Print Recipe

Mini Meatball Pasta Bake

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins


  • 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.


Serving: 4g