Go Back
+ servings

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Serve Meatballs in Tomato Sauce with spaghetti - or your favourite pasta.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Supper
Cuisine: European
Servings: 4 servings
Author: [email protected] Cooks


For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 medium onion (175g)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (30ml)
  • 1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs (15ml)
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree (15ml)
  • 2 teaspoons soft brown sugar (10ml)
  • Large pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 medium onion (175g)
  • 5 g fresh parsley OR
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley (10ml)
  • 2 slices wholemeal bread (85g)
  • 450 g minced beef
  • 1 large egg
  • Large pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (30ml)

To serve:

  • 250 g spaghetti
  • Grated Parmesan or other cheese


Large frying pan
Large saucepan



  • Finely chop both onions, putting into separate dishes
  • Crush, or finely chop, the garlic clove
  • Finely chop the parsley
  • Make the bread into breadcrumbs by grating, or blitzing in a food processor.

For the Tomato Sauce:

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan on a MEDIUM-HIGH heat
  • Fry the onions until softened. 5-10 minutes
  • Add the garlic and herbs and cook for 1 minute
  • Add the remaining ingredients
    (Tin of tomatoes, tomato puree, brown sugar, salt and pepper)
  • Stir well and bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes while making the meatballs.

For the Meatballs:

  • Soak the breadcrumbs in 50ml cold water for a few seconds. Squeeze out the surplus water if you have any
  • Add the crumbs to the mince with the onions, parsley, egg, salt and pepper. Mix well together - preferably with your hands
  • Form into small balls - about the size of a golf ball
    You will make about 20
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan on a MEDIUM heat and brown the meatballs all over
  • You aren't cooking them through, so 1-2 minutes a side is fine
    You may need to do this in batches
  • Put all the meatballs back into the frying pan
  • After the sauce has had its 20 minutes, pour the sauce over the meatballs. Put the lid on and cook for a further 20-25 minutes.


  • Cook the spaghetti for 8-12 minutes in boiling, salted water
    Check your packet to see how long it recommends
  • Serve the spaghetti with meatballs and tomato sauce and a grating of Parmesan (or other cheese).


Everyday Cooks Tips:

Short Cuts:
  • Onions - Buy prepared and frozen or make your own
  • Garlic - Buy garlic puree or freeze minced garlic
  • Breadcrumbs - Grate, or process the last few slices of a loaf and freeze for up to a month
How much spaghetti?
  • For normal portions, the general guidelines are to cook 70-80g dried pasta per person. If you don't eat a large serving cook maybe only 50-60g dried pasta per person.