Baked Spaghetti and Meatball Cups
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Baked Spaghetti and Meatball Cups are a flavorful bite-size appetizer that’s fun to make and share, plus they’re a fabulous way to use up leftover spaghetti. All you need is some pasta sauce, meatballs, parmesan cheese and an optional egg to hold them together. Easy to make ahead of time for a party. Plus video tutorial!
Do you need a fun side dish or party appetizer with a twist? These baked spaghetti and meatball cups combine cooked spaghetti with pasta sauce, meatballs and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. People just love them – you can eat them with your hands or a fork and knife.
HOW TO MAKE SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALL CUPS
You can make them with any kind of spaghetti including whole-wheat or gluten-free. Similarly, you can use whatever type of meatball you prefer, including pork, beef, chicken, turkey. or even vegetarian meatballs. Just make sure they are about 1 – 1 1/2 inches (about 3 cm) size to fit into the muffin cups.
This is one of the great ways to use up leftover spaghetti. You’ll need about 4 cups of cooked pasta to make the full 12 nests, and you can always scale up or down based on what you have on-hand.
For more leftover spaghetti recipes, try our Garlic Beef Lo Mein, Spaghetti Pancakes or Layered Pasta Bake. If you want another meatball appetizer with similar flavors, try our Meatball Marinara Cheese Bombs.
You can make this recipe up to ahead of time. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days and reheat for 3-5 minutes in the microwave. Alternatively, you can freeze them for up to one month the same way before thawing and reheating.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALL CUPS:
Baked Spaghetti Meatball Cups (with Video)
- 6 ounces dried spaghetti pasta, see note
- pinch salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 egg, lightly beaten - optional
- cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce
- 12 cooked meatballs
- chopped basil leaves, optional
- Preheat oven to 375°F / 190°C. Grease a nonstick muffin pan thoroughly with cooking spray and set aside.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
- Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the package instructions, so it's firm to the bite.
- Drain the spaghetti and toss with olive oil until evenly coated. (Optional: add beaten egg, which will help the nests hold together after baking.)
- Chill for 15 minutes.
- Add 1 cup parmesan cheese and toss until evenly coated.
- Grab a small handful of spaghetti and arrange into each muffin cup, pressing down to make a nest shape.
- Spoon 1 tbsp pasta sauce onto each cup, and then add one meatball followed by another 1 tbsp pasta sauce. Repeat for remaining cups.
- Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese over the tops of meatballs.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool slightly. (If you take them out while hot, they may collapse)
- Garnish with optional chopped basil. Serve warm and enjoy!
- You can also use leftover spaghetti instead of dried. You'll need about 4 cups of cooked pasta for this recipe.
- This recipe can be made ahead of time. Simply store the cups in an airtight container and freeze for up to one month. To reheat, allow to thaw and microwave on 50% power for 3-5 minutes (depending on the number of cups).
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Editor note: Originally published Aug 29, 2017 and updated Jan 8, 2019