Old-Fashioned Spaghetti and Meatballs

After all of the decadent desserts I’ve made lately, I thought I’d let you all know that I do eat normal people food.  You know, those other things below sugar on the food pyramid.  Here’s a recipe that’s a healthier version of the classic Spaghetti & Meatballs.  The meatballs are lower in fat because there’s a pound of mushrooms added in to stretch the beef and still give the meatball a great consistency.  My husband didn’t even know that it wasn’t all beef until I told him!  This dish has great flavor and is quite satisfying while being secretly healthy…my kind of meal!

Ready to eat!


Old-Fashioned Spaghetti and Meatballs       Print Recipe

From Food Network Kitchens
Total Time: 1 hr 10 min (prep 30, cook 40)
Makes 4 servings


1 slice whole-wheat sandwich bread, ground into coarse crumbs
8 ounces ground sirloin
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Portobello mushroom, stem removed and chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves1 large egg white
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 small bunch fresh basil
3 sprigs fresh thyme
8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
Parmesan, for serving, optional


To make the meatballs, pulse together the sandwich bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs are formed.  Add in the beef, 1/4 cup of onion, mushrooms, 1 tablespoon garlic, parsley, egg white, salt, pepper, & nutmeg.  Pulse the mixture to combine.  Form 20 meatballs from this mixture (about 1-inch each) and place on plate.

To make the sauce, combine the remaining garlic and onion in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Cook until tender.  Stir in the tomatoes and the broth. With kitchen twine, tie together the basil and thyme and add to the tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Turn over the meatballs to and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the meatballs are fully cooked.

While the meatballs are cooking, cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Serve the meatballs with the sauce over the cooked spaghetti, shave on some Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Pulse sandwich bread in a food processor to form coarse crumbs

Add the beef, 1/4 cup onion, mushroom, parsley, and egg white. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg

Pulse to finely chop and combine. Yes, this looks gross now but it will be delicious later!

From into about 20 meatballs

Cook remaining garlic and onion in EVOO over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes

Stir in the tomatoes and the broth.

I used a wooden spoon to break up the tomatoes as they cooked 20 minutes

Add basil and thyme

After 20 minutes, add the meatballs and do not stir. Let cook for 10 minutes.

Flip the meatballs and cook for another 10 minutes. The aroma is intoxicating at this point!

While the sauce and meatballs are simmering away, cook the whole-wheat spaghetti

Drop the sauce & meatballs into the spaghetti and gently combine

Ready to eat!


On another note, I hope you all had a lovely Valentine’s Day!  I had a delicious steak, mashed potato, and sweet corn dinner over candle light at home with my dear husband.  It was delicious and the best part…he cooked!

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