Spaghetti and Meatballs
with lemony broccoli
Spaghetti and meatballs are a classic, but this version gets a Cook Smarts twist. To keep things simple (and allow you to double up on the meatballs for later in the week), these meatballs are baked instead of seared in batches in a skillet. Combine them with marinara sauce at the end so they still have a chance to soak up some of the saucy flavors.
Smarts: Because meatballs take some time to make, we opted for store-bought marinara sauce for this weeknight meal. Use your favorite homemade marinara if you prefer.
- Spaghetti - 10 oz (sub any type of pasta)
- Onions, medium - 1/4 , diced
- Eggs - 1
- Panko breadcrumbs - 1/4 cup
- Oregano, dried - 1 tsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Beef, ground - 1 lb
- Parchment paper - for baking
- Parsley (opt) - 1 Tbsp , chopped
- Marinara sauce, store-bought (24 oz / 680 g) - 1 jar
- Classic meatballs - ~20 (ingredients listed separately)
- Cheese, parmesan (opt) - for serving , grated
- Broccoli - 1 lb , florets
- Garlic - 2 cloves , thinly sliced
- Oil, olive - 2 Tbsp
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Onions / Broccoli / Garlic - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make meatballs - (Double if making Thursday’s meal; you can place the formed meatballs directly onto the parchment-lined sheet pan you’ll use for baking if you’d like.) Whisk together eggs. Add onions, panko, oregano, salt, and pepper and stir until combined. Add in ground beef and gently mix with a spoon or your hands. (To keep the meatballs tender, try not to overwork the mixture.) Form into 1” / 2.5 cm balls. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Parsley - Chop parsley.
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Heat oven to 400F / 204C. Set out two sheet pans.
On the first sheet pan, toss broccoli and garlic with olive oil.
Roast broccoli until very tender and golden brown, ~25 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through cooking.
Bring a large pot of salted water (for the pasta) to a boil.
When broccoli is about halfway done cooking, line the second sheet pan with parchment paper and spread meatballs out on top (if doubling, bake Thursday’s meatballs at the same time).
Transfer meatballs to oven and bake until golden brown on top and cooked through, 13 to 16 minutes.
Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions.
Warm marinara sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave.
When meatballs are done, reserve half if doubled. Stir tonight’s portion of meatballs into the warm marinara sauce and set aside, covered to keep warm.
Squeeze lemon juice over broccoli.
Drain pasta and transfer it to a serving bowl or plate. Spoon meatballs and sauce over top. Finish with parsley and parmesan cheese (if using).
Serve pasta with broccoli on the side. Enjoy!
If you want to get a head start on Thursday’s sandwiches, go ahead and slice the remaining meatballs in half.