Baked Ziti with Meatballs is an easy weeknight dinner that you can have on the table quickly. Using homemade or store-bought meatballs, this cheesy casserole will soon become a family favourite!
You're going to love this easy casserole dish that is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner!
I like to make a large batch of meatballs and use half for the baked ziti and freeze the other half for later.
The meatball recipe will be enough for two batches of baked ziti. You can also use them in a meatball sandwich or any of your favourite pasta dinner recipes.
WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- simple ingredients with no fancy equipment needed!
- you can use homemade marinara sauce and homemade meatballs or store-bought!
- delicious one-pot meal that will be in the oven in no time and the whole family will love!
- tastes delicious leftover. Pop it into the microwave for a few minutes.
INGREDIENTS & SUBSTITUTIONS
Please see the recipe card for the full list of ingredients for meatballs as well as Bake Ziti recipe.
- marinara sauce - use your favourite brand. I will have my homemade Marinara sauce on the blog in the next few weeks with all of the beautiful ripe tomatoes in season!
- ziti pasta - depending where you live, you might not be able to easily find ziti pasta noodles. You could substitute with rigatoni (it's larger) or penne pasta as well.
- Parmesan cheese, freshly grated - I love the flavour the freshly grated Parmesan cheese adds to the meatballs. It really does take them up a notch. If you only have the jar of parmesan cheese, that will work too.
- mozzarella cheese
- fresh parsley - use Italian parsley or curly parsley. Fresh basil and oregano, chopped is also a great addition!
- meatballs - in the recipe, I've used a combination of ground beef and ground pork. You can use all beef, or a combination of beef, pork and veal also for a delicious combination.
If you're going to make your own meatballs, the recipe that I've included with in the recipe card will make 48 medium-sized meatballs.You will only use 24 for the ziti recipe.
Making meatballs from scratch is easy!
Place the ground beef and pork in a large mixing bowl.
Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the meat, followed by the milk. Let the milk soak into the breadcrumbs for about two minutes while you chop the onions.
Add in the finely chopped onion, eggs, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.
(I like to mix my meatballs using clean hands. Rings off and stored in a safe spot! Alternatively, you can use a wooden spoon).
Mix gently until everything is mixed in. Be careful not to over mix!
Shape into 2-inch balls and place on baking sheet that is lightly brushed with olive oil. You will need two baking sheets and you can cook all of them at once by using two baking sheets.
Bake in 425°F for 25 to 30 minutes, turning once, halfway through.
Check to ensure that they are completely cooked and no longer pink inside.
Next, cook the pasta and drain.
Place drained pasta in large mixing bowl along with 24 meatballs. Pour the marinara sauce over top and stir gently until coated completely with sauce.
Transfer to a lightly oiled 9x13-inch baking dish.
(If you're using store-bought meatballs, heat in marinara sauce over low heat on stove).
Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Bake in 375°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.
Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
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