Meatball Pasta Bake

Rich tomato ragu sauce layered on top of pasta, plenty of juicy meatballs and topped with a layer of oozing melted cheeses. The perfect family midweek meal
Meatball Pasta Bake

This Meatball Pasta Bake is a great family midweek meal. Make your own meatballs or cheat and buy some high meat content premade meatballs. I like using premade, precooked Swedish style meatballs to make this a really quick and simple dinner. If you’re vegetarian, you could use plant-based meatballs, but it’s important to ensure they have a high-protein and low-carb content as the meatballs help to pair the carbs in the pasta and tomato-based sauce.

Meatball Pasta Bake

Meatball Pasta Bake

Rich tomato ragu sauce layered on top of pasta, plenty of juicy meatballs and topped with a layer of oozing melted cheeses. The perfect family midweek meal
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Main Meals
Cuisine: American, British, Italian
Diet: Diabetic, Vegetarian
Keyword: meatballs, pasta, pasta bake, ragu
Free or Membership Recipe: Free Recipe
Nut Free Recipe: Nut Free
Free from: coconut, nuts
Servings: 6 servings
Calories:
Author: Jo Paterson

Ingredients

  • 200 grams wholewheat pasta cooked & drained (or chickpea pasta)
  • 600 grams meatballs
  • 1 tsp olive oil (coconut oil, or butter)
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 whole cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 whole red chillies (optional) chopped
  • 400 grams tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 150 ml beef stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 good pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 125 grams mozzarella (one ball of mozarella, drained)
  • 100 grams grated cheddar
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 200°c (fan)
  • Cook pasta according to packet instructions until al dente (just cooked with a bite), then drain and set aside
  • If using raw meatballs, fry the meatballs in a drizzle of olive or coconut oil until cooked, then drain and set aside
  • Add some olive oil and chopped onion to a pan and cook on medium, until softened
  • Add the garlic to the onions and stir. If using chillies, reserve a small amount of chilli for garnishing if you wish, then add the rest to the pan and stir through. Allow them to cook for a minute or two, until fragrant
  • Pour in the tin of tomatoes, rinse the tin with a little cold water (approx. half a can of cold water) and add to the pan, add the beef stock, tomato puree, paprika, Worcester sauce, oregano and stir well. Turn up the heat to bring the ragu to a fast simmer. Season with salt & black pepper to taste. Continue cooking until reduced down and rich in flavour. Once cooked, turn off the heat
  • In a large ovenproof dish, spread a thin layer of pasta
  • Layer the meatballs evenly across the pasta, ensuring they cover all the pasta
  • Cover with the tomato ragu sauce
  • Tear the drained mozzarella into pieces and dot it across the ragu, then sprinkle with plenty of grated cheddar
  • Place in the centre of the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden. Once cooked, garnish with chilli and fresh basil leaves

Notes

For this recipe, I use Aldi’s Swedish style pre-cooked meatballs or Smorgasbord Swedish Meatballs. This saves time in making and cooking the meatballs. You can of course make your own meatballs, or cook premade meatballs. If you are vegetarian, you can use premade plant-based meatballs but they must be low-carb and high-protein in order to help pair the carbs found in the pasta and tomato ragu sauce.

Nutritional info. is based per serving unless stated otherwise and is only a guide. The nutritional content will vary depending on the exact ingredients used

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