Spicy Spaghetti & Meatballs

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Classic comfort dishes are classics for a reason – they make you feel like home, they make you feel safe, they make you feel loved. My kids absolutely love spaghetti & meatballs. And you know, I cannot leave well enough alone, so I have to switch it up every so often. Just like I did with this Spicy Spaghetti & Meatballs recipe. I opted for ground turkey instead of beef or pork. I also kicked it up a level with some red pepper flakes, fennel seed and hot honey!

Spicy Spaghetti & Meatballs
Spicy Spaghetti & Meatballs

To make my meatballs fairly uniform, I like to use a baking scoop that is used for making cookies. I like to use the one inch size. I scoop them out and the round them with my hands to make them no flat on one side. When you are making meatballs for a family of 6, portioning them by hand can be difficult. I find this makes it faster. It also ensures that they cook all the way through, since it is a poultry.

Spicy Spaghetti & Meatballs

So I know not everyone puts sugar or a sweetener into their red sauce. I personally like it to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. I usually use honey and not granulated sugars. I find it melts into the sauce much better. When I became acquainted with Hot Honey, well it was love at first taste. I put it in lots of sauce but I think the most magical was this red sauce. I personally prefer Mike’s Hot Honey – it has just the right amount of heat and sweet. But use your own favorite.

Spicy Spaghetti & Meatballs

My kids like to have a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese and a piece of bread with their dinner. If we have growth spurts happening, I like to add in a caesar salad on the side to get those greens in. Would also be tasty with some steamed broccoli covered in garlic butter.

Spicy Spaghetti & Meatballs

Now Let’s Get Cookin’!


Spicy Spaghetti & Meatballs

Kick classic spaghetti & meatballs up a notch with turkey meatballs and a spicy red sauce.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword ground turkey, meatballs, Pasta, red pepper flakes, red sauce, spaghetti, spicy
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 6


  • lb Spaghetti

For the Meatball

  • lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seed

For the Sauce

  • 2 28oz can Crushed Tomato
  • 2 15oz can Tomato Puree
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Minced Onion
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seed
  • 2 tbsp Hot Honey


  • Preheat oven to 400degF.
  • In a bowl, thoroughly combine meatball ingredients. Form into 1-inch and line out on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • In a large saute pan, add sauce ingredients. Let come just to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer.
  • Remove cooked meat balls from oven and add to sauce. Let continue to simmer to at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Start water boiling for pasta. Once boiling, add pasta and cook as directed on the package. Drain in a colander and rinse with cool water.
  • In a shallow pasta bowl, serve a portion of pasta. Top with 6-7 meatballs and top with additional sauce. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese, if desired.

Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:


Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:


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