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Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Everyone needs a great Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe and this version, paired with garlic bread and a Caesar salad, is the best I’ve ever had!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Author Heather H. of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com


  • Best Italian Meatballs:
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread or French bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup whole milk or half and half
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 pound ground Italian pork sausage
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2/3 cup grated Romano Pecorino cheese
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large yellow onion, grated
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons canola oil
  • --
  • Classic Marinara Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups red wine (Merlot, Malbec or Cabernet)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 Parmesan cheese rind
  • ½-1 teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • --
  • For serving:
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked according to packaged directions


  1. How to Make Classic Italian Meatballs:
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine bread pieces with milk and set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine ground meat, eggs, parsley, dried oregano, cheeses, grated onion, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Squeeze excess milk from the bread and add the soaked bread to the meat.
  4. Using your hands, mix the meat mixture until well combined, being careful not to overwork the meat. Using a medium-sized cookie scoop, form the meat into 1½-inch meatballs, placing meatballs on a baking sheet as you make them.
  5. Heat the canola oil in a large stock pot or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs, without overcrowding the pan, and sear until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer seared meatballs to a paper towel lined baking sheet and set aside.
  6. Once all the meatballs are cooked, prepare the marinara sauce.
  7. How to Make the Classic Marinara Sauce:
  8. To the same pot that the meatballs where browned, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5-6 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  9. Increase heat to high and add red wine to the pot. Using a wooden spoon or metal spatula, scrape the bottom and sides of the pot as the wine simmers.
  10. Reduce heat to low and stir in the tomatoes, sugar, balsamic vinegar, dried oregano, cheese rind, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper.
  11. 10. Add browned meatballs to sauce and simmer over low heat for 2-3 hours.
  12. 11. During the last 30 minutes, stir in the fresh basil and parsley.
  13. 12. Right before serving remove cheese rind and season, if needed, with additional salt and black pepper. Serve sauce and meatballs over cooked and drained spaghetti.

Recipe Notes

Ground meat substitute: An additional pound of ground beef or sausage can be substituted for ground lamb. 

Red wine substitute: Beef stock can be substituted for red wine. 

Marinara sauce a Kitchen Concoctions original recipe
Italian Meatballs adapted from Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?