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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On Top of Spaghetti

Our girls love spaghetti and meatballs. In fact, if there is ground beef in a dish and we tell them it’s meatballs, they’ll eat it. So, instead of doing a meat sauce for our spaghetti last night, I decided to spend a few extra minutes and make some actual meatballs for my cuties. And they were delighted. They barely ate the spaghetti, which normally disappears within minutes!

When Nate came home and started eating, I of course immediately pestered him with, “How are the meatballs?” He told me, “They’re really good! What kind of meat did you use?” I told him just ground beef and he was shocked! Nate was certain I must have used more than one kind of meat because the flavor was so good. Meatball success!

So, here’s what I did. It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s tasty.

On Top of Spaghetti
  • 1 lb ground beef (I used 85/15 this time around)
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried diced onions
  • 1 fresh garlic clove, minced or pushed through a garlic press
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4-5 cups prepared tomato sauce (homemade or jarred)
  • 1 package spaghetti
  1. Mix all ingredients (except tomato sauce and spaghetti) together by hand. Form into 1”³ – 1-1/2”³ balls (I think mine were closer to 1-1/2”³ and I ended up with 38 meatballs).
  2. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Brown meatballs in oil, constantly rotating, until all sides are browned. Reduce heat to medium-low and add tomato sauce. Simmer for 15-20 minutes (make sure heat is high enough so sauce is simmering). While meatballs are simmering, prepare spaghetti according to package instructions. Serve sauce and meatballs over spaghetti. And be sure not to sneeze”¦those meatballs have been known to roll off the table and onto the floor.


  1. 1

    We’ve been having spaghetti and meatballs pretty regularly now–I use Ellie Krieger’s recipe in her book “The Food You Crave.” Anyhow it’s made with ground turkey and filled with all sorts of goodness such as shredded carrots. I also make her homemade sauce that is delicious and has no added sugar. So not only is it all healthy but delicious and my kids eat it. Miracles do happen!

    • Jane Maynard

      that sounds great, maren! I feel like meatballs are a good food to get extra veggies into…I wanted to add some squash puree to mine, but I didn’t have any…next time!

  2. 2
    Amber L

    I made Swedish meatballs (first time in probably a year) on a complete whim last night, I forget how much I love them.

  3. 3

    I love simple spaghetti and meatballs and could eat them all the time! I made lamb meatballs recently with a parsley, tarragon, and dill pesto and they were awesome! But sometimes simpler is better 🙂

  4. Simplicity is always best! Great flavours in your meatballs – yummy.
    🙂 Mandy

  5. Homemade meatballs are the best! And they’re really easy! Somehow, I always get it in my head that they’re time consuming. Need to re-train my brain on that one! 🙂

    Glad you seem to be up to “real food” again!

  6. 6

    We throw in diced onion, celery and carrots to ours and they are DIVINE! One of my all-time favorite comfort foods.

  7. Amazing! I love pasta and I grew up on my dad’s spaghetti and meatballs. Its his favorite. I love making my roasted red pepper tomato sauce- it adds an extra layer of flavor and spice! Yours look insanely delicious!

  8. 8

    jane, have you tried the meatless meatballs from trader joe’s? i find them very yummy!!!

  9. 9

    I’m always looking for new pasta recipes. I’ll try this one tonight.

  10. Let’s trade girls! My daughter hates red sauce and I could eat it every night. Maybe those tempting meatball photos will convert her and I won’t have to reserve spaghetti night for when she’s eating elsewhere. Looks delicious.

  11. 11

    These meatballs were yummy!

    I can’t believe I’m 33 and its the first time I cooked meatballs…
    My boyfriend loved them too!

    • Jane Maynard

      so glad they turned out for you! and I’m thinking you’re not the only 33 year old who hasn’t cooked meatballs before! 😉

  12. 12

    Made them. Loved them. Got rave reviews from the meat-eaters in my family.

  13. 13

    This is why I love your site. I liked the meatballs my mom made when I was a kid but I don’t have her recipe. And, yes, I could call her for it. But she’s usually out and about when I call and it’s much faster to go to your site and get a great recipe right away. I made these Friday night and LOVED them. My husband did too. And they make me excited to eat leftovers! Thanks Jane!

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