Meatballs & Sauce

September 21, 2015

I have been making these meatballs and sauce for a few years. The recipe below is loosely based on this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. That being said, I figured it was about time I wrote it down to ensure I didn’t screw it up next time I made a batch. This makes a LARGE batch of both meatballs and sauce that I portion into quart sized ziplock bags and freeze for quick dinners. How many bags will depend on what dinner looks like for your family. I usually plan 6 meatballs for our family and portion accordingly.


  • Homemade Spaghetti Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
    • 2 large sweet Onions, chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 106 oz can Italian Peeled Tomatoes (4 28 oz cans if you’re not shopping at Costco)
    • 3 Tbsp dried Parsley
    • 1 Tbsp dried Basil
    • Water from rinsing extra sauce and puree from inside of cans
    • 3 Tbsp Salt
    • 1/2 cup Sugar
    • 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  • Italian Meatballs:
    • 2 lbs Ground Beef
    • 2 lbs Pork Sausage
    • 4 Eggs
    • 1 Tbsp dried Italian parsley
    • 1 Tbsp Pasta Sprinkle
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 cups Italian bread crumbs, divided
    • 2 cups grated Romano cheese
    • 1 cup Milk
    • 1 tsp Salt
    • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
    • 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
    • 1 tsp Pepper


  • Sauce:
    1. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat until onion is tender.
    2. Add tomato\es, parsley, basil, water, salt, and sugar.
    3. Stir and lower heat to a slow simmer. Using and immersion blender, puree tomatoes into a sauce.
    4. This best if it’s left to simmer for at least 2 hours.
  • Meatballs:
    1. Preheat oven to 450.
    2. Combine 1 cup of bread crumbs with milk and let soak for 10 minutes. Combine with all remaining ingredients. You can do this by hand or with large stand mixture, being careful not to over-mix.
    3. shape into balls. I use a medium sized scoop from Crate and Barrel.
    4. Cook for 20 minutes and then add to sauce to finish cooking. I prefer this method, as it gives extra flavor to both the meatballs and sauce.
    5. If you want to cook them the whole way in the oven, turn down head to 350 cook for 20 minutes, depending on size.
    6. I will also say I’ve been known to broil the meatballs, for either method, for 5 minutes to get them nice and brown before finishing.
  • Sunday:


  • Monday: Pizza Delivery from Falbo Brothers


  • Tuesday: Roasted Chicken Thighs, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and TJ’s Rice Pilaf


  • Wednesday: TJ’s Mandarin Chicken with Rice and Steamed Broccoli


  • Thursday: Leftover Pizza



  • Saturday: Out for Dinner after The Lion King


  • Monday: Gnocchi with Red Sauce and Sausage, Garlic Bread, and Salads


  • Tuesday: Spicy Beef Tacos, Refried Beans, Guacamole, Chips, and Salsa


  • Wednesday: Take-Out from Buffalo Wild Wings


  • Thursday: Out to Arby’s before Carter’s Big Brother Class


  • Friday: Harvest Salad with Roasted Chicken Breasts and Pretzel Bread


  • Saturday: Shrimp Cocktail, Steak, Hasselback Potatoes, Asparagus, and Rolls
  • Sunday: Carter’s Birthday Party – Antipasti, Caesar Salads, Pizza, Bread-sticks, and Cold Stone Creamery Cake


  • Monday: Steakhouse Baked Potatoes and Chopped Ranch Salads



  • Wednesday: Happy Birthday Carter! Chicken Tenders, Mac & Cheese, and Steamed Green Beans, per the birthday boy’s request.



  • Friday: Halloween Dinner: Sushi from Asiana


  • Saturday: Wedding Dinner – Congrats Pete & Julie


  • Sunday: Spaghetti and Meatballs with Red Sauce, Caesar Salads, and Garlic Bread


  • Monday: Mac & Cheese?



  • Wednesday: Spicy Beef Tacos


  • Thursday: Rehearsal Dinner at Fox & Hounds


  • Friday: Wedding Dinner – Congrats Steve & Jolene!


  • Saturday: Trick-or-Treating



  • Monday: Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Biscuits & Bread


  • Tuesday: Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts with Steamed Carrots, and Mushroom Quinoa



  • Thursday: Alfredo over Spinach Linguine topped with Cajun Spiced Shrimp and Steamed Green Beans


  • Friday: Jack-O-Lantern Jaunt


  • Saturday: Asian Braised Short Ribs over Rice with Stir-Fried Vegetables – These were good, but I would add a bit more soy sauce and sriracha next time as I would have liked a little more salt and spice within the final sauce.


  • Sunday: Post Photo Dinner: Maxie’s Southern Comfort – Not that one needs an excuse to go to this fantastic restaurant, but on Sundays kids eat for $1, so, really, we had to go. Jim had the jambalaya, which was delicious and could easily have been 2 meals.

pic from

I had the Frogmore Stew that I eyed up on our last visit, but passed on in favor of the chicken fried chicken, which is awesome if you were wondering. Anyway, back to the stew, per the menu, it’s a mix of “Shrimp, mussels, ocean fish, house smoked chicken andouille, onion, fresh corn, and seasoned broth, served with french bread”. The flavor was rich, savory, and spicy. Surprisingly spicy actually. I mean, yes, I get it, it’s a Cajun restaurant, but I was a bit overwhelmed at the overwhelming spice of the dish. That being said, I couldn’t stop eating it, and would recommend to anyone who loves seafood, … and spice.

photo courtesy of Yelp poster

Carter loved his chicken tenders served with waffle fries, and carrot and celery sticks. Oh, and of course, we didn’t skip a side of the amazing White Cheddar Mac ‘n Cheese for the table to share. It’s the best.

  • Monday: Chicken Enchiladas Ole, Refried Beans, Rice, Chips and Salsa. – So glad I stashed a few of these in the freezer for quick and easy weeknight meals.


  • Tuesday: Shredded Beef over Pappardelle with Steamed Broccoli


  • Wednesday: Crunchy-Topped Swiss Chicken Bake with Quinoa and Steamed Carrots – We’ll definately be having this again, as Jim really liked it, and I loved that it came together quickly during a busy weeknight.


  • Thursday: Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells with Caesar Salads and Garlic Bread – I made these a couple weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon, and then portioned and froze for some more quck weeknight dinners … are you noticing a theme here? I will say that I adjusted the recipe slightly by using frozen chopped spinach rather than fresh and cut the cream cheese down to 1 block rather than 2.


  • Friday: Pizza Delivery from Falbo Brothers – Pizza, wings, and Greek salad made for a great Friday night dinner and fabulous leftovers for the rest of the weekend.


  • Saturday: Chicken Pot Pie Soup & Biscuits – While the plan was to simply make chicken pot pie, I added a bit too much stock, but can’t say that I’m mad about it. Oh, and I cheated with some biscuits from the freezer rather than scratch made since it’s becoming really, really exhausting to run errands 7 1/2 months pregnant. It’s going to be a long 10 weeks.


  • Other Cooking & Baking: Quadruple Berry Muffins – I used a mix of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries adding up to 2 cups. The boys thought they were a bit on the tart side, but I love them.

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