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Dinner Recipes

Extra-Cheesy Spaghetti and Surprise Meatballs Recipe Delights for Only $1.81 a Serving

Pasta night gets a tasty upgrade!

When I was growing up, my mom always made her famous meat sauce for Monday night suppers. I can still remember the rich aroma wafting through the kitchen. I couldn’t wait to sit down to a big bowl of pasta topped with the homemade sauce. That’s what inspired this Spaghetti with Surprise Meatballs recipe … only we give it a mouthwatering upgrade. And at only $1.81 a serving, what’s not to love!

We start with equal portions of ground beef and pork, then add Parmesan and fennel. The flavorful combination ensures the meatballs turn out extra moist and delicious. Now for the surprise — we stuff ’em with mozzarella balls. How fun is that? Then they’re simmered in jarred sauce. And for a zingy pop, we stir in juicy cherry tomatoes. Cook along with our video and watch how easy it is to make the meatballs! Then leave us a comment below.


6 serving

Total Time

Prep Time

Cook Time


  • 2 eggs
  • 12 oz. ground beef
  • 12 oz. ground pork
  • 1/3 cup Italian-style dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds, finely crushed
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 18 pearl-size (perlini) fresh mozzarella balls, 2 oz.
  • 1½ cups tomato-basil pasta sauce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 12 oz. spaghetti
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves



Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. In bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add beef, pork, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, fennel seeds and pepper; mix until blended. Divide mixture into 18 portions; shape each into a ball. Using finger, press indentation into each meatball; fill each with 1 cheese ball. Press meat mixture around cheese balls to enclose completely.

Coat 12" nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. In 2 batches, add and cook meatballs, turning, until browned, 7–8 min. Drain off pan drippings. Return all meatballs to skillet. Add sauce to skillet; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; cook until meatballs are no longer pink near centers, 15 min., adding tomatoes during last 10 min. of cooking time.

Meanwhile, add spaghetti to boiling water; cook according to package directions for al dente; drain. Transfer to serving bowl; top with meatball mixture. Sprinkle with basil.


  • Calories: 572
  • Fat: 21 gram
  • Saturated Fat: 8 gram
  • Protein: 36 gram
  • Carbohydrate: 57 gram
  • Fiber: 4 gram
  • Cholesterol: 142 mg
  • Sugar: 4 gram
  • Sodium: 647 mg
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