Mozzarella Ball Baked Pasta


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Servings:


    ( 9 × 13 inch baking dish)

Appears in

Love Your Leftovers

Love Your Leftovers

By Nick Evans

Published 2014

  • About

As a food writer, I have an obligation to include at least one rock solid baked pasta dish in a chapter dedicated to marinara sauce. This recipe creates exponential returns on your leftover sauce. It makes a deep 9 × 13-inch baking dish of delicious baked pasta, so you’ll almost certainly have leftovers from this meal as well.


  • 1 pound pasta (I like chiocciole, penne, or ziti)
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound mini mozzarella cheese balls
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (for dish)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs


  1. Cook pasta in heavily salted water according to package until it’s al dente. Be careful not to overcook the pasta or your baked dish will be soggy. You can use a wide range of pastas for this dish. I recommend something tubular like ziti, chiocciole, or penne.
  2. Heat marinara sauce over medium heat on the stovetop until it’s lightly simmering.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  4. Drain pasta and drizzle with olive oil, then toss with marinara sauce and mozzarella balls. Season pasta with a pinch of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if you’re using them).
  5. Add pasta mixture to a lightly buttered 9 × 13-inch baking dish. Top with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
  6. Bake dish until cheese is melted and the pasta on the edges is slightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let dish cool slightly before serving.