You can never go wrong with spaghetti and meatballs. A timeless dish, the perfect plate of spaghetti and meatballs doesn’t have to take hours to make, just a great sauce and this recipe for the baked meatballs (which can be made gluten-free, too!)
We are serious spaghetti eaters. Like at least three times a week. It’s quick, it’s easy, and everyone is happy with the results (except that one time I accidentally switched out a little salt and pepper for sugar and cinnamon (yep, it wasn’t good.)
In the past we would have spent hours on the meatballs trying to get them carmelized to the point of perfection – crunchy and juicy in the pan. We put a lot of love in making the meatballs, but it took a lot of time and a toll of my dishwashing with the pans, bowls and to be honest, I didn’t even want to eat them after I was done preparing them. I was already too tired to eat (and that says a lot.)
Then we learned a big short cut. Like HUGE.
Baking them using a muffin pan changed everything. From getting them all to be the same size (so they cooked evenly), to cooking them with less mess, and then of course, making them healthier, baking your meatballs will change your life.
But that’s not all.
Want to improve the taste of your meatballs without adding tons of filler and other stuff? Mix your meats.
For us we enjoy a mix of ground turkey, ground Italian sausage and ground beef. Most the time we use the leaner side of things in making our meatballs, but make sure to add a little fat either to the mix or to the pan (using cooking spray) to make sure the meatballs aren’t too dry or stick to the pan.
Also, because of our dietary needs, we use gluten-free breadcrumbs, but you can always opt to use ground oatmeal (quick oats with a course ground in your blender) to make a really tasty (and healthier) meatball. (I also use this trick for meatloaf!)
Now all you need is your favorite Ragu and some pasta to complete the meal.
After 30 minutes, you have the best (and easiest) spaghetti and meatballs! Full of all the good stuff that even Assunta Cantisano, the mama that created the family Ragu recipe the company started with all the way in 1937.
- 1/2 lb. ground turkey
- 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
- 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 tsp. parsley
- 1 1/2 tsp. basil
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 c. bread crumbs (gluten free) or 1/2 c.ground quick oats oatmeal
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
- Spray muffin pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine meats together in a bowl. Add all the ingredients 1/4 cup (1/2 of the breadcrumbs). Set aside breadcrumbs.
- Mix all the ingredients together and with your hands create small balls to fit inside mini muffin pan.
- Before placing meatballs into pan, roll each one lightly in breadcrumbs. (Can sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if you prefer, but the breadcrumbs give the meatball that crunchy, but juicy bite.)
- Then place each meatball into mini muffin pan.
- Cook in the oven for 20 minutes until golden.
- Serve with pasta sauce (we love Ragu) and your favorite spaghetti noodles (we use gluten free!)
- Leftover meatballs? Put them in freezer bag and be ready for quick and easy spaghetti and meatballs anytime!
- Serving Size: 4
- Calories: 396
- Sugar: 1
- Sodium: 1080
- Fat: 23
- Saturated Fat: 9
- Unsaturated Fat: 11
- Trans Fat: 1
- Carbohydrates: 12
- Protein: 35
- Cholesterol: 154
With no artificial flavors or high fructose syrup, you can feel just as good about the sauce as you do the meatballs you just made for your family. And without all the work…all thanks to her “secret” Ragu recipe and the mamachallenge “secret” to meatballs.
What’s your secret to the best spaghetti and meatballs?