Spaghetti and Meatballs | Slimming Eats (2024)


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Tender homemade beef meatballs in a rich tomato sauce, served with spaghetti, make for the perfect family meal.

Spaghetti and Meatballs | Slimming Eats (1)

There's nothing more comforting than a delicious bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, and this recipe is a true winner in every department. It's a delicious homemade, lower-calorie version that's guaranteed to leave clear plates all around.

Spaghetti Bolognese was one of the first dishes I made for myself, starting with those convenient sachet mixes. We all start somewhere, and I'm no master chef—I just love cooking up good, home-style meals for the family. So, if you're in search of Michelin-starred quality, you might want to look elsewhere. But, I can assure you, my homemade spaghetti and meatballs are pure comfort in every bite. There's just something about a bowl of pasta that hits the spot, isn't there?

Jump to:
  • Calories in Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • Ingredients Needed
  • Vegetables for Pasta Sauce
  • Tips for Perfectly Rich Pasta Sauce
  • How to Serve Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • More Low Calorie Pasta Recipes
  • FAQ For Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • Recipe Card

Calories in Spaghetti and Meatballs

This Spaghetti and Meatballs recipes serves 4 and is 517 calories per serving.

If you're looking for more recipes within the same calorie range, you'll find an abundance of options in my dedicated collection of500+ calorie recipes.

If you're following a calorie-controlled diet or a healthy eating plan, it's important to calculate your daily calorie intake using a reliable calorie calculator. Please note that the calorie counts provided are estimates and can vary based on specific ingredients and serving sizes. Personalizing your calculations is essential to meet your individual needs. By using a calorie calculator, you can make informed choices and stay on track with your dietary goals.

Ingredients Needed

To make this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

  • Beef Mince (Ground Beef): use extra lean (5% fat) to keep the calories low
    Parsley: fresh parsley adds a delightful and healthy touch of green to the meatballs
    Seasoning: garlic and onion powder (or granules) ensure you don't use garlic or onion salt by mistake.
    Breadcrumbs: fine golden breadcrumbs, these help keep the meatballs lovely and tender
  • Egg: fresh large egg
  • Spaghetti: You have the option of using traditional white pasta, wholegrain pasta, or a gluten-free alternative.
  • Vegetables: onion, carrot and courgette (Zucchini) are all use to great depth and texture to the sauce.
  • Garlic: For convenience, I opt for jarred minced garlic. If you prefer fresh garlic, note that 1 teaspoon of jarred minced garlic is equivalent to 1 clove of fresh garlic.
  • Herbes de Provence: Herbes de Provence is my preferred herb blend for any pasta sauce. It consists of a delightful mixture of thyme, basil, rosemary, tarragon, savory, marjoram, oregano, and bay leaf. If you don't have this blend on hand, using mixed or Italian herbs in the same quantity will work just as well.
  • Tomatoes: a mixture of passata (sieved tomatoes) and some tomato paste (puree) which is concentrated are used in this recipe and combined helps create a delicious rich tomato pasta sauce.
  • Stock:Either beef or chicken is fine to use in the sauce. It's essential to use the correct ratio of stock cubes to water, as not all stock cubes are identical. Using too few can lead to a bland, watery broth, while too many may create a stock that's overly salty.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: use a good quality aged vinegar for the best taste.
  • Sugar: A little sugar balances the acidity of the tomatoes creating a perfect sauce. If you like you cna use your preferred sweetener. However only a small amount is used.
  • Salt and Pepper- These basic yet essential flavour enhancers are key for elevating the taste of your dishes. No food will ever be bland when these are used to season to taste.
  • Low Calorie Spray- Use your preferred choice of low calorie spray, I prefer olive oil or avocado sprays without any added emulsifiers.

Once you've gathered all the ingredients and prepared them accordingly, you're all set to create this easy and delightful recipe.

See the recipe card for specific quantities and instructions.

