Skip to main content

Recipe: Homemade Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce

My husband is a wonderful cook. We share the kitchen and we each have our specialties. He often does the cooking for our dinner parties.

This homemade meatball and spaghetti sauce is sure to be a hit.

This homemade meatball and spaghetti sauce is sure to be a hit.

Homemade Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce

I beg my husband to make this delicious recipe for homemade meatballs and spaghetti sauce from scratch. While it takes some preparation and cooking time, it's enough to feed a hungry crowd. As many as a dozen people can enjoy a generous serving of two meatballs per person with plenty of extra sauce.

He generally makes it a day ahead and cools everything in the refrigerator. The flavors have a chance to blend, and he can remove any extra congealed fat.

We often freeze the meatballs with the sauce in portions perfect for the two of us. If we have guests, it is easy to thaw and heat the appropriate amounts for them. One of our guests remarked that they were the "best meatballs" he had ever tasted!

There is always extra sauce made from the amounts of ingredients used, and this is on purpose. We like using the rich-flavored sauce in other recipes such as eggplant Parmesan, etc.

You can easily adjust the amounts of ingredients in half if you wish. We enjoy having ready-made meals in the freezer, ready to thaw and use with ease. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

45 min

2 hours

2 hours 45 min

22 to 24 medium-sized meatballs with extra sauce


For the meatballs:

  • 2 slices crustless rustic Italian bread, made into breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • Parmesan cheese, to serve over the completed dish.

For the spaghetti sauce:

  • 2 (28-oz.) cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 (28-oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano


  1. Soak the breadcrumbs in milk for about 10 minutes, or until softened.
  2. Saute the chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until softened. Set it aside and let it cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and ground pork. Add the beaten egg, softened breadcrumbs in milk, sauteed onions, minced parsley, and the seasonings. Combine until well mixed.
  4. Take bits of the meat mixture and form them into balls. My husband uses an ice cream scoop, puts the mix into his hands, and rolls them into medium-sized balls. You can make them as large or small as you wish. Set aside.
  5. In another 1 tablespoon of olive oil, brown the raw meatballs on all sides. Set them aside.
  6. Remove any excess fat from the pan and deglaze it with a cup of dry red wine. Scrape everything from the bottom of the pan, and reduce the wine mixture by half over medium-high heat.
  7. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients into the pan and blend well.
  8. Carefully put the browned meatballs into the pan with the sauce and completely cover all of them with the sauce.
  9. Cook on the stovetop on simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  10. When ready to serve over pasta, polenta, or even a meatball sandwich, top the meatballs and sauce with some grated Parmesan cheese and extra chopped parsley, if desired.
Completed dish with meatballs and sauce served over spaghetti and topped with grated Parmesan and chopped parsley.

Completed dish with meatballs and sauce served over spaghetti and topped with grated Parmesan and chopped parsley.

My mom said the two most important kitchen utensils are attached to your arms... you cannot mix up meatballs with a wooden spoon, get in there, get your fingers dirty!

— Rachael Ray

© 2020 Peggy Woods