Pesto Spaghetti with Easy Baked Meatballs

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Baked meatballs are healthier than fried ones, and these are delicious. Served on a bed of pesto-coated spaghetti, this makes a delicious and authentic Italian dinner which the whole family will love.


  • 8 oz (230g) dried spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto sauce
  • 4 sprigs of fresh basil, for garnish (optional)

For the Meatballs

  • 1 lb (450g) ground beef or pork
  • 1 lightly beaten large egg
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • ½ minced small onion
  • 2 tablespoons marinara or tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon each chopped fresh rosemary, chopped fresh parsley and chopped fresh basil
  • ½ cup (65g) regular or Italian breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup (25g) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all the meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix.
  4. Take care not to over-mix unless you like tough meatballs.
  5. Divide the mixture in half then repeat until you have 16 equal-sized meatballs.
  6. It is best to do this with wet hands so you can shape them better without having them cracking.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  8. While they are baking, cook the spaghetti following the instructions on the package.
  9. Drain off the water then toss the hot cooked spaghetti with the pesto sauce.
  10. You might want to add a little more pesto sauce – just use your judgement.
  11. Divide the pesto spaghetti between 4 warmed serving plates.
  12. Add 4 meatballs to each one and garnish with fresh basil.
  13. Serve right away.


  • Feel free to make any changes you like to the meatballs recipe, perhaps swapping the herbs for others or even adding some red pepper for spice.
  • Some people like to toss the meatballs with the spaghetti while others serve the meatballs on top – this is up to you of course.
  • Serve some shredded parmesan cheese on the side if you like – fresh parmesan of course, to keep it authentic and delicious!

Keywords: pesto spaghetti, pesto spaghetti with meatballs, meatballs for pesto spaghetti