Do you ever have those days when you want to serve dinner for a crowd but don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen? One of my favorite recipes for a crowd is spaghetti and meatballs. It’s delicious, filling, and, best of all, quite easy!
This spaghetti w/meatballs recipe will easily feed a dozen hungry people and is very easy to scale up if your group is bigger, so you can make bulk spaghetti and meatballs.
How Much Spaghetti Per Person
How To Calculate The Quantity Of Spaghetti to Serve
Origins of the Recipe
Most Americans envision a large plate of fresh spaghetti plus meatballs when they think of Italian cuisine. However, meatballs are not always on the menu in Italy! This recipe is more of a traditional Italian-American classic.
Scaleable Recipe for Spaghetti and Meatballs for Feeding A Crowd
This Soft-Meatball Recipe is quick to make with simple and cheap ingredients and will surely please your entire family gathering.
What Equipment Do I Need To Make Spaghetti and Meatballs?
To make spaghetti and meatballs for a crowd, you’ll need a large pot, a colander, serving spoons, and an oven-safe baking dish.
Spaghetti Meatballs Recipe for A Crowd
- 1 Large Pot
- 1 wooden spoon Long Handle
- 1 tongs Long Handle
- 1 Dutch Oven Optional
- 2 eggs
- 4 lbs beef mince
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp italian herbs
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp New York Black Pepper
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
Tomato-Based Spaghetti Sauce
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 cup onions - finely chopped
- ¼ cup garlic - finely chopped
- 112 oz diced tomatoes (4 x 28 oz cans)
- 12 oz tomato paste
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp italian herbs
- 1 lb spaghetti
- Combine the ground beef with bread crumbs, parmesan, and Italian herbs, and mix.Also, add in the salt, pepper, herbs, garlic and egg.
- Massage these together with your hands (use gloves if you like) until all are mixed well.
- Shape into 12 balls after thoroughly mixing. Keep in the refrigerator, covered, until required.
- Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil in a large pan (or dutch oven) over medium heat until onion is transparent.
- Combine the tomatoes and with the salt, pepper, and herbs in a large pot or dutch oven.
- Cook for 90 minutes, covered, on low heat with the meat balls.
- Cook for 30 minutes further after adding tomato paste, and check if you need any additional seasoning.
- Cook Spaghetti and Drain
- Bring AllaTogether and Serve in a Large Pot or Plate It Up, Do not for get to garnish it with so flat leaf parsley or even cilantro.
Can The Meatballs Be Made in Advance For A Party
If you’re wondering if it’s possible to prepare the meatballs for a spaghetti meatballs recipe in advance, the answer is absolutely yes!
It’s actually a great idea and can help you save time when it comes to party day.
The key is to make sure you brown the meatballs before freezing them to add a little extra flavor.
Once that’s done, you can add a few of them into zip-top freezer bags and store those away in your freezer till it’s party day. Now, prepping up this delicious meal will only take minutes!
Can The Spaghetti Sauce Be Made in Advance For A Party
Absolutely! To keep your spaghetti and meatballs recipe party-ready, you can make the sauce in advance.
This way, when it comes time to cook, all you have to do is combine the already-cooked sauce with the cooked spaghetti and meatballs.
Making the sauce ahead of time means more time for being with your friends and family at the party. It also guarantees that your sauce will be perfectly seasoned—no one likes bland or overly salty sauce! Take the same care with salt for tomato spaghetti sauce for 50 people
Plus, making the sauce in advance allows time for flavors to marry and for spiciness levels to mellow out if needed.
The Simplest Way to Make Big Batches of Spaghetti and Meatballs
For a delicious classic dish, prepare large batches of pasta with your favorite sauce. Use store-bought premade frozen meatballs or easily make your own batch by rolling several pounds of ground beef and pork into balls.
See Our Article on How To Cook Spaghetti for a large group Specifically
To save time and energy, cook or baste the pre-made meatballs in the sauce instead of slowly sautéing each one individually in a pan. Throw in a garlic stick, some salt and pepper, chopped parsley, and some red pepper flakes for extra flavor.
If you are making them from scratch to a homemade recipe, here are my tips to help make large quantities easier.
Start with the meatballs: In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix well and shape the mix into small balls.
Bake the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the meatballs on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are cooked through and golden brown.
Cook the spaghetti: While the meatballs are in the oven baking, start to cook the fresh spaghetti. Drain and set aside. – I always will cook a little extra – see here.
Make the sauce: In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and minced garlic, and cook until soft and translucent. Stir in crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and bring the sauce to a simmer.
Combine everything: Add the meatballs to the sauce and stir gently to coat them. Serve the spaghetti topped with the meatballs and sauce.
Optional: If you have a really large crowd, consider using a slow cooker to keep the meatballs and sauce warm for serving.
Remember, you can adjust the recipe based on the number of servings you need, but this basic method should work for making big batches of spaghetti and meatballs
What Types of Cheese to Add for Deliciousness
Cheese is an important ingredient in making any dish extra delicious. To get the most flavor out of your spaghetti meatballs recipe for a crowd, consider adding different types of cheese to the mix.
Grated hard cheeses add flavor, richness, and texture to the dish. Parmesan or Pecorino Romano are classics for a good reason. Additionally, you can use Asiago, Gouda, and Gruyere for a deeper flavor.
Time-Saving Tricks for Making Batch Cooking Easier
When you’re cooking for a large crowd, it’s important to have time-saving tricks. For example, when making spaghetti and meatballs, use the same ingredients but double or triple the portions.
Batch cooking can be a breeze if you use freezer bags! Prepare the meatballs in advance and store them in pre-portioned freezer bags. That way all you’ll need to do is pop them into the oven for a quick reheat.
Buy canned tomatoes for your sauce rather than chopping fresh tomatoes as it saves you time and energy (and mess!) With your batch cooking done ahead of time, just boil up some noodles and warm up some sauce right before serving!
It’s also smart to involve other people. Whether that’s asking family members or friends to help prepare ingredients or enlisting kids to set the table – any extra help is greatly appreciated when it comes to making spaghetti and meatballs for a crowd!
Presentation Ideas to Spice Up Your Dish
When it comes to presenting your spaghetti with meatballs, don’t just plop it on the table. Instead, get creative and make it fun!
You can present this dish in many different ways to peak the interest of your guests. One idea is to create a buffet bar which you could use mini-skillets and display them at different heights.
For a more theatrical presentation, use tagine dishes or crocks that keep all of the food steaming hot, ready for everyone to go back for seconds.