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Meatball Pasta Bake

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Our meatball pasta bake is proper comfort food for cold days. A delicious easy family dinner idea we think you’ll just LOVE.

I really love to make a big meatball pasta bake, it’s total comfort food.

Tasty seasoned meatballs mixed with freshly cooked pasta, delicious tomato sauce and all baked in the oven with loads of melted cheese on top. It’s a real family dinner – one you can all enjoy together.

Now… I’m not going to pretend I always make this from scratch, I often don’t – sometimes I use shop bought meatballs or shop bought tomato sauce. It just depends how much time I have…. and what I fancy doing.

But.. if you want to make it from scratch then it is a totally delicious meatballs and pasta recipe and well worth the effort making!

meatball pasta bake fresh from the oven and scattered with chopped flat leaf parsley

And those homemade meatballs… well they actually only take about 10 minutes to make anyway!

meatball pasta bake being spooned from the serving dish

Meatball Pasta Bake Ingredients

For The Homemade Meatballs

  • 400g minced beef
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion – finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic – finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 30g grated Parmesan – you can swap this for Pecorino if you prefer – it’s just as good and cheaper!
  • 1 tbs sun dried tomato puree – it’s well worth looking out for this, it’s gives a much sweeter, flavourful taste than regular tomato puree. I use the Gia sun dried tomato puree.
  • 1 egg – beaten

For The Tomato Sauce

  • 1.2kg passata – choose an Italian herb flavoured one as a quick way to add in more flavour with zero effort. If you can get them then the cans of Mutti Pizza Sauce are excellent for this recipe!
  • Small bunch basil – finely chopped – stalks and leaves
  • Pinch salt and pinch of ground black pepper

For The Pasta Bake

  • 300g dried pasta – I use fusilli or penne for pasta bakes
  • 100g grated cheddar – you can swap this for mozzarella or any other cheese you like
  • 30g grated Parmesan – again you can swap this for Pecorino
  • 6-8 basil leaves – roughly torn

Get more really delicious easy minced beef recipes here

How To Make Meatball Pasta Bake

  • Make the meatballs – gently fry the finely chopped onion and garlic in a little olive oil.
  • Mix the minced beef and seasoning – in a bowl add the minced beef, fried onions and garlic, Parmesan cheese, dried oregano, sun dried tomato puree and the beaten egg. Season with salt and black pepper and mix well with your hands
  • Form the meatballs – using your hands, take small mounds of meatball mixture and roll it between your palms. The meatballs should be ping pong ball size. This recipe will make around 16-18.
  • Make the tomato sauce – tip the passata and chopped basil into a saucepan and warm gently. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
  • Gently brown the meatballs – fry the meatballs in a frying pan, add a little olive oil if necessary. Cook them for around 10 minutes – turning regularly to brown all the sides.  Remember the meatballs won’t be thoroughly cooked yet – they’ll finish off cooking in the oven.
meatballs browning in a skillet pan
  • Cook the pasta – whilst the meatballs brown and the pasta sauce simmers – cook the pasta as per the packet instructions.
  • Switch on the oven – preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / Gas Mark 6

More meals to make with minced beef here

How To Make A Pasta Bake

  • Mix the pasta with 2/3 of the tomato sauce – once the pasta is drained, stir around 2/3 of the pasta sauce through the pasta and mix well to coat.
a panful of freshly cooked fusilli pasta tossed with tomato sauce
  • Add the meatballs – tip the browned meatballs into the pasta and tomato sauce and stir together. And tip into an oven proof dish.
fusilli tossed in tomato sauce and mixed with meatballs ready to be turned into meatball pasta bake
  • Add more tomato sauce – pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the top of the pasta and meatballs
meatball pasta bake being topped with tomato sauce before the cheese is added
  • Add the cheese – scatter cheese over the top of the meatball pasta bake
meatball pasta bake topped with grated cheddar and pecorino ready to be baked in the oven
  • Cook the meatball pasta bake – put the meatballs pasta bake into the oven and cook for around 15-20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through properly and the cheese is all melted and bubbling on top.
meatball pasta bake fresh from the oven and scattered with chopped flat leaf parsley

Get more easy ground beef recipes here

  • Scatter over the fresh herbs – simply scatter the torn basil over the top of the cooked meatball pasta bake
  • Serve the meatball pasta bake – leave the pasta tray bake to cool for around 5-10 minutes then serve

Get more easy pasta recipes here

meatball pasta bake served with broccoli and peas

Make your family’s mealtimes more interesting with one of our mouthwatering beef mince recipes

Make Meatball Pasta Bake Your Way

Okay so now you have the basic pasta meatball bake – don’t just stick to our recipe – mix things up a little! You could try….