Spaghetti and Meatballs | Slimming Eats (2)

Vegetables for Pasta Sauce

Enhance your pasta sauce with a variety of veggies! For picky eaters, finely chop or grate the vegetables, or use a food processor for quick prep. Save time by preparing Handy Make-Ahead Freezer Vegetable Bags. perfect for preserving surplus veggies and adding convenience to slow cooker dishes like soups, casseroles, curries, and bolognese.

The choice of vegetables can greatly influence the flavour and texture of your pasta sauce. Classic options like onions, carrots, and celery provide sweetness, depth, and aromatic richness, while bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini add a delightful medley of flavours and textures. Don't forget nutritious additions like spinach and kale! Experiment with different combinations to create a delicious pasta sauce bursting with vibrant colors and flavours.

Spaghetti and Meatballs | Slimming Eats (3)

Tips for Perfectly Rich Pasta Sauce

For a truly delectable Spaghetti and Meatballs, patience is key when simmering the sauce to develop those amazing flavors. The addition of vegetables contributes to its richness, ensuring a sauce that's anything but watery and bland. Tomato paste also plays a crucial role in enhancing the sauce's richness, adding depth of flavour and texture. Adding a touch of sweetener, whether it's sugar, maple syrup, or honey, helps balance the acidity of the tomatoes, resulting in a more harmonious flavour profile.

To save time, consider making a large batch of sauce and meatballs, then freeze portions for busy days. Simply defrost, heat, and serve over pasta for a quick and satisfying meal.

Spaghetti and Meatballs | Slimming Eats (4)

How to Serve Spaghetti and Meatballs

When it comes to serving spaghetti and meatballs, there are two popular approaches. Some prefer to mix the spaghetti directly into the sauce and meatballs, ensuring every strand is coated in flavor. Others opt to serve the meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti, allowing diners to combine them on their plate. Both methods are perfectly acceptable and offer a delicious dining experience.

Once plated, consider garnishing with fresh Italian parsley or basil and a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for added flavour.

As for a side dish, a vibrant mixed salad with lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, carrot, onion, and peppers, dressed with a light vinaigrette, complements the meal beautifully, providing a refreshing contrast to the rich flavours of the pasta dish.

More Low Calorie Pasta Recipes

Love pasta? check out some of these delicious low calorie recipes:

  • One Pot Taco Beef Pasta
  • Easy Creamy Chicken Ranch Pasta
  • One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta
  • Mexican Pasta Bake
  • Pulled Pork Pasta Bake
  • Cheesy Beef Enchilada Stuffed Pasta Shells
  • Creamy Cajun Chicken Meatball Pasta

or if you would like more recipe ideas or sides to make with this recipe - head on over to theFULL RECIPE INDEXwhere you will find over 900 delicious recipes with caloriesand you can search by meal type, ingredients, course, diet and more.

All recipes on Slimming Eats have estimated nutritional information for your convenience.

Spaghetti and Meatballs | Slimming Eats (5)

Enjoy this Spaghetti and Meatballs for dinner tonight! The only decision left to make is how to tackle them. Are you a knife and fork type, or do you prefer the spoon and fork approach with spaghetti? Personally, I'm all for the latter.

FAQ For Spaghetti and Meatballs

Can I freeze the spaghetti and meatballs?

Yes, you can freeze the spaghetti and meatballs. To do so, allow the dish to cool completely, then transfer it to airtight containers or freezer bags. Be sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. When ready to enjoy, simply thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the microwave or on the stove. You may need to add in a little stock to loosen the sauce.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Absolutely! For a gluten-free version, opt for gluten-free pasta and ensure any other ingredients, such as stock or breadcrumbs, are also gluten-free. There are many varieties of gluten-free pasta available, including those made from rice, corn, quinoa, or chickpeas, which offer a tasty alternative to traditional wheat-based pasta.

Spaghetti and Meatballs | Slimming Eats (6)


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Recipe Card

Spaghetti and Meatballs | Slimming Eats (7)

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Yield: SERVES 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Tender homemade beef meatballs in a rich tomato sauce, served with spaghetti, make for the perfect family meal.


