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Dutch Oven Pasta and Meatballs

This Dutch oven pasta and meatballs one-dish meal is perfect for those nights when you want to serve your family a delicious meal, but you don’t have much time.

plate of pasta and meatballs

You basically toss all of the ingredients together and pop it into the oven. Less than an hour later, it’s ready.

When my kids were growing up, they were busy with after school activities and social lives. I often found myself racing against the clock to get dinner on the table.

Quick and Easy Dinner

Although I enjoyed cooking some meals from scratch, it was always nice to have a few stand-by recipes that were quick, easy, and delicious.

Most people who have seen my recipes know that I don’t mind using prepared foods in my recipes. However, I never leave them alone because I always think I can make them better. Most of the time, I can.

If you find jars of Alfredo sauce on sale, pick up a few. In addition to this delicious pasta and meatballs dinner, try any of these other yummy ways to make jar Alfredo sauce better.

Another favorite one-dish pasta meal that I make is this skillet sloppy joes dish. The flavors are reminiscent of one of my favorite childhood sandwiches.

Dutch Oven Pasta and Meatballs Ingredients

As the name implies, this dish is cooked in a Dutch oven. I used a smaller one that’s actually called an “always pan” or “everything pan” that’s made of enamel coated cast iron. 

dutch oven pan

I love the fact that it’s attractive and holds heat. So you can cook and serve it in one pot. 

Here’s the list of ingredients:

  • Jar of Alfredo sauce
  • Jar of marinara sauce
  • Precooked frozen meatballs, thawed
  • Uncooked penne pasta
  • Cup of water
  • Italian seasoning (optional)
  • Cup of shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, or your favorite cheese blend)
alfredo sauce and marinara sauce in jars
bowl of cooked frozen meatballs that were thawed
bowl of penne pasta
jar of Italian seasoning
shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese

You can add other ingredients if you have time. I enjoy sautéed onions, diced bell peppers, and minced garlic. But this is one of those times when I want something in a hurry.

For a full recipe with measurements and instructions, scroll to the bottom of the page. That’s where I added a printable recipe card for your convenience.

How to Make Pasta and Meatballs in a Dutch Oven

This is truly one of the easiest recipes you can make. And the blend of flavors from two different types of sauce take the flavor to the highest level of deliciousness.

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom of your Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray. Or if you prefer, coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil.

Now combine all of the ingredients, except the cheese, in the Dutch oven. You can use a large mixing bowl to mix if you prefer, but I like to cut out as many steps and dirty dishes as possible.

I usually start with the pasta and adding the water.

pouring water over penne pasta in Dutch oven

But you don’t have to do it that way. You can just dump it all in at the same time if you want.

Then I add the remaining ingredients.

meatballs, alfredo, and marinara added to the pasta.

Give it a good stir to make sure all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.

I can tell it’s well mixed when the sauce has a consistent orange color throughout.

mixed ingredients--alfredo, marinara, meatballs, and pasta

If you mixed the ingredients in a bowl, pour the mixture into the Dutch oven. Cover and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Remove the lid and sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top. 

cheese sprinkled over the Dutch oven pasta and meatballs

Return to the oven uncovered and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese melts.

Serve with a side salad or green vegetable.

scooping pasta and meatballs from the Dutch oven to a plate


Since I have to be gluten-free, I use gluten-free pasta. Use whatever kind you like and can eat.

I typically purchase different sauces when they go on sale. Sometimes I can tell the difference, but when I mix them like I do in this recipe, it doesn’t matter what brand I use. So pick up the ones you like or can afford.

I’ve used different variations of cheese. My favorite is a blend of cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. However, I didn’t have parmesan when I made this. It was still yummy.

There are different ways you can spice this up. Sometimes I add red pepper flakes to the recipe, but most of the time I wait until it’s on my plate.

Other seasonings I like to add are fresh basil, oregano, and thyme. I’ve even dropped in a pinch of ground cinnamon, which is delicious. 

