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30-Minute cream cheese meatball fettuccine is comfort food done right

There are few childhood memories that elicit the same kind of nostalgia for me as the one of Sunday meatballs at my grandparents’ house.

We’d walk in to the smell of the sauce simmering on the stove, Grandma elbow-deep in the meatball mixture and the most obscenely sized stockpot already on the burner to come to a boil for the pasta. The afternoon was spent running around their yard, playing with the dogs, horses and pigeons my grandfather raised, until we’d be called in for dinner, and I’d put about half a pound of Parmesan cheese on top of my serving until my mom would yell at me to pass it on to my brother.

Cream cheese meatball fettucine

So on Sundays when I’m craving comfort, my go-to meal is meatballs. These meatballs tossed with fettuccine is a simple recipe with one delicious key ingredient: cream cheese. It keeps the dish moist and creamy, and even gets tossed into the sauce for a marinara that’s almost more like a cream sauce. The best part is that this is a 30-minute meal from start to finish. If you want to make your own sauce and spend hours at the stove, then go for it. If not, then this can be on your dinner table in half an hour.

Cream cheese meatball fettuccine recipe

This recipe is an easy variation of meatballs and sauce, with a creamy key ingredient that makes for a downright comforting meal.

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 pound fettuccine
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the beef, 2 ounces of the cream cheese, the egg, breadcrumbs, oregano, garlic, milk, salt and pepper. Mix together until well incorporated. Form the mixture into meatballs, and set aside.
  3. To a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the meatballs to the skillet, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side until browned.
  4. Add the sauce to the skillet, and dot the remaining cream cheese into the sauce around the pan. Cover with a lid, and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
  5. While the meatballs cook, add the fettuccine to the boiling water, and cook according to the package directions. Drain, and transfer to the skillet with the meatballs.
  6. Gently toss the fettuccine with the meatballs and sauce until fully coated.
  7. Plate, and garnish with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

More meatball recipes

Lentil “meatballs”
Buffalo chicken meatball sandwiches

Cheesy meatball casserole

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