Spaghetti and Meatball Cups with Pumpkin Sauce

Spaghetti and Meatball Cups with Pumpkin Sauce are super fun for the holidays! We love serving these for Thanksgiving appetizers!

All the flavors of fall right here in a bite sized pasta recipe! If you’re looking for more things pumpkin flavored, try this creamy Pumpkin Sausage Soup and our Pumpkin Drop Martini to wash it down!

Spaghetti and Meatball Cups with Pumpkin Sauce on a platter

A Bite Sized Spaghetti & Meatballs Recipe

At first I thought about making these Spaghetti and Meatball Cups into a bite-sized appetizer. Mini food is always fun and it’s definitely appeals to the kids, but it was hard to get the spaghetti to fit in that tiny muffin pan and actually form a cup.

So I went to a regular muffin pan and called it an appetizer anyway. You have to be willing to adjust when things don’t work out…I’ve got lots of experience with that so far!

What you really need to know here is that the pumpkin cream sauce for this recipe is literally the bomb. After we made theses meatballs we were using this same cream sauce on just about every pasta dish we could think of!

How Do You Make This Meatball Appetizer?

I started with a basic meatball recipe that uses a combination of beef and pork. My meatball “recipe” is really me asking the wife how to make a good meatball. Then I added in the basics – an egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. But instead of parsley I added fresh sage to go with the pumpkin sauce.

This recipe will get you about 18 golf ball sized meatballs which are going to fit perfectly inside your spaghetti cups.

I do think a good meatball needs to be pan fried to get nice and crispy on the outside – so I did.

When the meatballs are done, wipe out the skillet and start the pumpkin sauce.

When the sauce is put together and simmering you can add the meatballs back to the pan and let cook until your spaghetti cups are ready.

Spaghetti and Meatball Cups with Pumpkin Sauce

Cook up some spaghetti and  mix it together with some parmesan cheese, an egg and 1/4 cup of the pumpkin sauce. You’re almost done now…

Time to fill the muffin tins – this is a lot easier than it looks, trust me.

I threw a handful of spaghetti in the muffin cup and then pushed it out of center towards the sides.

making spaghetti cups

They’ll pop out of your muffin tin pretty easily when they’re done and then all that’s left to do is put them together.

spaghetti cups cooked

Spoon some pumpkin sauce in the center of the spaghetti cup and then put a big meatball on top.

Crazy good.

The clean plate club won’t be a problem when you serve these Spaghetti & Meatball Cups with Pumpkin Sauce – so it’s a good thing the recipe makes a lot!

spaghetti and meatball cups

Looking For More Pasta Recipes?


Spaghetti & Meatball Cups with Pumpkin Sauce

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Spaghetti and Meatball Cups with Pumpkin Sauce are super fun for the holidays! We love serving these for Thanksgiving appetizers!



For the Meatballs

  • 8 oz. ground beef
  • 8 oz. ground pork
  • 1/4 c. bread crumbs
  • 2 T. milk
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 34 fresh sage leaves, chopped

For the Pumpkin Sauce

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 c. dry white wine
  • 1 14 oz. can of chicken broth
  • 1 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream

For the spaghetti cups

  • 8 oz. spaghetti, broken into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
  • 3 T. pumpkin sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions, breaking the noodles in half before you boil them. Drain and set aside.
  3. Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl for the meatballs and then use a 2 tablespoon scoop, to portion out 12 meatballs.
  4. Heat 2 T. olive oil in a large skillet, then add the meatballs being careful not to crowd the pan. (you might have to cook them in 2 batches)
  5. Once the meatballs are browned on all sides, remove to a plate and let cool. Wipe out the skillet and add the onion and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until softened. Add the chopped garlic and cook for a minute more.
  6. Pour in the wine, the bay leaf and the sage and let reduce for 2 minutes then stir in the chicken broth and the pumpkin.
  7. Next add the cream, stir to combine and then return the meatballs to the skillet and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. While the sauce is simmering, mix the cooked spaghetti together with the eggs, parmesan cheese and the 3 tablespoons of the sauce.
  9. Divide the spaghetti mixture equally into the muffin tins, using your fingers to create a cup shape, and bake for 15 minutes.
  10. When the spaghetti cups are baked, add a couple of tablespoon of the sauce to the bottom then top with a meatball.
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

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6 Responses
  1. Sara Rodrigues

    Okay, I’m making this for my grandkids, but I’m not sure how to cook the spaghetti cups. They look to be baked, and then, filled. I went over and over the post for that info but didn’t see it. Thanks for the recipe! I’ll let you know how they come out!

    1. Dan

      Thanks for letting me know! I switched to a new recipe card recently and a few older recipes didn’t get updated correctly. I updated this one for you, any other questions just let me know! You can also swap out regular marinara sauce for the pumpkin if you think your grandkids would like that better.

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