Ina’s Tomato Orzo Soup With Grilled Cheeses {A Meatless Monday Recipe

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Happy Spring!

Today, I’m sharing a recipe for Tomato Orzo Soup With Grilled Cheeses. Yes, a soup recipe on the first day of spring, because apparently spring sprung in February and winter returned for the month of March.

This morning it is a chilly 30 degrees F. We saw some snow showers yesterday on the mountain and had a fire burning most of the evening. Can someone please tell Old Man Winter he’s drunk and go lay down for a while to sleep it off?!?! 

If you are looking for a really good Meatless Monday recipe to knock off the chill, this recipe for Tomato Orzo Soup With Grilled Cheeses will do the trick! As a huge fan of Ina Garten and a subscriber of The Barefoot Contessa, I received this recipe in an email. As I ran down the ingredient list of Ina’s easy tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons, I only needed to pick up just a few ingredients from the store. The fact that saffron was on the ingredient list made me happy, because I adore this unique spice and I’m always looking for ways to use it. Not only did I love the ingredients, I loved the fact that grilled cheeses were involved. I mean tomato soup and grilled cheese are the absolute perfect comfort food there is! Not to mention, this soup is so easy to make.

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Ina’s recipe called for grilled cheese croutons, but I decided to do whole grilled cheeses instead. I felt that the croutons could possibly get a little too soggy if not eaten fast enough and I wanted to be able to control the crispness of the bread. I love crunchy things, so this was a simple judgement call about texture. 

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made with tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, gooey grilled cheeses with melted Gruyère cheese. The perfect comfort food on a chilly day! Here’s how I made it:

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

 Tomato Orzo Soup With Grilled Cheeses | Servings: 6 | Time: 60 Minutes

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes, hand crushed
  • Large pinch saffron threads
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup orzo
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Grilled Cheeses (see recipe)

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add in the onions and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Stir in the vegetable broth, tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a large pinch of saffron and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to low; simmer for 15 minutes.

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Meanwhile, cook the orzo in salted water, 2 minutes less than what is written on the package instructions. Drain, well and add to the pot of soup.

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Stir in heavy cream and return to a simmer. Cook 10 more minutes, stirring frequently to ensure the orzo doesn’t stick.

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Serve hot with Grilled Cheeses.

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Grilled Cheeses | Servings 6 | Time: 15 Minutes

  • 8-10 (½-inch-thick) slices Italian bread
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated

Directions:

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Place the slices of bread on a cutting board and lightly spread butter (2 tablespoons) with a knife. Turn half of the slices over and sprinkle generously with Gruyère. Place the remaining slices of bread on top of the Gruyère, buttered sides up. 

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Place 1 tablespoon of the butter into the hot pan and place the sandwiches into the preheated pan. Cook until golden and the cheese begins to melt, about 3 to 5 more minutes.

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Flip and cook the other side for an additional 3-5 minutes or until golden and the cheese is completely melted. (Reduce the heat if the toasted start to brown too much before the cheese melts.)

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

This recipe is so easy to make with simple ingredients. A cozy meal that tastes like it took all day to make.

In the words of Ina: “How easy is that?”.

p.s. Burn a candle next to where you chop onions so you won’t cry! {READ MORE…

 

The following products are ones we love, trust and use here in our mountain kitchen. These products will help make these grilled cheese sandwiches. Just click the image to learn more!

 
         

 

Print

Tomato Orzo Soup With Grilled Cheeses

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Author Debbie Spivey

Ingredients

The Soup

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can San Marzano tomatoes 28-ounce, hand crushed
  • Large pinch saffron threads
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup orzo
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Grilled Cheeses

  • 8-10 (½-inch-thick) Italian bread sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter softened
  • 4 ounces Gruyère shredded

Instructions

The Soup

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add in the onions and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the vegetable broth, tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a large pinch of saffron and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to low; simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the orzo in salted water, 2 minutes less than what is written on the package instructions. Drain, well and add to the pot of soup. Stir in heavy cream and return to a simmer. Cook 10 more minutes, stirring frequently to ensure the orzo doesn't stick.