  • 260g (9.2oz) of uncooked spaghetti

For the sauce:

  • 480g (2 cups) of passata
  • 360ml (1 ½ cups) of beef stock
  • 2 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini (courgette), finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed herbs
  • 2 teaspoons of granulated sweetener
  • salt and black pepper
  • spray oil

For the meatballs:

  • 455g (1lb) of extra lean beef mince
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon of onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 30g (¼ cup) of golden fine or Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of 2% milk
  • 1 egg beaten, to bind
  • salt and black pepper


  1. Add all ingredients for the meatballs to a large bowl, mix to combine together and form into meatballs (I make 16)
  2. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, spray with low calorie spray and add the meatballs and fry until lightly browned all over, remove and set aside.
  3. Spray the pan with a little more low calorie spray and add the onion, garlic and carrot and fry until well softened.
  4. Add the zucchini,Herbes de Provence, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, sugar, stock and crushed passata and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat, cover and simmer sauce for 20 mins.
  6. Add meatballs and simmer covered for another 20 mins.
  7. While sauce is simmering, add the spaghetti to a saucepan of boiling hot salted water and cook until al dente. Drain, but reserve 80ml (⅓ cup) of pasta water.
  8. When the spaghetti is cooked, scoop out the meatballs and some of of the sauce to a bowl. Then add the spaghetti to the rest of the sauce and mix till pasta is coated.
  9. Add back in the meatballs with the reserved pasta water and stir to combine. Season with salt and black pepper as needed.
  10. Serve topped with a little chopped Italian parsley
  11. Optional: sprinkle with a little parmesan
  12. Enjoy!


Please see below for full nutritional info and additional details about recipe:

  • WW Personal Points: add ingredients to your WW diary for points value - as this may vary depending on your personal points zero foods)
  • Gluten Free Friendly:use gluten free stock and pasta
  • Dairy Free Friendly: without the optional parmesan
  • Freezer Friendly ❄️

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Nutritional information etc are an estimate and are to be used for informational purposes only. Ingredients can vary in values from brand to brand and therefore it would be impossible to give accurate information. It is always advised that you calculate values yourself by the ingredients you use and the tools provided to you as a member of the programme you are following.

It is the responsibility of the Reader to assure the products or ingredients they use in any recipes from Slimming Eats are allergen-free (gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free and/or dairy-free, for example). Slimming Eats assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatement about products, opinions or comments on this site.

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Nutrition Information

Yield 4Serving Size 1 SERVING
Amount Per ServingCalories 517Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 66mgSodium 724mgCarbohydrates 71gFiber 5gSugar 14gProtein 39g

Nutritional information and values etc are an estimate and is to be used for informational purposes only. Ingredients can vary greatly from brand to brand and therefore it would be impossible to give accurate information. It is always advised that you calculate by the ingredients you use.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Faye says

    Looks delicious!


  2. Tracey says

    Made this tonight .. tasted so good .. first day back on plan .. if I eat dishes like this all the time I will stick with it . Yum


  3. Collette says

    Can this recipe be cooked in the slow cooker? Thanks


    • Shevy (Slimming Eats) says

      I am sure it will work in a slow cooker, but wouldn’t be able to give timings without testing.


  4. Alex Benson-Wilson says

    Can you use fresh garlic and onions instead of powder?


    • Shevy (Slimming Eats) says

      yep you sure can 🙂


  5. Maria Quigley says

    Social distancing is giving me the time to try some new recipes, did this one today and everyone cleaned their plates, delicious!


  6. Angie says

    Hi! When using 5% fat meat the meatballs always seem to be quite hard and dry - is there anything I can be doing to try and make it more tender? Thank you! x


    • Siobhan (Slimming Eats) says

      add some grated zucchini (courgette) into the meatballs, it will keep them juicy and tender.


  7. Ange says

    This is up there with my is so good, the sauce is amazing and as suggested worth making extra and freezing. Well done just love it!!!!


  8. Lucy says

    Another delicious recipe that I have tried from your website! This was super easy and tasted delicious and really fresh! Thank-you!


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Spaghetti and Meatballs | Slimming Eats (2024)
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