Our meatball pasta bake is proper comfort food for cold days. A delicious easy family dinner idea we think you’ll just LOVE.
How to make meatball pasta bake
It’s so easy – I cook this using homemade meatballs – which actually only take around 10 minutes to make – but if you’ve no time or just can’t be bothered then use a pack of ready made.
Then you simply need to cook up a panful of rich, tomato sauce whilst you cook the meatballs, then toss everything through a panful of freshly cooked pasta, tip into an oven proof dish, top with grated cheese and pop in the oven to brown on top.
Meatball Pasta Bake Recipe
Meatball Pasta Bake
- 400 g Minced Beef
- 1 Onion finely chopped
- 1 Clove Garlic finely chopped
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 Small Handful Grated Parmesan
- 1 tbs Sun Dried Tomato Puree
- 1 Egg beaten
- 800 g Passata choose Italian herb flavoured one
- 1 tbs Olive Oil
- 300 g Dried Pasta
- 1 Small Bunch Fresh Basil chopped
- 2 Handfuls Grated Cheddar Cheese
- First up – make the meatballs. Gently fry the finely chopped onion in a little olive oil. Then mix together in a bowl – the minced beef, chopped onioins, Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp oregano, chopped garlic, tomato puree and small beaten egg. Season with salt and black pepper and mix well with your hands. Then form into meatballs using your hands. The meatballs should be ping pong ball size. This recipe will make around 16-18.
- Next – cook the tomato sauce – add a drizzle of olive oil to a saucepan, tip in the passata, season with salt and black pepper and stir thorugh the finely chopped basil. Simmer over a low heat whilst you cook the meatballs and pasta.
- Gently fry the meatballs in a frying pan, add a little olive oil if necessary. Cook them for around 15 minutes – turning regularly to brown all the sides.
- Whilst the meatballs cook and the pasta sauce simmers – cook the pasta as per the packet instructions – I use fusilli for this recipe. Once the pasta has cooked – drain and put to one side.
- Preheat the oven to 200C – mix the pasta and meatballs with 2/3 of the sauce. Put this into an oven dish. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top and then scatter over the grated cheese. Bake in the oven for around 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese is all melted and bubbling and browning.
- Leave to cool for around 5 minutes and then serve.
Make pasta bake your way
Don’t just stick to our recipe – mix things up a little! Try….
- Adding more veggies to the tomato sauce – peppers and courgettes work well
- Go veggie and use vegetarian ‘meat’balls
- Add a little spice with a pinch of chilli flakes in the sauce.
What side dishes go with pasta bake?
Our meatball pasta bake goes great alongside any of the follow side dishes…
- Green salad
- Steamed broccoli or green beans
- Garlic baguette
- Homemade coleslaw – try our apple slaw recipe here.