A pasta dinner is often a go-to when looking for a quick and easy meal, and this skillet spaghetti with meatballs recipe is very efficient—the pasta cooks right in the sauce, meaning you only need one pan and less to worry about.
This simple five-ingredient recipe calls for jarred sauce and precooked meatballs, making it a snap to put together. Because the pasta cooks directly in the sauce instead of water, it has a wonderful flavor since it soaks up all the herbs and spices. Serve this dish with some toasted garlic bread and a green salad for a complete, delicious meal.
- 1 (28-ounce) jar pasta sauce
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 24 frozen precooked meatballs
- 1 (16-ounce) package spaghetti pasta, broken in half
- 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Optional: shredded basil leaves
Gather the ingredients.
In a 12-inch skillet, combine the spaghetti sauce and water, then stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. This should take about 6 minutes.
Add the frozen meatballs and the spaghetti and stir well, making sure the spaghetti is completely covered by the sauce. If necessary, you can add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water to make sure that all of the pasta is covered.
Bring to a boil, cover the skillet, and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165 F and the spaghetti is tender. As the pasta cooks, you will need to stir more often to make sure that the spaghetti doesn't stick together, and the sauce doesn't burn. You may add more water or tomato sauce if the mixture appears to be too dry.
Top with both kinds of cheese and let sit for a minute or two to allow it to melt. If desired, top with shredded basil leaves. Serve immediately.
- As the pasta begins to soften, be sure to stir frequently, separating the strands carefully with your spoon. The pasta tends to stick together as it cooks in the sauce.
- The pasta will soak up a lot of the sauce's moisture as it cooks, so it's important to check to see if more water needs to be added.
- The cheese should melt from the pasta's residual heat, but if you want it a bit gooier, add the cheese, cover the pot, and let sit for a minute or two before serving.
You can begin this recipe by cooking a chopped onion and some garlic in a bit of olive oil before adding the pasta sauce and water. Feel free to include other vegetables as well, such as shredded carrots or chopped zucchini, to get some more nutrition into the dish.