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 by stocking my freezer with frozen 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.Pull together these delicious, cheesy #baked #Italian #meatballs in under 30 minutes. Serve them with #pasta or mashed #potato for a quick and easy dinner. And why not make an extra dish for the #freezer. #freezermeals Click To Tweet
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.
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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.
Try the following:
- Meatballs can be purchased from the freezer section of your supermarket, and fresh meatballs can also be purchased from supermarkets and butchers. Beef, chicken or turkey, pork or even vegetarian meatballs would all work well in this recipe.
- 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.
Tips & Tricks for Delicious 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.
If you are organised enough, you could also assemble the entire dish in a foil tray and freeze it. I prefer to use foil trays in my freezer so The Princess doesn’t dislodge my ceramic cookware and smash it on my kitchen floor (the problem is real). The baked Italian meatballs can be cooked directly from frozen, or defrosted in the fridge during the day before cooking. If you are cooking the meatballs from frozen, just cook the dish for an additional 10 – 15 minutes to ensure the dish is heated through properly.
I like to use a heavy ceramic baking dish for these meatballs.
Made this recipe? Tell me how it went in the comments below.
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Baked Italian Meatballs
- 500 g (1 lb) freezer-friendly meatballs 1/2 batch
- 500 ml (2 cups) tomato pasta sauce
- 250 g (2 cups) fresh mozzarella cheese grated
- 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 post was updated on 6th April 2018