Homemade Spaghettios

This quick and easy recipe for homemade Spaghettios can be made in under 30-minutes and is sure to please your family. Lower in sugar than traditional spaghettios, this wholesome dish is a great lunch or snack and can be made gluten-free by swapping out the pasta for gluten-free pasta.

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My daughter likes Spaghettios and I will admit that, back in the day when I was a kid,  I liked them, too. I’m not too fond of them myself these days – it seems to me like the flavor has changed, but my daughter continually asks from them at the store.

Since we are trying to get away from pre-packaged food I set out to make her some without the high fructose corn syrup and other ingredients lurking in her lunchbox.

Homemade Spaghettios are the best of both worlds for us. She gets to make homemade spaghettios and I get to control the ingredients.

Homemade Spaghettios in a bowl on a wooden board

For this homemade spaghettios recipe, I was able to find the round pasta mimicking the traditional SpaghettiOs shape, but you can easily substitute whatever small pasta shape you have on hand, like ditalini or macaroni.


A bowl of homemade spaghettios.

I don’t know what it is about those little pasta O’s in that mildly sweet tomato sauce that is so irresistible–but it is!

Since school is starting back for my daughter next week, I wanted to make some of these for my daughter’s lunchbox.

She isn’t much of a sandwich eater so we thought some pasta would be perfect for her.  I might even try my hand at some mini-meatballs in the near future. I know she would really like that a lot.


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Homemade Spaghettios are simple to make and uses under 10 ingredients and no high fructose corn syrup or other fillers. It can be made gluten free as well.

Homemade Spaghettios

Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
This quick and easy recipe for homemade Spaghettios can be made in under 30-minutes and is sure to please your family. Lower in sugar than traditional spaghettios, this wholesome dish is a great lunch or snack and can be made gluten-free by swapping out the pasta for gluten-free pasta.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 2 cups
Calories 333 kcal


  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp milk or water
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder , more or less to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder , more or less to taste
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt , more or less to taste
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar or other sweetener like agave , Stevia or honey [See Note 1]
  • 1 cup uncooked Anelli Siciliani pasta , or mini shells or elbows if rings are not available.
  • 1 cup organic mini meatballs, thawed optional, (we buy these at Target freezer section)


  • In a small saucepan, add together all ingredients except the pasta then bring to a boil, over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce to a simmer and cook on low until the butter melts completely.
  • Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until desired texture is reached remembering that the pasta will further soften as it absorbs the sauce.
  • Drain pasta extra well and pour into the sauce. Stir to combine.


  1. Traditional spaghetti-o have a lot more added sugar and high fructose corn syrup added. To make them sweeter and more like the canned version, increase your sweetener of choice until you reach your desired sweetness.
  2. When reheating any leftovers, simply stir in a dash of milk or water, if needed, to loosen the sauce.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 333kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 10gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 2032mgPotassium: 835mgFiber: 5gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 1046IUVitamin C: 15mgVitamin D: 1µgVitamin E: 3mgVitamin K: 6µgCalcium: 55mgFolate: 32µgIron: 3mgZinc: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

24 thoughts on “Homemade Spaghettios”

  1. This was so good! I added too much macaroni to mine, though so it wasn’t very saucy. I’ll have to make a second batch of sauce when I reheat the leftovers. But it was so easy, I don’t mind making the second batch :) We used sliced hot dogs instead of meatballs because that’s the way my mom made them for me when I was little. It was a bit of nostalgia.

  2. I am excited to try this! My son has Celiac and has been bugging for spaghettios. I have some gluten free alphabet pasta– made with chickpea flour for some added nutrition. If I can get both kids to eat this for lunch I would so consider that a win!

  3. These were so yummy! The 2tbsp didn’t do much for sweetness so I’d recommend 1/3 or 1/4 cup for classic spaghettio sweetness; Also added Perdue’s sliced roasted chicken and shredded mozzarella for protein.

  4. Try adding a cooked pureed carrot for the orange sauce look and a bit of veggie. (you can cook it along with your pasta then puree and add to your sauce.

  5. I made something similar -threw it all in a crockpot. Chopped up red pepper, onion and when it was all cooked down I added tomato sauce. Threw it in the blender and put it over dinosaur-shaped pasta. My kid said it was “okay”. She ate it but it wasn’t spaghetti-os. If I make it again I’ll add from your recipe: agave, onion powder (instead of a real onion), garlic powder and some dairy. We’ll see if I get more than an ‘okay’. But the red pepper really adds sweetness!

  6. My kids love spaghettios, but feeding 6 kids (5 who are growing boys) anything from a can means I have to buy a ton. I tried this recipe, only I used the Easter shaped noodles from Aldi and sprinkled Parmesan on top. My kids loved it, even my two super picky eaters. Took me about 10 minutes to throw it all together. This is being added to our regular lunch rotation!

    • Thanks, Lyndsay! I’m so glad this made the grade with your kids and happy to be able to help you save some cash at the grocery store in feed 4 growing boys!! Thanks for stopping back by and letting us know your experience. You made my day! :)

  7. Hi Charlene,
    I’m sorry your fanily didn’t care for it. If you try it again, start with less spices and adjust it to your own tastes. Thanks for stopping in to let us know your experience.

  8. My toddler loves Spaghetti-o’s but unfortunately her eczema flares up when she eats it also (I think from some preservatives because she is fine with pasta and red sauce separately). I found this recipe and we tried it and it was so good!! Even the adults liked it! I found the ring pasta so it was just like the canned stuff for her, but no eczema flare up after!! Yay!!

    • Hi Elizabeth, I bought the round pasta at my regular (Publix) grocery store. It came in a plastic bag. Alternatively, you can use any shape pasta (or mini ravioli even) that your grands like, if this isn’t available in your area.

  9. We made these tonight and they were delicious! We even made mini meatballs to put in it. Brought back childhood memories with the benefit of knowing what was in it. Will definitely make this again.


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