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Mini Meatball Pasta Bake

Mini Meatball Pasta Bake

  • Yield: 8 servings 1x



For the Meatballs:

  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or grated
  • 1 small onion, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • ½ cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb ground beef/veal/pork mix (or meat of choice)
  • Olive oil, for drizzling

For Assembly:

  • 3 cups jarred marinara sauce (or homemade!)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup water
  • The cooked meatballs
  • 1 lb uncooked penne or rotini pasta
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup freshly grated pecorino or parmesan cheese


For the Meatballs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with tin foil.
  2. Combine the grated garlic, onion, ketchup, herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Mix well to combine and then season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  3. Whisk in the egg and finally the meat, mixing until everything is just combined.
  4. Form ½-inch round meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil and then bake for 15 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through and browned. Set aside.

To Assemble:

  1. In the bottom of a large baking dish, whisk together the marinara, milk, and water. Stir in the uncooked pasta and cooked meatballs. You want everything evenly combined before adding the cheeses.
  2. Top with the cheeses and then cover the dish with tin foil. Bake for 30 minutes, uncover, and then bake for another 10 minutes. The top should be golden and bubbly.
  3. Allow to cool slightly before serving.