Recipe for Easy Meatball and Pepperoni Pasta Casserole
This recipe is one of my family's favorites. It's easy to make and can be put together earlier and then just heated up to be served. I use meatballs and pepperoni, but you could substitute your favorite sausage for one of the ingredients or use all three! I've included my meatball recipe, but you can use your own if you have one you like.
Ingredients for Meatballs
1/2 pound of hamburg or ground turkey (I use ground turkey)
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
In a bowl, blend together meat, egg and breadcrumbs. If mixture is too wet, you can add more breadcrumbs. If it's too dry, add a little water or milk to the mixture. I add about three shakes of oregano, maybe about 1 teaspoon, to give the meatballs some more flavor.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cover a cookie sheet with some aluminum foil. You can also spray the sheet lightly with cooking spray. Shape meatball mixture into small balls (about golf ball sized) and put on cookie sheet. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning them over about halfway through cooking time. I check that they are done by cutting one in half.
Ingredients for Pasta Bake
- 10-12 meatballs
- 20-25 slices of pepperoni, (like you would use on a pizza)
- 1 jar 16 oz spaghetti sauce, (you probably won't use the whole jar)
- 1 package (16 oz) rotini or ziti pasta, (you probably will not use the whole box)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- parmesan cheese for serving
- While meatballs are cooking, you can start the pasta according to the package instructions. I cook about 2 cups first.
- While the pasta is cooking, pour about 2 tablespoons of the pasta sauce in the bottom of your 8x8 baking pan, just to give it a coating.
- When pasta is done, strain it and put it in baking pan.
- When meatballs are done, cut them in half (about bite size pieces) and add them to the baking pan too.
- Now distribute pepperoni amongst the meatball and pasta.
- Cook 1 to 2 more cups of pasta (as needed) to fill up the baking dish. Stir casserole mixture.
- Pour pasta sauce over casserole and mix it so everything is coated. The mixture should be coated but not swimming in sauce.
- Cover with mozzarella cheese, then with aluminum foil.
When you are ready to serve, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook casserole (covered) for about 20 minutes until cheese is melted and everything is steaming hot. When serving, add parmesan cheese as desired. Enjoy!