Mega Meatball Bake
Prep Time: 10 Mins
Cook Time: 30 Mins
Makes: 1 Mega Bake (50 meatballs)
A twist on the old meat balls 'n' spaghetti that will get the bowls licked clean! It is made in mega volume so that, depending on your tribe size, you can cook once and eat twice....or simply feed a large crowd. The stage my boys are at (currently 10,8 and 3) not only are they eating large quantities but my older boys are doing a heavy amount of basketball after school and we have a split dinner at least twice a week. Having a meal that can be portioned out and reheated is essential for me. You could half the ingredients to make a smaller batch or two portions with one to freeze.
2 eggs, whisked
1kg beef mince
1 cup wholemeal breadcrumbs
2 tsp paprika
Olive oil (to fry)
2 cups wholemeal penne pasta (uncooked)
10 button mushrooms, sliced
3 large handful baby spinach
3 cans tinned tomatoes (drained)
70g tomato paste
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
2 tsp Italian herbs (or thyme/rosemary)
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees bake.
Prepare the meatballs by adding the eggs, mince, breadcrumbs and paprika into a bowl. Combine together with your hands and roll into balls.
Place a large fry pan on medium heat. Add olive oil when hot and brown the meatballs on all sides before placing into a large oven proof dish. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan.
Evenly spread the pasta on top, followed by the mushrooms and spinach. Pour the tinned tomatoes over and spoon on the paste. Use the back of the spoon to even out the tomatoes and vegetables a bit.
Add all topping ingredients into a bowl, combine and then sprinkle generously over the meatballs and vegetables.
Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. The top will be golden, and you just want to do a sneaky check that the pasta has cooked through.
Allow to cool slightly before serving in bowls (and hopefully there will not be too many fights over that topping!).
To make this gluten-free simply use gluten-free breadcrumbs and pasta.
The pasta can easily be substituted for normal pasta (I use wholemeal for extra fibre), pulse pasta or as above gluten-free pasta.
You could also use a pasta sauce or passata sauce instead of tinned tomatoes/tomato paste.
Vegetables can easily be mixed with what you have on hand, just keep in mind the shorter cook time.
The egg is required to bind the meatballs so cannot be swapped (I find a flax egg does not hold the balls the same).
For more easy family meals have you checked out my slow cooker mixes? These have been flying out the door!