“Nothing mitigates the throes of depression like a steaming plate of spaghetti and meatballs with marinara sauce and grated parmasan cheese, with a good fresh bread to wipe up.” ~ Paul Clayton

Photo by Dana Tentis on

I was going to add a photo of the meatballs as I prepared them, but the kids were otherwise occupied and my hands were meatball-y. So then I thought I’d take a photo after they were in the crockpot . . .that didn’t happen either. I was in a hurry to add the sauce and get it started cooking.

Take my word for it — they were beautiful meatballs!

The kids get tired of regular spaghetti with meat sauce and meatballs are kind of fun (in my mind anyway). I may even go to the store to get a few items and pick up a box of gloves. If you haven’t eaten spaghetti and meatballs sans silverware, just using your hands while wearing gloves . . . you haven’t lived!

Like meatloaf, everyone makes their meatballs a little differently. Perhaps you’ve never made meatballs. Perhaps you just want to try a new recipe. Follow along below and you too can have beautiful meatballs.


  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1.25 lb. hamburger

1 T. butter

1/4 c. yellow onion, diced

1 egg

1/2 sleeve club crackers, crushed

4 oz. cottage cheese

Cracked pepper

Himalayan salt

Garlic powder

Smoked paprika

Ground mustard

Italian seasoning grinder

32 oz jar of spaghetti sauce, your preferred brand


In a large mixing bowl, place the hamburger. Let it sit and warm up a bit while the onions cook. In a skillet, melt the butter and add onions, cooking until clear. While the onions are cooking, add the egg, cottage cheese, cracker crumbs and seasonings to the meat. I can’t give measurements on the seasonings because I don’t measure them — season to YOUR taste. When the onions have cooked, add them to the mixture. Stir, using either a fork or your hands, until well blended. Form into meatballs** and place into the crockpot. Cover with spaghetti sauce, I like Prego or Bartolli but you use what you prefer or have on hand. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours.

** for whatever reason I have the greatest difficulty forming balls. Yes, I realize that toddlers can form balls out of play-doh, I end up forming ellipticals, okay?? To combat the deformity of my meatballs, I use the medium scoop from Pampered Chef (the same one I use to make uniform chocolate chip cookies).

I don’t believe I need to add the directions for cooking spaghetti, but if I do please leave a comment to let me know.

As far as spaghetti and meatballs mitigating the “throes of depression” as stated above, I have no scientific proof. I can state for the record, however, in my role as a camp nurse for several years I kept cans of beef ravioli on hand for the occasional homesick camper and it seemed to work miracles for the morale. They’d come to me crying and wailing about how they missed their parents, and after a plate of raviolis would scamper along to their cabin or activity with nary a second thought to going home.

So there you have it: the question of pasta vs. Prozac.

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