Do you remember that show called ‘Semi-Homemade’ with that really pretty blonde lady? Not sure if it’s still on but this recipe is kinda like that. You use a few store bought ingredients along with a few fresh ones. It’s a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll…no wait, thats Donnie and Marie…there goes my age showing again!
This recipe combines a few of my faves. Chicken Parmesan Meatballs and Baked Spaghetti. At first I thought, who would wanna make a spaghetti casserole? Why not just serve it up from the pan without tossing it in a casserole dish? Why dirty one more dish? Becaussseeee, this makes a big old batch and you can serve it out of said dirty casserole dish for days! Not to mention the flavors become all beautiful while baking. So totally worth the extra dish!
If you follow this blog you know that most Friday’s I cook up a big batch of something. That way I don’t have to cook over the weekend. Frees me up for funner stuff like wine tasting, naps and binge watching Scandal. Who loves that show? Me! (Hand waiving in the air…sloshing chardy all over). Watching that show and sipping on chardonnay make me happy…also makes Huck seem a little less creepy…
This recipe got me through at least four episodes of Scandal with noodles to spare! You use a jar of good marinara for the sauce which really cuts down on the prep time. I bake the meatballs rather than sauté in a pan. Line your sheet pan and no clean up! Cook some pasta…toss, top with cheese and you have dinner for days and maybe even an extra Scandal episode on Monday!
- Use a good jar of marinara. The better the sauce, the better the casserole. I used Roasted Garlic from Trader Joes but there are plenty to choose from at your local grocer.
- 12 ounces of pasta is perfect for a 9 x 9 casserole. Just eyeball it…using 3/4 of a box. It’s so tempting to throw that whole pound of pasta in but trust me, your casserole will come up dry. If you must use the whole pound of pasta, increase the marinara and use a 9 x 13 dish.
- Ground chicken is very available these days but ground turkey will work just great. Stay away from the ‘all breast’ meat kind. Rather dry.
Now if you are still looking for a big old pot of something to make on Friday so you can lay back and enjoy the weekend. Give my Italian Sausage and Mushroom Soup a try!
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup panko or regular breadcrumbs (I used panko)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tablespoons dried)
- 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 12 ounces uncooked spaghetti
- 1 32 ounce jar of good marinara sauce
- 1½ cups grated mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment for quick cleanup.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil for pasta.
- While water is coming to a boil make meatballs.
- Add all meatball ingredients to large bowl.
- Gently combine until just mixed. (over mixing will make for a tougher meatball).
- Shape into 2 inch meatballs and place on lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through.
- While meatballs are baking
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Drain and return to pan you cooked the pasta in.
- Combine pasta and marinara sauce.
- Pour into 9 x 9 casserole dish.
- Top with cooked meatballs.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until center is hot and bubbling.
- Top with cheese.
- Bake an extra 5 minutes.