|Prep Time||20 minutes|
|Cook Time||40 minutes|
- 16 oz whole-wheat fusilli (spiral) pasta
- 1 jar lower-sodium marinara sauce 24 oz. jar, divided
- 1 lb 90%-lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup sweet onion grated
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 egg large
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 2 cups low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese shredded
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta; cook until the center of the pasta is still somewhat firm, about 4 minutes less than package directions. Drain the pasta and transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Add half of marinara sauce to the pasta and stir to coat.
- Combine ground beef, panko, onion, basil, egg, Italian seasoning, salt and crushed red pepper in a large bowl; gently mix with your hands (do not overmix). Form the mixture into 16 (about 1 1/2-inch) meatballs, nestling the meatballs into the pasta mixture as you work. Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the casserole and top with cheese.
- Bake until a thermometer inserted into the meatballs registers at least 160°F and the cheese is lightly browned, 35 to 40 minutes. Garnish with basil, if desired.
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