Meatball pasta bake recipe

(943 ratings)

This cheesy, meatball bake will leave the entire family with full stomachs and smiles on their faces. Try the easy recipe for dinner today.

Meatball pasta bake
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time1 hours
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories507 Kcal25%
Sugar14.6 g16%
Fat19.3 g28%
Saturated Fat8.4 g42%
Salt1.41 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein40.0 g80%
Carbohydrates40.9 g16%
Salt1.41 gRow 7 - Cell 2

This meatball pasta bake makes for a mouth-watering mid-week meal.

Our meatball pasta bake recipe is a real winner of a dish that’s loved by adults and kids alike. Tender pork mince is teamed with a rich tomato sauce and tasty penne pasta. Then topped with a thick layer of crispy, golden cheese that adds an incredible crunch of flavour. Health conscious parents can sneak some veggies into the hearty sauce too or try swapping the pork for turkey mince if you’re after something a little leaner. Sprinkle some fresh basil leaves on top and serve with a generous green leaf salad. Delicious.


  • 300g (11oz) wholewheat penne
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) pork mince
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 75–100g (3–31/2oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
  • green salad, to serve


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 50ml (2fl oz) red wine
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper




  1. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan according to the instructions on the packet, then drain and set aside in the pan. Preheat the grill to medium.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pork with the onion, oregano, garlic, Dijon mustard, tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and a good pinch of salt and black pepper.
  3. Form the mixture into 28–30 bite-sized meatballs and arrange on a grill tray.
  4. Cook under the hot grill for 10–12 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides.
  5. For the sauce, heat the oil in another saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and gently fry for 1–2 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for a further 30–40 seconds.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes, wine, oregano and sugar, then season with salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce has reduced.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), Gas mark 6.
  8. Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and add the meatballs. Stir until everything is combined, then transfer to a high-sided baking dish.
  9. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top and place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Serve in big hearty portions with a green side salad.

Tips for making meatball pasta bake:

Vegetarians take note - you can make meatballs out of veggie mince for a vegetarian alternative to this dish. Just be sure to pick up a bottle of Lea and Perrin's vegan Worcestershire sauce (as the normal variety contains anchovies).

You might also like…

Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 11 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies