Easy Meatball Pasta Bake

Okay, friends. I think it’s the snow. My promise to share healthy recipes is clearly out the window…at least for this week. I found this make-ahead-easy-Meatball Pasta Bake and thought, what the heck? It’s not healthy, but it sure looks good! And, if you need to bring a dinner to someone, this would do the trick for sure. It makes a ton! I’m thinking if you’re serving this to a family of 4-6, you could most definitely cut this recipe in half. I’ll round out this comfort casserole with some sliced baked zucchini and a small salad.


  • 1 16 oz. package of penne pasta
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 medium-sized fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 2 24 oz. jars marinara sauce
  • 2 14 oz. packages frozen beef meatballs, thawed
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3/4 cup organic chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. firmly packed orange zest
  • 1 medium-sized bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup torn fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 8 oz. packages fresh mozzarella cheese slices
  • Garnish: fresh basil


  • Preheat oven to 350. Prepare pasta according to package instructions.
  • Sauté onion and fennel bulb in hot oil in a dutch oven or frying pan over medium heat 10 minutes or until tender.
  • Add garlic and fennel seeds and sauté 1 minute.
  • Stir in marinara sauce and next 6 ingredients; heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, and stir in basil, cooked pasta, and salt to taste.
  • Transfer to a lightly greased 13×9-inch baking dish. Place dish on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes until bubbly.



My name is Ann Marie Scheidler and I'm thrilled you've decided to check out my blog. I'm a pearl-loving yogi with a thing for travel, a weakness for beautiful bags, and a passion for storytelling. In this space, I'll be sharing stories about my family, go-to recipes, my wellness journey, fashion and beauty favorites, and my love for Chicago’s North Shore. I find new inspiration wherever I go. Thanks so much for coming along for the ride!


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