This Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe brings together tender chicken meatballs, fragrant basil, and rich marinara sauce, all lovingly embraced by a tangle of perfectly cooked spaghetti.
Why I Love This Recipe
Let me tell you why this Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs is my favorite.
Imagine sinking your fork into juicy chicken meatballs that I’ve lovingly jazzed up with fresh basil.
The best part? It’s a twist on a classic, making it a bit healthier without skimping on taste.
And that marinara sauce? It tastes so good that you’ll want it more.
Every bite takes me back to family dinners that warmed my heart.
So, whether it’s a busy weekday or a lazy weekend, this recipe brings comfort and flavor like a culinary cuddle.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
▪️ A Taste Explosion: Imagine tender chicken meatballs nestled in perfectly cooked spaghetti, all soaked in a rich marinara sauce. Each bite is like a little burst of flavor fireworks in your mouth.
▪️ Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner: If you’re into lean protein, these chicken meatballs are your new best friend.
▪️ Fancy Date Night Vibes: Want to impress someone special? This dish is your secret weapon. They’ll be like, “You made THIS?!”
▪️ Sauce-Splosion: Let’s talk about that marinara sauce. It’s not just any sauce – it’s a symphony of tomatoes, garlic, and herbs.
Helpful Kitchen Tools
For Chicken Meatballs:
▪️ 1 pound of ground chicken (you can also use turkey): This is the main ingredient for our meatballs. It’s lean and packed with protein, making our dish healthier and tasty.
▪️ 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (preferably Panko): These are tiny bread pieces that help hold our meatballs together and make them nice and tender.
▪️ 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese: This adds a rich, cheesy flavor to our meatballs, making them more delightful.
▪️ 1/4 cup of milk: The milk makes our meatballs moist and juicy, so every bite is yummy.
▪️ 1 egg: This acts like glue, keeping our meatballs in shape and giving them a smooth texture.
▪️ 2 cloves of garlic, minced: Garlic adds a magic touch of flavor that makes our meatballs irresistible.
▪️ 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, finely chopped: Basil brings a fresh, herby aroma that lifts up the taste of our meatballs.
▪️ Salt and pepper to taste: These are like our kitchen superheroes that enhance the flavors of all the other ingredients.
▪️ 8 ounces of spaghetti: These are long, thin noodles that we’ll twirl around our meatballs. They’re the heart of our pasta dish.
▪️ Salt for pasta water: Just a pinch of salt for the water we’ll use to cook our spaghetti. It helps make the pasta taste good all the way through.
For Marinara Sauce:
▪️ 1 can (28 ounces) of crushed tomatoes: These are like squished fresh tomatoes in a can. They form the base of our yummy sauce.
▪️ 2 tablespoons of olive oil: This adds a smooth, rich texture to our sauce and brings out all the flavors.
▪️ 1 small onion, finely chopped: Onion gives a sweet and savory taste to our sauce, making it more balanced.
▪️ 3 cloves of garlic, minced: More garlic means more flavor! It makes our sauce super tasty.
▪️ 1 teaspoon of dried oregano: Oregano is like a fragrant herb that gives our sauce a cozy, homey feel.
▪️ 1 teaspoon of dried basil: Just like our fresh basil, dried basil adds a herby charm to our sauce.
▪️ Salt and pepper to taste: Our trusty flavor enhancers are here again to make our sauce pop!
▪️ Fresh basil leaves for garnish: These pretty leaves make our dish look like a work of art and add an extra burst of basil aroma.
▪️ Grated Parmesan cheese for topping: A sprinkle of this cheese on top makes our dish taste even better, like a finishing touch of deliciousness.
Making Of Spaghetti and Meatballs
STEP 1: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
STEP 2: In a bowl, mix 1 pound ground chicken, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup milk, 1 egg, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
STEP 3: Shape this mix into meatballs (about 1.5 inches big) and place them on a baking sheet.
STEP 4: Bake them for 20-25 minutes until they’re cooked through and have a nice golden color.
