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This simple Meatball Pasta Bake cooks all in one pan in about 30 minutes – no boiling the pasta! A hearty, warming comfort food bowl for the perfect quick-win dinner.

Big panful of Meatball Pasta Bake. A delicious 30 minute recipe.

You can rarely go wrong with a big bowl of pasta with meatballs, with rich, comforting tomato sauce. It usually goes down well with everyone in the family and is so just simple and satisfying.

We’re taking a big shortcut here of using ready-made meatballs for this recipe, but sometimes needs must, right? You can buy fresh in your weekly shop or even store frozen ones for ultra convenience when ideas, time or cupboard ingredients are in short supply.

Why you’ll love this Meatball Pasta Bake recipe

⭐️ Comforting, satisfying and delicious

⭐️ Convenient and quick

⭐️ Great for a batch cook

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Close up of meatball pasta bake in a pan, topped with cheese.

About this Meatball Pasta Bake

This actually isn’t a ‘bake’ in the traditional sense as we use the grill at the end to make the cooking more energy efficient, but it is in the sense it’s all cooked and heated together. If you prefer, you can put it back in the oven to melt the cheese on top instead (at 200C for about 20 minutes).

I know we’re cheating a bit here with the meatballs, and those of you who would rather make homemade ones can follow my easy Meatballs and Spaghetti recipe here and substitute them into this pasta bake instead. Or for something a little different, you could try my Ikea-style Swedish Meatballs.

I actually find the shop-bought meatballs hold their shape better than homemade for this recipe – bonus! Buying the best quality meatballs you can afford will make a difference to the outcome of the flavour too.

Meatball Pasta Bake Ingredients

Meatball pasta bake ingredients laid on a counter.
  • Sunflower oil
  • Meatballs – Your favourite type
  • Onion – Fresh or pre-chopped frozen is fine
  • Garlic – Same as above
  • Mushrooms – I like chestnut as they have lots of flavour, you can swap in other vegetables if you prefer
  • Tinned chopped tomatoes
  • Chilli flakes
  • Sweet smoked paprika – NOT regular paprika!
  • Vegetable stock
  • Tomato puree
  • Pasta – Again, this is personal preference 
  • Mozzarella – I used grated, but you could swap for another cheese if you prefer

How to make Meatball Pasta Bake

How to make Meatball Pasta Bake. Step 1.

1. Heat the oil and brown the meatballs.

How to make Meatball Pasta Bake. Step 2.

2. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms and fry (according to the recipe timings below).

How to make Meatball Pasta Bake. Step 3.

3. Add in tomatoes, chilli, paprika, stock, puree, pasta and salt and pepper. Stir, put the lid on and simmer until the pasta is tender.

How to make Meatball Pasta Bake. Step 4.

4. Sprinkle cheese over the top and pop under the grill to melt the cheese for about 5 minutes.

Hint: If the pasta is not finished cooking and the sauce is already too dry, add a splash of water and continue cooking until the pasta is done.


  • Vegetables – My children HATE mushrooms with a passion but I just love them so much that for once, I did use them! They just picked them out and ate some extra cherry tomatoes on the side. Feel free to substitute for or add any other vegetable you prefer.


In the fridge You can keep this recipe in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat fully in the microwave or on the hob with a dash of water before serving.

In the freezer I’m not a big fan of pasta from the freezer, all that said it’s still edible when defrosted and reheated fully, it can just go a bit squishy and overcooked.

Top tips


Make sure the paprika is SWEET SMOKED PAPRIKA not regular paprika, or hot. Otherwise this will be very spicy!

Adapt this recipe

If you fancy something a little different, try adapting this recipe for my Meatball Orzo Bake or my Cheeseburger Pasta instead!

Meatball Pasta Bake FAQs

Is this too spicy for children?

I would say no. Omit chilli flakes if you want but it just gives a tiny touch of warmth.

Can you recommend an ideal pan to use for this recipe?

Use a NON-STICK pan for this. It will make your life so much easier. See my one pan recommendations here.

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Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

5 from 74 votes

Meatball Pasta Bake {30 Minute Meal}

This super-speedy Meatball Pasta Bake recipe uses ready-made meatballs for a quick win. It’s so delicious and is a dead-cert favourite for the whole family.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 tsp Sunflower oil
  • 340 g Meatballs
  • 1 Onion, Peeled and chopped
  • 3 Cloves of garlic, Peeled and chopped
  • 300 g Mushrooms, Sliced
  • 400 g Tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp Sweet smoked paprika
  • 750 ml Vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp Tomato puree
  • 250 g Pasta
  • 150 g Mozzarella
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • In a large grill proof, deep frying pan (a saute pan) heat the sunflower oil over a medium heat.
  • Add the meatballs and pan fry for about 5 minutes until starting to colour all over.
  • Add the chopped onion, garlic and mushrooms and fry for a further 5 minutes until the vegetables are starting to soften and the meatballs are browned all over.
  • Add the tomatoes, chilli, paprika, vegetable stock, tomato puree, dry pasta and plenty of salt and pepper. Give everything a good stir, put the lid on, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly, until the pasta is cooked through and the liquid is absorbed.
  • Preheat your grill to medium. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the pasta and pop under the grill to melt the cheese – about 5 minutes.


Cooking time: If the pasta is not finished cooking and the sauce is too dry, add a splash of water.
Meatballs: We’ve used a ready made meatball shortcut here, but feel free to use homemade if you prefer (there’s a link above to my recipe).


Calories: 667kcalCarbohydrates: 65gProtein: 36gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 1178mgPotassium: 1090mgFiber: 6gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 1520IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 267mgIron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Family Food
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Sarah Rossi founder of and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.


Hi, I'm Sarah. I help busy people decide 'What's for Dinner?' Find hundreds of recipes here, and also in my bestselling recipe book. Hope my recipes make your life easier ❤️

5 from 74 votes (59 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    Second time I’ve made this for my medium-fussy kids and they all wanted seconds 😊 love this simple recipie! I did halve the chilli because they don’t like spice and it was perfect 😊 thank you for another fantastic recipie!

  2. 5 stars
    Made this last night and eneded up having a guest round. It was a massive hit and worked so well as a one pot dish where everyone can serve themselves. I was told it was better than going to a restaurant! Loved it!

  3. 5 stars
    Another big hit with my family, a super easy and yummy recipe. I always add a tin of anchovies to tomato sauces and I did the same in this recipe. A good way to get fish omega into the kids!

  4. 5 stars
    Super tasty and easy. Love the fact its a one pan recipe…..less energy when cooking and less washing up. Easy to adapt if using home made meatballs too.