Leftover Meatball Pasta Bake Casserole with Bolognese Sauce


Because nothing goes with meat like…more meat.

This pasta bake/casserole/…thingee… is true comfort food that I made up one day when I needed comforting and also had a bunch of leftover meatballs.

And if you’ve made our big batch of bolognese, and have portions of it frozen, it can come together in about 15 minutes of prep and be perfectly baked and ready to shove in your facehole after 30 minutes in a 400F oven.

There is no excuse for not making it. Unless you don’t have some left over meatballs…because honestly that’s as much the key here as the bolognese sauce.

Meatballs will be the feature of a future big batch series, I promise. After that you’ll have something even better than leftovers: purposeful leftovers.

Ok. So here’s how it goes:

Leftover Meatball Pasta Bake with Bolognese Sauce

Recipe by Zesty PavlovaCourse: MainCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 3 cups big batch bolognese sauce

  • 10 meatballs, halved

  • 15 oz penne or other thick pasta (in the picture, you can see I used busiati trapenesti, but really anything from rigatoni to rotini to penne will work just fine.)

  • 16 oz shredded cheese. I used a blend 4 oz, provolone, 4 oz. sharp provolone, 4 oz. cheap, dry mozzerella, and 4 oz parmesan for a nice, funky, aged-cheese taste but use what you got. Ain’t nobody gonna complain about cheese.


  • Preheat an oven to 400F
  • Cook the pasta till al dente. You don’t want to UNDER cook it or it’ll absorb every oz. of liquid in your sauce and dry out. If your bolognese sauce is on the dryer side, boil the pasta a little longer.
  • Mix the pasta, meatball halves, cheese, and bolognese sauce all together, reserving enough cheese to sprinkle liberally on top.
  • Sprinkle cheese liberally on top.
  • If your sauce is juicy enough, put in the oven uncovered. If you fear a dry pasta, tent the casserole in foil and remove that after 15 minutes to let the cheese brown.
  • Bake for about 1/2 hour
  • If you can stand it, let it rest for like, 10 minutes before stuffing it in your face. If not, just go ahead. No judgies.

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