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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Watermelon Cucumber Salad – This refreshing salad will have everyone in the family asking for more.
Broccoli Slaw – No one has to know how nutritious this delicious salad is. But it’s loaded with superfoods to keep your family healthy.
Tomato Cucumber Corn Salad – Packed with flavor, add this to your supper menu for total satisfaction.
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.
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.
- 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)
- Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Spray the bottom of Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine all of the ingredients, except the cheese, in a large mixing bowl. Give it a good stir.
- Pour the mixture into the Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
- 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.
- 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 InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
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.