Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs

Baked spaghetti and meatballs is a delicious and cheesy twist on a classic. This comforting dish is a favorite!

We served up this easy to assemble baked spaghetti and meatballs with a big salad and a side of dutch oven garlic parmesan artisan bread. This is one meal we could eat every night of the week and the entire family would be happy!!

Baked spaghetti and meatball in a skillet garnished with fresh basil. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

A must-make skillet meal

I recently shared a quick and easy skillet dinner with you and now I’m sharing a slightly more time-consuming but equally delicious skillet meal today! Something about fall makes me want to make casseroles and soup every night of the week. 

Lately I’ve been making meals that are easy to separate (like the skillet meal I linked to above). It was a huge hit with all of the kids! They twirled the pasta, carefully cut their meatballs and oohed over how stretchy the cheese was. 

The kids even enjoyed making it with me. I think that’s a huge part of getting kids to eat, allowing them to learn hands-on how food is made and what goes into it. Speaking of what goes in it. Let’s talk about these meatballs. This is my go-to recipe. We make them all of the time!

A serving of baked spaghetti and meatballs. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Meatball tips

Just a few ingredients are needed for these tasty meatballs:

  • Breadcrumbs (regular, Italian, or panko)
  • Milk (whole or buttermilk)
  • Egg
  • Beef or pork (or a combo)
  • Dried seasonings and herbs

The great thing about this yummy recipe is that you can totally make it your own!  Have some fun and add mushrooms, sauteed onions, diced green bell peppers or olives to your baked spaghetti and meatballs.  You could also add some crushed red pepper either before or after baking to give it a little extra kick.

The key to this recipe is letting the breadcrumbs soak in the milk, then whisking the egg into it. To get soft, tender meatballs you don’t want to overwork the mixture. You’d be surprised what a difference a gentle hand makes! 

Brown the meatballs on all sides in a large skillet. You want the to be fully cooked before you bake them.

Homemade beef meatballs braised and ready to be put into the baked spaghetti and meatball dish. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

How to make baked spaghetti and meatballs

PREP. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

MEATBALLS. In a medium bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and milk. Let sit for 4 minutes, then whisk in the egg. Add the beef, pork, cheese, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, onion powder, and black pepper. Mix gently until combined. Do not overmix. In a large skillet set over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, form the mixture into meatballs and place into the skillet to cook. Brown on all sides. The meatballs should be fully cooked.

PASTA. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package’s directions. Drain and set aside.

SAUCE. Remove the meatballs from the skillet and transfer to a lined plate. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Pour in marinara, return the meatballs to the skillet. Simmer on medium low heat for 15 minutes.

BAKE. Stir in cooked spaghetti, along with ½ cup of the mozzarella and ¼ cup of the parmesan cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheeses over top. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to set for 10 minutes before serving.

Simple baked spaghetti and meatballs using jarred marinara. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Storing Info

STORE leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. 

FREEZE in a Ziploc freezer bag or freezer safe container for up to 3 months.  Just pop them in the microwave to reheat and you will be enjoying this delicious meal again in no time.  

A spoonful of baked spaghetti and meatballs. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

other wonderful Italian dishes add to your menu:


Baked spaghetti and meatball in a skillet garnished with fresh basil. | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Baked spaghetti and meatballs is a delicious and cheesy twist on a classic. This comforting dish is a favorite!
4.64 from 11 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 6
Print Recipe

Ingredients

For the meatballs:
  • ¾ c. breadcrumbs
  • ¼ c. milk or buttermilk
  • 1 egg - lightly beaten
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ½ lb. ground pork
  • c. parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
Remaining ingredients:
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 24 oz. marinara sauce
  • 2 c. mozzarella cheese - grated, divided
  • ½ c. grated parmesan cheese - divided

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and milk. Let sit for 4 minutes, then whisk in the egg. Add the beef, pork, cheese, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, onion powder, and black pepper. Mix gently until combined. Do not overmix.
  • In a large skillet set over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, form the mixture into meatballs and place into the skillet to cook. Brown on all sides. The meatballs should be fully cooked.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package's directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Remove the meatballs from the skillet and transfer to a lined plate. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Pour in marinara, return the meatballs to the skillet. Simmer on medium low heat for 15 minutes.
  • Stir in cooked spaghetti, along with ½ cup of the mozzarella and ¼ cup of the parmesan cheese.
  • Sprinkle remaining cheeses over top. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to set for 10 minutes before serving.

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About the Author

Natalie

Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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Comments:

  1. I would make this dish as I would lasagna ensuring the pasta is al dente. The same goes with the meatballs as I would cook medium rare. the whole casseroles going into the oven for another 30 minutes so the pasta will be perfectly cooked as well as the meatballs. I personally would reduce cooking time to 15 minutes and then five minutes under the broiler to have a nice cheesy topping lightly browned. The reason I say this is that the dish is still cooking when you remove from the oven and it should rest minimum 10 minutes before serving.

  2. This is a great take on spaghetti and meatballs! I like to change up the classics here and there and this looks like a good one!!!

  3. 5 stars
    This is a simple recipe that is so hearty. My family prefers this dish than the classic spaghetti and meatballs.

  4. 5 stars
    This is so flavorful and really easy to make! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe, will make this again!