The classic spaghetti and meatballs is making a comeback!! A savory sauce simmering on the stove and plump meatballs are begging to be dinner!

Our little 8 year old requested classic spaghetti and meatballs for dinner and how could I turn down such a real request? It wasn’t pizza, pancakes, or chicken fingers, but a real life recipe that a child was requesting. You have to hop on those moments and let them join in on the fun so they get even more sold on fresh ingredients. We already had homemade spaghetti sauce which is pretty much always readily available at our house. In fact, I can it to have all year round.

A bowl of meatballs in a tomato based sauce. The dish is sprinkled with chopped parsley.

What Ingredients Do You Need for Spaghetti and Meatballs?

To have spaghetti and meatballs, you need spaghetti, sauce and meatballs. I am going to walk you through making the meatballs here, then you can head to our sauce post for details on making the sauce. Then all you need is some cooked spaghetti. Here is your shopping list for the meatballs:

  • Ground Beef
  • Panko Bread Crumbs (Italian flavored)
  • Garlic
  • Egg
  • Skim Milk
  • Basil (dry or fresh)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Spaghetti
The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card below.

A bowl of meatballs in a tomato based sauce. The dish is sprinkled with chopped parsley.

How to Make Spaghetti and Meatballs

Here are the basic steps for making the meatballs for spaghetti and meatballs:


  • Place the meat in a large bowl and sprinkle with the garlic and seasonings.
  • Add the Panko and then the milk.
  • Let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Add the get and gently mix just until it is all combined.
  • Place the bowl in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven.
  • Remove the meat from the fridge and roll into the meatballs.
  • Place the meatballs in a greased baking dish.
  • Bake.
  • Make the spaghetti sauce.
  • Add the meatballs and let it simmer.
  • Serve over cooked pasta and top with parmesan.

The detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card below.

A bowl of meatballs in a tomato sauce. They are sprinkled with chopped parsley and there is a fork and spoon next to the bowl.

Can Spaghetti Be Frozen?

You can freeze cooked pasta most successfully if the pasta is cooked just to al dente.

Toss in a little olive oil and cool completely before packing in freezer bags and freezing.

It is best to freeze the sauce separately.

If you want to freeze spaghetti that has already had the sauce added, cool completely, put into a freezer bag or air-tight container.

Reheat gently by adding a tiny amount of water to the thawed spaghetti in a pan on the stove top.

Why Does Spaghetti Stick Together?

There are a couple of rules to follow that will help keep pasta from sticking together.

You should not add the pasta until the water reaches a rapid boil.

Stir the pasta often during the first 2 minutes to disperse the starch in the pasta.

Drain the pasta and serve immediately.

I love that my kids ask for real meals every now and then. As they get older, it happens more and more. We are creating memories one day, no, one recipe, at a time, and someday I hope they will do the same with their children. Let this classic spaghetti and meatballs recipe bring your whole family to the kitchen table!

More Recipes to Go with Spaghetti and Meatballs:

Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs

5 from 3 votes
Servings: 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dry Basil, or 3 tsp fresh
  • 1/2 teaspoons Salt
  • Pinch Pepper
  • 2/3 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs, Italian flavored
  • 1/4 Cup Milk, skim
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/2 Pounds Ground Beef , 95% lean
  • [Classic Spaghetti Sauce]
  • Spaghetti, cooked
  • Parmesan Cheese, optional


For the Meatballs

  • Place the meat in a large bowl and sprinkle the garlic, basil, salt, and pepper on top.
    1 Clove Garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons Dry Basil, 1/2 teaspoons Salt, Pinch Pepper
  • Add the panko bread crumbs and then the milk.
    2/3 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs, 1/4 Cup Milk
  • Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add the egg and lightly mix until everything is just combined.
    1 Egg
  • Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Remove the meat from the fridge and roll into golf ball sized meatballs, being careful to not overwork the meat.
    1 1/2 Pounds Ground Beef
  • In a lightly greased dish, line up the meatballs.
  • Bake the meatballs for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Make the sauce according to the above link, with or without the meat.
    [Classic Spaghetti Sauce]
  • Add the meatballs to the sauce and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Serve over freshly cooked pasta with a little parmesan on top.
    Spaghetti, Parmesan Cheese


Reheat on the stove top or in the microwave


Serving: 1gCalories: 332kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 22gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 333mgPotassium: 345mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 57IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 3mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 100 + BEST Easy Beef Recipes for Dinner

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A bowl of meatballs in a tomato based sauce. The dish is sprinkled with chopped parsley.