  4. Serve hot with Grilled Cheeses

Grilled Cheeses

  1. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Place the slices of bread on a cutting board and lightly spread butter (2 tablespoons) with a knife. Turn half of the slices over and sprinkle generously with Gruyère. Place the remaining slices of bread on top of the Gruyère, buttered sides up. 

  2. Place 1 tablespoon of the butter into the hot pan and place the sandwiches into the preheated pan. Cook until golden and the cheese begins to melt, about 3 to 5 more minutes. Flip and cook the other side for an additional 3-5 minutes or until golden and the cheese is completely melted. (Reduce the heat if the toasted start to brown too much before the cheese melts.)

 

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchased through those things. We have used all of the products listed below and recommend them because they are helpful and are companies that we trust not because of the commission’s that I may earn from using these products. The prices are not affected in any way. Thank you for your support!

Click to subscribe to TheMountainKitchen.com


Chipotle-Lime Hummus

A classic with a twist, this flavorful chipotle-lime hummus is made of chickpeas blended with warm smoky chipotle chilies offset with a zing of lime juice. | TheMountainKitchen.com

David won’t admit it, but this chipotle-lime hummus has changed his opinion of hummus. 

I’ve been on a huge hummus kick lately, trying out lots of new hummus recipes, and even sharing a couple along the way. I have been hanging on to this recipe for a little while, because I didn’t want you to think I was completely obsessed with hummus. I don’t think it is time to join the Hummus Anonymous Group yet, but hold that thought.

This flavorful recipe is a great twist on classic hummus. Creamy chickpeas with Mexican spices and the warm soft smoky heat of adobo and chipotle chilies offset with a light refreshing zing of lime. This chipotle-lime hummus would be great for parties or small gatherings. It’s like a Mexican fiesta inside your mouth!

Let me share this recipe with you and perhaps you will understand why David changed his opinion of hummus: 

A classic with a twist, this flavorful chipotle-lime hummus is made of chickpeas blended with warm smoky chipotle chilies offset with a zing of lime juice. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Chipotle-Lime Hummus | Servings: 6 | Time: 15 Minutes 

Recipe adapted from: Cooking Classy

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chilies, minced
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from the can of chipotle chilies in adobo
  • 1 clove garlic, quartered
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • chopped cilantro and lime slices, for garnish

Directions:

In a food processor or blender, add all the ingredients EXCEPT the olive oil and lime juice. Pulse a few times to chop up the chickpeas.

A classic with a twist, this flavorful chipotle-lime hummus is made of chickpeas blended with warm smoky chipotle chilies offset with a zing of lime juice. | TheMountainKitchen.com

With the motor running, pour in the olive oil and lime juice; process until a smooth paste forms.

Transfer the hummus into a serving bowl, topped with more olive oil, adobo sauce and chipotle chilies if desired. Sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro and add lime wedges on the side.

Serve with pita or tortilla chips, and for an even healthier snack serve with veggies.

Store leftover hummus in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

A classic with a twist, this flavorful chipotle-lime hummus is made of chickpeas blended with warm smoky chipotle chilies offset with a zing of lime juice. | TheMountainKitchen.com

 

A classic with a twist, this flavorful chipotle-lime hummus is made of chickpeas blended with warm smoky chipotle chilies offset with a zing of lime juice. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Raise your chip if you’re gonna try this chipotle-lime hummus recipe this weekend!

What’s your favorite hummus recipe? Comment below!

The following products are ones we love, trust and use here in our mountain kitchen. These products will help make this chipotle-lime hummus. Just click the image to learn more!

5 from 1 vote
Print

Chipotle-Lime Hummus

A classic with a twist, this flavorful chipotle-lime hummus is made of chickpeas blended with warm smoky chipotle chilies offset with a zing of lime juice.

Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American, Mediterranean, Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6
Author Debbie Spivey

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas 15-ounce, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chilies minced
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from the can of chipotle chilies in adobo
  • 1 clove garlic quartered
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or blender, add all the ingredients EXCEPT the olive oil and lime juice. Pulse a few times to chop up the chickpeas.

  2. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil and lime juice; process until a smooth paste forms.
  3. Transfer the hummus into a serving bowl, topped with more olive oil, adobo sauce and chipotle chilies if desired. Sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro.
  4. Serve with pita or tortilla chips, and for an even healthier snack serve with veggies.

Recipe Notes

Store leftover hummus in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Recipe slightly adapted from CookingClassy.com

 

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchased through those things. We have used all of the products listed below and recommend them because they are helpful and are companies that we trust not because of the commission’s that I may earn from using these products. The prices are not affected in any way. Thank you for your support!

Click to subscribe to TheMountainKitchen.com


3-Ingredient Bacon-Fried Cabbage {An Unintentional St. Patrick’s Day Post

This simple recipe for bacon-fried cabbage only has 3-ingredients. The cabbage is seasoned with bite-sized bits of bacon. An easy side dish in just minutes. | TheMountainKitchen.com

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day and as I sit here and type, there is about 4-5 inches of snow covering the mountain. I finally got my snow day.

I guess it is better late than never, huh?

 

This simple recipe for bacon-fried cabbage only has 3-ingredients. The cabbage is seasoned with bite-sized bits of bacon. An easy side dish in just minutes. | TheMountainKitchen.com

This simple recipe for bacon-fried cabbage only has 3-ingredients. The cabbage is seasoned with bite-sized bits of bacon. An easy side dish in just minutes. | TheMountainKitchen.com

 

Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day, it’s going to be here in a few days. I am not a huge fan of Irish food and perhaps it is because I haven’t really explored it enough. My grandmother’s maiden name was O’Berry, so you’d think some of that Irish blood would provoke me to cook more Irish food, but so far that hasn’t happened yet. It is only a coincidence that I am sharing this recipe for bacon-fried cabbage. While my other blogging friends are posting yummy looking Irish recipes, this is an unintentional St. Patrick’s Day post about 3-ingredient bacon-fried cabbage.

This simple recipe for bacon-fried cabbage only has 3-ingredients. The cabbage is seasoned with bite-sized bits of bacon. An easy side dish in just minutes. | TheMountainKitchen.com

David and I used to boil cabbage with a huge ham hock for hours. It’s the way we cook cabbage in the south; you throw vegetables into a pot, throw in fatty pig meat and boil it to death. It would stink up the house and hardly have any nutritional value after it was all said and done. A little time would pass before we would boil another head of cabbage to death. We began to realize that every time we would sit down to eat boiled cabbage, it would start to bloat us like a blowfish after just a few bites. Not sure what kind of chemistry was going on in our bodies, but it wasn’t a pleasant feeling. It was almost like those stupid Beano commercials… (gasp!)

After boiling cabbages for years, one day I made a recipe by Michael Symon, in which pork roasted over top of shredded cabbage. This recipe inspired me to make Dijon pork chops over shredded cabbage with beets. David and I both noticed that the cabbage was more enjoyable. Cooked this way, the cabbage didn’t have the same effect as it had when it was boiled. So now, we either fry, roast or grill cabbage rather than boil it. I have to say the house sure has smelled a lot better since we stopped boiling cabbages to death…sheew!

This simple recipe for bacon-fried cabbage only has 3-ingredients. The cabbage is seasoned with bite-sized bits of bacon. An easy side dish in just minutes. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Besides salt and pepper to season it, this simple recipe for fried cabbage only has 3-ingredients; one of them being BACON! The cabbage is seasoned with bite-sized bits of bacon making it an easy to fix side dish in just minutes. Here’s how I made it:

This simple recipe for bacon-fried cabbage only has 3-ingredients. The cabbage is seasoned with bite-sized bits of bacon. An easy side dish in just minutes. | TheMountainKitchen.com

3-Ingredient Bacon-Fried Cabbage | Servings: 2 | Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 large savoy cabbage, chopped
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Directions: 

Using kitchen shears, dice the bacon into a large pot or deep skillet. Cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes.

