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Indulge in the comfort of a single serving Spaghetti and Meatballs, a classic Italian dish tailored just for you. This recipe delivers a hearty and satisfying experience, offering the rich flavors of a traditional favorite in a portion perfect for one. Easy to prepare and quick to serve, it’s the ideal choice for anyone seeking the warmth of an Italian classic without the excess of leftovers.

Savor the simplicity and flavor of this spaghetti and meatballs for one person, perfectly paired with a crisp Caesar Salad, warm French Bread, and a decadent Tiramisu for dessert. This delightful meal combination balances the heartiness of the spaghetti with the freshness of the salad, the comfort of the bread, and the sweet indulgence of the Tiramisu, making it an ideal, well-rounded meal for anyone cooking for one.

Why You’ll Love This Spaghetti And Meatballs Recipe

  • Simple: Quick to prepare with easy-to-follow instructions.
  • Flavorful: A blend of herbs and spices gives the meatballs a rich taste.
  • Versatile: Suitable for various dietary preferences with alternative ingredient options.
  • Perfectly Portioned: Ideal for one, avoiding any unnecessary leftovers.
  • Satisfying: A wholesome, filling meal that’s sure to delight your taste buds.

Ingredients In The Meatballs

ground beef, onions, egg, garlic, spices and bread crumbs on a wooden cutting board.

Spaghetti and Meatballs Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this small batch spaghetti and meatballs recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Onions, Garlic, and Parsley: Combine 1/4 cup (25 grams) of chopped onions with 1 clove of garlic and some fresh parsley. These ingredients add depth and freshness to the meatballs. This same combination of ingredients can be found in Chicken Paprika and a small batch of Crawfish Beignets.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated Parmesan is recommended. It not only enhances flavor but also acts as an excellent binder for the meatballs.
  • Egg Yolk: Use one egg yolk to help bind the ingredients together, ensuring the meatballs stay intact during cooking. Consider using the egg white in any of our egg white recipes like Meringues or a mini Texas Sheet Cake.
  • Breadcrumbs: A crucial ingredient for binding the meatballs. Choose gluten-free breadcrumbs if necessary. Both store-bought and homemade breadcrumbs work well.
  • Dried Basil & Oregano: These herbs are essential for adding that quintessential Italian flavor. Fresh herbs can also be used for a more vibrant taste.
  • Ground Beef: The primary protein source. For a lighter version, consider substituting with ground chicken or turkey. If you’ve got a little extra ground beef, consider using it in Lasagna Rollups, Hamburger Casserole, or Salisbury Steak.
  • Spaghetti: While I prefer spaghetti for this recipe, feel free to use any pasta you have. For spaghetti, a 3-ounce serving (85 grams) is ideal, measuring about 2 ½ inches in circumference or ¾ inch in diameter when bunched together. For short noodles like fusilli, rotini, or macaroni, a 2-ounce serving (57 grams) or about 1/2-cup of dried pasta is sufficient. Experiment to find your perfect match. Leftover spaghetti can be use in Caprese Pasta, Pasta al Limone, or Buttered Noodles
  • Marinara or Tomato Sauce: Opt for your preferred jarred tomato sauce, or try our small batch homemade tomato sauce recipe for an even more authentic taste.

This overview provides insight into the chosen ingredients and their purpose in the recipe. For complete instructions, please scroll down to the recipe box at the end of the post.

Recipe Variations

The classic spaghetti and meatballs recipe is a time-honored favorite, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with it! Here’s an introductory look at some variations that can take your meal to the next level. Whether you’re in the mood for something slightly different or you want to completely change up the flavor profile, these options have something for everyone:

  • Cheesy Meatballs: Mix some shredded mozzarella or Parmesan cheese into the meatball mixture for a gooey, cheesy surprise in every bite.
  • Spicy Sauce: Add a kick to the dish with some crushed red pepper flakes or diced chili peppers in the sauce for a spicy twist.
  • Mediterranean Style: Incorporate some olives, feta cheese, and herbs like thyme and oregano for a Mediterranean twist that’s fresh and vibrant.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs in the meatballs and serve over gluten-free pasta for those who are gluten-sensitive.
  • Whole Wheat Pasta: For a heartier and more nutritious option, try whole wheat spaghetti with your meatballs. It adds a unique texture and depth of flavor.

