Quick Fix Recipes Recipes

Quick Fix: 15-Minute Sriracha Marinara and Meatballs 2-way Challenge

With one basic recipe, make a light pasta sauce and a heavier, spicier sauce | The Chelsea Project Blog | www.thechelsesaproject.com

What a great day for a challenge!

It’s about 20 degrees outside and we are temporarily all souped out.  

Pasta sounds good.

 ……In fact…….

….pasta sounds really good.

Thank you, Martha Stewart, for providing a most wonderful twist to traditional spaghetti and meatballs.

Well, friends, I took one look at this recipe and immediately knew I was in trouble.  Just Step 1 requires mixing seven meatball ingredients together and forming about 40 meatballs.  This is followed by broiling them in the oven about 10 minutes….and….of course…rotating them half-way through the cook time.

And, you know what they say…….never take your eyes off of a broiler…….

so that’s another 10 minutes on the clock.


Sorry, Martha.



There simply has to be a faster way.

So, I came up with two possible options.  Both sauces work within the 15 minute prep to serve time frame by using precooked meatballs from the grocer’s frozen section.  Then the choice is simply one of preference.  The Challenge 1 sauce is lighter and a bit more Mediterranean in texture.

IMG_0341It would be wonderful served with a salad during warmer weather.  

In contrast, the Challenge 2 sauce tastes more like a spicy version of a thicker, heavier, traditional spaghetti sauce.


Notice the plates are both white, but slightly different.  This was done to help emphasize differences in the sauces….

….not the props. :-))

Challenge #1

Step 1:  Begin pasta cooking according to package directions.

Step 2:  To a sauce pan, add:

2 teaspoonfuls extra-virgin olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup Sriracha sauce

IMG_0333This is the original sauce recipe without any modifications.

Step 3:  To the simmering sauce, add the store-bought precooked meatballs. ….How many?  As many as you want.  Don’t you just love making a recipe your own way?  ….Simply heat the meatballs thoroughly before tossing this mixture with the drained pasta.

Challenge #2

Step 1:  Begin pasta cooking according to package directions.

Step 2:  To a sauce pan, add:

2 cups of your favorite store-bought spaghetti sauce – about one standard size jar

1/8 cup Sriracha sauce


Step 3:  To the simmering sauce, add the store-bought meatballs.  Again, add as many as you want, just heat the meatballs thoroughly before tossing this mixture with the drained pasta.

In the end,

my samplers preferred Challenge Sauce #2 on the pasta…



for sopping up the plate with crusty garlic bread.

In fact, 

Sauce 2 and a loaf of hot garlic bread would make an awesome appetizer.


I don’t think sopping that sweet sauce is just a Southern thing.

Trust me when I tell you….

…..that sauce just screaaaamed…

sop me.



No Comments

  • Reply Jim January 16, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    The bread dipped in the sauce was my favorite.

  • Reply Phoebe January 16, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    OMG! This looks super easy and a great appetizer.

  • Reply Morgan January 16, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    My roomate and I cook a lot of pasta. This looks like a great way to change up our weekly menu.

  • Reply Mia January 16, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    I’m not sure about the hot chili sauce. Might have to tone it down for my taste!

  • Reply Madison January 16, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Please post more pasta recipes with pictures. Always looking for a quick and easy meal.

  • Reply Seth January 17, 2015 at 12:27 am

    I love leftovers. Thanks Susie for quick and easy.

  • Reply Dave January 17, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Sounds delicious…Do you have any crock pot recipes with meatballs?

    • Reply thechelseaprojectblog January 17, 2015 at 12:31 am

      I use the crock pot all of the time, but haven’t made recipes with meatballs. Let me think about this and come up with something…..thx for visiting!

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