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Can you believe school will be starting in just a few short weeks? I feel like I say this every time but summer break goes by too fast! I get to enjoy an easier commute to work when school is out – I am definitely going to miss that! Back to school always has us busy – taking the kids to school, picking them up from aftercare, and making sure dinner is done quickly! The kids are usually ravenous by the time they get home. Pasta is usually my go to dinner option when I want something done quickly (plus my husband can do it). The three cheese mini meatball pasta bake has been a favorite around here.
Growing up, I remember my abuela would have our dinner ready as soon as we got home. She stayed with us for half the year then would fly back to Puerto Rico to be with her other daughter. My abuela definitely spoiled us! When my grandma traveled back to Puerto Rico, my mom would cook dinner for us once she got home. My mom worked in the education field so she typically got home soon after I did. I always enjoyed having my mom home early, I definitely appreciate it now. Now that I’m a mom, life is a little different than how it was back when I was younger. My husband and I both work outside the home and typically don’t get home until 5-5:30pm. Family time is definitely limited which is why we look for easy meal options. Who wants to spend all that time in the kitchen cooking? I sure don’t! I want to spend it with my kids – I want to know how their day was, what they learned, and what activities they did.
If you are looking for cheesy goodness, this Rigatoni pasta bake is for you! If you prefer to save additional time, you can make the mini meatballs the night before. I tend to do a big batch – freeze them and defrost them as needed. My kids love meatballs. They can be used in so many different dinner options – subs, spaghetti, or Swedish style. I always use Prego Italian sauce for all my pasta needs. We love the different varieties of sauces. My abuela and my mom used to cook with Prego and I have not used anything else! It has that delicious homemade taste with the sweet and savory Italian flavor my family has loved for generations.
After a long day at work, I usually need a little boost of energy. I love the V8 + Energy drinks, it taste just like fruit! It has fruit and veggies containing natural green tea. It is perfect for on the go when I leave to work in the mornings I can grab one on the way out.
You can find Prego Italian Sauce and V8 + Energy at your local Walmart store. To make it even better, grab this coupon before you head to the store for additional savings.
Enjoy the recipe below!
- 1 -1.5 pounds of lean ground beef
- 4 tbls of Italian breadcrumbs
- 2 tbls all purpose seasoning
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tbls parsley
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 egg
- 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup Ricotta cheese
- 1 box Rigatoni pasta
- 1 jar Prego Italian pasta sauce
- Start boiling water with salt for your Rigatoni pasta.
- Start by placing the lean ground beef, Italian breadcrumbs, all purpose seasoning, garlic, parsley, onion powder, black pepper, oregano, and egg in a mixing bowl. Mix all the ingredients together but don't over mix. Form your mini meatballs and place them on a skillet under medium heat to cook. Be sure to brown them on all sides.
- Transfer the meatballs to another pan then add the Prego Italian sauce. Cover and cook on low for about 15 mins (we just want the sauce to heat up so the cheeses can melt).
- Once the pasta is done, drain it and add some of the pasta to the pan where the meatballs and Prego sauce is.
- Next, add 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, and 1 cup Ricotta cheese. Give everything a good mix. The pasta should be nice and cheesy!
- Grab a baking dish and pour the cheesy pasta. Sprinkle the last remaining cup of Mozzarella cheese to the top of the pasta. Place in the oven for about 15 mins at 350 degrees (until cheese is melted). Serve hot with a warm garlic roll!