The combination of spaghetti and meatballs is such a standard dish, such a classic, that it seems like it couldn’t ever be improved. Well friends, we’re here to tell you— it CAN! Don’t worry, we’re not going too crazy. All your favorite elements are here: the noodles, the marinara, the cheese, the garlic. What’s changing? Just an extra element: we’re baking it. The result is a dish that’s just as delicious as we all expect, but just extra melty, extra gooey, and extra delicious. Check it out and give it a try!

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Serves 4 to 6


– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 cup diced yellow onion
– 1 – 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
– 3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
– 18 cooked meatballs
– ¾ pound spaghetti
– 1 ½ to 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
– ½ cup grated Parmesan
– Chopped fresh basil


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions in a large pot of boiling, salted water, but cut the cooking time by 2 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of the water in which the pasta was cooked.
  3. In a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions and olive oil. Add in the garlic and continue sautéing until onions are tender.
  4. Add the marinara sauce. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
  5. With a large slotted spoon, add the cooked spaghetti. Stir until the pasta is evenly coated in the marinara sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add up to ½ cup of the pasta water to the pan.
  6. Add the cooked meatballs and stir to coat in sauce.
  7. Top with the grated mozzarella and the Parmesan.
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the dish is hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted. Garnish with fresh basil.


  • Use whichever kind of meatballs you want for this recipe: store-bought or homemade; turkey, chicken, beef, pork or vegetarian. It’s your choice!

Recipe adapted from Joy in Every Season