These Meatballs in Marina Sauce are full of flavor, addictively delicious, and easy to make. You will never want another meatball or marinara sauce recipe.
Last weekend was my mother-in-law’s birthday, and my parents were in town, so my husband and I wanted to cook dinner for everyone. There was a large group of people, including kids, so we decided lasagna was a safe bet. My mom helped me prepare a large recipe of my Sausage and Beef Lasagna, which was quite a hit!
I don’t eat much cheese, so I wanted to have a lasagna alternative for myself and anyone else who wanted something different. I decided to make spaghetti with meatballs in marinara sauce. Somewhere in the recesses of my memory, I remembered that my mom used to have a good meatball recipe. I asked her about it, and she wasn’t really sure what I was talking about. Luckily, I found where I had written her recipe down about 15 years ago.
I used my mom’s recipe as a base for my meatballs. I soaked Italian breadcrumbs in milk, mixed them with the beef and sausage I had leftover from the lasagna, as well as an egg and some spices. Then, I browned them in the oven. They turned out DELICIOUS.
Next, I made a marinara sauce using Emily’s Baked Ziti sauce as the inspiration. I used several different types of canned tomatoes, and spiced it up until I was happy. Next, I added in the meatballs and let them simmer with the sauce. Honestly, it felt like a thrown together sauce. I almost didn’t write down what I did, but thank goodness I did, because y’all, it was amazing.
Almost every person in my family commented on the delicious taste of the meatballs and sauce. Initially I hadn’t taken photos, as I wasn’t expecting it to be ready for posting – but fortunately I had enough leftover to make myself a big ole’ plate that I could photograph and then eat for lunch the next day!
Meatballs in Marinara Sauce
I wish instead of showing you pictures that you could just reach through the computer and have a taste. But since that doesn’t work, you’ll just have to make them yourself! Here are a few tips and thoughts for these Meatballs in Marinara Sauce:
- Make sure to use the combination of mild breakfast sausage and ground beef. They both contribute the the meatballs’ delicious flavor.
- Do not use plain breadcrumbs; you’ll miss out on some flavor. I prefer standard Italian breadcrumbs, but have used Panko Italian, which yields a similar taste.
- Let the sauce simmer for an hour before serving. The time helps the flavors to develop.
- You can serve this over any type of pasta or on sandwiches. Heck, you can eat the meatballs on toothpicks as a snack or appetizer.
- I know a lot of people are anti-sugar. However, it gives the sauce a subtle sweetness that is addictively good. Just do it.
Meatballs in Marinara Sauce
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- ½ cup milk
- 2 eggs beaten
- ¾ pound mild breakfast sausage
- ¾ pound ground beef
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ tbsp. dried oregano
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 14 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 28 ounces tomato sauce
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes
- 12 ounces tomato paste
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- ½ tbsp. dried marjoram
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat (this makes for easy cleanup).
- In a large bowl, stir together bread crumbs and milk. Let sit for 3-5 minutes. Then, stir in eggs, sausage, beef, salt, garlic, oregano, parsley, and mozzarella. Mix until well combined.
- Form mixture into about 1.5” balls. Place on baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- In a large sauce pan over medium heat, stir together all of the sauce ingredients until very well combine. As soon as the sauce begins to simmer, reduce to low.
- Add meatballs to sauce. Simmer on low for one hour, stirring occasionally.
- Serve over pasta, individually, or on sandwich rolls.
Disclaimer: All nutritional information provided on this website is an estimate only and is not guaranteed.
If you enjoyed these Meatballs in Marinara Sauce, you might enjoy these other SugarSpicesLife recipes:
Links to items used to make these Meatballs in Marinara Sauce: