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Dump-and-Bake Tortellini and Meatballs

With this easy dump-and-bake dinner, frozen tortellini and frozen meatballs go straight into the oven in one dish -- no boiling or thawing necessary!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword baked tortellini and meatballs, tortellini and meatballs, tortellini recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 464kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 1 (19 ounce) package frozen cheese tortellini (about 4.5 cups of frozen tortellini), not thawed
  • 2 cups frozen mini meatballs (also called "bite size" or "cocktail size" meatballs), not thawed
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • ½ cup beef broth or water
  • ¼ cup red wine (or sub with additional beef broth or water)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (use less, or omit entirely if you don’t like it spicy)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh herbs


  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In the prepared dish (or in a separate bowl), stir together the stir together frozen tortellini, frozen meatballs, marinara sauce, water, red wine, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and onion powder. Season with a little bit of salt to taste; stir. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
    Process shot showing how to make tortellini and meatballs.
  • Remove dish from oven; stir well. At this point, the pasta should be tender and the meatballs should be warm. If the tortellini or meatballs are still undercooked, cover the dish and return to the oven until done. Then move on to the next step.
  • Heat the broiler on HIGH. Sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan over the top of the casserole. Place the dish (uncovered) under the broiler for a couple of minutes, just until the cheese melts. Keep a close eye on the dish while it’s under the broiler, since it can burn quickly.
    Shredded mozzarella cheese for the top of a casserole.


  • Use miniature meatballs (also called "bite size" or "cocktail size" meatballs). These are smaller and therefore heat through in the same amount of time as it takes to cook the tortellini.
  • Do not let the tortellini or meatballs thaw before baking the casserole, or the texture will be "off" and the cooking time will be different.
  • The total baking time will vary depending on a number of different factors, including the type/size/brand of tortellini and meatballs, the type of pan that you use, and on your individual oven. As a result, keep an eye on the tortellini as it bakes. You'll know it's done when the pasta is al dente (tender, with a firm bite). The tortellini will continue to cook and soften as it sits in the hot sauce, so you don't want to overcook it and end up with mushy or torn tortellini.
  • Garnish the dish with fresh herbs like fresh basil, fresh parsley, and fresh oregano for a bright finishing touch.


Serving: 1/8 of the recipe | Calories: 464kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 961mg | Potassium: 486mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 596IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 252mg | Iron: 3mg