Spaghetti and meatballs recipe

(93 ratings)

This recipe for tomato and pasta meatballs is sure to be a family favourite. This child friendly recipe can be served with any pasta shape.

Spaghetti and Meatballs
(Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time45 mins
Total Time1 hours 5 mins
Cost RangeCheap

Spaghetti and meatballs is a usual family favourite – most children love this type of recipe so it makes a good dish to make when friends come round to play. The meatballs and sauce are easy enough for children to make themselves with a little help. The meatballs can be served with any of your favourite pasta – spaghetti, tagliatelle or any type of pasta shape. Definitely one of our favourite Italian recipes around.


For the meatballs

  • 500g lean minced beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 handful fresh breadcrumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 x 600g bottle Passata
  • 2 tsp dried Oregano

To Serve

  • 400g spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese and a little chopped parsley to serve.




  1. To make the meatballs
    1. Put the minced beef, garlic , breadcrumbs and salt and pepper into a bowl.
    2. Stir in the egg yolk and mix everything together very well.
    3. Divide the mixture into 8 equal sized balls.
    4. Heat the oil in a large, heavy based frying pan, then add the meat balls and fry gently for 4 – 5 minutes until browned all over. Lift out the meatballs, drain well and set aside while you make the sauce.
    To make the sauce
    1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan.
    2. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently until softened but not brown.
    3. Stir in the passata and Oregano and add seasoning to taste.
    4. Add the meatballs, cover the pan and simmer for 40 – 45 minutes until the meatballs are fully cooked and the sauce thickened.
    To cook the pasta.
    1. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted, boiling water for 10 – 12 minutes until tender but still “al dente” or according to the instructions on the pack. Drain very well.
    2. Serve the meatballs and tomato sauce with the pasta, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and parsley.
Top Tip for making Spaghetti and meatballs

Adding a teaspoon of sugar to the tomato sauce gives it a slight sweetness. Instead of using passata, try adding 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes instead – it’s a little cheaper and adds a little “bite” to the texture of the sauce.


Trusted, informative, and empathetic – GoodToKnow is the ultimate online destination for mums. Established in 2007, our 15-year-strong archive of content includes more than 18,000 articles, 1,500 how-to videos, and 7,000 recipes.