These variations invite experimentation and customization, allowing you to craft a dish that suits your tastes and dietary preferences.

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Choosing the Best Ground Meat for Perfect Meatballs

When selecting ground meat for meatballs at the grocery store, you’ll often encounter labels like 80/20 or 90/10. These numbers represent the ratio of lean meat to fat in the product.

  • For Tender Meatballs: If you desire tender meatballs, opt for a meat with more fat. Ground beef that is 70% to 80% lean is an excellent choice for this recipe.
  • For a Beef and Pork Mix: If you prefer a combination of 50% ground beef and 50% ground pork, choose a leaner ground beef, such as 90/10. The pork will already contribute additional fat content, balancing the overall texture and flavor.

Understanding these ratios will help you create meatballs that are succulent and mouth-watering, tailored to your personal preference.

How To Make Spaghetti and Meatballs

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make spaghetti and meatballs for one person. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Prepare the Flavor Base: Combine onions, garlic, parsley, and Parmesan cheese in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is very finely chopped.
onions, garlic, cheese and parsley in a food processor.
  1. Mix Ingredients: Transfer this vegetable mix to a large bowl. Add in the egg yolk and breadcrumbs, mixing thoroughly. Then, stir in salt, pepper, basil, and oregano for seasoning.
onions, parsley, breadcrumbs and egg in a large clear mixing bowl.
  1. Add Ground Beef: Incorporate the ground beef into the bowl, mixing until everything is evenly combined.
ground beef and other ingredients in meatballs in a large clear mixing bowl.
  1. Form Meatballs: Shape the mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs and arrange them on a foil-lined baking sheet.
5 meatballs on a baking sheet.
  1. Bake the Meatballs: Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 20 minutes. The meatballs are done when they can be easily lifted from the pan with a spatula.
cooked meatballs on a baking sheet.
  1. Simmer in Sauce: In a medium-sized saucepan (about 2-quarts), bring your marinara or tomato sauce to a simmer. Add the baked meatballs to the sauce, cover loosely with a lid, and let them simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
meatballs simmering in a pot of spaghetti sauce.
  1. Cook the Spaghetti: While the meatballs are simmering, boil water in a medium-sized pot. Cook the spaghetti until al dente, then drain.
  2. Combine and Serve: Toss the cooked spaghetti with the sauce and meatballs. Transfer everything to a serving bowl.
  3. Garnish and Enjoy: Finish off by topping your spaghetti and meatballs with fresh basil and extra grated Parmesan cheese for an additional burst of flavor.
a yellow bowl filled with spaghetti and meatballs next to a wedge of fresh parmesan cheese and a brown napkin.

Expert Tips

  • Meatballs: Shape evenly for uniform cooking.
  • Pasta: Cook to al dente for the best texture.
  • Sauce: Simmer the sauce to allow flavors to meld.
  • Serving: Garnish with extra Parmesan and fresh herbs for added flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use ground turkey or ground chicken for meatballs?

Yes, you can! Ground turkey or chicken are both viable substitutes for ground beef in meatball recipes. Since these meats are leaner than beef, here’s what you need to know:
Mind the Cooking Time: Turkey and chicken lack the fat that’s found in beef, which means they can easily overcook. So, keep a close eye on them as they cook.
Why It Works: Opting for poultry might be a perfect choice if you’re looking for a lighter option without sacrificing flavor.
By being attentive to the cooking process, you can enjoy delicious meatballs made with ground turkey or chicken and still achieve a delightful texture and taste.

What wine goes well with spaghetti and meatballs?

Looking to complement your spaghetti and meatballs with the right wine? Red wine is typically the way to go, and Italian red wines are an especially fitting choice. Here are some recommendations:
Sangiovese: A versatile Italian grape that pairs wonderfully with tomato-based sauces.
Chianti: Known for its earthy tones, this wine goes hand in hand with the rich flavors of meatballs.
Tuscan Red Blends: These blends offer a balanced flavor that complements the spices in the sauce.
Barbera: A juicy red that’s perfect for cutting through the richness of meaty dishes.
Primativo or Zinfandel: Both are bold options that enhance the robust flavors in spaghetti and meatballs.
These red wines add a delightful richness that pairs beautifully with the savory, heartwarming classic that is spaghetti and meatballs. Enjoy the feast!l.

