Mini Meatball Pasta Bake

Dinner, Fall, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Winter

The Dodgers are in The World Series and I have never been more emotionally invested in any series ever. Lol. I don’t even watch sports but I grew up going to Dodger games. I grew up eating Dodger dogs. So, I’m a fan. And, I live in Echo Park, which means that Dodger stadium is literally walking distance so…well, honestly I don’t know how that has anything to do with me being a fan but I am!!

This week I’ve been screaming at the television (so unlike me) and it’s been fun! Also, it’s finally feel like fall (even tho I know I said that yesterday). I’ve been craving warm, cozy foods more than ever. I posted this recipe on the Instagram a while back but I wanted to repost it here so it’s a printable recipe and easier to find.

Do you like Instagram recipes? I always thought no one would ever make a recipe from a caption but that’s not true. I find that people actually save the recipes and make them. It blows my mind because I personally can’t imagine cooking from a caption—they’re so small. But maybe I’m just wrong?

Anyway, this recipe. Mini little meatballs are rolled and put on top of orecheitte and the entire thing is topped with cheese. It’s not baked for a super long time but it is so, so good. I love it so much.

I feel like I need to make more pasta bakes!!

Also, Happy Halloween! I’m not dressing up this year BUT Amelia is going to be a skunk and I bought a few bags of candy for trick ‘o treaters so hopefully they come knocking on the door! I’m gonna be bummed if they don’t show up mainly because I’ll have all this candy around. Lol.

Wishing you a safe and cozy Halloween!

Mini Meatball Pasta Bake

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 pound ground beef, 90%/10%
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan
  • 1/4 yellow onion or red onion, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 23-ounce jar of marinara or homemade
  • 4 ounces crème fraîche
  • 1 pound of pasta, I used orecchiette, cooked to al dente
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs and milk. Allow to soak for 5 minutes. Add the ground beef, Parmesan, onion, garlic, dried oregano, salt, crushed red pepper and egg.
  • Mix until combined.
  • Using a tablespoon (or small cookie scoop—my favorite tool for meatballs), scoop out the meat mixture, forming meatballs using your palms. Repeat until you’ve worked through all of the meatball mixture.
  • In a medium skillet, set over medium heat, add the oil. When hot, cook the meatballs for 2 to 3 minutes, flipping them and cooking on the opposite side for an additional 4 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to a bowl. Pour the marinara into the skillet, along with the crème fraîche and stir until smooth. Cook until warmed, about 5 to 7 minutes, seasoning the marinara sauce to your liking (I added a bit of crushed red pepper and some additional salt).
  • To a large baking dish, add the cooked pasta, marinara sauce and toss until combined. Add meatballs atop the pasta and sprinkle with the mozzarella. Transfer to the oven to bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until cheese is nice and melty. Garnish with Italian parsley, if you like.
Nutrition Facts
Mini Meatball Pasta Bake
Amount Per Serving (4 g)
Calories 0
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Lisa in Houston October 31, 2017 at 7:31 am

    I’m glad you posted this here! I saw it on Instagram and forgot to save it! Can’t wait to make.

    Also….can’t help myself….Go Astros!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme October 31, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      Hahaha…you know, if Houston wins I won’t even be mad. Houston has had a rough go this year! xo

  • Reply Holly October 31, 2017 at 9:10 am

    This looks absolutely delicious and so warming for those cold winter evenings! I cannot wait to give it a go and I know already that my mum is going to want the recipe too. YUM!

    Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo

  • Reply Carly November 1, 2017 at 7:35 am

    This looks amazing! *insert heart-eyes emoji* How do you know if someone has saved one of your Instagram photos? Does Insta notify you?

  • Reply Currently Crushing On. – Fruitide November 4, 2017 at 5:17 am

    […] craving a mini meatball pasta bake. […]

  • Reply Kary F November 4, 2017 at 7:01 am

    This looks so good! I’m thinking of making it ahead of time and then baking for a weeknight dinner, do you think I should make any adjustments for that?

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way November 5, 2017 at 4:32 am

    It’s a good thing we made a large batch of meatballs the other day. They may not be mini but they’re mighty garlicky good!! What an adorable idea for pasta. And after we made the meatballs we made a huge vat of marinara sauce. Looks like we’re halfway with this recipe. I’ll have to check the pantry for the recipe. I am inspired by pictures and since I seem to read everything that passes in front of my eyes I’m intrigued by titles. Can’t wait to make this recipe!!

  • Reply Teresa November 7, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Easy & tasty! My hubby made the marinara, used penne rigate, and I forgot to add an egg to the meatball mix but it was still tasty. Thank you!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme November 8, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      Ahh amazing. You definitely don’t need it need it. It’s great without it.

  • Reply Chloe HARRADINE-HALE December 5, 2017 at 1:42 am

    Just made this tonight, was such a big winner in our household! The meatballs are to die for! Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

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  • Reply Courtney September 20, 2018 at 5:49 am

    OMG! Definitely will be making this again – it was so, so, so easy and more importantly: DELICIOUS! I made it for myself and three other people and we devoured it.

  • Reply Mackenzie September 16, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Sounds like an amazing recipe! I’m wondering if you have any suggestions on a substitute for the creme fraiche? I can’t find it where I live.

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