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Old-Fashioned Spaghetti & Meatballs

WebMD Recipe from

Old-Fashioned Spaghetti & Meatballs

To stretch the ground beef, we use high-fiber bulgur and whole-wheat breadcrumbs in the meatballs, which are baked rather than fried.

This Recipe Is:
Prep: 40 minutes | Total Time: 1 1/4 hours
  • 1/3   cup
  • 1/2   cup
    hot water
  • 4   ounces
    lean ground beef
  • 4   ounces
    hot Italian sausage
  • 1  
    medium onion, very finely chopped
  • 2  
    large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 3   cloves
    garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1   teaspoon
    dried oregano
  • 1/2   teaspoon
  • 1/2   teaspoon
    freshly ground pepper
  • 1   cup
    fresh breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Tip)
  • 4   cups
    prepared marinara sauce
  • 1/2   cup
    slivered fresh basil leaves, or chopped fresh parsley
  • 1   pound
    whole-wheat spaghetti, or linguine
  • 1/2   cup
    freshly grated Parmesan, or Romano cheese (1 ounce)
  1. To prepare meatballs: Combine bulgur and water in a small bowl. Let stand until the bulgur is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a rack with cooking spray and place it over a baking sheet lined with foil.
  3. Combine ground beef, sausage, onion, egg whites, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and the soaked bulgur in a large bowl; mix well. Form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs (about 24). Place the meatballs on the rack and bake for 25 minutes. Blot well with paper towel.
  4. To prepare sauce & spaghetti: Put a large pot of lightly salted water on to boil. Bring sauce to a simmer in a Dutch oven. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Stir in basil (or parsley).
  5. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti (or linguine) until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl. Top with the sauce and meatballs and serve with grated cheese.


Tip: To make fresh breadcrumbs: Trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice makes about 1/3 cup.
Nutritional Information

Makes: 6 servings
  • Calories492
  • Fat8 g
    • Saturated fat3 g
  • Cholesterol28 mg
  • Carbohydrates85 g
    • Dietary fiber18 g
  • Protein27 g
  • Sodium568 mg
* Nutritional Guidelines based on the USDA's MyPlate Standards.


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