Can I freeze meatballs?

Yes, freeze uncooked for later use.

Can I double this spaghetti and meatballs recipe?

Absolutely, just adjust the ingredients proportionally.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you would like additional information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried this homemade spaghetti and meatballs or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Spaghetti and Meatballs For One

5 from 7 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Spaghetti and meatballs is a comfort food classic and this wonderful recipe is a reminder that good food doesn't have to be complicated or require a long list of fancy ingredients. In fact, simple is often best, and in just 30 minutes you can have a lovely meal ready to enjoy.

Ingredients 
 

  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese , plus more for topping
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs (store bought or homemade)
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • teaspoon dried oregano
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 5 ounces ground beef
  • 3 ounces dried spaghetti – a 3-ounce serving when gathered in your hand measures 2 ½ inches(circumference) or is approximately ¾ inch diameter.
  • 1 cup Tomato Sauce (store-bought or homemade)
  • fresh basil, optional for garnish

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degree F (200 degrees C).
  • Prepare the Flavor Base: Combine onions, garlic, parsley, and Parmesan cheese in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is very finely chopped.
    onions, garlic, cheese and parsley in a food processor
  • Mix Ingredients: Transfer this vegetable mix to a large bowl. Add in the egg yolk and breadcrumbs, mixing thoroughly. Then, stir in salt, pepper, basil, and oregano for seasoning.
    onions, parsley, breadcrumbs and egg in a large clear mixing bowl
  • Add Ground Beef: Incorporate the ground beef into the bowl, mixing until everything is evenly combined.
    ground beef and other ingredients in meatballs in a large clear mixing bowl
  • Form Meatballs: Shape the mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs and arrange them on a foil-lined baking sheet.
    5 meatballs on a baking sheet
  • Bake the Meatballs: Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes. The meatballs are done when they can be easily lifted from the pan with a spatula.
    cooked meatballs on a baking sheet
  • Simmer in Sauce: In a medium-sized saucepan (about 2-quarts), bring your marinara or tomato sauce to a simmer. Add the baked meatballs to the sauce, cover loosely with a lid, and let them simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
    meatballs simmering in a pot of spaghetti sauce
  • Cook the Spaghetti: While the meatballs are simmering, boil water in a medium-sized pot. Cook the spaghetti until al dente, then drain.
  • Combine and Serve: Toss the cooked spaghetti with the sauce and meatballs. Transfer everything to a serving bowl.
    a bowl of spaghetti topped with three meatballs and fresh basil on a white plate next to a bottle of red wine
  • Garnish and Enjoy: Finish off by topping your spaghetti and meatballs with fresh basil and extra grated Parmesan cheese for an additional burst of flavor.

Video

Notes

Expert Tips
    • Meatballs: Shape evenly for uniform cooking.
    • Pasta: Cook to al dente for the best texture.
    • Sauce: Simmer the sauce to allow flavors to meld.
    • Serving: Garnish with extra Parmesan and fresh herbs for added flavor.
What Type Of Ground Meat Is Ideal For Meatballs?
When selecting ground meat for meatballs at the grocery store, you’ll often encounter labels like 80/20 or 90/10. These numbers represent the ratio of lean meat to fat in the product.
For Tender Meatballs: If you desire tender meatballs, opt for a meat with more fat. Ground beef that is 70% to 80% lean is an excellent choice for this recipe.
For a Beef and Pork Mix: If you prefer a combination of 50% ground beef and 50% ground pork, choose a leaner ground beef, such as 90/10. The pork will already contribute additional fat content, balancing the overall texture and flavor.
Understanding these ratios will help you create meatballs that are succulent and mouth-watering, tailored to your personal preference.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 640kcal, Carbohydrates: 93g, Protein: 55g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 281mg, Sodium: 1943mg, Potassium: 1715mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 2657IU, Vitamin C: 41mg, Calcium: 267mg, Iron: 10mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

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2 Comments

  1. Two dozen meatballs was always too much work, never made them. Five meatballs is easy and fun. The meal is delightful and absolutely repeatable. Recipe much appreciated!

  2. We just finished eating the meatballs with your “small batch of tomato sauce”. I multiplied ingredients out to make 4 batches thinking I’d freeze some- I won’t bother. They are so delicious that they will all be gone by dinner tomorrow. YUM!