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Spaghetti & Meatball Soup

A couple of nights a week our family ends up eating in shifts because everyone is going every which way, all at the same time. Having a hearty soup simmering in the slow cooker is an easy way to give them all a warm meal. —Susan Stetzel, Gainesville, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. Cook: 6-1/4 hours
  • Makes
    8 servings (3 quarts)


  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds bulk mild Italian sausage
  • SOUP:
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Parmesan rind, optional
  • 8 ounces angel hair pasta, broken into 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • Additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional


  • Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, mix bread crumbs and milk. Let stand 5 minutes; drain. Stir in eggs, cheese and seasonings. Add sausage; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-in. balls. Place meatballs on a greased rack in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake until cooked through, 12-15 minutes.
  • Transfer meatballs to a 6-qt. slow cooker. Add stock, marinara sauce, water, basil and, if desired, Parmesan rind. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours to allow flavors to blend.
  • Discard Parmesan rind. Stir in pasta; cook, covered, on high until pasta is tender, 15-20 minutes longer. If desired, serve with additional cheese.
Editor's Note
To make soft bread crumbs, tear bread into pieces and place in a food processor or blender. Cover and pulse until crumbs form. One slice of bread yields 1/2 to 3/4 cup crumbs.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 394 calories, 26g fat (9g saturated fat), 95mg cholesterol, 1452mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 2g fiber), 17g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • amsm
    Dec 8, 2020

    So good! My family loved this soup! I made it on the stove top instead of the slow cooker. I'll make it again!

  • amehart
    Mar 30, 2020

    This was very good. Needed a little more flavor for us and maybe adding the Parmesan rind would have done that, but I did not have that on hand. The family thoroughly enjoyed this and it was easy to make, so will be making again and just tweaking the seasonings for our taste.

  • cynandtom
    Dec 11, 2019

    I didn’t make any changes except using thin spaghetti rather than angel hair, because it’s what I had on hand. It smelled fantastic, bubbling away and getting ready to become dinner. It tasted even better than it smelled, an AMAZING dish! I love the meatballs, if we have any left after we have soup a second time, I’m thinking I may make a delicious little Sammie out of them.

  • carrie carney
    Jan 4, 2016

    Easy and the entire family loves this. Makes a perfect meal with some crusty bread and a green salad. I use frozen meatballs when I'm in a hurry.

  • kimb0
    Nov 16, 2015

    This was pretty good--made the mistake of adding a little extra spaghetti (it never looks like enough!). Next time, I will not add the pasta to the soup but will cook separately and add to individual servings.

  • PamHill
    Aug 19, 2015

    This was a hit with the kids. I used frozen Italian turkey meatballs, just threw them in with the broth. The broth is very tasty. We used a lot of grated Parmesan cheese to top. This does make a very large portion, so if you want it to last days, or freeze, I would boil the noodles aside and add to each individual bowl.

  • fensternat
    May 23, 2015

    Excellent! Best meatballs ever! I forgot to add the water and it turned out like regular spaghetti sauce (not soup). It was so good, I think I'll do it the same from now on.

  • Rhonda alene
    Oct 21, 2014

    This recipe is outstanding. Love the meatballs and the broth was excellent.

  • CatMurphy
    Oct 16, 2014

    This was simple and delicious. The soft bread crumbs made the meatballs super tender.

  • ebramkamp
    Aug 29, 2014

    This is the perfect soup. Rich, delicious broth and yummy meatballs. The meatballs were flavorful and fluffy. I enjoyed the meatballs so much I made a double batch of them, cooked all of them-then froze half of them for a later meal. This recipe is a keeper!