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Red Sauce and Meatballs

This Red Sauce and Meatball recipe is the perfect Sunday dinner, just like Grandma used to make!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Homemade, Meatball, Red sauce, Spaghetti
Servings: 6 people
Author: Alyssa Alexander


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup parsley, plus more for garnish chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cloves garlic minced fine, divided
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 cup onion finely chopped, divided
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves chopped fine
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 16 oz spaghetti noodles


  • Meatballs: In a large bowl, mix ground beef, ground pork, parsley, breadcrumbs, egg, 2 tbsp chopped garlic, Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup finely chopped onion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix and form into 1 inch balls. Do not over mix.
  • Sauce: Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large sauce pan over medium heat. Saute onion until golden brown. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low to simmer.
  • Gently add meatballs to the sauce one at a time, spacing them apart as much as possible to assist cooking. Using a wooden spoon, press the meatballs into the sauce.
  • Simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the sauce from burning and to reposition the meatballs.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles according to the package. Drain.
  • Serve sauce and meatballs over noodles. Garnish with finely chopped parsley.


Meatballs can be made in advance, baked for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees, and frozen for up to 3 months. Add to the sauce during assembly to thaw and heat through.