overhead view of spaghettis and mini meatballs with garnish in a small white bowl on a counter top next two to other serving bowls, a linen and garnish

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Why I love this homemade spaghettiOs recipe with mini meatballs

I’ll be the first to say that I wasn’t a fan of SpaghettiOs when I was growing up. We were team Chef Boyardee in our house – should I be embarrassed to admit this now that I’m a food blogger? – and I was so obsessed that my mom was forced to deal with packing me a thermos for lunch because I refused to eat sandwiches.

But, I know that spaghettiOs have a huge place in many of your hearts, so I thought I’d make some from scratch – without milk – so that you can enjoy a it of nostalgia, or offer a bit of normalcy to a lifetime of dealing with food allergies.

So, these homemade spaghettiOs completely dairy free and I made them egg free too. You could potentially make them gluten free, too, if you use a pasta like this one and replace the breadcrumbs.

close up view of spaghettios and mini meatballs with garnish

Here’s what you’ll need to make it



Along with basic pantry ingredients – check out my basic grocery list to make sure you’re all stocked up – you’ll need a few main ingredients to make this recipe.

  • Ground beef – at least 85% lean, you could also substitute ground turkey if you prefer.
  • Pasta rings – we used these, but you can really use any small pasta you want. I think alphabet pasta would be great, too.
  • Almond milk – any dairy free milk will work, but make sure it’s unsweetened.
  • Nutritional yeast – this is our cheese replacement and you can usually find it in the organic/natural section of your grocery store.
  • Tomato sauce – the basic canned stuff, not store bought marinara or pasta sauce.
overhead view of a small white bowl filled with spaghettis and mini meatballs next to a garnish on a countertop

How to make homemade spaghettios

Make the meatballs. Mix the meatball ingredients in a mixing bowl until they’re well combined. Portion them into miniature meatballs and bake them in 400˚F oven for about 10 minutes.

I like to use a small measuring spoon to portion my meatballs, because I find that my small cookie scoop is too big. You want them to be about 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons in size.

Cook the pasta. While the meatballs are cooking, boil the pasta in a large saucepan with salted water. Just follow the package directions for al dente, and drain when they’re done.

overhead view of spaghettios and meatballs in a large mixing pot with a wooden spoon

Make the sauce. While the pasta cooks, measure out the ingredients for the sauce. I like to combine them all in a small bowl so that I can just add them to the tomato sauce when it’s time.

Combine everything. Once the pasta is drained, let it sit in the colander, and add the sauce ingredients to the saucepan. Cook the sauce, stirring to combine the ingredients, until the sauce is hot.

This should only take a minute or two, but turn up the heat if you need to. Add the pasta and meatballs back to the pot and cook until heated through.

overhead close up of spaghettis and mini meatballs in a large pot with a wooden spoon

More meatball recipes you’ll love:

More pasta recipes you’ll love:

overhead view of three small white bowls of spaghettios and mini meatballs on a countertop

Homemade Spaghettios

This homemade spaghettiOs recipe with mini meatballs is sure to bring back all the memories from your childhood, and they’re so easy to make from scratch without milk or egg. The classic flavor of the tomato sauce provides the perfect amount of sweetness and comfort. Your kids will love them, and they’re sure to become a family favorite in no time.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Stovetop/Baking
  • Cuisine: American



For the meatballs:

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

For the sauce:

  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons almond or milk
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar, optional
  • Salt & pepper to taste

For the pasta:

  • 8 ounces, 2 cups pasta rings


To make the meatballs:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (optional).
  2. Combine the meatballs ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until evenly combined. Portion meatballs into teaspoon-sized balls and place on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the meatballs reach 165˚F. Remove from oven and set aside.

For the pasta and sauce:

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente, in a large saucepan of salted water.
  2. Drain pasta and let rest in colander or strainer.
  3. In the same saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients. Cook over high heat, until heated through.
  4. Return the pasta to the pot and add the meatballs. Stir to coat the pasta and meatballs with sauce.

Keywords: dairy free, egg free, pasta, meatballs, beef, kid friendly

hand reaching for a bowl of pasta with mini meatballs

Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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