  • Adding more vegetables to the tomato sauce – sautéed peppers, mushrooms and courgettes work well. Or you could throw in some canned sweetcorn.
  • Make vegetarian meatball pasta bake – use vegetarian ‘meat’balls in place of the meat variety.
  • Make spicy meatball pasta bake – add a little spice with a pinch of chilli flakes in the sauce.

This is a great kids pasta bake recipe – filling and delicious, just what they need after a busy day at school.

Get loads more easy dinner recipes here

What To Serve With Pasta Bake?

meatball pasta bake served with broccoli and peas

Our cheesy meatball pasta bake goes great alongside any of the follow side dishes…

  • Green salad – toss some salad leaves with cucumber slices and diced green peppers.
  • Broccoli & Peas – my kids love broccoli and peas alongside pasta and it’s 2 or their 5 a day so I’m happy with that too!
  • Garlic baguette – a couple of slices of garlic bread are always good with pasta.

More family dinner ideas with pasta

Get loads more delicious easy pasta dishes here

  • Spicy Sausage Pasta – turn a pack of 6 sausages into mini meatballs and serve with pasta in a spicy sauce.
  • Oven Baked Bolognese – just the BEST way to cook bolognese, a rich, warming sauce that’s perfect with freshly cooked spaghetti.
  • Red Pesto – a flavoursome roasted red pepper pesto recipe that’s delicious served with spaghetti
  • Cajun Chicken Pasta – super tasty spicy chicken and tomato sauce tossed through freshly cooked pasta. Ready in just 30 minutes, meaning it’s a great weeknight dinner.

Browse all our meat recipes here

Need Some Family Meal Ideas?

Check out our meal planning here – it’s filled with recipes, meal planning tips and pre-filled printable meal plans weekly or seasonally. We’ve got hundreds of the BEST family recipes your whole family will LOVE!

Yield: Serves 4

Meatball Pasta Bake

meatball pasta bake being spooned from the serving dish

Super easy meatball pasta bake - total comfort food dinner!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

For the meatballs

  • 400g minced beef
  • 2 tsp olive oil 
  • 1 brown onion - finely diced 
  • 1 clove garlic - finely diced 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbs sun dried tomato puree 
  • 1 egg - beaten

For the tomato sauce

  • 1.2kg passata 
  • small bunch basil - finely chopped 
  • pinch salt 
  • pinch ground black pepper

For the pasta bake

  • 300g dried pasta
  • 100g Cheddar cheese - grated
  • 30g Parmesan - grated 
  • 6 basil leaves - roughly torn 

Instructions

  1. Make the meatballs – gently fry the finely chopped onion and garlic in a little olive oil.
  2. Mix the minced beef and seasoning – in a bowl add the minced beef, fried onions and garlic, Parmesan cheese, dried oregano, sun dried tomato puree and the beaten egg. Season with salt and black pepper and mix well with your hands
  3. Form the meatballs – using your hands, take small mounds of meatball mixture and roll it between your palms. The meatballs should be ping pong ball size. This recipe will make around 16-18.
  4. Make the tomato sauce – tip the passata and chopped basil into a saucepan and warm gently. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
  5. Gently brown the meatballs – fry the meatballs in a frying pan, add a little olive oil if necessary. Cook them for around 10 minutes – turning regularly to brown all the sides. Remember the meatballs won’t be thoroughly cooked yet – they’ll finish off cooking in the oven.
  6. Cook the pasta – whilst the meatballs brown and the pasta sauce simmers – cook the pasta as per the packet instructions.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / Gas Mark 6
  8. Mix the pasta with 2/3 of the tomato sauce – once the pasta is drained, stir around 2/3 of the pasta sauce through the pasta and mix well to coat.
  9. Add the meatballs – tip the browned meatballs into the pasta and tomato sauce and stir together. And tip into an oven proof dish.
  10. Add more tomato sauce – pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the top of the pasta and meatballs
  11. Add the cheese – scatter cheese over the top of the meatball pasta bake
  12. Cook the meatball pasta bake – put the meatballs pasta bake into the oven and cook for around 15-20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through properly and the cheese is all melted and bubbling on top.
  13. Scatter over the fresh herbs – simply scatter the torn basil over the top of the cooked meatball pasta bake

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 576Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 167mgSodium: 443mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 41g

Nutritional content will vary depending on the exact ingredients you use and how careful you are with measuring - this nutritional information is given as a general guide only and may not be accurate - you should always calculate your own nutritional information especially if you have specific dietary requirements.

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meatball pasta bake being spooned from the serving dish. Text overlay reads "delicious meatball pasta bake"

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