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Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs

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overhead shot of Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs in a baking dish
Made in the oven and full of the best Italian flavors, this baked spaghetti and meatballs is so easy to make and with satisfying results.
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Table of Contents
  1. Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE
  7. Popular Dinner Recipes

Baked spaghetti and meatballs is a hearty casserole, made in the oven and full of the best Italian flavors. Spaghetti noodles and homemade meatballs are smothered in sauce and coated with gooey cheese before being baked to perfection.

close up shot of a piece of Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs

Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs Ingredients

Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Meatballs

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian ground pork
  • ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

For the Pasta

  • 8 ounces spaghetti noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 32 ounces of your favorite red pasta sauce

For the Casserole Toppings

  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

MEATBALLS: If you prefer not to make your own homemade meatballs, you can use store-bought frozen meatballs in this recipe. Just make sure to completely thaw them before using them in your casserole. Likewise, you can freeze your homemade meatballs and thaw them out to use them at a later date.

PASTA: Any type of noodles would work for this recipe. If you prefer to use smaller, bite-sized noodles in place of the long spaghetti noodles, I would recommend penne or rotini. If you don’t have spaghetti noodles but would like to stick with a long noodle, you could use angel hair, fettuccine, or linguine.

SAUCE: Any red sauce will work to make baked spaghetti and meatballs. For a fun twist on this recipe, you could also use a pink (rosé) sauce that combines white and red sauce. You could also opt to use a white sauce if you prefer!

If you would like to make your own tomato sauce, you could try our homemade pasta sauce recipe.

How To Make This Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set it aside.

STEP TWO: In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, Italian breadcrumbs, whole milk, minced garlic, Italian seasonings, onion powder, dried parsley, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and lightly beaten eggs. Using your hands, mix all ingredients in the bowl until just combined, being careful not to overmix the meat.

meatball ingredients in a bowl and then mixed together in a bowl

STEP THREE: Use a small scoop to form small meatballs, or a large scoop to form large meatballs. A small scoop will make about 34 meatballs, and a larger ice cream scoop will form about 17 meatballs. You can also use your hands!

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

An ice cream scoop works well, but using your hands to form the meatballs will give you the best results.

STEP FOUR: Place the meatballs on the foil-lined baking sheet and place them in the oven. Cook at 400°F for 18 to 20 minutes if making small meatballs or 25 minutes if making large meatballs. They should be cooked through at this point and browned on the top. Remove from the oven and set aside.

PRO TIP:

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your meatballs at the lower end of the recommended baking time.

meatballs in a baking pan and then baked

STEP FIVE: In a large pot of water, cook spaghetti according to package directions until pasta is al dente. Drain water and add cooked pasta noodles back to the pot. Drizzle olive oil over noodles and toss to coat. Add ¾ cup mozzarella, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, and ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper. Toss pasta to coat with cheese and seasonings.

PRO TIP:

Al dente is the ideal consistency for pasta. The pasta will be tender and will still have a slightly firm texture when you bite into it.

noodles in a bowl drizzled with oil

STEP SIX: Turn the heat down on your oven to 375°F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Add the noodle mixture to the bottom of the baking dish.

STEP SEVEN: Remove the meatballs from the baking sheet and place them on top of the noodle mixture. Nestle each meatball down in the noodles so that only the top half is sticking out.

STEP EIGHT: Add 32 ounces of your favorite pasta sauce to the top of the casserole. Use a fork spread out the noodles in between the meatballs so the sauce can fall down among the noodles.

pasta with meatballs in a baking dish and then poured with sauce

STEP NINE: Cover the casserole and place it in the oven at 375°F. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle the remaining cheeses (1¼ cup total) over the top of the casserole.

STEP TEN: Place back in the oven at 375°F and continue to cook for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sides are bubbling.

PRO TIP:

If you want to brown your cheese slightly, you can turn your broiler on for the last minute of melting the cheese. Make sure to keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs in a baking dish and then baked

How To Serve

Nothing completes a spaghetti dish like garlic bread. This cheesy pull-apart bread and these dinner rolls are also delicious options. Or sneak a vegetable in with your bread by using our cauliflower breadstick recipe.

