This is pure comfort food in the form of a classic childhood favorite.  This recipe for Spaghettios And Meatballs is a more grownup, tastier, and sophisticated version of the food you grew up eating.

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Bowl of comfort food from your childhood. Homemade spaghettios and meatballs is even better than the canned stuff you ate in your youth.

When my family was young, I had a major case of ‘mom guilt’ when I opened a can and warmed up dinner.

So it was important to recreate that childhood favorite pasta in a can.  This easy recipe for spaghettios and meatballs is sure to please both the adults and children in your family. Bonus: it’s a perfect dinner for National Meatball Day!


  • Butter and olive oil
  • Sugar – you need real sugar or honey.  Don’t try to use an artificial sweetener. It will give a bitter aftertaste.
  • Dried oregano, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper
  • Tomato sauce
  • Pasta – to provide the same ‘look’ as the canned pasta, use anelletti ring pasta.  If you don’t have that, ditalini pasta, small shells, or even elbow macaroni will work.
  • Heavy cream
  • Great quality parmesan cheese
  • Italian breadcrumbs
  • Buttermilk
  • Eggs
  • Ground meat – I use ground beef and pork to get the rich, fatty mouthfeel

Bowl of comfort food from your childhood. Homemade spaghettios and meatballs is even better than the canned stuff you ate in your youth.


Kick-off your comforting meal with a Classic Caprese Salad – with tomatoes that are so fresh, creamy mozzarella, and the delicious, sweet, and tangy balsamic vinegar reduction.  Yum!

Add a green with a side of Spicy Italian-style Broccolini.  Then, finish your spectacular meal with a sweet dish of Tiramisu. Molto bene!

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Bowl of comfort food from your childhood. Homemade spaghettios and meatballs is even better than the canned stuff you ate in your youth.


  • Author: Millie Brinkley
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x


A bowl of homemade Spaghettios And Meatballs is the comfort food you ate as a child, except more flavorful and healthy.



For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3 cups favorite tomato sauce
  • 1 pound circle shaped pasta (anelletti)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

For the meatballs:

  • ½ cup Italian style breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ pound 80/20 ground beef
  • ½ pound ground pork


Make the sauce.

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil together.

Stir in the sugar, oregano, Italian seasoning, garlic and onion powders, and Kosher salt.  Stir until the sugar dissolves – about 2 minutes.

Stir in the tomato sauce.

Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.

Simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the meatballs.

In a large bowl, whisk together the breadcrumbs, buttermilk, garlic and onion powders, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, and egg yolks. Let stand for 1-2 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to absorb the buttermilk.

Add the beef and pork to the bowl and mix until the ingredients are just combined. Don’t overmix or your meatballs will be tough.

Use a heaping teaspoon to scoop out the meat mixture and form it into small meatballs.  Place the balls onto a plate.  Finish forming balls with the remainder of the meat mixture.

Gently add the meatballs to the simmering sauce.

If the sauce doesn’t cover the meatballs, add a bit of beef broth to make sure that the meatballs are fully immersed.

Simmer the meatballs, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through when cut in half.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta per the directions on the box.  When al dente, drain well.

Add the cooked pasta and heavy cream into the meatballs and sauce.  Stir well to combine.

Serve in pasta bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: spaghettios and meatballs, comfort food, childhood food, pasta, Italian food, meatballs, National Meatball Day

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