Skillet Spaghetti and Meatballs

Skillet spaghetti recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 31 mins
Total: 36 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
996 Calories
58g Fat
71g Carbs
49g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 996
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 58g 74%
Saturated Fat 21g 106%
Cholesterol 166mg 55%
Sodium 2770mg 120%
Total Carbohydrate 71g 26%
Dietary Fiber 10g 36%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 49g
Vitamin C 5mg 23%
Calcium 553mg 43%
Iron 7mg 38%
Potassium 1509mg 32%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.


Click Play to See This Easy Skillet Spaghetti Come Together

"This is a great way to make a spaghetti dinner in one large pan. I had to add about 2/3 cup of water to keep the spaghetti covered, but the flavor was still excellent. Check and stir every 5 minutes or so. It's the perfect dish for a busy day." —Diana Rattray

Skillet Spaghetti and Meatballs Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 (28-ounce) jar pasta sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 24 frozen precooked meatballs

  • 1 (16-ounce) box spaghetti, broken in half

  • 1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Shredded basil leaves, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for skillet spaghetti
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. In a 12-inch deep skillet, Dutch oven, or sauté pan, combine spaghetti sauce and water, then stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. This should take about 6 minutes.

    Combine spaghetti sauce and water
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  3. Add frozen meatballs and spaghetti and stir well, making sure spaghetti is completely covered by 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.

    Add frozen meatballs and spaghetti to the sauce
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to a simmer.

    Spaghetti and meatballs cooking in a pot
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently until meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165 F and spaghetti is tender. As the pasta cooks, you will need to stir more often to make sure that spaghetti doesn't stick together, and sauce doesn't burn. You may add more water or tomato sauce if mixture appears to be too dry.

    Cook until meatballs reach right temperature
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. 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.

    Spaghetti with melted cheese
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack


  • 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.

Recipe Variation

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.