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Spaghetti and Meatballs made with Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

This recipe shows you how to use old-fashioned rolled oats as a meal extender to reduce the amount of beef you need to make the meatballs.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: meal extender, Spaghetti, spaghetti and meatballs
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Mary's Nest


  • 1 Large mixing bowls
  • 1 Large frying pan
  • 1 Large stockpot
  • 1 Spatula or wooden spoon
  • 1 Spaghetti tongs


  • 1/2 pound Ground beef I used an 85% lean mix with 15% fat.
  • 1 cup Old-fashioned rolled oats I pulverized my oats in a spice grinder to make oat flour, but this is not required.
  • 2 tsps Fine ground sea salt, divided Use one teaspoon for the meat and one teaspoon for the pasta water.
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 pound Spaghetti I used thin spaghetti.
  • 1 large can Diced tomatoes I used a can that was approximately 28 ounces.
  • 1 large can Tomato sauce I used a can that was approximately 28 ounces.


  • Mix the ground beef with oats, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Once mixed thoroughly, roll out 16 meatballs. (If you are using a ground beef with less than 15% fat, you may want to add a bit of milk or cream to the mixture if it feels dry and the meat does not form into meatballs.)
  • Dipping your fingers in a bit of water when you roll the meatballs will make the process easier and create a smooth texture to the exterior of the meatballs. Once you have rolled all the meatballs, set them aside. (See video for how to make the meatballs.)
  • Warm a frying pan (preferably non-stick) on medium heat and add the meatballs to the pan. (If you are using a ground beef with less than 15% fat, you may want to add a bit of olive oil to the pan before adding the meatballs.)
  • Brown the meatballs. Once browned, add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce to the frying pan and allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for approximately 20 minutes. This allows the meatballs to cook through completely.
  • While the meatballs are simmering in the sauce, bring a large stockpot with water to a boil. Once the water boils, toss the remaining teaspoon of salt into the stockpot. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions until al dente. (See video for a discussion of al dente.)
  • Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain the water and place the spaghetti into a large serving bowl. Top the spaghetti with the meatballs and sauce. Serve.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, well wrapped, for 3-4 days. Rewarm in a frying pan on the stovetop.



Find this recipe and video at https://marysnest.com/top-7-meal-extenders-for-budget-meals-and-how-to-use-them/
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