Meatballs Mac and Cheese
This recipe brings two comforting favorite togethers in one meal - Meatballs Marinara and Mac and Cheese. An easy weeknight dinner, this mac and cheese makes cold-weather family dinner extra special.
Two recipes in one - delicious meatballs with marinara, and macaroni and cheese. This meatballs mac and cheese recipe is all about comforting, cold-weather dinner. It can also be a quick pasta dinner when using pre-cooked meatballs. Easy to assemble, mess-free dinner that whole family will enjoy!
Honestly, you can use any kind cooked meatball and pasta you have in hand. It works perfect for those busy days when I want something quick and conforming for dinner yet don't want to dine out.
Meatballs Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese with meatballs is classic combination of two favorite family dinners: Meatballs with Marinara and Mac and Cheese.
Meatballs does not have to be meat. I often make poultry meatballs such as Turkey Meatballs or Chicken Meatballs and freeze a batch to make Meatballs mac and cheese.
When ready to use, make cheese sauce, add pasta, meatballs, marinara and cheesy-gooey Meatball Mac is ready to serve!
What Do You Need To Make Meatballs Mac and Cheese?
The recipe needs just a few ingredients. Here is a complete list of ingredients:
- One Recipe Meatballs (frozen of fresh baked - check recipe for Turkey Meatballs)
- Marinara Or a Good quality Tomato-Garlic Sauce
- Salt and Pepper
- Herbs for garnish
A comforting meal does not have to take time to cook. This recipe is best way to make delicious pasta dinner without much effort.
For this recipe I used Turkey meatballs. This is can also be an easy Thanksgiving Dinner for two with leftovers to savor other day. (hint hint)
You can also use store bought frozen Meatballs. My favorite are chicken meatballs from Costco or Amy's meatballs.
Tip: Use vegetarian meatballs to make a vegetarian meatballs mac and cheese.
If you love Mac and Cheese, try my fall favorite Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese recipe.
Cheese Sauce is the key to make good Mac and Cheese.
So to make Mac and Cheese, I start by making Cheese Sauce. If you perfect the Cheese Sauce, you can make Mac and Cheese with any flavor you prefer.
For this recipe, I flavor the cheese sauce with oregano, black pepper and garlic. These go great with marinara and meatballs.
Here's how I make the Cheese Sauce:
- Make the Béchamel Sauce
- Mix in seasonings.
- Take sauce off heat and add grated cheese in few batches and let it melt.
- Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
Once the cheese sauce is ready, Meatballs Mac and Cheese come together very quickly.
Tip: For Mac and Cheese, always cook pasta one minutes less than al dente time mentioned on the Pasta Package. This way pasta is never over-cooked or mushy.
Traditionally mac and cheese is made with macaroni pasta and cheese sauce. But I have tried so many variations of all small tubular pastas and all work well for mac and cheese.
Specially a hearty meal like this meatballs mac works needs more sturdy pasta such as penne or rigatoni pasta that I used for this recipe.
Assemble and Bake Mac and Cheese
- Add cooked pasta in the cheese sauce. Toss to coat.
- Top with cooked meatballs, and marinara sauce.
- Top with cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes until cheese sauce is bubbling and cheese melts.
Wait for 5-10 minutes before serving. Optionally garnish with fresh herbs before serving.
Try a different take on Mac and Cheese this season. If you like meatballs with creamy pasta then this recipe for Mac and Cheese with meatballs is calling your name! I would love to know what's your favorite creamy Comfort Food dinner? Leave a message and let me know.
Meatballs Mac and Cheesereviews) (5
- 1. Meatballs: If making fresh, follow the recipe in notes. If using frozen, microwave meatballs until thawed. Set aside.
- 2. Cook Pasta: Cook pasta according to package directions. Cook 1 minute less than al dente. Drain, and set aside. Heat milk to lukewarm in microwave or stove top.
- 3. Make Mac and Cheese Sauce Base: To make the sauce, heat a large deep over-proof skillet on low-medium heat. Add butter and let it melt gently. Sprinkle flour on just melted butter. Cook until fragrant whisking often. (2-3 minutes) Don't let flour burn or brown. Add 1/2 of lukewarm milk and whisk until no lump remains. Then add remaining milk and continue whisk until no lump remains. Lower the heat low, simmer until liquid thickens. (5 minutes)
- 4. Finish Sauce: Season sauce with salt, pepper, garlic, chili flakes, and oregano. Remove sauce from the heat then add half the grated shredded cheese. Whisk to melt cheese in the sauce.
- 5. Assemble and Bake: Fold in cooked pasta into the cheese sauce. Top with meatballs. Cover meatballs with marinara. Top with remaining half of the cheeses. Bake at 375 degrees preheat oven for 20 minutes or until cheese on top has melted and sauce is bubbling.
- 6. Serve: Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh herbs (optional) before serving.
- Cook cheese sauce on low-medium heat. Don't let butter or flour brown or burn.
- Flavor or salt the cheese sauce after it thickens.
- Take sauce off the heat before mixing in grated cheese. Use any kind of good quality melting cheese. I used parmesan (for flavor) and mozzarella. You can also use asiago, Monterey jack and provolone.
- Make homemade Turkey Meatballs following recipe here.
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Lima EkramLove the meatballs in the mac and cheese idea. Its great to have a protein variation in this classic dish!
Shadi HasanzadenematiI have everything I need for this dish, can’t wait to make it this weekend! My family is going to love this!
DanniiWhat a great idea to combine mac and cheese with meatballs. Total comfort food.
NicoletteI had everything I needed already in the fridge to make this! Thanks for making something with easy ingredients.
ClaireSuch a delicious recipe and great using turkey meatballs for a change