how to make homemade sauce for meatballs | Family Cuisine

If you're looking for an easy way to make homemade sauce that can be used in many different types of dishes, then look no further than the slow cooker. This method is simple and takes just a few minutes to prep before cooking your meat

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How to make homemade sauce for meatballs

Grandma’s Sunday Meatballs and Sauce is the ultimate Sunday night dinner. This recipe cooks for hours so your house smells amazing by dinner time!

We love making comfort food dinners like this meatball and sauce recipe! If you’re looking for more comfort food recipes like this try our Beefy French Onion Soup or our Beer Braised Lamb Shanks or this Turkey Tetrazzini!

Reading: how to make homemade sauce for meatballs


Meatballs And Gravy or Sauce?

Italian Sunday gravy, Sunday sauce, gravy…sauce. Whatever name you call it, this is the epitome of Sunday dinner in my family.

And nope, there aren’t any short cuts with this Italian meatball recipe.

This is an old school, authentic recipe for sauce and meatballs that cooks low and slow pretty much all afternoon just like my Grandma used to do.

When we talk about our Grandma, we really mean a collective group of them. It was my Grandma, my Aunt and three great Aunts that all lived together in an apartment building.

They lived on separate floors but they were always together, cooking and eating.

That’s pretty much what they did. Cook and eat.


Can you imagine that life? What’s for dinner tonight guys? Ok lets throw together some homemade chicken and pastina soup, some meatballs and sauce and oh hey – how about a pot roast on the side?

Those are my people. I was definitely born at the wrong time.

My dad used to take us downtown to visit them pretty often, I’d say at least once a week or every couple of weeks – a lot of times on Sundays.

They’d make Sunday dinner that started in the early afternoon and it kept going until way after dinner time.

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All of the above mentioned foods were on the dinner list too, so you’re talking at least three different MAIN courses, not to mention all the side dishes that were served too.


These days when we do a Sunday dinner, I usually keep it to one main course like this Grandma’s Sunday Meatballs and Sauce.

Because I have lost my ability to sit down and eat for an entire afternoon.

This recipe is enough on its own to feed an army of people so it’s perfect for a large family dinner or a party.

And I mean, this meatball recipe has a LOT of meat going on. You’ve got the meatballs, then you have the delicious pork neck bones that literally fall apart into the sauce and a few links of sausage.

How To Make The Best Meatballs

To get the best meatball for spaghetti and meatballs, you want a soft meatball but still firm enough to hold together. This takes just the right amount of meat to breadcrumb to egg ratio.

And these meatballs are it.


Once you get the meatball ingredients mixed together roll them into large balls and get them on a sheet pan to bake in the oven…

Just where they start out, then they finish cooking in the sauce.

Do You Cook These Meatballs Right In The Sauce?

For this meatball and sauce recipe they start in the oven, even though some authentic Italian meatball recipes will add the raw meatballs right into the sauce.

Totally not opposed to cooking them that way but if you want a pretty plate of spaghetti and meatballs without the meatballs all broken apart I like to start them in the oven.

Then the meatballs finish off cooking in the sauce to get them soft and full of flavor.

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It sounds like a lot of steps, because it is, but trust me in that you don’t want to leave anything out here. If you can’t find pork neck bones (they’re in the butcher department at my regular grocery store) you can use pork spare ribs instead.


How Do You Serve This Meatball and Sauce Recipe?

When we serve Grandma’s Sunday Meatballs and Sauce, I like to put everything in its own bowl. So the meatballs go in one bowl, the pork bones in another bowl and the sausage in another bowl.


Then we serve a huge bowl of spaghetti tossed with the sauce and a bowl of extra sauce on the side. With the addition of a couple bowls of sliced Italian bread – I’m telling you it barely fits on our dining room table!

I do like serving a giant Caesar Salad with this dinner to balance out the heaviness of the meal. Not that a caesar salad is light in any way but at least you’ve got some crunchy greens going on.

Finally, if there’s room you can fry up some homemade fried zeppoles for dessert. Even if you’re full, throw them on the table anyway.

Italian people will probably eat them no matter how full they are.

Try this meatball recipe for your next family dinner and maybe you’ll start a new tradition of your own!


Looking For More Meatball Recipes?

  • Cheeseburger Meatballs
  • Chicken and Broccoli Meatballs
  • Mustard Glazed Cocktail Meatballs
  • Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Meatballs


Homemade Meatballs and sauce recipe for spaghetti



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