This simple recipe for bacon-fried cabbage only has 3-ingredients. The cabbage is seasoned with bite-sized bits of bacon. An easy side dish in just minutes. | TheMountainKitchen.com

This simple recipe for bacon-fried cabbage only has 3-ingredients. The cabbage is seasoned with bite-sized bits of bacon. An easy side dish in just minutes. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Add in the cabbage, toss well with the bacon and rendered bacon fat.

This simple recipe for bacon-fried cabbage only has 3-ingredients. The cabbage is seasoned with bite-sized bits of bacon. An easy side dish in just minutes. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Pour in the vegetable stock. Continue to cook, until cabbage wilts, about 15 minutes.

This simple recipe for bacon-fried cabbage only has 3-ingredients. The cabbage is seasoned with bite-sized bits of bacon. An easy side dish in just minutes. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Serve warm.

Note: For this recipe I used savoy cabbage because it is more tender than regular cabbage and wilts a lot faster. 

This simple recipe for bacon-fried cabbage only has 3-ingredients. The cabbage is seasoned with bite-sized bits of bacon. An easy side dish in just minutes. | TheMountainKitchen.com

If you are not a cabbage fan, I promise that this bacon-fried cabbage will help change your mind. Try some on St. Patrick’s Day!

Do you like cabbage? Comment below!

The following products are ones we love, trust and use here in our mountain kitchen. These products will help make this baked pasta with meatballs and spinach. Just click the image to learn more!

      

5 from 1 vote
Print

3-Ingredient Bacon-Fried Cabbage

This simple recipe for bacon-fried cabbage only has 3-ingredients. The cabbage is seasoned with bite-sized bits of bacon. An easy side dish in just minutes.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Debbie Spivey

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon diced
  • 1 large savoy cabbage chopped
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot or deep skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes
  2. Add in the cabbage, toss well with the bacon and rendered bacon fat.
  3. Pour in the vegetable stock. Continue to cook, until cabbage wilts, about 15 minutes.
  4. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

For this recipe I used savoy cabbage because it is more tender than regular cabbage and wilts a lot faster. 

 

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchased through those things. We have used all of the products listed below and recommend them because they are helpful and are companies that we trust not because of the commission’s that I may earn from using these products. The prices are not affected in any way. Thank you for your support!

Click to subscribe to TheMountainKitchen.com


Baked Pasta with Meatballs and Spinach

Quick and easy weeknight indulgence, this baked pasta is made with juicy meatballs in a bed of cheesy pasta with fresh spinach and creamy ricotta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

This baked pasta recipe may have changed the way I make meatballs forever. 

I can’t stop thinking about them, especially the way they studded this baked pasta dish with that creamy ricotta cheese. These meatballs were made of a 50/50 mixture of ground beef and sweet Italian sausage, with garlic, cheese and breadcrumbs. The Italian sausage made a huge difference in taste. I mean HUGE! Even life-changing.

Quick and easy weeknight indulgence, this baked pasta is made with juicy meatballs in a bed of cheesy pasta with fresh spinach and creamy ricotta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

What is really crazy is the fact that this recipe was so simple to make that it could be done practically any time. Even on a weeknight. It literally took only about an hour to make this Baked Pasta with Meatballs and Spinach dish from start to finish. I know because I timed it. Although there were some ingredients that I had made ahead of time, that kept this recipe timing in check.

This recipe calls for two ingredients that I always make from scratch: tomato sauce and ricotta. David and I aren’t big fans of the jars of marinara sauces you get from the store, or we just haven’t found one we like. Depending on the dish I make a Bolognese or basic tomato sauce or a combination, from scratch. I also cannot remember the last time I bought ricotta cheese from the store. I have been making my own fresh ricotta cheese, since Ina Garten taught me how one day on her show Barefoot Contessa. I just so happened to have some basic tomato sauce in the freezer and made my own cheese on the weekend to use for this weeknight meal.

I know you probably think I tend to over complicate recipes whenever possible. Maybe I do, but that is not my intention. I simply enjoy clean eating and love the way real food tastes. I will never sacrifice flavor for convenience. It’s kinda my thing. I just plan ahead for recipes like this.

Quick and easy to make, this baked pasta is weeknight indulgence at its best. Flavorful juicy meatballs are nestled in a bed of gooey, cheesy pasta with fresh spinach and dollops of fresh ricotta cheese.

Quick and easy weeknight indulgence, this baked pasta is made with juicy meatballs in a bed of cheesy pasta with fresh spinach and creamy ricotta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Baked Pasta with Meatballs and Spinach | Servings: 4 | Time: 65 Minutes

Recipe adapted from Woman’s Day Magazine

  • 1 ½ cups Mezzi Rigatoni pasta
  • 6-ounce bag baby spinach
  • 1 large egg
  • kosher salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 8-ounces ground beef
  • 8-ounce Italian sausage
  • 3-4 cups basic tomato sauce (use your favorite jarred marinara sauce, if preferred)
  • 1 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese

Place the oven rack about 6-8 inches, underneath the broiler. Preheat the broiler and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Cook pasta according to package directions, in a large pot of salted water. Drain; return the pasta to the pot.

Quick and easy weeknight indulgence, this baked pasta is made with juicy meatballs in a bed of cheesy pasta with fresh spinach and creamy ricotta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the meatballs.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, 2 tablespoons of water, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Quick and easy weeknight indulgence, this baked pasta is made with juicy meatballs in a bed of cheesy pasta with fresh spinach and creamy ricotta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Stir in the garlic, parsley, bread crumbs and Parmesan. Let this mixture sit for 2 minutes.

Quick and easy weeknight indulgence, this baked pasta is made with juicy meatballs in a bed of cheesy pasta with fresh spinach and creamy ricotta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Chop 1 cup of the spinach. Add the chopped spinach, beef, sausage, to the bread crumb mixture; mix to combine. 

I found it best to work the mixture with your hands, like you would a meatloaf. If you used your hands, make sure you don’t overwork the meat, which can lead to dry, dense meatballs.

Quick and easy weeknight indulgence, this baked pasta is made with juicy meatballs in a bed of cheesy pasta with fresh spinach and creamy ricotta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Quick and easy weeknight indulgence, this baked pasta is made with juicy meatballs in a bed of cheesy pasta with fresh spinach and creamy ricotta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

When the meat mixture is well combined, use about two tablespoons per meatball to form 1 ½-inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheet; about 20 meatballs.  Broil the meatballs, until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.

Quick and easy weeknight indulgence, this baked pasta is made with juicy meatballs in a bed of cheesy pasta with fresh spinach and creamy ricotta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Pour the tomato sauce into the pot with the pasta and toss to combine.

Quick and easy weeknight indulgence, this baked pasta is made with juicy meatballs in a bed of cheesy pasta with fresh spinach and creamy ricotta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Stir in 1 cup of the mozzarella and about ¼ cup of the ricotta cheese, until it starts to melt. Pour the mixture into a large casserole dish and gently toss with spinach and meatballs. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese and dollop with the remaining ricotta cheese.

Quick and easy weeknight indulgence, this baked pasta is made with juicy meatballs in a bed of cheesy pasta with fresh spinach and creamy ricotta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Quick and easy weeknight indulgence, this baked pasta is made with juicy meatballs in a bed of cheesy pasta with fresh spinach and creamy ricotta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Broil until golden brown, 3-5 minutes.

Quick and easy weeknight indulgence, this baked pasta is made with juicy meatballs in a bed of cheesy pasta with fresh spinach and creamy ricotta cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

I tore this recipe for Baked Pasta with Meatballs and Spinach out a Family Circle Magazine my mama gave me, many moons ago. It’s been hanging around just waiting for me to pick it from the growing binder of recipes to try. I’m really kicking myself for not trying it sooner.

Gracious me, I may have to make this again next week…

The following products are ones we love, trust and use here in our mountain kitchen. These products will help make this baked pasta with meatballs and spinach. Just click the image to learn more!

 
                   

 

5 from 1 vote
Print

Baked Pasta with Meatballs and Spinach

Quick and easy weeknight indulgence, this baked pasta is made with juicy meatballs in a bed of cheesy pasta with fresh spinach and creamy ricotta cheese.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4
Author Debbie Spivey

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups Mezzi Rigatoni pasta
  • 6 ounce bag baby spinach
  • 1 large egg
  • kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 8- ounce Italian sausage
  • 3-4 cups basic tomato sauce use your favorite jarred marinara sauce, if preferred
  • 1 cup mozzarella shredded
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese

Instructions

  1. Place the oven rack about 6-8 inches, underneath the broiler. Preheat the broiler and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, in salted water. Drain; return the pasta to the pot.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the meatballs.

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, 2 tablespoons of water, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the garlic, parsley, bread crumbs and Parmesan. Let this mixture sit for 2 minutes.

  2. Chop 1 cup of the spinach. Add the chopped spinach, beef, sausage, to the bread crumb mixture; mix to combine.
  3. When the meat mixture is well combined, use about two tablespoons per meatball to form 1 ½-inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheet; about 20 meatballs. Broil the meatballs, until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Pour the tomato sauce into the pot with the pasta and toss to combine.
  5. Stir in 1 cup of the mozzarella and about ¼ cup of the ricotta cheese, until it starts to melt. Pour the mixture into a large casserole dish and gently toss with spinach and meatballs. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese and dollop with the remaining ricotta cheese.
  6. Broil until golden brown, 3-5 minutes.

Recipe Notes

I found it best to work the mixture with your hands, like you would a meatloaf. If you used your hands, make sure you don't overwork the meat, which can lead to dry, dense meatballs.

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchased through those things. We have used all of the products listed below and recommend them because they are helpful and are companies that we trust not because of the commission’s that I may earn from using these products. The prices are not affected in any way. Thank you for your support!

Click to subscribe to TheMountainKitchen.com


My First Clear Skin Check

After being diagnosed Melanoma Stage 1B 16 months ago, I got my first clear skin check last week. A skin check can save your life. Schedule one today! | TheMountainKitchen.com

I have good news!

I am very happy to report that after being diagnosed Melanoma Stage 1B 16 months ago, I finally got my first clear skin check last week!! No concerns, no biopsies, just some measurements taking of some existing moles and a good thorough look at my skin. 

I can’t even begin to tell you how badly I needed to hear that. I was so relieved to hear that I didn’t need any biopsies done this time around. I’m tired of being cut on!!

Getting this good report, gives me a little more confidence and will help me dread these appointments a little less. Although someone needs to tell that to my heart, but because my bp was high from my really bad case of White Coat Syndrome

So now, I’m going to be blunt.

THIS IS WHAT TANNING CAN DO TO YOU:

 

I realize that this is mostly a food blog, but I will not apologize for the gory photos. This is what tanning can do to you and I have been incredibly blessed it hasn’t been worse than this. There are others in this world who have suffered far more than I have and I thank God every day for opening my eyes. 

 

After being diagnosed Melanoma Stage 1B 16 months ago, I got my first clear skin check last week. A skin check can save your life. Schedule one today! | TheMountainKitchen.com

 

I now have one question for YOU…   Have you called a dermatologist to schedule your skin check?

I can’t stress enough to you how very important skin checks are to your health. Before you come up with an excuse not to call and schedule an appointment, I didn’t think I would get Melanoma either, but I did.

My story has turned out well. So many others aren’t so lucky.
Go get checked. It could save your life!

Please protect yourself and the ones you love. There is no safe tan and no it isn’t “just a sunburn”.

 

Here is a Prevention Guideline Handout from SkinCancer.org

Read it. Learn from it. PREVENT IT!

 

Thanks for reading this and thank you for your support.

xoxo,

 

Help me raise awareness! Please use the share buttons below to share on social media sites. You could help save a life!