Taste of Italy: Classic Mama’s Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Nothing tastes better than Mama’s spaghetti and meatballs. From the tangy tomato sauce to the juicy meatballs, Mama’s dish brings back fond memories of home and family.

Growing up, I always looked forward to Mama’s spaghetti and meatballs. I loved the way she would stir the sauce with a wooden spoon, the sound of the sizzling meatballs in the pan, and the smell of the herbs and spices she added.

In this article, I’ll take you on a journey back to my childhood. I’ll share Mama’s recipe for spaghetti and meatballs, her secrets for making the most delicious sauce, and I’ll explain why this dish is so special to me.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

You'll love Mama's spaghetti and meatballs
You’ll love Mama’s spaghetti and meatballs

Tantalize your taste buds with Mama’s Spaghetti and Meatballs. This classic Italian-American recipe is sure to become an instant favorite in your household. It’s the perfect comfort food that will make your family feel right at home. From the savory meatballs to the hot spaghetti, Mama’s Spaghetti and Meatballs is the perfect dish to bring everyone together.

I love this recipe because it’s so easy to make. All you need is a few simple ingredients and you’re good to go. To make the meatballs, you’ll need to combine ground beef, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and garlic. Mix it all together and spoon them into round balls. Then, you’ll want to brown them in a skillet and simmer them in your favorite marinara sauce.

For a healthier twist, you can use lean ground beef instead. This will make the dish a bit lighter and will help to reduce the fat content.

Once your meatballs are cooked, you’ll want to add the tomato sauce to a large pot. Then, cook your hot spaghetti according to the instructions on the package. When the pasta is done, drain it, and add it to the pot with the sauce. Finally, add the cooked meatballs and give everything a good stir.

Mama’s Spaghetti and Meatballs is a classic recipe that you will love. It’s an easy, delicious meal that your family will request over and over again. Plus, with just a few simple ingredients, you can bring a taste of home to your table. So, give this meatballs recipe a try today and enjoy a hearty, flavorful dish that will bring everyone together.

Ingredient List

Mama's spaghetti and meatballs requires simple ingredients that you can get at any grocery store
Mama’s spaghetti and meatballs requires simple ingredients that you can get at any grocery store

Are you ready to make mama’s favorite spaghetti and meatballs? Then you’ll need to gather up the ingredients! This recipe is full of flavor and wholesome goodness, and it’s sure to be a hit with even the pickiest of eaters.

First, grab a medium bowl and a large bowl. In the medium bowl, combine 1 cup of sauce, 1/2 cup of freshly chopped basil, 1/2 cup of diced red onion, and 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. In the large bowl, mix together 1/2 lb of ground beef, 1/2 lb of ground pork, 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs, and 2 eggs. Now it’s time to get your hands dirty – use your fingers to combine the ingredients together until everything is mixed well.

Next, you’ll want to prepare the sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the red onions and stir until they are lightly browned. Add the sauce mixture and bring it to a simmer. Once the sauce has thickened, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Finally, it’s time to assemble the meatballs. Grab a handful of the meat mixture and roll it into 1-inch balls. Place the meatballs in the sauce and let them cook for 15 minutes, until they are tender and cooked through. Serve the spaghetti and meatballs with a sprinkle of freshly chopped basil and a generous helping of grated Parmesan cheese.

Mama’s spaghetti and meatballs are sure to be a hit at your next gathering. It’s a classic dish that’s sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Gather up the ingredients, and get ready to enjoy a delicious taste of home.

The Recipe How-To

Now that you have all the ingredients, it’s time to start cooking! Begin by gathering your ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Next, heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add in some extra virgin olive oil. Then, add in the red onions and a few cloves of garlic, and sauté until they are tender.

Once the onions and garlic are tender, it’s time to add the meatballs. Follow the package directions for cooking the meatballs, making sure to keep the heat at medium. Cook the meatballs until they are browned and cooked through. Then, remove them from the pan and set aside.

