Gluten-Free Spaghetti and Meatballs With Homemade Sauce

Gluten-Free Spaghetti and Meatballs
Dana Angelo White
Total Time 60 min
Prep 20 min, Cook 40 min
Yield 6 (1 cup pasta + 3 balls each)

There’s no reason for those with celiac disease to miss out on a quintessential family meal. With a few simple variations, pasta and meatballs are made gluten-free and served in a light and flavorful tomato sauce.

Meatballs aren't always gluten-free because of the breadcrumbs used, so you'll swap in gluten-free crackers instead to achieve the same appetizing consistency. And when it comes to pasta sauce, while most brands are gluten-free, cross-contamination may not make all of them safe for those with celiac. Making your own simple version solves that problem.

It's just as easy to make a double batch of meatballs and sauce, so stock up and store in the freezer for a quick weeknight dinner.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 8 gluten-free crackers
  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, mined
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil

Preparation

  1. To prepare the sauce, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Add garlic and onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, then season with oregano, salt, and black pepper to taste. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in basil and set aside.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the meatballs. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set aside.
  1. Place crackers in a food processor and grind into fine crumbs.
  2. In a large bowl, combine gluten free breadcrumbs, ground beef, egg, salt, pepper, garlic and basil.
  3. With clean hands, gently mix well and form into approximately sixteen 1-ounce balls. Transfer to baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160F.
  4. Once meatballs are cooked, add them to the sauce.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

There are various types of gluten-free pastas to choose from. Look for ones made from brown rice—they have a mild flavor that won't compete with the tangy tomato sauce. Make sure to check the ingredients lists, as many gluten-free pastas are also made with protein-boosting egg whites and beans.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Avoid cross-contamination in your kitchen. Plastic colanders and other porous kitchen equipment can hold and transfer gluten onto gluten-free foods. Wash equipment in between uses in the dishwasher or consider keeping designated gluten-free sets on hand in your kitchen if you cook often for guests that follow a gluten-free diet.

Each serving is about one cup of pasta with three meatballs in sauce.

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