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Quick and easy spaghetti and meatballs is delicious, rich, comforting with tender beef meatballs simmered in a savoury tomato sauce. Make it in 30 minutes. |

Spaghetti and Meatballs

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings


Quick and easy spaghetti and meatballs is delicious, rich, comforting with tender beef meatballs simmered in a savoury tomato sauce. Make it in 30 minutes.


  • 8 oz. dry spaghetti noodles

For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add spaghetti and cook for 8-12 minutes until al dente (firm to the bite), or according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan cheese, egg, salt and pepper. Mix well to form into uniform consistency. Take 2 spoonfuls of the beef mixture at a time and roll into meatballs. Set aside on a plate. Repeat until all the beef mixture is used up.
  3. Heat oil in a large pot (or 4 qt.Dutch oven) over medium high heat for 2 minutes until the hot oil sizzles and shimmers. Carefully add the meatballs and gently stir to cook until the meatballs are brown on all sides. Make sure to stir gently to prevent meatballs from breaking apart. Transfer the meatballs to a plate and set aside. Note that the meatballs are not fully cooked at this point.
  4. In the same pot, add onion, garlic, tomato and bay leaves. Stir to cook for 4 minutes until the onion and tomatoes are soft.
  5. Add the meatballs back into the pot and pour in tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir to mix and bring the sauce mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cover the lid, turn the heat down to low and let the mixture simmer for 8-10 minutes until the meatballs are fully cooked.
  6. Turn off the heat and add in cooked spaghetti. Toss well to combine. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and grated Parmesan on top.


How to store: Store spaghetti and meatballs in the pot with the lid on or in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply reheat in the pot over the stove or reheat a smaller portion in a shallow saucepan over medium-low heat until warmed through (or in the microwave). You may need to add a little water if the sauce thickened up too much in the refrigerator.

How to freeze: Freeze the meatball sauce before tossing it in the spaghetti. Let it cool down, then transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container (leave an inch from the top to allow for expansion). Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How to reheat from frozen: Allow the meatball sauce to thaw overnight in the refrigerator first, then reheat on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian