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Three-Cheese Meatball Mostaccioli

When my husband travels for work, I make a special dinner for my kids to keep their minds off missing Daddy. This tasty mostaccioli is meatball magic. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 35 min.
  • Makes
    10 servings


  • 1 package (16 ounces) mostaccioli
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 jars (24 ounces each) pasta sauce with meat
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 package (12 ounces) frozen fully cooked Italian meatballs, thawed
  • 3/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Minced fresh parsley or fresh baby arugula, optional


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cook mostaccioli according to package directions for al dente; drain. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix eggs and ricotta cheese.
  • In a 6-qt. stockpot, cook beef and onion 6-8 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up beef into crumbles; drain. Stir in brown sugar and seasonings. Add pasta sauce and mostaccioli; toss to combine.
  • Transfer half the pasta mixture to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Layer with ricotta mixture and remaining pasta mixture; sprinkle with Romano cheese. Top with meatballs and Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes or until heated through. If desired, top with parsley.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/3 cups: 541 calories, 23g fat (11g saturated fat), 105mg cholesterol, 1335mg sodium, 55g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 5g fiber), 34g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Stephanie
    Oct 4, 2020

    This was a DELICIOUS recipe. I would definitely make this again. Even my picky eaters enjoyed it along with my husband. The brown sugar gives it a sweet hint but not overbearing sweet taste. The only modifications I made was that I used minced garlic instead of powder, I added season salt to the meat, and used mozzarella cheese and grated parmsean because I couldn't find the other cheese. VERY GOOD!

  • Meredith
    Jul 1, 2020

    Pretty good dinner. I made a half recipe of this. I used fresh garlic and half a shallot. For the sauce, I used Bertoli tomato basil. Since I had a pound of ground beef and only used half, I rolled the other half into meatballs. I added fresh basil and parmesan cheese to them. After 40 minutes of baking, the meatballs were fully cooked. I think there was a little too much brown sugar that it muted the cheese and sauce flavors. I made this with swiss-onion bread (on this site).

  • Kris
    May 20, 2020

    This was hearty and tasty. Had lot of leftovers which is a good thing. The flavor improved as it sat in the fridge. Will be making this again.

  • vawisely
    Jan 1, 2018

    Party of 6 loved it for New Year's Eve. Plenty of leftovers, too!

  • justmbeth
    Sep 18, 2017

    Really good when you are looking for more than a standard spaghetti and meatballs. It does make quite a bit but it looks like it would halve nicely for next time when I make it.

  • puzzlemad
    Jul 20, 2017

    Simple & very tasty. I halved the recipe as there is only 2 0f us. Enough for leftovers.

  • dschultz01
    Nov 27, 2016

    This was very good. Just be sure to choose good meatballs. The ones I bought were not that good.

  • DWare5883
    Jun 5, 2016

    I thought this was a very good recipe. The only thing I might change is maybe just use a little bit less sugar. I thought it was just a little sweet. Other than that I thought it was good.

  • MizzBanker
    Mar 10, 2016

    To "chsw" question. No there is "not" a problem with the recipe. Yes, it states to cook the ground beef because there is crumbled ground beef in addition to the packaged Italian meatballs which are added on top last. Did you read the entire recipe? Unfair to rate a 3 because you did not "read" through the entire recipe. The recipe is a quick, easy, filling and tasty family meal. I always add fresh garlic to these dishes in place of the garlic powder. It lends for an amazingly fresh burst of garlic flavor. Just complete your meal by adding a garden salad and French bread. Enjoy!

  • chsw
    Mar 10, 2016

    Does anyone see a problem with this recipe. It is called Three-Cheese "Meatball" Mostaccioli but in the recipe is says " cook beef and onion 6-8 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up beef into crumbles".