My father-in-law refuses to eat meatballs unless they’re made by him. Unfortunately, the man has dementia and can’t cook any longer. 🙁 Someone had to take over the reins of making meatballs in the family! One of our favorite ways to eat them is to cook meatballs for spaghetti!
Since, the family recipe is lost somewhere in the dementia, I had to come up with a new recipe to cook meatballs for spaghetti. A recipe that even my FIL could love!
My FIL spent many years growing up in New York, with a mom who was Italian. It’s one reason why making a good meatball is so important to him I’m sure. It the Italian way!
One of the best things you can do when making your meatballs is to use fresh ingredients. Especially, fresh herbs and spices, or freshly preserved at home.
I have a lovely herb garden here on the homestead. I harvest from my herbs each week or every other week. For these meatballs, I harvested fresh basil, parsley, and thyme.
You can choose to use dried from the store or some that you have preserved yourself. When you cook meatballs for spaghetti, it’s easiest to just cook them in the marinara itself. It adds great flavor to the marinara as it cooks!
How To Cook Meatballs For Spaghetti
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp salt
- Pinch of pepper
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
- 1/4 cup finely minced Italian parsley
- 3-4 Fresh Basil Leaves or 1 Tsp of dried basil
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 Tsp of dried thyme
- 1 Tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves minced – or both if you love garlic like I do 😉
- 1 lb. of ground meat
- 1/2 cup onion (chopped fine)
- Before starting the meatballs, get your marinara started. It can simmer while you are working on the meatballs. Get my amazing marinara recipe! It’s super easy and super delish!
- Place milk and breadcrumbs in a bowl, and let sit.
- Whisk together the egg, cheese, and herbs and spices. (salt, pepper, parmesan, basil, parsley, thyme, garlic)
- Add the meat to the egg and herb mixture. Mix with your hands just until combined.
- Now add the onion and breadcrumbs to the meat mixture, and hand mix just until combined.
- Do NOT overmix!
- Roll up meat between the palms of your hands. You want them to be about 1 1/2 inches thick.
- Place the meatballs in the marinara sauce. The sauce should not have pasta mixed in yet.
- Cover and simmer the marinara for about 30 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.
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Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 108Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 40mgSodium 631mgCarbohydrates 12gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 6g
For the most accurate nutritional information, you should calculate the nutritional value of each ingredient yourself. These calculations are provided by a third party and are not expected to be exact. You are solely responsible for ensuring the nutritional information you use is accurate.
Make in Advance! Freezer Instructions
Do you know what I love about this recipe? You can absolutely make the meatballs in advance!
Let the meatballs cool, and then freeze initially on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper for a couple hours. Then, transfer to a freezer bag.
These meatballs are usually good for about 1-2 months in the freezer. To cook, thaw overnight in the fridge.
Reheat by simmering them in sauce about 15 minutes or brought up to the suggested temperatures for leftovers which is 165ºF.
Also, check out I am Homesteader‘s page about meatballs. She’s got the lowdown on pan-frying and cooking meatballs in the Instant pot!
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