Now it’s time to make the sauce. Add some more extra virgin olive oil to the saucepan and begin to sauté the remaining ingredients: red onion, garlic, and tomato sauce. Once the vegetables are tender, add the cooked meatballs back into the pan and stir to combine. Simmer the sauce over medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.

This is Mama’s special recipe for her famous spaghetti and meatballs. Making it can be a bit of a labor of love, but the end result is worth it. The combination of juicy, tender meatballs and a flavorful tomato sauce is sure to have your family and friends asking for seconds. Serve this dish with a side salad and some freshly grated parmesan cheese, and you’ll be sure to have a winning meal!

Substitutions & Variations

Mama’s spaghetti and meatballs is a classic dish that has been passed down through generations, and it’s always a treat. But if you’re looking to switch things up and add a new twist to your rendition of this beloved dish, here are some variations and substitutions you can make.

Picture a large pot of salted water steaming on the stove. Instead of adding the spaghetti right away, you can try subbing in whole wheat noodles or even gluten-free pasta. Perhaps you could also add some fresh mozzarella cheese to the top of the dish. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could try making the meatballs in a skillet or Dutch oven. For a more flavorful meatball, you could consider adding some freshly chopped basil or even some minced garlic.

When it comes to the sauce, you can use any type of ground beef you’d like, or you can even make the meatballs with ground turkey. To make the sauce more savory, consider adding some extra virgin olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese, or even some diced tomatoes. When shaping the meatballs, try to keep them the size of a golf ball and be sure to brown them on all sides.

These variations and substitutions are a great way to add a unique spin to an old favorite. Whether you’re making the dish for a family gathering or just as a treat for yourself, these alternatives will be sure to satisfy. With a few simple swaps, you can take Mama’s spaghetti and meatballs to the next level.

Chef Chloe’s Tips

If you’re ready to get started on making Mama’s spaghetti and meatballs, then here are a few tips for your success. To begin, you’ll want to make sure that you have all the necessary ingredients on hand. Gather a medium bowl, a cup of sauce, a healthy recipe, and uncooked meatballs.

  • Fresh basil adds a great burst of flavor to the meatballs and sauce. If you don’t have fresh basil on hand, you can use dried basil instead.
  • When adding the marinara sauce to the skillet, make sure to use a cup of sauce per pound of meatballs. This will ensure that your meatballs are fully coated and flavorful.
  • To get a nice sear on your meatballs, make sure to heat your skillet over medium-high heat before adding the uncooked meatballs.
  • Garlic is a great addition to the meatballs and sauce, but be careful not to add too much. 2 cloves of garlic will give you a nice garlic flavor without overpowering the other ingredients.
  • Once you’ve added the marinara sauce to the skillet with the meatballs, simmer for 5-7 minutes. This will give the sauce a chance to thicken and the meatballs a chance to cook through.
  • A 12-inch skillet is the perfect size for browning the meatballs and cooking the sauce. If you don’t have a skillet that size, use the largest skillet you have.
  • To ensure that your spaghetti is cooked to perfection, check for doneness after 7-8 minutes of cooking. The spaghetti should be al dente, or firm to the bite.
  • If you’re looking for a healthier version of this recipe, you can use turkey or chicken instead of beef for the meatballs. You can also use whole wheat pasta and reduced-fat cheese.
  • This recipe is perfect for those who love a classic meat sauce. It’s one of the most popular and comforting dishes of all time.
  • This recipe is a family favorite, and it’s a great way to use up leftovers, it’s easy to make and can be customized to your liking.
  • To get the perfect brown color on your meatballs, make sure to cook them over medium-high heat and use extra-virgin olive oil.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to have a successful experience making Mama’s spaghetti and meatballs. With the right ingredients, a hot skillet, and a bit of patience, you’ll be able to enjoy this classic dish in no time. And don’t forget to share the love with your friends and family – it’s sure to be a hit!

