Spaghetti & Smoked Pork Meatballs

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Hickory smoked pork shoulder shredded into ground beef and pork blend meatballs, roasted then simmered in a sweet and smoky marinara sauce tossed with classic spaghetti noodles

So I love a great meatball. It’s an art and everyone does them different. Unfortunately for me I live in a meat sauce household meaning everyone prefers a chunky meat sauce to toss their spaghetti in opposed to stabbing a meatball and wrapping it with the noodle. So when I make meatballs it’s generally only me excited and I know I have to make them count flavor wise or i’ll be eating a lot of leftovers, alone.

For this I had a lot of leftover smoked meats from last week. I did the smoked chicken, smoked gravy and a couple odds and ends. What I didn’t show but I mentioned was a pork shoulder. I smoked it at the top of the smoker along with the chicken but I had put it in the smoker six hours earlier. I always slice and stuff my pork shoulder with little pockets of whole garlic cloves, crushed red pepper flakes and salt. I intended on making it for the week and letting everyone make there own thing. I did a lot of cooking last week so we had a lot of leftover thus this recipe was born.

For this recipe I take my classic meatballs and marinara sauce and toss in smoked pork. The pork in the meatballs gives it a great texture, it binds well and of course the added flavor. Since I wanted the pork to stand out I added some to the sauce to simmer and melt into it for a sweet smoked flavor. This recipe was better than expected. I think I’ll keep it around for my barbecue use up recipes. It was a really nice change up from the usual sandwiches or loaded potatoes. If you find yourself needing to use your barbecue for another bulk family dinner check out my tips and tricks below for the best spaghetti and smoker pork meatballs. Try this recipe out and let me know what you think.


beef and pork: ground beef and pork are the perfect binders for the smoked pork. the fatty beef will keep the smoked pork moist since its probably leftover and may have lost a touch of moisture. the pork or italian sausage will also build on its flavor from the fat the ground form lends

soak your breadcrumbs: i like to soak my breadcrumbs in olive oil and milk for a couple reason first it keeps the entire meatball moist and second it’s a lot easier to mix. once you add your milk to the meatball and it sits for about five minutes it will all be absorbed. when it comes time to mix it in with everything else you’ll have a lot easier time mixing the two liquids in.

crushed tomatoes: for my spaghetti sauce i starting using crushed tomatoes some years ago and never look back. the only time i use a fresh tomato in a sauce it for a quick recipe where i want a thin sauce. if i want to make a thick sauce that covers the noodle. crushed tomatoes simmer down is the only way to go.

let the spaghetti sit: when i cook most pasta. i like to undercook it for about a minute, remove it from the boiling water and let it simmer in the sauce that way when its done and perfectly al dente it’s married with the sauce without overcooking it. serving time from the sauce depends on the noodle a thinner noodle needs to be served sooner. for spaghetti i like to take it a step further and toss the noodles into the sauce. remove the pot from the heat, cover it and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. perfect spaghetti every time.

don’t simmer them all: this recipe makes a lot of meatballs. like a couple dozen. when it comes time to marry the marinara with the spaghetti and meatballs. don’t add in too many balls. save some for later or you could end up mashing your pasta up to get everything incorporated







  • 20 Garlic Cloves
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes


  • 24oz Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1/4c Milk
  • 1/4c Olive Oil
  • 10oz Tomato Paste
  • 1c Pork Shoulder, shredded
  • 1c Red Wine
  • 1 Carrot, grated
  • 1 Yellow Onion, grated
  • 1 Bell Pepper, small diced
  • 10 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1Tb Oregano


  • 1lb Italian Sausage
  • 1lb Ground Beef
  • 1/2lb Pork Shoulder, shredded
  • 1c Yellow Onion, grated
  • 10 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/2c Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2c Milk+ 2Tb Olive oil
  • 1/2c Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Eggs
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes


  • SMOKE PORK: Use a paring knife add in 1 inch deep pockets all around the pork shoulder. Fill each pocket with a slice of garlic and a generous sprinkling of salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Once all the garlic cloves are used season the outside of the pork all over with salt and pepper. Place in a preheated smoker at 225 F for 8 hours and bone easily separates from the meat.
  • START MARINARA: To make sauce in a hot stock pan add in olive oil and sauté grated onions, carrots, peppers, pork and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes till come color starts to form.
  • DEGLAZE: Add in tomato paste and work through the vegetables. Deglaze the pan with red wine. Once all the red wine has simmer away. Add in crushed tomatoes and milk. Season with spices listed above and add in parmesan cheese. Let simmer for about an hour so that the tomatoes can sweeten up.
  • MAKE MEATBALLS: To make the meatballs start off by whisking the eggs until fluffy add in milk and breadcrumbs and let sit for 5 minutes. Combine together all three meats and cheeses with onions, pepper and garlic. Season the meat mixture then toss together with milk and breadcrumbs. Mix until meat is thoroughly combined but make sure not to over work the meat. Roll into golf ball sized cubes. Place onto a baking rack and roast at 375 F for 45 minutes.
  • MAKE SPAGHETTI: Bring a pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions aiming to cook pasta a minute under the recommended time.
  • COMBINE: Once the meatballs are done in the oven add enough to the sauce to simmer. Make sure to try and adjust the sauces seasonings before you add in the meatballs. Add in spaghetti noodles, extra parmesan cheese, fresh basil and oregano. Toss and cover for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

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