Make with kids: spaghetti and meatballs recipe

(148 ratings)

Our special cooking with kids recipe for spaghetti and meatballs will show you how to make this classic meal with your children.

Make with kids: spaghetti and meatballs
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Cost RangeCheap

Spaghetti and meatballs is one of those recipes that makes it easy to get authentic Italian flavours in your own home. 

The kids will love getting their hands stuck in by making their own meatballs. Of course the only way to eat spaghetti is to slurp – so remember if you haven’t made a mess, you haven’t eaten it right. Use as many fresh herbs as you have, but dried will work great as a substitute. A lot of the ingredients for this recipe are items you will probably have in your store cupboard anyway (tinned tomatoes, herbs, garlic and tomato purée) so there is not too much you will need to purchase, making this one of our favourite cheap family meals.


  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 1tsp dried basil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 500g spaghetti
  • Handful of fresh basil or parsley




  1. Child: Add the oregano and basil to a clean bowl and add the mince. Squish the mince between your fingers mixing it with the herbs and divide into 16 portions. Roll into balls in your hands and then wash your hands clean.
  2. Mum or Dad: Make the tomato sauce by frying the onion and garlic in the oil until soft. Add the meatballs and fry for a few minutes until browned on the outside. Add the tomato puree and tinned tomatoes, season and allow to simmer for 15 minutes on a low heat until the meatballs are cooked through. Meanwhile bring a saucepan of boiling water to a rapid boil and add the spaghetti. Cook until al dente and strain. Serve the meatball sauce with the spaghetti.
  3. Child: Tear the fresh herbs and sprinkle over everyone’s plate.

Top tip for making this spaghetti and meatballs with your kids

Introduce children to the distinct taste of Parmesan cheese by letting them grate their own over their meal.

Anneliese Giggins
Freelance food writer

Author, writer and Mum of three, Anneliese Giggins has been creating recipes for for the past 9 years. She has also created food-related content for household names such as Daily Mail, Daily Express and Her most successful to date was how to feed a family of 4 on £20 a week