Noreen's Kitchen: Cheesy Meatball Pasta Bake with Prego Pasta Sauce from Wal-Mart

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Cheesy Meatball Pasta Bake with Prego Pasta Sauce from Wal-Mart




Thank you to Prego pasta sauce for sponsoring today's video! I am so happy to bring you this awesome idea for a delicious dinner that can also be used for lunches, quick snacks and even freezer banking! This cheesy meatball pasta bake is going to be a family favorite at your house the moment you place it on your kitchen table!

I was asked to create a recipe using Prego pasta sauce, available from your local Wal-Mart. With back to school, looming, I know, we are in the middle of the summer, and no one wants to think about back to school, but it really is never to early to be prepared and start thinking ahead. This pasta bake is the answer to not one but multiple meals. This will serve between 12 and 16 servings depending on how large or small you make them. 



I love the versatility of this casserole. I have used homemade meatballs that I make in bulk, bake off and then freeze in meal sized portion. I used about a pound or so, but you can feel free to use frozen meatballs if that is what you have on hand or if you are pressed for time. That combined with the Prego sauce that is always ready to go on your pantry shelf and you have a quick start to a dish that will have people thinking you slaved all day to prepare it!

The creamy, cheesy filling is really outstanding here. Ricotta, cream cheese, mozzarella and parm come together with a few other ingredients to make an amazing sauce that bakes right into the penne pasta and creates a satisfying, delicious dish that you can have ready to go in under an hour.

I have made this in one 9 x 13 baking dish, but you can easily make this in three 8 x8 foil pans, or even divide this up onto single size portions that can be ready to go for quick lunches that you can take to work or send to school if your child has a microwave to heat it up. Another great option is that your teens can reach into the freezer for a preportioned after school snack of this protein packed meatball pasta instead of reaching for the empty calories of junk food!



Having great ingredients on your pantry shelf can make or break your ability to get your evening meal on the table in a flash. Especially during the busy back to school season where you and your family are transitioning from the lazy days of summer to the super busy, activity filled days of the regular school year. This transition can be a challenge for mom and dad even a bit more than for the kids! So be sure to have plenty of great pantry staples on your shelf like Prego pasta sauce, pasta, canned tuna, chicken and veggies and other things your family enjoys so you have options to reach for in the even that hunger strikes and you forgot to plan something. We all have the best intentions, but sometimes life gets in the way and things sneak up on us! Make it easy on yourself! 

I hope you give this Cheesy Meatball Pasta Bake a try and I hope you love it!

Thank you to Prego for sponsoring today's video! 

Happy Eating!

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.#CampbellSavings #CollectiveBias



Noreen's Kitchen

Cheesy Meatball Pasta Bake

Ingredients

1 pound, meatballs.  Homemade or frozen
1  pound, Penne, prepared
2 eggs
16  ounces (2 cups) ricotta cheese
8 ounces (1 brick) cream cheese, softened
3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8 ounces sliced Crimini mushrooms
1, 24 ounce jar Prego Pasta Sauce
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried parsley


Step by Step Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

Cut meatballs into halves or quarters, as you prefer.

Combine ricotta cheese, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, eggs, parsley, Italian seasoning and chopped garlic, together in a large bowl.  Stir together to combine.

Add sliced mushrooms to the cheese mixture and stir well to incorporate.

Add cooked pasta and meatballs and stir well, being sure to incorporate all the ingredients as evenly as possible.

Pour the pasta mixture into a 9 x 13 casserole dish and spread evenly.

Pour pasta sauce over the top and spread evenly to cover.

Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese on top of the pasta sauce.  Additionally, you could sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese if desired.

Bake, uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes until bubble and cheese has slightly browned.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.  Alternatively leftovers can be divided between some foil storage pans, topped with additional sauce and cheese and covered with a layer of heavy duty foil and frozen for up to three months.  To re-heat, place frozen casserole in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour until the casserole is heated through and the cheese topping has melted.

ENJOY!

You can see how I made this in my YouTube video!


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