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Italian Recipes
Stuffed Meatball Rigatoni Bake

Stuffed Meatball Rigatoni Bake

with a Parmesan & Panko Crust

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Sure, you’ve heard of a cheese-stuffed burger, but a cheese-stuffed meatball?! Now that’s next-level culinary innovation. Tuscan-spiced ground beef is wrapped around shredded mozzarella and then baked. While they’re in the oven, you’ll be boiling rigatoni and whipping up a marinara sauce any Nonna would be proud of. Everything is tossed together, then topped with buttery panko, Parmesan and more mozz. A trip under the broiler transforms the topping into crunchy, melty perfection. “Now that’s a cheesy meatball!”


Produced in a facility that processes milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybean.

Preparation Time35 minutes
Cooking difficultyLevel 1
serving amount
Ingredientsarrow down iconarrow down icon
serving amount

½ cup

Mozzarella Cheese


6 ounce



½ cup

Panko Breadcrumbs


10 ounce

Ground Beef

1 tablespoon

Tuscan Heat Spice

14 ounce

Marinara Sauce

¼ cup

Parmesan Cheese


Not included in your delivery

1 teaspoon

Vegetable Oil

1 teaspoon


2 tablespoon





Nutrition Values/ per serving
Nutrition Valuesarrow down iconarrow down icon
/ per serving
Energy (kJ)4184 kJ
Calories1000 kcal
Fat50 g
Saturated Fat23 g
Carbohydrate91 g
Sugar12 g
Dietary Fiber5 g
Protein52 g
Cholesterol165 mg
Sodium1960 mg
Due to the different suppliers we purchase our products from, nutritional facts per meal can vary from the website to what is received in the delivered box, depending on your region.
Utensilsarrow down iconarrow down icon
Large Bowl
Large Pot
Small Bowl
Baking Sheet
Large Pan
Instructionsarrow up iconarrow up icon
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Adjust racks to top and middle positions and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Reserve half the mozzarella in a small bowl. In a large bowl, soak half the panko (you’ll use the rest later) with 2 TBSP water (3 TBSP for 4 servings); let sit until absorbed (this’ll transform into a panade).

Form Meatballs
Form Meatballs

Add beef, half the Tuscan Heat Spice (you’ll use more later), ¾ tsp salt (1½ tsp for 4), and pepper to bowl with panade. Form into four 3-inch-wide rounds (eight rounds for 4); divide remaining mozzarella between the centers of each. Gently fold meat around cheese, shaping and sealing to create cheese-stuffed meatballs.

Bake Meatballs
Bake Meatballs

Lightly oil a baking sheet. Spread meatballs out on sheet. Bake on middle rack until cooked through, 20-22 minutes. (TIP: It’s OK if some cheese oozes out!) Remove from oven. Heat broiler to high.

Cook Pasta and Mix Panko
Cook Pasta and Mix Panko

Once water is boiling, add rigatoni to pot. Cook until al dente, 9-11 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water, then drain and set aside. Meanwhile, place 1 TBSP butter (2 TBSP for 4 servings) in second small microwavesafe bowl; microwave until melted, 30 seconds. Stir in remaining panko, ¼ tsp Tuscan Heat Spice (½ tsp for 4; you’ll use the rest later), salt, and pepper.

Simmer Sauce
Simmer Sauce

Once meatballs and pasta are done, heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Stir in marinara, remaining Tuscan Heat Spice, ½ cup reserved pasta cooking water (¾ cup for 4 servings), 1 tsp sugar (2 tsp for 4), and salt (we used ½ tsp; 1 tsp for 4). Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 1 TBSP butter (2 TBSP for 4). Season generously with salt and pepper.

Finish and Serve
Finish and Serve

Stir rigatoni and meatballs into sauce. If needed, stir in more reserved pasta cooking water a splash at a time until everything is thoroughly coated in sauce. (TIP: If your pan isn’t ovenproof, transfer mixture now to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.) Top pasta with Parmesan, reserved mozzarella, and panko mixture. Broil until panko is golden brown and cheese has melted, 1-2 minutes. Let cool slightly; serve.