You know what makes spaghetti less boring and a little more likely that you kids will eat it?
At least that seems to be the case with my kids. If I make spaghetti with traditional meat sauce or just marinara, my kids will only eat noodles 99.7 percent of the time. But if I make meatballs to go with the marinara, they’re way more inclined to eat some sauce and protein with their pasta. Strange, I know. 🤷♀️
But honestly, I don’t hate making this meal. For one thing, it’s a meal that doesn’t require a side, unless you want garlic bread to soak up the last of the marinara. And for another, these meatballs are super easy to makek.
Also, these meatballs are the same as the ones that appear in Grandma’s Meatball Stroganoff (👈🏻 these have diced mushroom added) and our recipe for meatball subs. So, there’s potential there to make meatballs in bulk, freeze them, and have them ready and available for a variety of meals.
Don’t forget the rules of food safety! Here is the short list:
- Always wash your hands before and after handling raw meat.
- Never thaw meat on the counter. Thaw in the refrigerator, microwave, or cool water bath.
- Always wash cutting boards and plates after having been in contact with raw meat.
- Always cook to appropriate internal temperatures. Safe internal temperatures vary based on cut. Hamburger must reach a safe and savory 160 degrees, while steak is safe at 145 degrees.
A quick and easy pasta dish the whole family will love
1 pound ground beef
6 saltine crackers, crushed*
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
28 ounces of marinara sauce
1 pound spaghetti noodles
In a mixing bowl, mix ground beef, crackers, salt, pepper, onion, and egg. Don’t be afraid to get your hands meaty, really get in there and mix it all together. Then, shape the meat mixture into one-inch balls. I typically place all the meatballs on a baking sheet and pop them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, which I think helps them hold their shape during the sear. But that certainly isn’t a requirement.
Grab a large skillet and heat that baby up over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the meatballs and brown on all sides. Drain any excess fat from the meatballs, pour in the marinara, give it quick stir, bring everything back up to a simmer over medium heat, and let it simmer for 10 or so minutes.
While your sauce is simmering, cook your spaghetti noodles according to the package directions. Once the pasta is done, you’re ready to plate… or bowl. I like to serve/eat spaghetti from a bowl.
Use your pasta fork, tongs, or hands to dish up a serving of spaghetti. Then spoon some sauce and meatballs over the pasta, and you’re ready to serve it up. Enjoy!
I’ve been known to use Ritz crackers and even bread crumbs in a pinch. And by in a pinch, I mean when I’ve accidentally run us out of saltines.