Spaghetti and Meatballs in Pepperoni Sauce is an absolutely wonderful take on the traditional Spaghetti and Meatball recipe from Jamie Deen. The delightful spaghetti sauce is filled with miniature pepperoni which give the marinara sauce a really nice bite. This sauce has a lot of meat in it between the meatballs and pepperoni which we really loved. It’s also spiced up with a lot of seasonings that add great flavor to the recipe. Sometimes I make a new recipe and that’s the last time I ever make it. Not so with this one. I may tinker with it a little, but I love the idea of having pepperoni in spaghetti sauce so I will be making this recipe frequently in the future!
I wasn’t able to follow the recipe exactly because I didn’t have the specific kinds of tomatoes on hand–and since I was desirous of using up pantry stuff I already had rather than buying new stuff, I used what I had and made some substitutions to bring them more in line with his original recipe. I also substituted regular miniature pepperoni instead of turkey pepperoni because I had that on hand, too. I added more bread crumbs to his meatballs, but other than that, I pretty much followed the recipe. The only thing I may do differently next time is add a large can of tomato paste to thicken the sauce a little more since we really like thicker marinara sauces. Also, Jamie’s meatballs were miniature meatballs. I made them smaller than I usually do, just not quite as small as his original ones.
I made a batch of Spaghetti and Meatballs in Pepperoni Sauce for our new neighbors who moved in across the street a couple of weeks ago to welcome them to the neighborhood. I know what moving’s like. The last thing you want to do is be in the kitchen cooking, and sometimes you are too tired to even go out to eat. So I decided to surprise them with a tasty home-cooked meal. Jamie Deen’s Spaghetti and Meatballs in Pepperoni Sauce was on the menu! I made a double batch of this recipe and gave one to them and kept one for us! Yay.
I found Jamie’s recipe in the Cooking with Paula Deen Magazine, September/October 2012 edition. I had been wanting to make this recipe for months and every time I went to look for the recipe I couldn’t remember which magazine or issue it was in. Finally, I went through several of the magazines in one of my magazine racks page by page until I found it. I am so glad I did. I loved this recipe. Granted, while I prefer sauces a little thicker, the taste was S-U-P-E-R-B! This recipe is a great freezer meal too. You can make up a batch of the sauce and freeze it for later.
If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to make Spaghetti and Meatballs, then consider Jamie Deen’s Spaghetti and Meatballs in Pepperoni Sauce. The taste is incredible and your kids will love the almost pizza-like taste of this fabulous entree. We sure did.
Spaghetti and Meatballs in Pepperoni Sauce will be a real treat for your family. The lovely marinara sauce is filled with meatballs and miniature pepperonis.
I made two batches of the spaghetti and this recipe. Each batch can easily provide 6-8 servings. Jamie Deen’s Spaghetti and Meatballs in Pepperoni Sauce is a fantastic twist on an old family favorite.
Here’s a close up so you can see the meatballs and pepperoni in the sauce. This recipe is scrumptious!
Here’s what I did.
Place extra lean ground beef in large mixing bowl. I was making two batches of this recipe so amounts are more than the original recipe. Add bread crumbs. I increased the amount of bread crumbs in the recipe because the meat seemed to need more body. Add an egg (for a single batch).
Add salt and Italian seasoning.
Mix together well with your hands. Shape into miniature meatballs using about 2 teaspoonfuls of meat mixture for each meatball.
Meanwhile, melt olive oil in a large cast-iron Dutch oven. Jamie’s original recipe used vegetable oil, I think, but I prefer using olive oil–especially in Italian or Mediterranean style dishes. Fry meatballs on all sides until done. His directions said 4 minutes per side. I couldn’t get the meatballs to cook that quickly. It took about 15 minutes per batch and since I had a double recipe it took three batches to get all the meatballs cooked sufficiently. Turn over on all sides and cook until browned.
Drain meatballs on paper towels. This is the first batch.
After all the meatballs have been browned and placed on paper towels to drain, add diced onion to Dutch oven. Allow to cook a few minutes before adding garlic.
Add garlic and cook about one-two minutes. You don’t want the garlic to burn or scorch by cooking it too long as it will become bitter.
The garlic and onions only took about 3 minutes to cook in total! It was done really fast.
Add undrained diced tomatoes. I substituted some stewed tomatoes and they turned out nice and chunky in the sauce.
Add a jar of spaghetti sauce – your preference. One of mine was a three-cheese and the other was basil, garlic, onions & mushrooms, I think. Here I added basil and oregano to the recipe since my tomatoes didn’t have the Italian herbs with them.
Add the drained meatballs back into the sauce. My 6-quart Dutch oven was overflowing at this point so I had to get out my larger 9-quart pot!
Add miniature pepperoni. You can use turkey pepperoni if you prefer.
Cover and bring sauce to a simmer. Reduce heat to low or medium and cook about 20 minutes until flavors are thoroughly mingled together.
Here’s a look at the sauce once it was finished. Mine is a little chunky because I used stewed tomatoes as part of the tomato mixture. Regularly you would use diced tomatoes. You can see lots of pepperoni and garlic on top too!
To serve: Spread a plate with cooked spaghetti noodles and ladle spaghetti sauce over top. Garnish with fresh Parmesan cheese and springs of fresh parsley.
The marinara sauce is spiked with the crushed red pepper from the pepperoni and tastes just marvelous.
Spaghetti and Meatballs in Pepperoni Sauce is a very satisfying meal–comfort food for your whole family. I love all the meatballs and pepperoni in this sauce. They add such richness and savory flavor to the sauce.
Here’s the recipe.
SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS IN PEPPERONI SAUCE
- 1 lb. lean ground beef (97% lean)
- ½ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt
- 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil, divided
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 3-4 garlic cloves, sliced or minced
- 1 14.5-oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes with garlic
- 1 14.5-oz. can stewed tomatoes
- 1 tsp. basil
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 32-oz. jar spaghetti sauce
- 5-oz. pkg. mini pepperoni
- 16-oz. pkg. spaghetti, cooked and drained
- garnish: shredded Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley
- In a large bowl, combine beef, bread crumbs, egg, Italian seasoning and salt.
- Shape into miniature meatballs using about 2 teaspoonfuls of the beef mixture.
- In a large cast-iron Dutch oven, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil.
- Cook meatballs in several batches browning on all sides.
- This may take 10-15 minutes per batch.
- For each batch you will need to add a little more olive oil to cook the meatballs.
- Drain meatballs on paper towels.
- Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to skillet.
- Then add onion and sauté until translucent – maybe 3 minutes.
- Add garlic.
- Stir together and cook another minute – 2 at the most.
- Add tomatoes and spaghetti sauce.
- I swished out the spaghetti sauce jar with a little water and added that too.
- Finally, add meatballs and pepperoni.
- Cover with lid and bring sauce to a simmer.
- Cook over low to medium heat about 20 minutes until everything is cooked through.
- Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
- Add a little butter or oil to the spaghetti to prevent sticking, if you desire.
- To serve: Spread spaghetti on plate.
- Ladle pepperoni sauce and meatballs over top.
- Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley.
Garnishing this dish with real freshly grated parmesan cheese and springs of curly parsley makes all the difference. It really adds a lot of additional flavor to the recipe.
Our family loved this spectacular-tasting pepperoni sauce. Such a great way to improve on hum-drum spaghetti and meatballs!
Another great option is to serve Spaghetti and Meatballs in Pepperoni Sauce alongside a loaf of Quick Sourdough Bread made in your breadmaker. Dip the bread in any extra spaghetti sauce. It’s like having pizza bread!
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