Storing And Freezing Suggestions

Mama’s spaghetti and meatballs is a classic Italian dish that is sure to bring a little taste of home to your kitchen. The best part about this dish is that it’s easy to store and freeze for future meals. This means that you can make a big batch for the whole family to enjoy, and still have some leftovers to enjoy in the days to come.

If you’re planning to store mama’s spaghetti and meatballs, it’s important to select the right containers for the job. For the best results, use a medium bowl or airtight container for the spaghetti and a cup for the sauce. This will help to keep the flavors and textures of each component separate, and will also help to keep your food products fresh.

If you’re planning to freeze your mama’s spaghetti and meatballs, then it’s best to go with a container that can be sealed shut. This will help to reduce any shipping charges and messes that can come with reheating the dish. Be sure to label the container with the date and contents, so that you know when it’s time to use it.

When reheating mama’s spaghetti and meatballs, it’s important to watch the temperature of the dish. This dish is made with a red sauce, and it can become too hot if cooked for too long. To keep the dish safe for consumption, make sure to check the temperature before serving.

Finally, it’s important to keep an eye on the daily values of the dish. Mama’s spaghetti and meatballs can be a great choice for those on a calorie diet, but it’s important to be mindful of the serving size. This will help to ensure that you and your family can enjoy the dish without overindulging.

Storing and freezing mama’s spaghetti and meatballs is a great way to make sure that your family can enjoy the dish for many meals to come. Just be sure to select the right containers, label the dish, and keep an eye on the temperature and daily values to ensure that your family can enjoy the dish without any complications.

Bottom line

Mama’s spaghetti and meatballs is a dish that brings comfort, nostalgia, and a taste of home. It’s a classic dish that will never go out of style, and its simplicity makes it easy to make at home. The combination of the savory meatballs and the rich tomato sauce creates a hearty and satisfying meal that will bring the whole family together.

From the first bite, Mama’s spaghetti and meatballs transports you back to a time when family was the most important thing in the world. This classic dish symbolizes the warmth and love that comes with a home-cooked meal. It’s a timeless recipe that will continue to be passed on from generation to generation.

Mama’s spaghetti and meatballs is a dish of comfort and tradition. It is a reminder of the importance of family, and a reminder that no matter how far we may be, those we love will always be close to our hearts.

Nothing tastes better than Mama's spaghetti and meatballs

Mama’s Spaghetti and Meatballs

This classic Italian-American dish is a family favorite. Juicy, tender meatballs are simmered in a rich marinara sauce and served over al dente spaghetti.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4
Calories 801 kcal


  • Large bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Large saucepan or Dutch oven
  • Large pot for boiling water
  • 12-inch skillet or frying pan


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 jar marinara sauce about 24 oz
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • Additional grated parmesan cheese for serving
  • Optional: shredded mozzarella cheese for serving


  • In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, red onion, egg, salt, and pepper. Mix well until evenly combined.
  • Roll the mixture into meatballs, about the size of a golf ball.
  • In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the uncooked meatballs and brown them on all sides.
  • Pour marinara sauce over the meatballs and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  • In a large pot of salted water, cook spaghetti according to package directions until al dente. Drain and return to pot.
  • Serve the spaghetti in bowls or plates, top it with a generous amount of meatballs and their sauce. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and, if desired, shredded mozzarella.


  • You can also make the meatballs in advance and store them in the freezer for later use.
  • Feel free to adjust the amount of marinara sauce to your liking.
  • To make the meatballs healthier, you can use turkey or chicken instead of beef.
  • For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free breadcrumbs.
  • If you prefer your spaghetti with a more tangy flavor, you can add more red sauce.

Your Own Notes


Calories: 801kcalCarbohydrates: 98gProtein: 44gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 308mgPotassium: 739mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 194IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 130mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Mama’s Spaghetti and Meatballs
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Chef Chloe


Chloe is passionate about creating unique dishes that draw on the flavors of her favorite cultures. She loves experimenting with new ingredients and pushing the boundaries of traditional recipes. Her enthusiasm for cooking is infectious, and she is always eager to share her creations with friends and family.