One thing that I think all moms deal with on a regular basis is trying to figure out what to make for dinner. And if your kids are anything like mine, there is never one dish that can please everybody….except this one: Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs.
I’m not sure what it is about this dish, but it really pleases everyone. Maybe it’s the flavorful meatballs, or the fun, home-y pasta, but whenever I make this, it’s always gobbled up quickly.
This Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs also makes a great meal to take to potlucks or to give new moms or friends that are sick…it’s an all-in-one dish that warms up beautifully. Just add a green salad, and you’ve got a full meal!
How to Make Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs
The ingredients you’ll need for your baked spaghetti and meatballs are: cooked spaghetti, pasta sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, pre-cooked meatballs, mozzarella cheese, and fresh parsley.
You’ll want to cook your spaghetti to al-dente, which has a little bit of bite to it. The spaghetti will continue to cook in the oven, so you don’t want to cook it until it’s soft, otherwise, it will become a little mushy in the casserole.
When the spaghetti is done, drain it in a colander until all the excess water is gone. You don’t want to rinse the spaghetti during this step; just let all the cooking liquid drain off and it’s ready to go into the baking pan.
Mix the cooked and drained spaghetti with the sauce and sun-dried tomatoes.
Then season the mixture to taste with the Parmesan cheese.
Next, place the cooked meatballs on top of the spaghetti mixture.
I like to use this recipe to make my own homemade meatballs, which I brown in some olive oil in a hot skillet. This recipe is actually for an antipasto salad with meatball burgers, but I like to just make the burgers into regular meatballs, because they are just that good 😉
You can also use frozen meatballs from the store if you are short on time (they also taste good too!).
Cover the whole dish with mozzarella cheese (or a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar…whatever you like), and bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and everything is warmed through.
Top the finished casserole with some chopped parsley, and serve to your hungry guests!
Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 3-5 cups cooked spaghetti
- 1 cup tomato-based spaghetti sauce
- 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 10 + meatballs pre-cooked preferred
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese plus extra for serving
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil to your skillet or frying pan over medium heat and sear and cook your meatballs.
- Meanwhile, cook your spaghetti to al dente, according to package directions.
- Drain the spaghetti, but do not rinse.
- Place the spaghetti in your casserole dish and then stir in the tomato sauce and season to taste with sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese.
- Place the cooked meatballs over the spaghetti and cover with mozzarella.
- Cook until the cheese is melted, approximately 10-12 minutes.
- Sprinkle parsley over casserole and serve.
If you need to make this casserole ahead of time and want to freeze it, I would probably freeze the spaghetti separately from the rest of the ingredients, as pasta can get mushy after being in the freezer.
The best thing to do if you want to make this ahead, or as a gift to a friend in need of a meal, is to assemble it up to the point where it goes in the oven, and store it in the refrigerator. The casserole can be heated in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until warmed through.
Whenever you make this Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs, you can be sure that everyone will enjoy it…even the pickiest of eaters!
Need more easy dinner recipes? Check out this post on Easy Dinner Recipes for Families!