Spaghetti Balls with Meat Sauce

Spaghetti Balls with Meat Sauce is a backwards take to your traditional Spaghetti with Meatballs. They’re quirky, fun and completely delicious! 

Spaghetti Balls with Meat Sauce! Spaghetti is combined with a cheesy mixture then formed into balls and fried until golden brown, then placed on top of a rich and hearty meat sauce.

Oh my heavens, y’all!!!

This recipe right here is so good that it just made me sound like an old Southern grandma. The kind of grandma that is famous for her traditional spaghetti and meatballs, then just found out that she can switch the two by making SPAGHETTI… BALLS! 

A few weeks ago my husband and I were watching this show on the Food Network where this guy goes from restaurant to restaurant trying out all these famous dishes. He stopped at this one restaurant and tried these Spaghetti Balls, and I knew instantly that I needed to make them.

Spaghetti Balls with Meat Sauce! Spaghetti is combined with a cheesy mixture then formed into balls and fried until golden brown, then placed on top of a rich and hearty meat sauce.

The spaghetti balls are nothing more than cooked spaghetti noodles in a mixture that’s very similar to my Classic Lasagna ricotta filling. I added a touch of pesto in there to bring some ridiculous flavor.

Then I took my ice cream scoop (cause I’m classy like that), and formed giant balls. I lightly fried them in oil, but I’m fairly sure if you spritzed them with a little oil and baked them at a high temp you could get away with baking rather than frying.

Spaghetti Balls with Meat Sauce! Spaghetti is combined with a cheesy mixture then formed into balls and fried until golden brown, then placed on top of a rich and hearty meat sauce.

The meat sauce is so simple to make. I used a combination of ground beef and italian sausage, with some classic herbs in a rich tomato sauce.

All you have to do is ladle the meat sauce into a bowl, then top with your spaghetti balls! The outsides of the spaghetti balls are crisp while the insides are soft, cheesy and fluffy. When mixed with the meat sauce – it’s a match made in heaven!

Spaghetti Balls with Meat Sauce! Spaghetti is combined with a cheesy mixture then formed into balls and fried until golden brown, then placed on top of a rich and hearty meat sauce.

Grab your leftover pasta, (or go make some) and turn your Spaghetti Night upside down!

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Spaghetti Balls with Meat Sauce

Yield: Serves 4

Serving Size: 4 spaghetti balls with 2 cups of sauce

Spaghetti Balls with Meat Sauce

Ingredients

    For the Meat Sauce:
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. Italian sausage
  • 2 (29oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp each: salt, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • For the Spaghetti Balls:
  • 4 cups cooked and cooled spaghetti noodles
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp pesto sauce
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

    For the Meat Sauce:
  1. In a large pot brown the ground beef and sausage until no longer pink, drain any excess fat. Return pan to heat and add the remaining ingredients, stir and bring to a slight bubble, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Remove bay leaves before serving.
  2. For the Spaghetti Balls:
  3. Heat oil (at least 2 inches deep) to 375 degrees F.
  4. Combine all the ingredients except the oil into a large bowl and use your hands to incorporate. Use a sharp edged ice cream scoop to scoop out a good portion of spaghetti, and press against the side of the bowl to cut off any straggling noodles. Put ball in your hand, and press tightly to secure.
  5. Gently place in hot oil and let cook until golden brown on all sides. Use a slotted spoon to remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Don't over crowd your fryer, only do 3 to 4 balls at a time.
  6. Serve hot with sauce and a sprinkle of fresh parmesan. Enjoy!
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Comments

  1. It’s so crazy…it just might work!
    I can see these in the line up as hot appetizers–I think breaded mozz sticks have just taken the back seat.
    Wondering, did you use a thin or thick spaghetti?
    Also, any idea how many ounces of dry pasta gives 4 cups?

    • Thanks CTY! I used just a regular spaghetti noodle (not thin), and I started with 12oz of dry pasta, but only used about 1/2 of that. So I think 6oz should yield about 4 cups. :)

  2. TrishInFL says:

    I can’t wait to try these!! They look awesome.

  3. OH goodness I love this. You got me by surprise. An awesome version of an old favorite. Well done.

  4. OMG! These look AMAZING!!! What a fun twist on spaghetti! I think I might try baking them. Hopefully they’ll turn out just as well!

  5. What a great idea! I think I’ll use besciamella/béchamel instead of ricotta since that’s how I make Italian lasagne. Wow! These meatballs look beyond fantastic and so original. Thanks for sharing the recipe and tempting photos.

  6. These look INSANE!

  7. OH MY GOODNESS these sound so amazing! Such a fun idea!

  8. oh I think I’m in LOVE :)

  9. These look amazing Shawn!!! Such an inventive and cute idea!
    http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/

  10. What a great idea with spaghetti ! I have a similar recipe I do using ORZO pasta. Much easier to scoop and fun adaptation of classic italian rice balls called Arancini. And I use cottage cheese when short of ricotta. And all kinds of pestos (red peppers-roasted tomatoes-arugula+garlic-cilantro) for various pleasures. Bravo, you have a good blog!

  11. This is a genius idea!! They look so good! :) Totally making these soon!

  12. Pinned these; making for dinner tomorrow!!!

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