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+ servings
A large pot of Spaghetti and Meatballs with a spoon in it.
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5 from 4 ratings

Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs is an easy Italian dinner idea that you can make on the stove top or in the Crock Pot. Use my homemade marinara sauce recipe, or jar sauce for an easy shortcut!


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided (1 and 3)
  • ½ cup flour, to dredge the meatballs


  • ½ cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Eggs, whisked
  • ½ cup Half and half, can sub milk
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ¼ cup Crushed Ritz Crackers, can sub Italian breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 ½ lbs. ground beef, 85% or 90% lean
  • ½ lb. ground Italian sausage, sweet or mild
  • ½ lb. ground pork

Spaghetti and Sauce

  • 2 (28 oz.) jars marinara sauce, see notes
  • 1 lb. spaghetti

For Serving

  • Fresh parsley or basil
  • Parmesan cheese


Assemble and Brown the Meatballs

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Remove and let cool.
  • Combine the whisked eggs, half and half, and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl. Add the crushed Ritz crackers and stir for 1-2 minutes. This is called a “panade” and will make the meatballs super flavorful and tender. Add Parmesan cheese, parsley, Italian seasoning, mustard powder, salt, pepper, and cooled onions/garlic and stir to combine.
  • Add the ground beef, sausage, and pork and gently work the meat until evenly combined. (Don’t overwork the meat, this can make the meatballs tough.)
  • Roll into 1 ½-inch meatballs. (Pro Tip: Coat your hands in a little olive oil to make rolling easier, the meat won’t stick to your hands as much.)
  • Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes to firm up the meatballs. Then give them each one more roll to smooth them out.
  • Add the flour on a large plate and roll each meatball in it to lightly coat the outside. This helps it stay together during cooking.
  • Heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in the same pot that you cooked the onions in. Brown the meatballs in batches, leave plenty of space around them so that you can easily roll them to brown on each side. Brown for 1 ½ minutes per side, about 5-6 minutes total. Set aside on a plate once browned.

Simmer the Meatballs in Sauce

  • Carefully wipe off any black bits that may be in the pot but leave the brown remnants as this will make the sauce more flavorful.
  • Add the sauce to the pot. The sauce will thicken and reduce during cooking so I recommend adding about ¼ cup water as well so that the sauce doesn’t get overly thick. You can do this now or later as you judge the consistency.
  • Add the meatballs. Let them simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes.

Cook the Pasta

  • Bring a large pot of salted pasta water to a boil and cook the spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain and return to the warm pot. Ladle the spaghetti and meatballs over the spaghetti and use kitchen tongs to gently toss to combine.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley/basil and serve with Parmesan cheese and cheesy garlic bread.



  • Marinara Sauce: I love using Rao’s marinara sauce for this recipe, a high-quality marinara sauce makes a big difference. You can also make a double batch of my easy homemade marinara sauce for this recipe.
  • Pasta: ¾ lb. pasta can be used if you prefer saucier pasta. This is also a good idea if you expect leftovers as the spaghetti will continue to absorb the sauce during storage.
  • Meat: The meat options are flexible, you just need 2 lbs. total. Ground beef, pork, sausage, and veal are all great choices. Some stores sell these meat combinations in a single package specifically for meatballs or meatloaf.
  • Flour: Dredging the meatballs in flour helps keep them intact during browning and while they’re cooking in the sauce.
  • Flavor Enhancers: The Worcestershire sauce and mustard powder are subtle flavor enhancers in these meatballs, but they can be left out if needed.

Crock Pot Method
  • Assemble and brown the meatballs on the stove top as outlined above. Transfer to the Crock Pot and add the marinara sauce. Heat on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7. Serve with freshly boiled spaghetti.


Calories: 665kcal, Carbohydrates: 63g, Protein: 41g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 123mg, Sodium: 1777mg, Potassium: 1323mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 1133IU, Vitamin C: 19mg, Calcium: 140mg, Iron: 6mg