Spaghetti & meatballs sprinkled with grated parmesan in a dish

Spaghetti & meatballs

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(172 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 30 mins


Makes about 10 servings

Get everyone to help rolling meatballs and you'll soon have one supper on the table and another in the freezer

Nutrition and extra info

  • Sauce and meatballs can be frozen

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal870
  • fat37g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs95g
  • sugars13g
  • fibre5g
  • protein46g
  • salt1.34g
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  • 8 good-quality pork sausages
  • 1kg beef mince
  • 1 onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • ½ a large bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • 85g parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve if you like



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 100g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten with a fork



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • olive oil, for roasting
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • spaghetti, to serve (you'll need about 100g per portion)

For the sauce

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 x 400g cans chopped tomato
  • 125ml red wine (optional)
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • ½ a large bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • few basil leaves (optional)


  1. First make the meatballs. Split the skins of 8 good-quality pork sausages and squeeze out the meat into your largest mixing bowl.

  2. Add 1kg beef mince, 1 finely chopped onion, ½ large bunch flat-leaf parsley, 85g grated parmesan, 100g fresh breadcrumbs, 2 beaten eggs and lots of seasoning. Get your hands in and mix together really well – the more you squeeze and mash the mince, the more tender the meatballs will be.

  3. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.

  4. Roll the mince mixture into about 50 golf-ball-size meatballs. Set aside any meatballs for freezing, allowing about 5 per portion, then spread the rest out in a large roasting tin – the meatballs will brown better if spaced out a bit. 

  5. Drizzle with a little oil (about 1 tsp per portion), shake to coat, then roast for 20-30 mins until browned.

  6. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in your largest pan. Add 4 crushed garlic cloves and sizzle for 1 min.

  7. Stir in four 400g cans chopped tomatoes, 125ml red wine, if using, 3 tbsp caster sugar, ½ a large bunch flat-leaf parsley and seasoning. Simmer for 15-20 mins until slightly thickened.

  8. Stir in a few basil leaves, if using, spoon out any portions for freezing, then add the cooked meatballs to the pan to keep warm while you boil the spaghetti (you'll need about 100g per portion). 

  9. Spoon the sauce and meatballs over spaghetti, or stir them all together and serve with extra parmesan and a few basil leaves, if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Lucie Jones's picture
Lucie Jones
13th Jun, 2020
the best meatballs ever!!!
Helen Gardner's picture
Helen Gardner
12th Apr, 2020
Just made this last night for me and my partner and it was soooo good! We were in food heaven! I made half the recipe and added a couple of cloves of crushed garlic and some fennel seeds to the meatball mix which was a fabulous add. So good to have during the lockdown and I will use the leftover meatballs in a pasta bake later in the week :)
22nd Mar, 2020
24th Feb, 2020
These are so yummy and therapeutic to make when you squeeze al, the ingredients together :-)
Naomi Perkins's picture
Naomi Perkins
12th Feb, 2020
Delicious and so easy to make! I cheated and bought ready made meatballs and added some wild mushrooms after cooking the garlic for a minute. Just cooked them for an extra minute or two before adding the rest of the ingredients. They worked really well. Will definitely cook again.
22nd Jun, 2019
This is a keeper and a huge favourite in our house, either with pasta or on its own with crusty bread as part of a tapas selection. I add toasted fennel seeds which adds a subtle lift to the flavour.
Paul Light's picture
Paul Light
14th Apr, 2019
Love this recipe so easy to make and the kids even help me to make them. Thanks
Dot Cotton
10th Apr, 2019
Just finished making this. Gorgeous! Have to stop myself eating the meatballs as it's for tomorrow's dinner. Sauce lovely too & loads of it. Mine made 46 meatballs so plenty for the freezer too.
15th Jan, 2019
Really tasty. Loads for the freezer too. I can't believe how tasty the sauce is with relatively few ingredients.
Cookieandme's picture
25th Oct, 2018
I loved this meal! Best meatball recipe ever


12th Feb, 2019
I am making these for someone who doesnt eat pork. What can I substitute the pork sausages with?
Suhaani Verlekar's picture
Suhaani Verlekar
1st Apr, 2018
Does the mince need to be cooked before making the meatballs
goodfoodteam's picture
1st Apr, 2018
Thanks for your question. No it doesn't need to be pre-cooked.
2nd Oct, 2016
How long can you freeze for?
goodfoodteam's picture
13th Oct, 2016
Thanks for your question. You can freeze these for up to 2 - 3 months. More freezing information is in the tip above.
18th Mar, 2015
Is that nutritional information correct? I've cooked a lot of things from this site and never come across anything this unhealthy!
goodfoodteam's picture
23rd Mar, 2015
Hi amarsha4, many thanks for taking the time to get in touch and give your feedback. Sorry to hear you're not tempted by this recipe, we try to offer a balance of different cooking styles and methods. We do have a number of meatball recipes available that are lower in calories such as this one made with turkey mince and this version, with fennel is delicious  Hope this helps and thanks again for getting in touch. 
Jon Noble's picture
Jon Noble
5th Jun, 2020
You need to make a Panada , to make these right . The recipe is good but missing a panada. Cowbridge kitchen
Jon Noble's picture
Jon Noble
5th Jun, 2020
If you are going to make meatballs you need to make a ‘Panada ‘ it isn’t the key to moist meatballs. Cowbridge kitchen’ meatballs in Marinara sauce are pretty much the same as these but I make a panada to add that extra touch ! Try them ...
1st Aug, 2013
It is still mentioned, under the Shopping section- you have to press the arrows to see all the tips. But for conviniences sake: Variation: Spanish-style meatballs Swap the Parmesan for 1 tbsp smoked paprika in the mince mixture, sizzle 140g finely diced chorizo in with the garlic for the sauce and leave out the basil. Serve with some roast potatoes and salad.
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