My mother-in-law used to add a teaspoon of sugar to all of her recipes. Although that’s not my style, it worked for her. She was always known for being a great cook.

Since you’re making this for your family, add a teaspoon of whatever you think they’ll like. It will turn out great!

plate of Dutch oven pasta and meatballs

More Tips for a Pasta and Meatball Dinner

As easy as this dinner is, there are things you can do to make it even better. Here are some extra tips:

  • Always start with ingredients that you like on their own. For example, if your family prefers one brand of frozen meatballs over another, use the one they like. The same goes for pasta sauce.
  • Add a delicious side salad to complete the meal. This is an easy way to have something that is satisfying and nutritious.
  • Provide several toppings in serving bowls so each person can have exactly what they like. Some of my favorite options are grated parmesan, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.

Side Salads to Go with Pasta and Meatballs

There are so many different types of salad that pair well with this dish. Here are some of our favorites:

BLT Salad – The classic combination of bacon, lettuce, and tomato will make meal preparation super simple, and it’s delicious!

Bacon lettuce and tomato salad on a plate

Watermelon Cucumber Salad – This refreshing salad will have everyone in the family asking for more. It’s also a great option to bring to a potluck.

Watermelon cucumber salad on a plate

Broccoli Slaw – No one has to know how nutritious this delicious salad is. But it’s loaded with superfoods to keep your family healthy.

Broccoli slaw in a bowl

Tomato Cucumber Corn Salad – Packed with flavor, add this to your supper menu for total satisfaction.

Easy Weeknight Dinner

I don’t believe in sacrificing flavor just because I’m tried at the end of a long day. This is one of those weeknight dinners that tastes amazing but only takes a few minutes to put together.

pasta and meatballs on a plate

Add a Side of Bread

If you like to add a side of bread to your meals, you’re not alone. But the most difficult decision might be what kind of bread to serve.

Here are some suggestions—all of them easy but delicious:

Cloud Bread – This is one of my favorite gluten-free breads because it’s so light and fluffy.

Dinner Rolls – You’ll find the recipe for these wonderful rolls at Back to My Southern Roots.

Southern Style Cornbread – I like cornbread with almost any meal. This is the recipe I grew up on.

pasta and meatballs in a dutch oven and on a plate

See this recipe shared at Full Plate Thursday.

How to Store Leftover Pasta and Meatballs

After you finish dinner, you probably won’t have any leftovers. However, if you do, you can put them in an airtight container and refrigerate them.

This is the perfect leftover meal to take to work with you the next day … that is, if someone else doesn’t grab it first.

Yield: 8 servings

Dutch Oven Pasta and Meatballs

pasta and meatballs on a plate

When you want a delicious dinner in a hurry, make this super easy Dutch oven pasta and meatballs dish!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 1 jar (14-16 ounces) of Alfredo sauce
  • 1 jar (20-24 ounces) of marinara sauce
  • 10 ounces of precooked frozen meatballs, thawed
  • 2 cups of uncooked penne pasta
  • 1-1/2 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning (optional)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, cheddar, or combination)


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Spray the bottom of Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients, except the cheese, in a large mixing bowl. Give it a good stir.
  3. Pour the mixture into the Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top. Return to the oven uncovered and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.
  5. Serve with a side salad or green vegetable.


If you have time, you can add sautéed diced onions and garlic.

Other delicious seasonings you might want to add are oregano, basil, thyme, and even cinnamon. All you need is a teaspoon of each for an extra punch of flavor.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 249Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 47mgSodium 479mgCarbohydrates 15gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 11g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

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Helen at the Lazy Gastronome

Sunday 22nd of January 2023

I love cooking in a dutch oven. I use a big cast iron one. I would be so honored if you shared it (and anymore of your recipes) at our What's for Dinner party!


Saturday 18th of June 2022

Printed and making this week! The kids will love it!

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