Pennsylvania Dutch Macaroni & Meatballs | Pennsylvania Dutch Macaroni and Meatballs

You know that quintessential meal your Mom used to make that transports you back to your childhood and all things homey and comforting? For me, this Pennsylvania Dutch Macaroni and Meatball dish is it. As a child, if I knew this was for dinner, I would gladly abandon playing with my friends to join the family for dinner.

To Prepare Pennsylvania Dutch Macaroni & Meatballs:

Pennsylvania Dutch Macaroni & Meatballs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6 servings
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground salt
  • 12 oz. package large elbow macaroni noodles
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash of pepper
  • Salt to taste
  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, salt and pepper.
  2. Stir until well combined - it's really best if mixed by hand.
  3. Once well incorporated, form into small meatballs (about 30-32).
  4. In a large skillet, heat pan on medium-high and cook meatballs, stirring so that meatballs are completely browned on all sides.
  5. Once meatballs are thoroughly browned, add chopped onions and cook until tender.
  6. Finally, add the diced tomatoes, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper and stir well.
  7. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, covered, for 5-7 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, in a pot of salted water prepare the large elbow macaroni per the package instructions.
  9. Once cooked, drain pasta and add to the meatball and tomato sauce mixture.
  10. Stir until pasta coated. | Pennsylvania Dutch Macaroni and Meatballs | Meatball Mixture

Unusual Seasoning

As a teenager, I lived as an exchange student in Australia for awhile and when I was homesick I told my host mom about the dish and we tried to recreate it. Of course, when you describe a macaroni and meatball dish to someone and you’ve never seen how to make it the tendency would be to assume Italian seasonings of some sort – we ended up with a lovely macaroni and meatball dish with oregano and basil and it was delicious. But, it was nothing like this dish. When I returned to Canada from my adventures I asked my Mom how to make this dish so I’d never be without it again. What a surprise to learn the key ingredients are cinnamon and cloves! | Pennsylvania Dutch Macaroni and Meatballs | Combining Pasta and Meatball Sauce

I don’t know how this recipe ever ended up in the family, but I’m sure glad it did! Hope you like it!


Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 383

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