This copycat Olive Garden spaghetti and meatballs recipe has everything we love about the original, but it's even better. It's rich, meaty, and absolutely delicious.
I have loved the Olive Garden forever. Known for their exceptional, all-you-can-eat baked bread sticks, garden salad, and homemade soups. They also serve some famous sauces.
I absolutely love Olive Garden Spaghetti and Meatballs with either marinara or meat sauce. Love it so much that I had to create my own version of their fantastic pasta dish.
Olive Garden Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe
This was inspired by my Olive Garden Herb Grilled Salmon and Olive Garden Stuffed Shells recipes that I adore on this site, and pairs well with this amazing homemade garlic bread recipe or this recipe if you prefer store-bought garlic bread.
It only takes a few simple ingredients to make the meatball and the sauce for this recipe. You'll find everything easily at your local grocery store.
For the Pasta and Spaghetti Sauce
- Olive oil
- Minced garlic
- Tomato paste
- Red wine
- Tomato sauce
- Crushed tomatoes
For the Meatballs
- Ground beef
- Ground sausage
- Grated parmesan
- Minced garlic
- Italian bread crumbs
- Fennel seeds
- Black pepper
- Italian seasoning
- Red pepper flakes
- Chopped fresh parsley
For the Garnish
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Shredded or grated parmesan cheese
See the recipe card below for exact quantities.
This recipe is so easy to make even beginners can make it and in 30 minutes.
Step 1: Make the Olive Garden Meatballs
Combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Then, scoop the meatball mixture into ¼-cup sections and roll each one into a tight ball.
Step 2: Cook the Meatballs
Sear the meatballs in a skillet on medium-high heat for 3 minutes, turning them as they sear to get good color on all sides. Then place the skillet in the oven on the center rack and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
Step 3: Make the Sauce
While the meatballs are baking, place a saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil and cook the minced garlic for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Then, add the tomato paste, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and allow it to reduce for a couple of minutes. Finally, add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce, cover, and reduce the heat to low.
Step 4: Cook the Pasta
Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions for al dente, then drain.
Step 5: Put it Together
Remove the meatballs from the oven and drain them. Then, add 2 to 3 ladles of sauce to the pan and stir to coat the meatballs. Then, add the spaghetti to the remaining sauce and stir to coat.
Plate the spaghetti, top it with meatballs, garnish with chopped parsley and shredded parmesan, and enjoy!
Hint: Be sure to use medium-high heat and turn the meatballs as you sear them. This gets you that beautiful color on the outside.
Don't have the correct ingredients on hand or want to change something up? Here are some helpful tips for you to change this Olive Garden spaghetti and meatballs recipe.
- Switch the Meat - Instead of ground beef and ground sausage use a different combination including ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground pork
- Semi-Homemade - If you don't have the ingredients or the time to make the sauce, simply use your favorite jarred sauce. It won't taste like Olive Garden, but it'll still be delicious.
- Vegetarian - Replace with a plant-based burger or meat to make meatballs and/or meat sauce vegetarian.
Want to personalize this Olive Garden spaghetti and meatballs recipe? Here are some of my tried and true tips for changing up this recipe.
- Add Vegetables - Add diced onions and your favorite mushrooms.
- Add Heat - Add chili pepper flakes while cooking to imbue heat into the dish, some hot sauce or sriracha, or jalapeno, serrano or banana peppers
- Switch Your Pasta - Use any pasta you like. You can even use macaroni.
If you love recipes like this, you may also enjoy this spaghetti alla bolognese.
It only takes simple kitchen equipment to make this recipe.
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Cutting board
- Wooden spoon
You can store leftovers for up to 4 days in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.
There are several ingredients to this recipe, but there's not a lot involved in cooking it. I only have a couple of tips to help you make it the best it can be.
- Rotate the meatballs evenly but not often when searing them. You want to get a nice, dark color on a side before rolling it to another side.
- Be sure to coat the meatballs in sauce before plating them for a better look and more flavor.
- Always drain the meatballs so you don't end up with greasy sauce coating the meatballs.
Do you have questions about Olive Garden spaghetti and meatballs? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about this Olive Garden spaghetti and meatballs recipe
It absolutely does!
You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Spaghetti and meatballs is served with your choice of marinara sauce for 950 calories or meat sauce for1,120 calories according to the Olive Garden.
Olive Garden Spaghetti and Meatballs Video
More Spaghetti Recipes
Do you like spaghetti noodles? Here some recipes you may also like to try!
Olive Garden Spaghetti and Meatballs
Ready to get cooking? Remember that you can print this recipe if you would like.
Spaghetti and Meatballs - Olive Garden Copycat
- 1 lb Spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon red wine
- 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
- 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoon grated parmesan
- 2 teaspoon garlic minced
- ¾ cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- Fresh Parsley chopped
- Parmesan shredded
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Get out and measure your ingredients.
- Add ground beef, sausage and eggs to large mixing bowl.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for the meatballs. Mix well until thoroughly combined.
- Add garlic, fennel, parmesan, pepper, Italian seasoning, salt, red pepper flakes and fresh parsley.
- Add bread crumbs.
- Using your hands mix until combined.
- Preheat a skillet over medium high heat. Bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil.
- Scoop the meatball mixture into ¼ cup sections. Roll each ¼ cup section between your palms to form into a tight ball.
- Next, sear the meatballs on the hot skillet for 3 minutes, be sure to turn the meatballs as they sear.
- Place the skillet into the oven onto the center rack. Bake for 15 minutes.
- While the meatballs are baking, prepare the marinara sauce. Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Next, add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant (30 seconds). Add the tomato paste and stir. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Deglaze the pan with the red wine and allow the wine to start to reduce (about 2 minutes) Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir to combine. Cover and lower the heat to low.
- Cook the spaghetti noodles al dente according to package instructions (about 10 minutes) Drain.
- Remove the meatballs from the oven and drain any drippings from the pan.
- Add 2-3 ladles of sauce to the pan.
- Stir to coat the meatballs.
- Add spaghetti to remaining sauce and stir to coat.
- Plate spaghetti and top with meatballs. Garnish with fresh shredded or grated parmesan and chopped parsley.
- Enjoy every bite!
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