We all love a good bowl of pasta. That’s why our spaghetti and parmesan meatballs recipe is a family favorite. The savory cheese filled into this parmesan meatball spaghetti dish makes this loved by kids. These are not bland meatballs, they’re so rich from the parmesan that you’ll want to make a double batch.

plated spaghetti and parmesan meatballs

Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs Recipe

These aren’t just any regular meatballs. We use all the same classic ingredients for meatballs, but then add a nice serving of grated parmesan cheese. This makes the meatballs so much more flavorful. Add that with the tomato sauce on spaghetti and you have a fantastic family dinner. The kids will be asking for a second helpings.

Parmesan Meatball Pasta Meal

These parmesan meatballs aren’t just for spaghetti. You can use whatever pasta you like. Even though spaghetti and meatballs is a classic dish, you can make whatever pasta your family likes or what you have on hand. From penne, fettuccine, macaroni to fusili pasta, these meatballs are great with any base pasta or noodle or even rice. There’s so many types of pasta. The delicious possibilities are endless.

plate of spaghetti and parmesan meatballs

Video: Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs Recipe

Make Ahead Parmesan Meatballs Spaghetti Dinner

This is the perfect meal to make ahead of time. Here’s our tips and suggestions for getting dinner ready when you get home after a busy day at work. The whole family will be happy!

  • Make the parmesan meatballs and sauce up to 2 nights ahead. Then store it in the fridge. Heat the sauce and meatballs in low simmer until everything is warmed through.
  • Pre-boil the pasta and store it in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve just warm the pasta in the microwave.
  • Pre-grate any extra parmesan topping that you want and have that in a bowl, stored in the fridge.
  • If you’re going to have a salad to serve with the pasta and meatballs, then have that all prepped too.

Sauces other than tomato sauce

You don’t have to serve these meatballs in traditional red tomato sauce. Try our popular mushroom gravy, or make this swedish gravy. If you want a white sauce, our popular alfredo sauce recipe is amazing with meatballs. So as you can see, there’s a whole world of sauces for meatballs beyond the tomato. Go for it and try something different!

Different types of ground meat

Ground beef is the most popular of meats to make meatballs. But you can use a combination of pork and beef for a different flavor. Or you can just use ground pork, ground chicken, turkey or lamb. Use what ever ground meat that you want. If you’re plant based, then definitely use vegan meat options like beyond meat or impossible meat. As you can see, customize your spaghetti and parmesan meatballs to your favorite protein or meat.

plated spaghetti and parmesan meatballs

Spaghetti with Parmesan Meatballs 

If you want to make this all in one go, timing works best to cook the pasta right after you put the meatballs in the oven to bake. You can also make the meatballs a day or two ahead of time, then reheat them with the sauce when you cook your spaghetti. Either way works great.
Make sure to not pack the meat so tight when rolling them into balls. The meat will be too dense and heavy. Roll them gently into balls. Cast iron pans are our favorite for cooking these meatballs. Meatball recipe makes about twenty 1 1/2" meatballs.
5 from 3 votes

{click on stars to rate}


For the meatballs:

  • 1 pound (454 g) ground Beef, Pork, Chicken or Turkey
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup (54 g) Breadcrumbs (or Panko Breadcrumbs)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 small Onion , minced
  • 1-2 cloves Garlic , minced or crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) smoked Paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) Minced Parsley, extra for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) Kosher Salt , or to taste
  • Fresh cracked Black Pepper

For the Sauce & Topping

  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) Oil , to sear meatballs
  • 24 ounces (680 ml) Marinara or Pasta Sauce (about 3 cups)(or more if you like)
  • 1/4 cup (25 g) Parmesan Cheese , for topping
  • chopped Italian Parsley , for topping

For the Spaghetti

  • 1 pound dried spaghetti
  • generous amount of salt


  • Pre-heat oven to 450°F/230°C.
    Oven knobs
  • In a bowl, combine all meatball ingredients (ground meat, eggs, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, onion, garlic, paprika, parsley, salt & and pepper). Mix together well. Add a little oil to your hands to prevent sticking and roll meatballs into about 1 1/2” balls (4 cm). Try to keep the meatballs all the same size for even cooking.
    Parmesan meatball ingredients in individual bowls
  • Heat a large oven-safe skillet on medium-high heat. Add oil then add meatballs. Sear the outside of the meatballs until browned on all sides, gently rolling the meatballs around the pan occasionally so that all the sides are seared evenly. Remove pan from heat.
    Parmesan meatball seared in a cast iron skillet
  • Transfer the pan of meatballs to the oven. Bake at 450°F/230°C for about 15 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through. If the meatballs are larger than 1 1/2-inches, cooking time will be longer.
    Meatballs baked in a skillet
  • Cook the Spaghetti: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt (you should noticeable taste the salt in the water). Add the dried spaghetti and give it a good stir to help the strands separate and keep from clumping.
    Boiling water in a pan
  • Boil the pasta for about 1 minute less than package instructions (usually 8-10 minutes). Check for doneness, and when cooked to your liking, strain.
    Strained spaghetti on a plate
  • Add Sauce to Meatballs: When meatballs are cooked through, add the pasta sauce and bake for another 3 minutes or until the sauce is heated (the meatballs with the sauce can also be heated on the stovetop for about 3 minutes or until heated through).
    Tomato sauce added into meatballs in skillet
  • Finish the Meatballs & Spaghetti: Remove the meatball pan from the oven. Either add the cooked spaghetti to the pan, or plate the spaghetti and add the sauce and meatballs to the plated spaghetti. Top with the additional grated parmesan and chopped parsley.
    Plate of spaghetti and parmesan meatballs


YouTube video

Nutrition Information per Serving

Calories: 625kcal, Carbohydrates: 71g, Protein: 33g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 122mg, Sodium: 1103mg, Potassium: 818mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 875IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 224mg, Iron: 5mg

Other ways to serve any leftover meatballs

  • Make sandwiches out the meatballs! They’re amazing. Buy some soft hoagie style rolls and warm them in the air fryer or oven. Then stuff the bread with the warm meatballs and sauce. Add a sprinkle of cheese on top and voila! An amazing parmesan meatballs sandwich.
  • If you make pizza, these parmesan meatballs are perfect toppings.
  • These meatballs are the perfect appetizers! Serve them on a platter with toothpicks.
  • Make a low carb dinner by serving the meatballs with low carb spaghetti squash or keto garlic butter zucchini noodles! We have tons of zucchini noodle recipes here.
plate of spaghetti and parmesan meatballs

Freezing leftovers

If you have any leftovers, just freeze them in air tight containers. You can freeze them for up to 2-3 months in the freezer. Don’t wait too long to eat them because you can get freezer burn on the food. Then the flavors are lost, the texture is mushy and it just ends up being a waste of good food.