Make Ahead

Mom's Spaghetti & Meatballs

March  1, 2018
1 Ratings
Photo by Sarah
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Classic, timeless and comforting describe this family recipe for Spaghetti & Meatballs that’s been passed down for generations and is the perfect balance of sweet, salty, tangy and delicious. —Sarah

What You'll Need
  • Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground turkey or beef
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley flakes
  • Tomato Sauce
  • olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 small cans tomato paste
  • 32 ounces can whole, peeled tomatoes (I like San Marzano)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flake
  • 1.5 cups water
  • splash Balsamic Vinegar
  1. Meatballs
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Mix together all ingredients (gloved hands recommended) and form into golf ball sized meatballs.
  4. Place in a glass casserole dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes in preheated oven.
  5. While meatballs are baking, begin your sauce.
  6. When the meatballs are slightly golden, remove them from the oven, drain any excess grease and add them to the sauce you just made. Stir to combine and make sure meatballs are nestled underneath the sauce so they stay nice and moist.
  1. Tomato Sauce
  2. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and sauté onion + garlic until golden and aromatic.
  3. Open the can of whole, peeled tomatoes and one or two at a time, hand-crush the tomatoes into the pot with the garlic. It doesn’t have to be perfect because as the sauce simmers in the oven, the tomatoes will break up and the chunks melt away into the sauce.
  4. Add in the tomato paste through water and whisk to combineTurn the heat up and once it’s just starting to boil, turn it down to a simmer and add the meatballs.
  5. Cover and set in the 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour. If you (like me) want your sauce a little thicker, leave the lid slightly cracked so the sauce can breathe in the oven and thicken it up a bit.
  6. Notes This makes quite a bit of sauce, so if you place to double you may not need two batches of sauce!

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1 Review

Stephanie November 14, 2022
I’ve made this at least a dozen times. I’ve tried with ground beef and turkey. If I don’t have the right ingredients, it still holds up to substitutions. The sauce isn’t too much effort and is really nice, but not fussy. Also forgiving if I’m missing or sun ingredients I have on hand.