Add a Caesar salad on the side for a complete meal. And of course, an extra sprinkle of tangy parmesan cheese is never a bad idea.

What about sticking with the Italian theme and adding our easy tiramisu recipe for dessert?

For more pasta casseroles, try our baked tortellini and ravioli lasagna.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store leftover baked spaghetti and meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge if you plan to eat it within a few days.

IN THE FREEZER: This casserole also makes for a great freezer meal. Place the airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months and allow it to thaw out completely before reheating it in the oven.

You can also store any leftover meatballs in the freezer. They are easy to thaw out and reheat in a casserole or put on top of spaghetti when you are ready to use them at a later date. Simply store them sealed tight in a Ziploc freezer bag.

overhead shot of Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs in a plate

Spaghetti noodles and homemade meatballs are swimming in pasta sauce and coated with a delicious cheese blend. This is a simple oven-baked dish for your next family dinner night.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I know when my pasta is al dente?

To test your pasta for al dente, take a bite of the pasta a minute or two before the package instructions indicate it should be done. When you bite into it, and your teeth feel some resistance, but the pasta is still tender, your pasta is al dente.

Can I freeze the meatballs and add them to the casserole later?

You can prepare the meatballs ahead of time and freeze them. Thaw them out and add them to your casserole for a quicker prep time.

Can I use a different type of pasta?

You could use a small, bite-size pasta such as penne or rotini or, if you want to stick with long pasta, you could use fettuccine or linguine.

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overhead shot of Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs in a baking dish

Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs

5 from 2 votes
Made in the oven and full of the best Italian flavors, this baked spaghetti and meatballs is so easy to make and with satisfying results.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Meatballs

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian ground pork
  • ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Pasta

  • 8 ounces spaghetti noodles, cooked per package directions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • 32 ounces your favorite red pasta sauce

Casserole Topping

  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, Italian breadcrumbs, whole milk, minced garlic, Italian seasonings, onion powder, dried parsley, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and lightly beaten eggs. Using your hands, mix all ingredients in the bowl until just combined, being careful not to over mix the meat.
  • Use a small scoop to form small meatballs, or a large scoop to form large meatballs.
  • Place the meatballs on the foil-lined baking sheet and place them in the oven. Cook at 400°F for 18 to 20 minutes if making small meatballs or 25 minutes if making large meatballs. They should be cooked through at this point and browned on the top. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • Cook spaghetti per package directions. Drain water and add noodles back to the pot. Drizzle olive oil over noodles and toss to coat. Add ¾ cup mozzarella, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, and ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper. Toss pasta to coat with cheese and seasonings.
  • Turn the heat down on your oven to 375°F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Add the noodle mixture to the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Remove meatballs from the baking sheet and place them on top of the noodle mixture. Nestle each meatball down in the noodles so that only the top half is sticking out.
  • Add 32 ounces of your favorite pasta sauce to the top of the casserole. Use a fork to spread out the noodles in between the meatballs so the sauce can fall down into the noodles.
  • Cover the casserole and place it in the oven at 375°F. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle the remaining cheeses (1¼ cup total) over the top of the casserole.
  • Place back in the oven at 375°F and continue to cook for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and the sides are bubbling.

Video

Notes

  • If you have leftover meatballs from this recipe you can freeze them. They are easy to thaw out and reheat in a casserole when you are ready to use them at a later date.
  • An ice cream scoop works well but using your hands to form the meatballs will give you the best results.
  • Al dente is the ideal consistency for pasta. The pasta will be tender and will still have a slightly firm texture when you bite into it.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your meatballs at the lower end of the recommended baking time.
  • If you want to brown your cheese slightly, you can turn your broiler on for the last minute of melting the cheese. Make sure to keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

Nutrition

Calories: 746kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 196mg | Sodium: 1814mg | Potassium: 1054mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1113IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 533mg | Iron: 6mg
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