Bowl of Dagostino spaghetti with baked Italian meatballs

Homemade Baked Italian Meatballs

Homemade baked Italian meatballs are very easy to make. Since we skip the very messy step of pan-frying these before they go into the sauce, these baked meatballs are downright simple. We like using a beef and pork mixture, this helps create rich flavors as well as the texture we love from traditional tender meatballs.

1.5 Hours | Serves 6-8

Fun Fact

Where do meatballs originate?  Nobody knows where the first meatball was made but recipes can be found back to the Romans being made with anything from pheasants to rabbit.  Today we tend to see meatballs made with pork, beef, fish or lamb depending on what culture the recipe originates from. 

The famous spaghetti and meatballs is purely an American style invention, the result of a surge of Italian immigration to the U.S. and the adaptations they made to available ingredients.  In Italy, meatballs, or Polpettes, are smaller than their American cousins, made with equal parts bread and meat (sometimes even fish).  Almost always made at home, polpettes are the main course and sometimes served in a light broth.  No marinara or pasta to be seen like in an Italian restaurant!

Ingredients for Baked Italian Meatballs


1 lb Ground meat (beef round or sirloin)

1 lb of Sweet Italian Sausage

1 cup Yellow onion, finely minced

4 Cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup Finely grated Romano cheese

2 Large eggs

1/2 cup Plain or Italian bread crumbs

2 dashes Worcestershire

Salt and Pepper to taste

Spaghetti Sauce

1 lb Dagostino Spaghetti Noodles

2 Jars of Dagostino Smooth Tomato Sauce

Parmesan cheese for garnish

Fresh Basil sliced thin for garnish

Directions for Baked Italian Meatballs


  1. Pro tip: to make this easy meatball recipe take out the meat at least 30 minutes beforehand so the meat isn’t too cold to mix by hand.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°. Put all meatball ingredients except bread crumbs into a bowl.  Mix thoroughly by hand.  Add bread crumbs and then gently combine.  If you would like to check the taste: make a small 1oz patty and cook it in a skillet with oil. Once cooked, taste to see if you would like to add any extra salt and pepper or your favorite Italian seasoning — red pepper flakes or garlic powder for example.
  3. Place parchment paper down on a large lipped baking sheet. If possible, place a metal rack on top of the baking sheet so that the meatballs brown evenly.  Roll the meatball mixture into desired sized balls and place into rows on the baking sheet. 
  4. Place the meatballs in the oven for 15 minutes to 20 minutes - until golden brown, flipping halfway through. Take the meatballs out of the oven once browned. 
  5. Protip: You can substitute ground beef for ground turkey in this recipe for a turkey meatballs recipe!

    Spaghetti Sauce

    1. Bring Dagostino Smooth Tomato Sauce to a simmer, mixing lightly.  Add the meatballs, and cook for around an hour at a low simmer — feel free to partially cover the dutch oven to reduce popping of the sauce.
    2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  When the sauce is almost complete and the water is boiling, salt well — like the sea, add the Dagostino Spaghetti Noodles, and cook for 6 minutes to al dente.  Save a cup of pasta water for thinning the sauce if needed and immediately drain the pasta in a collider.


    To serve, remove cooked meatballs from the sauce and place in a large bowl.  If you would like to thin the sauce, add the saved pasta water and combine.  Taste the sauce and season accordingly with salt and pepper. 

    In a separate serving bowl, place about a quarter of the finished sauce.  Top with the Dagostino Spaghetti Noodles and then another quarter of the sauce — this allows for easy and even coating of the pasta.  Combine the pasta and sauce and add more sauce to the pasta to get to the desired coating.

    On each person’s plate serve the pasta/sauce, followed by the meatballs, and top with the parmesan cheese and basil.

    Buon Appetito!  Enjoy your Homemade Baked Italian Meatball!

    Dagostino Spaghetti Noodles

    About Dagostino Handmade Pasta

    From Lemons to Premium Pasta

    Our story started with lemon farmers in Sicily. In the early 19th century lemons would go on long voyages from Sicily to New Orleans, usually taking around 100 days. These Sicilians would create settlements in New Orleans and with them came pasta.

    The Fresina Family, our founders, were some of these original lemon farmers and started creating handmade pasta in New Orleans in 1926. Since then, the Dagostino and Hayward families have continued their tradition of creating premium handmade pasta using pure semolina flour and water then cutting the pasta through bronze dies and air-drying in wooden cellars.

    Our pasta is still made the old-fashioned way, in our pasta factory, using the “delicate” method developed centuries ago. Small quantities of pasta are extruded through bronze, carefully looped over wooden rods, straightened, and then air-dried in wooden cellars. Celebrated for its delicate texture and classic flavor, our pasta is handmade, all-natural, and preservative free, producing the best tasting pasta available on the market today.

    Our sauces are some of the most authentic sauces available outside of Italy. The sauces are handmade in small batches with a unique blend of fresh herbs and spices. Made without preservatives, each batch is carefully examined by our chefs and food scientists to ensure our sauces are the best tasting on the market.

    You will experience our time honored family treasure in every meal.




    Center of the Plate