Damn Delicious

Meatball Baked Ziti

Meatball Baked Ziti - Cheesy baked ziti with the easiest homemade meatballs. Quick to prepare and so so good. Comfort food at its best here!

Cheesy baked ziti with the easiest homemade meatballs. Quick to prepare and so so good. Comfort food at its best here!

Meatball Baked Ziti - Cheesy baked ziti with the easiest homemade meatballs. Quick to prepare and so so good. Comfort food at its best here!

Baked ziti. My all-time favorite kind of comfort food.

Except, I couldn’t just leave it like that. No, I couldn’t. I threw in some homemade meatballs and topped this entire bad boy with burrata cheese before baking it to absolute cheesy, melted perfection.

I personally prefer burrata here but if it’s not your jam, mozzarella would be a great substitute. And if you are short on time, you can absolutely substitute store-bought meatballs. (Side note: I highly recommend Trader Joe’s party size mini meatballs – they are so so good and a guilty pleasure of mine).

Serve with the remaining red wine, crusty bread, and a binge-worthy Netflix show. I recently finished Virgin River in 1.5 days and cannot wait for the second season!

Meatball Baked Ziti - Cheesy baked ziti with the easiest homemade meatballs. Quick to prepare and so so good. Comfort food at its best here!

Meatball Baked Ziti

Cheesy baked ziti with the easiest homemade meatballs. Quick to prepare and so so good. Comfort food at its best here!

30 minutes50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ziti pasta
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 1/3 cup Panko
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1 (32-ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 8 ounces burrata cheese, torn into large pieces

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions for al dente; drain well.
  3. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, Panko, egg yolks, garlic, basil and oregano; season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1-to-1-1/4-inch meatballs, forming about 24 meatballs.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add meatballs, in batches, and cook until all sides are browned, about 2-3 minutes. Return meatballs to the skillet.
  5. Stir in wine, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  6. Stir in marinara sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until flavors have blended, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pasta, basil and parsley.
  7. Spread pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish; top with burrata.
  8. Place into oven and bake until bubbly, about 25-30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately.

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34 comments

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was delicious. I did find it a little dry so added more sauce. Friend asked for recipe and when she made it she also felt dry but didn’t add extra sauce. 
    Also used panko Italian because was all I had. It worked great. Making for a dinner party next week and will stick to your meatball recipe for now. They were so good didn’t want to take a chance on store bought. 

  2. I love all of your recipes!  This one is a winner!!  My husband and 2 teenage boys gobble it up. I actually buy prepared raw meatballs (I use spicy) to make it go even quicker. Start to finish is 1 hour. Also I use Rao’s marinara. Thank you for all of the delicious recipes!!!

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Hi! This was delicious and my whole fam loved it! I used the Trader Joe’s meatballs you recommended – first time trying them – and they were so yummy! This recipe will go into my regular rotation. Thank you!

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    I love all of your recipes!  This one is a winner!!  My husband and 2 teenage boys gobble it up. I actually buy prepared raw meatballs (I use spicy) to make it go even quicker. Start to finish is 1 hour. Also I use Rao’s marinara. Thank you for all of the delicious recipes!!!

  5. So excited to try this! I’ve loved every single recipe I’ve tried from Damn Delicious! I’m wondering which marinara brand people are using? It’s like I’m picky about jarred sauce but I also haven’t figured out which one is best. Any suggestions? 

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    So easy to make!  I have a dairy sensitivity, so I used less burrata (about half) but still so delicious! Also, I used turkey meat instead of beef and pork, but meatballs were still juicy and flavorful. A must make recipe!

  7. I’ve recently had to eliminate eggs from my diet. Can you suggest the what substitution to use?

    • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and 3 tablespoons of water. Let sit for a few minutes to thicken. It doesn’t change the taste but has nice binding properties. My son is allergic to egg and I use this substitute all the time! 

    • Aquafaba (basically chickpea oil) is also a great egg substitute

  8. I made this last night and it went down really well with everyone. It is perfect comfort food.

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    Very delicious. I made this for my family tonight and they loved it. Even made a batch for my son who has a milk allergy (just excluded the burrata cheese). He raved and raved about how delicious it was. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Thank you Chungah,
    This was absolutely delicious and fed my hungry family of 7 people!
    Didn’t use garlic and only had mozarella as I couldn’t find barata.
    Yum, yum, yum!

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    Oh my gosh a really great food I made it for my family to try and everyone loves everything blending together, I really like it. Thank you so much.

  12. Rated 5 out of 5

    that looks delicious, curious about it’s taste.

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    Absolutely Damn Delicious as your title suggests. This is definitely comfort food…simple, budget friendly, elegantly delicious and simply satisfying!!!!! Leftovers are equally tasty with a crisp garden salad to accompany this dinner.
    I look forward to making all your recipes, hands down they are the damndest tastiest dishes to prepare…keep them coming!!! Your site is phenominal!!!!!♥️

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    being a veteran your meals great easy to make fit into budget thank you

  15. Not a wine drinker and don’t want to buy a whole bottle for the 1/3 cup. Can it be eliminated or something be used as a substitute?

    • You can buy little mini bottles of wine, usually sold in 4 packs but some stores will sell them individually.

    • Hey Haley,

      I know someone responded that you could buy mini bottles, I don’t drink red wine so what I have found most useful is purchasing red cooking wine. It taste just as good and you do not have to refrigerate after opening! 

    • Trader Joe’s has a good cheap wine for 2.99 whi beats the cooking wine.  I don’t drink wine either, but I love cooking with it. 

  16. Sounds like a great recipe! Are the meatballs added the marinara sauce to cook or added to the marinara with the pasta?

  17. Question: seasoned or plain Panko? Thank you 

  18. Just wondering if it could be frozen then baked later, and how to do that?  Thanks

    • Absolutely! Prior to the baking step, let it cool completely, then cover with a double layer of foil and freeze for up to three months. To reheat, place the baked ziti straight from freezer to oven at 350 degrees F. Bake for one hour, or more as needed, covered, to thaw completely and warm through.

  19. Rated 4 out of 5

    Why egg yolks and not the whole egg? I always use a whole egg for binding is why I ask.

  20. This looks so good! What if I can’t find burrata cheese?