This healthy spaghetti bolognese with meatballs recipe gives a nice straightforward method for making spaghetti and serving with tasty meatballs in a relatively hot (but easily adjustable) tomato-based sauce. If you are trying to save money and time as a new mum then this could be perfect.

Spaghetti and meatballs

Serving tips

Serving this healthy spaghetti bolognese with meatballs dish couldn’t be easier. Simply add a liberal helping of spaghetti to a plate and, depending on size, place a number of meatballs on top before smothering with sauce and serving.

You may choose to serve this dish along with some garlic bread (which would have to be added to the oven for about the last 12mins that the meatballs are in). Or alternatively, serve with any other type of crusty bread.

Feel free to include some parmesan cheese ground on top of the finished dish and, of course, allow diners to add additional salt and pepper to meet their taste bud requirements.

Another helpful tip is to serve, of course, with a nice glass of wine or fruit juice for the non-drinkers but as importantly, make sure a large jug of iced water is at the dining table because if all chillies and the powder are added to the sauce, it can be enjoyably hot both on the palate and the brow!

Making this spaghetti and meatballs for healthy diets

If you are making these for someone who is eating healthily then the best way to ensure it is low calories is to serve with salad instead of garlic bread.

If you follow Slimming World, Weight Watchers (WW), Noom or any other weight loss plan you can usually count the ingredients within this recipe in your allowances. It is of course important to check yourself any plan you follow and remember all nutritional information and ingredients are found in the recipe card below.

Tomatoes infographic

Adapting to a meatball pasta bake

If you would like to make this into a meatball pasta bake, perhaps you have seen Slimming World meatball pasta bake online and would like to make something similar yourself? This recipe can be really easily adapted.

Firstly using a different pasta such as twists or shells instead of spaghetti is an easy swap.

When everything is cooked simply mix up with some cheese (weighed according to your plan), leaving some to sprinkle on top, and cook at 200°c for around 20 minutes until golden brown on top.

Other recipes you may enjoy

If you love this recipe then why not try my other pasta recipes or this Italian meatball soup recipe. It is a great healthy soup for winter.

Do you have mince to use up but don’t fancy these meatballs today why not try something different with mince like hidden vegetables spaghetti bolognese? Or a Moroccan meatball recipe?

For an easy option if you don’t fancy making your own meatballs why not try the Iceland Slimming World meatballs or some 5% mince meatballs.

Have you ever tried Mongolian meatballs? Why not try them next week on your meal plan?

Italian meatball soup in white bowl
Italian meatball soup

I have a lot of weight loss guides and support if you want to exercise including if you have a condition like fibromyalgia.

Have a good look around and see how I can help you achieve your weight loss goals. Request my free resources to get you started too!

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Spaghetti and meatballs

Healthy spaghetti bolognese with meatballs recipe

  • Author: Jen Mellor
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 large portions
  • Category: Main Meal
  • Method: Stove top, hob
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Low Calorie
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Slimming World meatballs with spaghetti and tomato sauce recipe for all the family


400g spaghetti (dried)

Low-calorie cooking spray

2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

3 tablespoons of tomato puree

2 cloves of garlic or garlic powder

4 fresh chillies (medium heat)

1 medium-sized red onion

200g of mushrooms

2 round teaspoons of pesto

2 teaspoons of ground smoked paprika

1 teaspoon of chilli powder

salt and pepper for seasoning

800 grams of lean steak mince

2 heaped tablespoons of ground cumin

2 heaped tablespoons of paprika

2 eggs


Wash your hands (very well)

Pre-heat the oven to 180°c (for fan assisted) or around gas mark 5.

Finely chop the red onion and mushrooms and on a separate plate cut up or slice the chillies to your desired level, meaning that if you like hot food, then use all the chillies but reduce the amount depending on how hot people will generally enjoy their sauce. Also, finely chop the garlic if using cloves.

Next, take a mixing bowl and add the lean steak mince and season with some salt and pepper.

Crack and whisk the two eggs over the top of the meat and then add the heaped tablespoons of cumin and paprika before kneading the mix well.

Clean your hands and then lay out a lightly floured plate with plain flour, patting some on each hand. Now pick up some meat and mix in your hands as much or little meat as you choose before rolling into a meatball shape and setting aside on the floured plate.

Heat a large frying pan at med / high heat and add some good sprays of low-calorie cooking spray, the olive oil variety is the best, after a few minutes, add the meatballs and reduce to mid-heat.

Quickly fry, browning all sides of the meatballs for 5-6mins. Then add the meatballs to an ovenproof dish and put in the preheated oven for around 15-18mins.

Now heat a large pan of salted water on the already hot hob that the frying pan had been on and bring to the boil.

Add the spaghetti, and then once consumed in the water, reduce the heat to simmer for around 10mins.

Similarly, heat another medium-sized pot on a med/high heat for a few minutes, adding 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, pesto, onion, mushrooms, chillies, and garlic to this pot before reducing the heat slightly and stirring in for around 3-4mins season with salt and pepper if required.

Then add the paprika and chilli powder and stir well through before allowing the sauce to simmer on low heat.

By around this time, the spaghetti should be ready, remove it from the heat and turn the contents into a colander over the sink to drain the water well.

Check the sauce to make sure it is simmering nicely.

The meatballs should be about ready, and after 15-18mins remove them from the oven.

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One Comment

  1. My wife and I loved this recipe – great for using up a little leftover pesto, too. Our son wasn’t keen on our spicy version, so the next time we made it, we dropped it down to just one chilli, which was wolfed down!