Spicy Meatballs with Marinara

spicy meatballs with marinara over pasta

5 from 1 reviews

Spicy Meatballs with Marinara bring the classic Italian meatball flavor with added spice from red pepper flakes. After browning on the stove, make the simple yet flavorful marinara with canned crushed tomatoes. The spicy meatballs then simmer low and slow in the sauce so they get super tender.



  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
  • 1.5 teaspoons red pepper flakes, adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch of kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, for browning

Marinara Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1.5 - 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and pepper

Optional For Serving 

  • Sliced fresh basil
  • Fresh grated parmesan
  • Cooked pasta


  1. Meatball Mixture - In a mixing bowl, combine the meatball ingredients (NOT the olive oil) and gently mix to combine (I use my hands).
  2. Form Meatballs - Form the mixture into 14-16 large meatballs. I used a 1/3 cup cookie scoop to form them in equal sizes. Roll the formed meatballs in the flour to coat on all sides.
  3. Brown Meatballs - Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Working in batches, brown the meatballs on all sides (they will not be fully cooked at this point). Set the browned meatballs aside on a plate and remove the skillet from the heat.
  4. Make Marinara - To the same pan, lower the heat and add the minced garlic and spices. Cook for just a minute then add the crushed tomatoes (be careful for splattering) along with a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Stir to combine (scraping any bits off the bottom) and bring the marinara to a simmer.
  5. Simmer Meatballs - Once the sauce is simmering, add the meatballs back to the sauce and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes to an hour. The internal temperature of the meatballs should read 165 degrees F.
  6. Serve - Sprinkle with fresh sliced basil, extra Parmesan Cheese, and serve.


Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. I prefer to reheat leftovers in a 350 degrees F oven until warmed.


Keywords: Spicy Meatballs, Spicy Meatballs with Marinara, Beef and Pork Italian Meatballs