Gluten Free Spaghetti and Meatballs

Gluten free spaghetti and meatballs is a hearty, flavorful meal that will feed a crowd and satisfy everyone. 

According to my husband, my spaghetti and meatballs is the best meal he’s ever had (don’t tell his mom!). And what’s crazy about that is I had never made spaghetti and meatballs until I met him.  Since the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and I knew what his favorite meal was, I found a recipe online for meatballs right after we met.  I changed it up pretty drastically to suit my own tastes, added them to my mom’s meat sauce, and the rest is history. 

This is the meal I make for him when he’s coming home from a work trip, for his birthday, Father’s Day, or another special occasion, or even just because!  He loves the sauce (and the meatballs of course), but he doesn’t love store bought gluten free pasta. The only gluten free pasta he will eat is my homemade gluten free pasta. His favorite kind of pasta is angel hair, so when I do happen to have time to make pasta from scratch, I will always make angel hair for him.

The meatballs I use in my spaghetti and meatballs are my Out of This World Gluten Free Meatballs. They are literally the BEST meatballs you’ll ever have, and once you make them you’ll see why!

gluten free pasta with meatballs and sausage

The List of Ingredients

  • Ground beef
  • Italian sausage — optional, but we LOVE cut up pieces of hot Italian sausage in our meat sauce, in addition to the meatballs.
  • Meatballs — you can use a gluten free store bought meatball, but I’m telling ya, once you make mine, you’ll never buy another meatball again!
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh garlic
  • Tomato sauce — my mom has always used Contadina (affiliate link) and that’s what I use.
  • Tomato paste — same as the sauce, we always use Contadina tomato paste (affiliate link).
  • Red wine — cabernet sauvignon is what I use.
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried basil
  • Sugar — just a very small amount (1 tsp) helps take away some of the acidity from the tomatoes.
  • Salt and pepper

There’s one more ingredient that makes this sauce so special. It’s…a beef marrow bone! Usually any grocery store will have them.  Ask the butcher if you can’t find them.  When the bone simmers slowly in the sauce for hours, the marrow softens and seeps into the sauce, creating a flavor like no other.  No one will be able to put their finger on it, but it’s just so meaty and rich and yummy!!I’m not a fan of onions or peppers at all, but you won’t miss them in this sauce.  Of course, you’re free to add those or any other veggies you’d like.

gluten free pasta with meatballs and sausage

For a warm, hearty meal that sticks to the ribs, look no further than this gluten free spaghetti and meatballs.  I serve it up with a salad and a piece of fresh-baked gluten free artisan bread and my “famous” easy incredible chive butter spread.  This meal is perfect for feeding a crowd and can be made in advance, and even gets better with time.

gluten free pasta with meatballs and sausage

Gluten Free Spaghetti and Meatballs

Gluten free spaghetti and meatballs is a hearty, flavorful meal that will feed a crowd and satisfy everyone.  There's a secret ingredient in the sauce that'll make you say "Hmmm…what is that?"
Print Recipe
CourseMain Course
KeywordGluten Free, meat sauce, red sauce, spaghetti and meatballs
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 30 minutes
Servings15 servings



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • ½ cup red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 2 15-ounce (425 g) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 6-ounce (170 g) can tomato paste
  • ¼ cup dried oregano (sounds like a lot, but trust me)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 beef marrow bone, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound (454 g) ground beef
  • 1 pound (454 g) hot Italian sausage links, optional (mild can be substituted)
  • 1 pound (454 g) pasta of choice (homemade or store bought)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano for serving


For the sauce:

  • Heat olive oil in large dutch oven over medium heat.  Add garlic and beef marrow bone and saute briefly,  Don’t allow garlic to brown.  
  • Add red wine and deglaze the pan.  
  • Slowly add the cans of tomato sauce and paste and then fill both empty tomato sauce cans with water and add water to the sauce mixture.  
  • Add all other herbs and spices and bring to a boil.  Reduce temperature and simmer for roughly 2-3 hours, partially covered with lid.  Stir every 20-30 minutes.
  • Heat skillet over medium heat and add Italian sausage links.  Saute for a few minutes per side until all links are nicely browned.  
  • Remove from skillet onto paper towels and let cool slightly.  Cut in thirds and add to sauce.  Also add meatballs to the sauce at this time.   
  • Continue to cook sauce for another hour or two, stirring every 20-30 minutes.  
  • Serve over pasta.  Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and fresh parsley.  


  • If you don’t want to make meatballs, you can always just brown the ground beef and bulk Italian sausage with the garlic and olive oil, before adding the red wine.  Proceed as directed.  This makes an incredibly yummy meat sauce that can be served over pasta or made into baked ziti, lasagna, or any other dish calling for meat sauce.  My mom never made meatballs when we were growing up.  She did it this way and we all loved it!  Her lasagna is legendary in our family (recipe coming soon).  
  • Leftover sauce can be frozen.  Cool to room temperature and put sauce in gallon ziploc baggies.  Lie them flat in the freezer.  When reheating, cut sides of bag and add to large saucepan with about 1/2 cup of water.  Heat on medium low until warmed through.  

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