The Best Spaghetti & Meatballs
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The Best Spaghetti & Meatballs

(37 ratings - rate this recipe)
<b>Prep:</b> 30 mins Prep: 30 mins
<b>Cook:</b> 10 mins Cook: 10 mins
Serves 4-5 Serves 4-5
Excellent source of iron Excellent source of iron
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  • 500g Quality Mark beef mince
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • ¾ cup red wine (or use stock)
  • 1½ cups Campbell’s Real Stock – Beef
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes in juice
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

To Serve

  • Cooked spaghetti
  • Fresh basil
  • Grated cheese



Add the mince to a large bowl with the breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, egg, herbs, tomato paste, olive oil and season. Mix gently to combine using clean hands. Shape the mixture into balls slightly bigger than a golf ball. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes to set.

Heat a little oil over a medium-high heat in a large frying pan and brown the meatballs all over (do this in batches). Once browned, remove carefully with tongs and set aside on a plate.


Drain any oil from the pan and return it over a high heat. Add the wine (or stock) and let it bubble for 30 seconds, scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to incorporate all those crunchy caramelised meat juices from the meatballs. Add the stock, tomato paste, tomatoes, oregano, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Stir. Add the meatballs back to the pan and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened to a pasta sauce consistency (turn the meatballs over once). Taste and season as required.

To serve

Toss the sauce through the just-cooked drained spaghetti in the spaghetti cooking pot. Add to serving bowls and sprinkle with cheese and basil.
  • Suitable Cuts
  • Nutrition
  • Tips & Tricks

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Serving size: 553g
Energy kJ (kcal) 2671 (638)
Protein (g) 41.3
Fat (g) 25.2
Saturated (g)
Carbohydrate (g) 51.9
Sugars (g)
Sodium (mg) 731
Iron (mg) 6.3
Zinc (mg) 6.4
Vitamin B12 (ug) 3.1
Vitamin D (ug) 0.2
Selenium (ug) 18.0

This dish provides an excellent source of selenium, essential for immunity as well as keeping our hair and nails healthy.
  • Browning the meatballs first is important as it adds to the flavour of the dish.
  • Be careful when frying the meatballs as they can fall apart if you’re not gentle. 
  • When you stir the sauce through the pasta, add 2 tablespoons of reserved pasta cooking water at the same time to help the sauce stick to the pasta.
  • Reduce the sodium content of this dish by using reduced salt stock and tomato paste.
  • Kids love mince, and it loves them too – providing a protein boost for growth and iron for busy brains.

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Comments & Reviews

There are: 37 reviews, with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5
I'm making the meatballs and wondering if I can bake them in the oven as I don't have a big enough pan for 1kg mince.
Posted by Eunice 2018-01-28 15:45:48
Love this recipe! The sauce is rich and delicious!
Posted by Karen 2018-01-22 18:25:20
Absolutely beautiful. This recipe is easy and tastes delicious
Posted by Lauma 2017-12-20 20:02:31
Hi Ruth, "Mince" is the same as "Ground Beef". Happy cooking :)
Posted by Ruth 2017-09-26 12:56:37
what exactly is mince. I live in the U.S. and never heard of that ingredient. I would appreciate your telling me.
Posted by Ruth 2017-09-26 12:54:15
Hi Mic, sorry to hear you were disappointed with this recipe. As you can see by all the other positive feedback it is a very popular recipe of ours. If you are after a simple tomato flavoured sauce, you could remove the thyme and oregano. Kind regards - the team at Beef + Lamb NZ

Posted by Beef + Lamb NZ 2017-09-18 11:12:23
Made this tonight and it was a huge hit. To sneak in some veggies for the kids I added in a grated carrot and courgette. Thumbs up all around. Much yummier than some other, more complicated recipes I've tried. Thanks!
Posted by Nicola 2017-09-02 19:31:40
I'm not sure what other recipes people have been using prior to trying this one, but this rates poorly compared to other recipes I use which don't have beef stock and as much wine (the recipe I used in her cookbook was the same but with 1 cup of wine). I prefer a more simple tomato based sauce, for example one from the Simon Holst pasta cookbook. I frequently use Julie Biuso Italian cooking, and her sauces are simple and fresh tasting. And this has way too much oregano!! Yes I may sound like a mean reviewer and this is the first time ever I have posted an online review...an attempt to get some closure, because I'm still annoyed about making these meatballs. On a side note I the only reason I have been trying Chelsea's recipes is because I was given one of her books. The recipes seem to be hit or miss, probably as a result of her having to churn out another book at speed, without the extensive testing like what Annabel langbein does.
Posted by Mic 2017-08-26 00:56:16
yum! so yum! 5 stars
Posted by moni 2017-08-08 13:15:39
Great easy recipe. So flavorsom!
Posted by James 2017-07-24 17:55:12
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