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Wooden spatula lifting a meatball and cheese out of a cast iron skillet of cheesy Italian meatballs and pasta
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5 from 1 vote

Cheesy Italian Meatballs and Pasta

Cheesy Italian Pasta and Meatballs is pure comfort food! Tender and juicy meatballs baked in an easy homemade marinara sauce and cheesy pasta for the perfect meatball pasta!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 759kcal
Author: Julie Evink



  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste


  • 1 slice bread crust removed and cut into very small pieces
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound ground beef


  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz rigatoni or penne pasta cooked


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Start cooking your pasta. 
  • In a large bowl combine the ingredients for the pasta sauce and set aside.  
  • In a large bowl combine the bread and milk.  Add the Parmesan, eggs, garlic, Italian seasoning salt and pepper and stir well to combine.  Add in the ground beef and mix to combine.  Don't overmix or your meatballs can become tough.  Form into twelve 2 inch meatballs and place on a baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees F.   
  • While the meatballs are cooking prepare the cheesy pasta.  In a large 12 inch cast iron pan or other oven going skillet cook the onion, garlic and butter until the onion starts to soften.  Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the milk and cook over medium low heat until it starts to thicken.  Remove from heat and stir in 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese.  Stir in the cooked and drained pasta.  Top with reserved pasta sauce.  Place meatballs on top then sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan.  Bake for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.   


  1. For make ahead tips see post.


Calories: 759kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 190mg | Sodium: 961mg | Potassium: 986mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1350IU | Vitamin C: 15.5mg | Calcium: 643mg | Iron: 5.6mg