Simple One-Pan Spaghetti & Meatballs

Every Friday evening I cook dinner for our daughter-in-law and grandkids. M has had a long week and is tired, and and we’re happy to relieve her of any cooking duties at home. I always try to make American or American-style dishes, things she typically would not make but loves to eat.

This easy spaghetti and meatball dinner was a hit with everyone, the grandkids included, who can be quite picky at times. I saw the recipe one day in my Instagram feed, and happened to have everything on hand to make it. It’s as easy as the recipe looks and we enjoyed the results (I served with roasted zucchini and bread).

I didn’t make my own meatballs, but used a package of pre-made ones from Aldi I had on hand. It would have been easy to make my own meatballs though, and the ingredients are included in the recipe.

My only suggestion is to either oil the pan well or use a non-stick spray before adding the spaghetti. I didn’t and some of the pasta stuck to the bottom of the pan and was quite crunchy – lesson learned!

(I apologize for the lack of photos but the lighting in our apartment is just plain awful, especially in the kitchen) and I have given up trying to produce something that would be useful to anyone.)


  • 12 ounces spaghetti, broken in half
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 24-ounce jar of marinara sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Spray the bottom and sides of a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with non-stick spray or coat with oil. Spread the dry spaghetti over the bottom of the pan and drizzle with olive oil.

Blend the marinara sauce and water together and pour over the spaghetti. Gently mix to make sure all the spaghetti is covered with liquid.

If making your own meatballs, mix together the ground beef, breadcrumbs, pesto, and salt and pepper and form 12-16 meatballs.

Arrange the meatballs evenly over the spaghetti. Cover the pan with foil and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 6-8 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the tops of the meatballs are browned. If the sauce is already too thick, hot water can be added to reach the desired consistency.

Serve the spaghetti with meatballs along with grated Parmesan, and torn fresh basil leaves (if desired).

Serves four (either three or four meatballs per serving).


4 thoughts on “Simple One-Pan Spaghetti & Meatballs

  1. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I am adding it to my “to try” list! I make a one pot spaghetti and meat sauce on the stove top, but I like the meatball option here.


  2. I’m going to try your recipe. Meatballs are always popular at my house and this looks perfect for busy days. Thanks for sharing.


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