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Spaghetti and Meatballs is a favorite in our house and has been for a long time. I developed this recipe years ago. And other than occasionally stuffing the meatballs with cheese, I’ve not really changed it. I have done some unique things with it. Once I made it in single servings for a party I was catering by making parmesan cheese cups, adding angel hair tossed in the tomato sauce, and topping it with a small meatball. It was an instant hit!
How do you make meatballs?
The first thing you need to do is make our Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce! Then the meat mixture you use is, to me, the most important part. I mix ground beef, ground veal, and ground mild sausage. Both the veal and the sausage (instead of plain ground pork) really set it apart and give it that extra edge that makes these the best meatballs ever! The milk keeps them moist. And the breadcrumbs and eggs act as binders to hold the meatballs together while they are cooking.
Using a cookie scoop to ensure equal-sized meatballs is game changer. Having the meatballs the same size means they all cook the same. And let’s face it, nobody wants to have one rubbery overdone meatball next to one that is raw in the middle. Using a cookie scoop eliminates that!
Make sure you brown your meatballs on all sides before you put them in the tomato sauce. Don’t skip this step and try to just cook them in the tomato sauce! You will have a mass of stuck-together meatballs in the bottom of the pot that won’t work for anything. Do not try to eat them after you brown them. They will not be cooked all the way through! They need to finish cooking in the tomato sauce.
This is a really easy recipe to make. And it’s very kid friendly! My kids (and all their friends) always loved mixing the mixture together with their (clean) hands and rolling it into balls.
Can you freeze meatballs?
Absolutely! We do it all the time! There are only 3 of us. And unless we have a bunch of friends over, there’s no way we can eat all of that! We package it in serving sizes suited to our family. For us, that’s about 12 meatballs plus the tomato sauce.
What’s the best way to reheat meatballs?
We use a steam convection oven to reheat our meatballs (and most other things). That being said, I know most people don’t have a steam convection oven. So, I would recommend reheating in the oven in a covered casserole dish or on the stovetop. Microwaves will work but really should be a last resort because they can make the meatballs tough.
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- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground veal
- 1 pound mild pork sausage
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 eggs
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1–3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Olive oil (for frying the meatballs)
- Tomato Sauce:
- 2–3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 102 ounce can chopped tomatoes*
- 1 head garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (10–12 stems)
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1–1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil (about 1/2 cup fresh leaves)
- For Serving:
- 1 16-ounce package pasta, cooked according to package directions
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Use your hands to mix thoroughly.
- Use a cookie scoop to measure out meatballs.
- Roll into balls.
- Heat about 1/2″ of olive oil in a non-stick pan.
- Brown the meatballs, a few at a time, on all sides and remove to drain on paper towels.
- Place the meatballs in the pot of tomato sauce and allow to cook for at least 30 minutes.
- Serve with pasta and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Sweat onions in olive oil until translucent.
- Add tomatoes and garlic.
- Stir in oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt.
- Bring to a bubble (not a full rolling boil).
- Reduce heat to medium to medium low and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add basil and cook an additional 5 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender to puree sauce.
- 8 Quart Stock Pot
- Herb Stripper
- Immersion Blender
- 12 Quart Stock Pot
- Cookie Scoop
- Mixing Bowls
- Garlic Press
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Serving Size:4 meatballs
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 627 Total Fat: 44g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 31g Cholesterol: 122mg Sodium: 1750mg Carbohydrates: 30g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 8g Protein: 30g