Home Copycat Recipes Rachael Ray Meatballs (Copycat Recipe)

Rachael Ray Meatballs (Copycat Recipe)

When you’re craving something meaty, rich, and hearty, make these Rachael Ray meatballs.

It’s comfort food at its best, and they’re a breeze to recreate!

Rachael Ray's meatballs over spaghetti with fresh parmesan and parsley
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With her Italian and Sicilian roots, it’s no wonder Rachael Ray’s meatballs are some of the best around.

Juicy, tender, and incredibly delicious, they’re a flavorful blend of ground beef, veal, and pork served with a mouthwatering tomato sauce.

Homemade, of course.

They’re also loaded with a fantastic array of herbs, fresh Parmesan, and breadcrumbs. Oh, and they’re best over al dente spaghetti!

Hungry yet? Me too! So let’s make these Rachael Ray meatballs with spaghetti, shall we?

Rachael Ray’s Meatballs and Spaghetti (Easy Recipe)

Warm, tender, and oh-so-meaty, you just can’t beat a bowl of meatballs and pasta.

And this recipe from Rachael Ray is one of my all-time faves!

You’ll use three kinds of meat and simmer everything in a tangy and sweet homemade tomato sauce.

Throw in some freshly grated Parmesan and plenty of chewy noodles, and this dinner is sure to be a hit.

Rachael Ray's meatballs over spaghetti with fresh parmesan and parsley


For the Meatballs:

  • Olive Oil: Try to find pure extra virgin olive oil. But don’t worry if all you have is regular vegetable oil.
  • Garlic: Four cloves of finely chopped garlic – fresh is best. 
  • Eggs: Use two large eggs to bind the meat. 
  • Ground Chuck: Ground chuck has a higher fat ratio than regular ground beef, making the meatballs juicer. 
  • Ground Veal: Veal is more tender than beef and brings a much richer flavor. Ground beef works well too. 
  • Ground Pork Butt: Also known as pork shoulder, this adds a nice salty note. Ground pork will work too. 
  • Parmesan: Always use fresh Parmesan cheese you grate yourself. There’s just no substitute. 
  • Breadcrumbs: Make breadcrumbs from stale white bread. Or use ready-made breadcrumbs (not Panko) for faster prep.
  • Parsley: Flat leaf parsley, finely chopped. Not dried.
  • Seasonings: Salt and ground black pepper.

For the Sauce: 

  • Olive Oil: Pure extra virgin olive oil.
  • Spanish Onions: These are a little sweeter and pair really well with the tangy tomato sauce. But red or white onions will work as well. 
  • Garlic: Ideally, you want garlic paste, which you can buy in tubes. Or mince the garlic, then sprinkle with salt and scrape with the flat of a knife on an angle.
  • Tomato Paste: It helps deepen the tomato flavor. You’ll find it in tubes or small cans.
  • Plum Tomatoes: Mash the plum tomatoes with a whisk or fork to make the sauce chunky or smooth. It’s up to you how much to mash.
  • Cubano Peppers: Also known as Cubanelle peppers, they have a mild flavor with just a hint of heat. Use Anaheim chiles if you can’t find Cubanos.

For the Rest:

  • Spaghetti: One pound of spaghetti should be more than enough. Follow the package instructions to cook until al dente. Feel free to use penne or another type of pasta if that’s all you have. 
  • Parmigiano Reggiano: Again, use fresh!
  • Herbs & Spices: You’ll need red chili flakes, a few sprigs of fresh leaf parsley, and basil leaves (freshly chopped).
  • Seasonings: Salt and ground black pepper to taste.
Rachael Ray Meatballs in a Skillet

Storing and Freezing Rachael Ray’s Meatballs

Store cooked meatballs in the tomato sauce for up to five days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Reheat them gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Whether they’re cooked or uncooked, the meatballs can also be frozen.

If uncooked: Freeze the shaped meatballs on a parchment-lined tray until solid. Transfer them to a freezer container and store them for up to three months.

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Thaw overnight in the fridge before cooking.

If cooked: Allow the meatballs to cool completely. Then transfer them to a freezer container and freeze for up to three months.

The meatballs can either be frozen on their own or with tomato sauce.

Thaw them overnight in the fridge before reheating.

Note: don’t freeze the meatballs with leftover spaghetti. It’s best to make some fresh when you need it.

More Food Network Recipes You’ll Love

Alton Brown Meatloaf
Paula Deen Crab Cakes
Patti LaBelle’s Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Trisha Yearwood Sloppy Joes

Rachael Ray Meatballs (Copycat Recipe)



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When you’re craving something meaty, rich, and hearty, make these Rachael Ray meatballs. It’s comfort food at its best, and they’re a breeze to recreate!


  • For the Meatballs
  • pure olive oil, divided into 1 cup and two tablespoons

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • 1/2 pound ground chuck

  • 1/2 pound ground veal

  • 1/2 pound ground pork butt

  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, freshly grated

  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • For the Tomato Sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 medium Spanish onions, finely chopped

  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, crushed into a paste

  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste

  • 4 (28-ounce) cans plum tomatoes and their juice, mashed up with a whisk

  • 2 small Cubano peppers, cut a few times on the surface

  • 16 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • For the Spaghetti
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked to al dente

  • 3 tablespoons basil leaves, freshly chopped

  • fresh Parmigiano Reggiano

  • fresh parsley sprigs, for garnish


  • For the Meatballs:
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until soft.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and parsley. Add the browned garlic, ground meats, and cheese. Gently mix everything together until combined.
  • Add the breadcrumbs to the mixture, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture holds together. Season with salt and pepper, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat 1 cup of olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Form the meat into 44-centimeterballs, and add them to the pan. Fry the meatballs until they’re golden brown on all sides.
  • Carefully remove the balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
  • For the Tomato Sauce:
  • Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and chili flakes and cook until the onion is soft. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the mashed plum tomatoes and leave to simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add the Cubano peppers and parsley sprigs, season to taste with salt and pepper, and bring the sauce to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the meatballs to the sauce, and reduce the heat to medium. Continue cooking until the meatballs have cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes.
  • To Assemble the Dish:
  • Add the cooked spaghetti to a large pan. Add some of the sauce and toss to coat. Stir in the chopped basil.
  • Spoon the meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti. Grate Parmesan over the top and garnish with fresh parsley sprigs. Enjoy!
Rachael Ray Meatballs

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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