Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

5 from 2 reviews

Classic spaghetti and meatballs is everyone’s favorite comfort food for a reason! Tender meatballs simmered in a simple tomato sauce served over al dente spaghetti.


Units Scale


1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs*
1/3 cup half & half
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 yellow onion, grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 lbs. ground sirloin (90/10)
1 lb. hot Italian sausage (removed from the casings)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
12 oz. can tomato puree (tomato passata if you can find it!)
1 tablespoon sugar
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Fresh basil leaves, torn

16 oz. Spaghetti, cooked to al dente



  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, half & half, and egg and mix to combine. Sit for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well by hand. Using a 1/4 cup scoop, portion the mixture and roll into balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Set an oven broiler to high and arrange the top rack to be in the middle of the oven. Broil for 10-12 minutes, until the tops are browned. At this point, you can cool and freeze the meatballs, or transfer to the sauce to simmer.


  1. In a large skillet, braiser, or a dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are soft. Add the crushed red pepper and cook for one minute more. Then, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, and sugar. Bring to a light simmer and add the basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the meatballs in a single layer and toss to coat with the sauce. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes. Taste the sauce for seasoning and season as necessary. Toss with spaghetti and serve topped with more fresh basil and parmesan.


* Fresh breadcrumbs are so much better than canned. Instructions for making your own are in the blog post. Alternately, you can tear 3-4 slices of bread into really small pieces.


Keywords: spaghetti and meatballs, pasta recipes, weeknight dinners, beef recipes