turkey? I can't have beef....... curious.

  • missdeluxe1 4 May, 2010

    I made these for lunch today and we really liked it. It's very easy and fast and has an amazing taste for those few ingredients. We used everything fresh (Parmesan, Parsley..) and I only added some basil and oregano to the sauce, but it tasted pretty good without it too. We'll definitely make those again. Thank you for this easy-breezy recipe. :)

  • ambercutie9 10 Feb, 2010

    Delicious and easy. Will definitely make again.

  • winifredzb 5 Jul, 2009

    This is really good and my kids love it. I sometimes double it so we have plenty for leftovers.

  • elimas340 24 May, 2009

    I made this for my family and we loved it. Be sure to add more salt to the sauce as it simmers. I think it brings out the flavor more.

  • wjohncox 14 May, 2009

    Easy, but maybe a little too basic. Probably a good recipe for kiids.

  • Skunkie 13 May, 2009

    Actually the EASIEST spaghetti and meatballs is Franco American!! haha! (Sorry, I couldn't resist!) I'll have to try this! :-)

  • Pierced 29 Mar, 2009

    To be honest I didn't really care for this recipe. The meat balls to me were lacking in something.

  • AllisonLongenbaugh 23 Mar, 2009

    This is a new family favorite! The only tough part about it is that the meatballs stick to the bottom of the pan when cooking. But they do loosen up once you add the tomato sauce. I added a little bit of Italian seasoning, but really, I think it's unnecessary. So tasty (and just as good the next day)!

  • dotti17 20 Mar, 2009

    These meatballs are very freezer-friendly. Just freeze on a pan individually then toss in a plastic bag. You don't even need to defrost them before cooking!

  • CaliDog 5 Mar, 2009

    The hubby loves spaghetti and meatballs so I made this for him tonight. Honestly, I was skeptical because the sauce is just tomatoes and there aren't any spices, and isn't Italiian food supposed to have tons of basil and oregano??? But this was sooo GOOD! I still can't figure out how or why, but, hey, it works and it's easy so I'm not going to question it.

  • Peggysue1971 4 Mar, 2009

    This is how I've always made this dish and my family loves it. I saw a Rachel Ray show the other day that used baseball size meat balls that were baked in the oven and finished in under 30 minutes. For four people she made eight balls serving two per person. They looked yummy. I didn't know there was a longer version. Does anyone have that recipe? I'd be interested just for history sake to see it.

  • smithkr 3 Mar, 2009

    Made this last night and fam loved it! I even cheated and used jar sauce b/c I didn't have the tomatoes on hand. SOOO EASY!! I never thought I'd make homemade meatballs in 30 mins!

  • nolamom 26 Feb, 2009

    Delish! I made this after getting home from Mardi Gras celebrating on Tuesday (I decided it was time to actually fix the children a meal!) and it was so quick and easy and tasty. Very nice when you are craving this dish but don't have time for the long version..

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