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Published October 2, 2019. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Enjoy a classic delicious weeknight meal with this spaghetti and the best homemade meatball recipe that comes together in under 1 hour.
Meatballs consist of finely minced meat with vegetables, seasonings, and binders like eggs and breadcrumbs to help keep them together. They are thin cooked and served in a myriad of ways.
There isn’t much in the food world that is more traditional than spaghetti and meatballs. It’s easy to make, it’s delicious, and when it’s homemade, there’s absolutely nothing like it.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make It
- Beef – I use a lean to fat ground sirloin of 90/10.
- Pork – Ground pork is what you will need for this.
- Bread – Any good artisan loaf of bread will work, such as Italian or French bread.
- Vegetables – I like to add bell peppers, onions, and garlic to mine.
- Herbs – Basil, parsley, and fresh rosemary are used in these meatballs.
- Cheese – Parmesan cheese is best, but you can use pecorino Romano.
How to Make the Best Meatball Recipe Ever
1. Submerge some Italian or French bread in water for 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Prep up onions and garlic and add to a bowl. I usually do this stage while the bread is soaking.
3.: Squeeze as much liquid from the water-soaked bread as possible and add it to the bowl with the onions and garlic.
4. Add ground beef and ground pork to the bowl as well. I like to use ground sirloin at a 90/10 ratio of lean to fat.
5. Add the eggs, parsley, rosemary, basil, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Use all fresh herbs, and you can add fresh oregano to the mix as well.
6. Mix everything in the bowl until completely combined.
7. Form golf ball-sized meatballs using your hands and place them on a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
8. Bake in the oven at 425° for 25 to 30 minutes. This recipe makes 40 meatballs, so be sure to freeze the remaining uneaten meatballs.
Can You Cook Raw Meatballs in Sauce?
If you add the raw meatballs to the tomato sauce, they will most likely fall apart into the sauce.
Start by browning all sides of the meatballs in a large sauté pan over medium heat with olive oil, which takes about 6-8 minutes.
Next, add them to the sauce and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until they are completely cooked. I prefer to pan-sear the meatballs or cook them directly in the oven.
Serve It with Spaghetti
This is a personal choice, but I like to first coat the meatballs in the Pomodoro sauce and then set them to the side. From there, I add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss it around until coated, and then serve the tomato sauce-coated meatballs over top of the pasta with a garnish of parmesan cheese and parsley.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: These can be made 2 to 3 hours ahead of time. Just keep them warm and covered at very low temperatures.
How to Reheat: Add the meatballs to a casserole dish and cover them off with foil. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 375° or until warm. You can also heat it in the microwave. If serving with spaghetti and sauce, simply place them in a saucepot along with the sauce and cook over low heat until warm.
How to Store: Store them covered in plastic in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The meatballs freeze well covered in plastic for up to 2 months. Likewise, the Pomodoro sauce freezes well but will not if it is coated in the pasta.
CHEF NOTES + TIPS
- Once the pan-seared or oven-roasted meatballs are browned, you can add them to the sauce and then simmer them over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are completely cooked throughout.
More Italian Recipes
Spaghetti and The Best Meatball Recipe Ever
For the Meatballs:
- 2/3 loaf of French or Italian bread submerged in cold water
- 2 small or 1 large peeled and small diced yellow onion
- 4 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 1 ½ pounds of 90/10 ground sirloin
- 1 ½ pounds of ground pork
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 heaping cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 ½ tablespoons sea salt and ½ teaspoon pepper
Optional Spaghetti and Sauce
- 1 pound uncooked spaghetti noodles
- ½ batch of Pomodoro sauce
- Preheat the oven 425°.
- Squeeze as much of the liquid out of the water-soaked bread as possible and add to a large bowl along with all of the meatball ingredients and mix until completely combined.
- Next for golf ball sized meatballs and place them 1” apart on cookie sheet trays lined with parchment paper.
- Bake them at 425° for 25 to 30 minutes or until they begin to get a little brown on top and are cooked throughout. This recipe makes 40 total meatballs.
- With 10 minutes left in the cooking process add the spaghetti to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally so that the noodles do not stick.
- Remove the meatballs from the oven and place the desired serving amount for 4 people into the sauce and coat in the sauce. Remove and set aside.
- Add the cooked spaghetti to the sauce and toss to coat.
- Serve with meatballs over top and garnish with parmesan cheese and parsley.