This post may contain affiliate links.

Sometimes a day calls for Homemade Easy Meatballs covered in rich, traditional Italian-style tomato sauce with a bowlful of hearty spaghetti. This recipe is food for the soul.

A rich and delicious family favourite - easy Italian-style meatballs served with spaghetti
I mean, what’s not to love about this Easy Meatballs Recipe, I ask you?! I have yet to come across a person who doesn’t think it’s a good idea to get stuck into this meal at any time, whether they’re 1 or 100.

Yes, you can buy ready-made meatballs, but to be honest every time I do I’m disappointed, so now I stick to homemade meatballs.

It’s one thing that is always worth the time and effort (and actually, it only takes about 15 minutes to get stuck in to mixing and rolling them). To save time, I’ve simplified parts of the rest of the recipe so I can enjoy rolling these little beauts. Get stuck in and enjoy.

You’ll love this recipe because:

✅ Perfect for make-ahead batch cooking

Rich, hearty and good for the soul

✅ Perfect for the whole family or guests

Easy Meatball Recipe to serve with spaghetti

 FAQs about this Easy Meatballs Recipe

Should I use pork and beef mince?

I think it’s worth using both as this is in-keeping with traditional Italian-style. It’s also good to get your hands in there and combine those ingredients really well.

All that said, if you only have beef they will still be delicious, just a slightly different texture.

How many meatballs does this recipe make?

Once everything is combined you can shape the mixture into about 12 equally-sized meatballs (about the size of a walnut in the shell), OR 24 smaller hazelnut-in-a-shell-sized balls. Really it’s down to your own preference, but smaller meatballs might need slightly less cooking time.

Should I cook the meatballs separately to the sauce?

Yes, pan fry them first. While you can cook them in the sauce, browning them first will give them a nicer colour and texture. Soft, greyish meatballs just aren’t appetising! Fry them until they’re evenly cooked, which you might need to do in batches, depending on the size of your meatballs and your pan.

Can I freeze this dish?

I ALWAYS make a double batch when I’m making meatballs. Make double the recipe amount (minus the spaghetti), and save a few portions in freezer-safe containers for another day.

Is this an authentic Italian recipe?

This is my take on classic Italian meatballs, including the seal of approval from my Italian husband!

close up of homemade meatballs made from scratch mixed with sauce and spaghetti

Fancy more Italian-style recipes?

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make this recipe. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ by the recipe. Also, if you’d like to show me a photo by tagging me on Instagram (@tamingtwins) I LOVE to see your creations.

4.82 from 32 votes

The BEST Meatballs with Rich Tomato Sauce

This Easy Meatballs Recipe is perfect for a quick supper. This Italian classic recipe is a family friendly dinner that everyone will enjoy. It's also great for batch cooking and  freezes really well.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 People


For the meatballs

  • 250 g Minced beef, About 10% fat
  • 250 g Pork mince, Lean
  • 2 Cloves of garlic, Peeled and crushed
  • 10 g Flat leaf parsley, Chopped
  • 50 g Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil

For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 Onion, Peeled and chopped
  • 150 g Carrots, Peeled and chopped into small chunks
  • 4 Cloves of garlic, Peeled and crushed
  • 1 tbsp Dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 800 g Tinned tomatoes, 2 Tins
  • 3 tbsp Tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 20 g Fresh basil or parsley, Chopped

To Serve:

  • 300 g Spaghetti, (As a guide its 75g per person)
  • 50 g Parmesan


To make the meatballs:

  • Combine the meatball ingredients (apart from the oil) and squish very well with clean hands. Shape into 12 balls.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and gently fry the meatballs in batches until browned all over. Remove from the pan and move to one side.

To make the sauce:

  • Add to your pan (it should still have some fat in the bottom from the meatballs, if not add a splash more oil) the onion, carrot, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Fry for about 10 minutes until starting to soften.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, and balsamic vinegar. Fill one of the empty cans with water and add this in too. Stir well and then add your meatballs back in. Pop a lid on and bubble away over a low heat for 25 minutes.
  • While the meatballs are cooking away, cook your spaghetti. 
  • Stir through the fresh herbs and serve topped with grated Parmesan.


Chop the veggies as small as you can as it hides them in the sauce. You could add celery, extra carrots or mushrooms too if you fancy.
Use as good a quality tinned tomatoes, passata and puree as you can for this recipe. It's an easy shortcut to extra flavour.
It really does freeze well, so make a double batch and, once cooled, package up in freezer dishes and save for another day. You may just need to add a splash of extra liquid when it’s defrosted if the sauce is a little thick.


Calories: 811kcalCarbohydrates: 91gProtein: 45gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 687mgPotassium: 1454mgFiber: 9gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 7150IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 332mgIron: 8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Family Food
Like this? Leave a comment and rating below!Mention @myusername or tag #myhashtag!

new cookbook!

Featuring 100 delicious recipes that can be cooked in one pot, you can open any page in this book and find something that will give you not only a meal that the whole family will eat and enjoy, but also one that makes your life a little simpler in the process.

More Recipes

Sarah Rossi founder of and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.


Hi, I'm Sarah. I help busy people decide 'What's for Dinner?' Find hundreds of recipes here, and also in my bestselling recipe book. Hope my recipes make your life easier ❤️

4.82 from 32 votes (27 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 4 stars
    Cooked double of this recipe to put some in the freezer. It’s very tasty, but my family & I found the veg all fell to the bottom of the plate. There’s still loads left, so took the meatballs out and blended the sauce smooth. Added Elmlea single cream and added the meatballs back. Elmlea freezes very well and doesn’t split when reheating.

  2. Great recipe, easy to make. Great meal for the whole family!! Another great meal, many thanks Jane x

  3. Great recipe, easy to make. Great meal for the whole family!! Another great meal, many thanks Jane x

  4. 5 stars
    These were delicious!!!! I usually but readymade but it’s not much effort to make your own and they taste so nice. My four year old enjoyed helping me make them too. Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    So easy to make and so much tastier than shop bought meatballs! It was a hit with all the family (a 3 year old and nearly 2 year old included) I’d just grate the carrot in the sauce next time to hide it from them!