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Spaghetti and Meatballs with Garlic Crumbs

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 40 min.


4 servings

Garlic crumbs add a nice crunch to this spaghetti from my cookbook, Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy, Delicious Meals. No one would guess this hearty, Italian-style favorite is gluten-free. —Silvana Nardone, Brooklyn, New York
Spaghetti and Meatballs with Garlic Crumbs Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 5 cloves garlic—1 chopped, 2 smashed and 2 grated
  • 1 cup rice cereal crumbs, divided
  • 1/2 cup rice milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 package (12 ounces) corn or rice spaghetti
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine the beef, onion, chopped garlic, 1/2 cup cereal crumbs, milk, egg, 2 tablespoons parsley and 1 teaspoon salt; shape into eight 2-in. balls.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the smashed garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Submerge the meatballs in the sauce; bring to a simmer and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Season with about 1 teaspoon salt.
  3. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti until al dente, about 15 minutes; drain and toss with the sauce.
  4. To make the garlic crumbs, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the grated garlic, remaining 1/2 cup cereal crumbs, red pepper flakes and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool, then stir in the remaining 1/4 cup parsley. To serve, divide the spaghetti among shallow bowls and top with meatballs and garlic crumbs.
Gluten-Free Recipe
Read all ingredient labels for possible gluten content prior to use. Ingredient formulas can change, and production facilities vary among brands. If you're concerned that your brand may contain gluten, contact the company.

Nutrition Facts

1 each: 750 calories, 20g fat (5g saturated fat), 123mg cholesterol, 1999mg sodium, 107g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 11g fiber), 39g protein.

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