These deliciously cheesy baked Italian meatballs are a snap to make, and perfect served over pasta for a quick and easy dinner.
Total Time Investment: 30 minutes
Is there anybody that does not like meatballs? If so, I have yet to find them. I consider any meal The Princess doesn’t turn her nose up at a win, and thankfully these easy baked Italian meatballs are very high on her list of acceptable dinners.
Aside from the fact that The Princess will eat these meatballs without complaint, this is possibly one of the easiest dishes that I cook. Admittedly it is only easy as I have done all the hard work up front stocking my freezer with Italian meatballs and tomato pasta sauce, but with a full freezer I can put this meal together in less than ten minutes. The rest of the cooking time occurs in the oven, allowing me to
put my feet up get on with other things.
If you haven’t had time to stock your freezer, though, don’t stress. You can still whip up your own baked Italian meatballs with a few simple tricks; just check out my Ingredient Substitutions below.
My favourite way to serve these meatballs is piled high on top of a bed of spaghetti, with little more than a sprinkle of chopped parsley and some freshly grated Parmesan to finish the dish off. The pasta cooks whilst the meatballs are in the oven – Easy peasy!! However I think these meatballs would also be great served with a big pile of creamy mashed potato and steamed greens for something different. Or tuck the baked meatballs into warmed rolls for easy meatball subs. Delicious.
Ingredient Substitution for Baked Italian Meatballs
If your freezer is not piled high with batches of my freezer-friendly meatballs, and my tomato pasta sauce, you can still put these baked Italian meatballs together really quickly with the help of a few convenience foods. A word of caution though. When purchasing convenience foods, be sure to read the labels. I only buy brands that contain minimal sugar and few processed ingredients.
Meatballs can be purchased from the freezer section of your supermarket, and fresh meatballs can also be purchased from supermarkets and butchers. Beef, chicken, pork or even vegetarian meatballs would all work well in this recipe.Cheesy baked Italian #meatballs are a snap to make. Perfect with #pasta for an easy #dinner. Click To Tweet
Replace the homemade tomato pasta sauce with your favourite commercial brand. Again just check the labels for sugar and other unnecessary additives. Any variety will work well in this dish.
I like to top my baked Italian meatballs with fresh mozzarella. This is personal preference, and any melting cheese will work well here.
How to get ahead with baked Italian meatballs
Whilst these baked Italian meatballs take very little time to assemble, I have on occasion assembled the dish in the morning before leaving for the day. Then all I need do when I get home is place the dish in the oven and turn it on.
You could also assemble the entire dish and freeze it, then cook the baked Italian meatballs from frozen, with no problems at all.
Baked Italian Meatballs
Pre-heat the oven to 200C (180C fan forced).
Spread half of the tomato pasta sauce over the base of a medium sized casserole dish.
Arrange the meatballs in a single layer over the tomato pasta sauce.
Spread the remainder of the tomato pasta sauce over the meatballs.
Scatter grated mozzarella over the top of the pasta sauce.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and the dish is bubbling.
Serve over pasta, or with mashed potato and vegetables.
This recipe uses about half a batch of my homemade freezer-friendly meatballs. So if making the meatballs from scratch, consider making two containers of these baked meatballs, and pop one in the freezer for an emergency meal.