This is my favorite kind of comfort food and if you want to be really clever and save time for a nap the next day, just make a larger portion today. Because this dish gets even better when it’s reheated!
For the meatballs:
1 pound lean ground chicken
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
For the casserole:
1 pound campanelle pasta (any small shape is fine, such as ziti)
1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Bring water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook for a couple of minutes less than package directions state.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the meatballs. Add the ingredients to a large bowl and use your hands to mix them together well. Form into balls, about 1 inch in diameter, place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cooked through and. Remove from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Add the pasta sauce to a bowl and stir in the cooked pasta and meatballs. Stir gently to coat everything in sauce.
Spread half of the pasta and meatballs into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with half of the mozzarella. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
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Quick Tip: To freeze this casserole, do not bake. Cover with foil and freeze until ready to bake.
Thanks to Buns in My Oven for this delicious dinner solution!