STEP 5: Fill a big pot with water, add a pinch of salt, and bring it to a boil.
STEP 6: Put in 8 ounces of spaghetti and cook it until it’s just a bit chewy (what we call “al dente”). It’s usually about 8-10 minutes. Then drain the water away.
STEP 7: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a big pan over medium heat. Add 1 small finely chopped onion and cook it until it’s soft and a bit golden.
STEP 8: Stir in 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and 1 teaspoon dried basil. Cook this mix for about 1 minute to make it smell amazing.
STEP 9: Pour in 1 can (28 ounces) of crushed tomatoes. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt and pepper. Let everything simmer together for 15-20 minutes, so the flavors mix and become delicious.
STEP 10: Add the baked chicken meatballs to the marinara sauce in the pan. Mix them gently so they get coated in the sauce.
STEP 11: Take your cooked spaghetti on a plate, making sure you get some of those tasty meatballs on top.
STEP 12: To make it look extra special, sprinkle some fresh basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese over the top.
Tips and Techniques
▪️ When you mix up your meatball ingredients, give them a gentle stir. Too much mixing can make your meatballs tough.
▪️ To shape those meatballs without stress, you can use a scooper or wet your hands. It’ll stop the meat from sticking.
▪️ When you’re cooking up your sauce, let those onions get translucent. Don’t rush the sauce’s simmer time.
This recipe makes enough to fill the plates of 4 hungry folks, or 6 if you’re adding something like a salad or garlic bread on the side.
▪️ Make it a complete meal by serving the pasta with a fresh side salad.
▪️ For an extra indulgence, enjoy your pasta with a slice of warm garlic bread to clean up every last bit of that delicious sauce.
▪️ If you’re looking for a protein boost, pair the dish with a grilled chicken breast or some sautéed spinach on the side.
▪️ Have leftover meatballs? Transform them into delicious meatball subs with some crusty rolls and melted mozzarella cheese.
▪️ Feeling creative? Use the meatballs and marinara sauce as a topping for homemade pizza – a fun twist that’s bound to be a hit!
▪️ Try ground beef or turkey instead of chicken for a different taste twist.
▪️ Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauce for some exciting heat.
▪️ Experiment with different pasta shapes like penne or bowtie for a playful spin.
▪️ Sprinkle some mozzarella or cheddar on top for gooey goodness.
Don’t let that deliciousness go to waste! If you’ve got any leftovers (which would be a surprise), pop them in an airtight container and slide it into the fridge. They’ll happily chill there for up to 3 days. When you’re ready for round two, warm ’em up gently on the stove or zap ’em in the microwave. Just remember, fresher is tastier!
Q. Can I use store-bought meatballs?
Absolutely! While homemade meatballs add a personal touch, store-bought ones can work too.
Q. Can I freeze the sauce?
Certainly! Let the sauce cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Q. Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned?
Yes, you can! Blanche and peel fresh tomatoes, then crush them to use in the sauce. It’ll add a wonderful freshness to the dish.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
For Chicken Meatballs
- 1 pound ground chicken
- ½ cup breadcrumbs preferably Panko
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 ounces spaghetti
- Salt for pasta water
For Marinara Sauce
- 1 can 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Grated Parmesan cheese for topping
For Chicken Meatballs
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Mix ground chicken, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, milk, egg, minced garlic, chopped basil, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
- Shape mixture into meatballs and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked and golden.
- Boil salted water in a large pot.
- Cook spaghetti as per package instructions until al dente.
For Marinara Sauce
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Sauté chopped onion until translucent.
- Add minced garlic, dried oregano, and dried basil. Cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in crushed tomatoes, season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer sauce for 15-20 minutes.
Bringing It All Together
- Toss cooked spaghetti in marinara sauce.
- Plate spaghetti, top with chicken meatballs.
- Garnish with fresh basil and grated Parmesan.
- Gently mix the meatball mixture for tender meatballs.
- Wet hands or use an ice cream scoop to shape meatballs.
- Don’t hold back on the basil – it brings amazing flavor.