Spaghetti and Meatball Cups

Individual cups of swirly noodles in marinara, topped with juicy meatballs and gooey mozzarella. Don't you love when food is as fun as it is delicious?!

Seriously, how fun is this presentation? Although, I didn't write this recipe "just for fun". I had a plan. I wanted to prep ahead for tonight's dinner AND have leftovers for tomorrow. Making individual "cups" of spaghetti and meatballs makes reheating a lot easier, and the outcome is better too.

Here's why I needed two night's worth of spaghetti and meatballs: Not only is this meal a fabulous blend of pasta, sauce, cheese, and meatballs (a culinary slam dunk), it's the perfect pre-track-meet fuel for my boys (it checks all the nutritional boxes by dishing up complex carbs and lean protein, and it's low in fat). But only Luke has a track meet tomorrow. Kyle's meet is the next day and he'll be out for dinner tonight! Perfection. I can serve some tonight and reheat the leftovers tomorrow.

But you don't have to have kids in sports to enjoy this amazing meal! It's loaded with flavor AND it's healthy - that's something we can all appreciate.

Want a side dish idea? I served the cups with my Garlic Mozzarella Coins and it was a perfect combination!

Want to prep ahead? If you want to prep ahead for a future meal, simply cover the assembled cups with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days before baking.

Spaghetti or angel hair? Yes, I called this "spaghetti" and meatball cups and then made the dish with angel hair. That's our favorite variety. Use YOUR favorite variety in your cups!

Want bigger meatballs? I used 1/2 pound of ground beef to make 12 small meatballs. You could easily use 1 pound of beef and make bigger ones.

Spaghetti and Meatball Cups

Cooking spray
1/2 pound lean ground beef
Salt and ground black pepper
12 ounces spaghetti or angel hair pasta
2 cups marinara sauce, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
Season the beef with salt and pepper and shape into 12 meatballs. Place the meatballs on a parchment- or foil-lined baking pan and bake for 20 minutes, until browned and cooked through (if you decide to make bigger meatballs, they may take slightly longer). Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and return the pasta to the pot. Add 1 cup of the the marinara sauce, eggs, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Mix well. Fold in 1/2 cup of the mozzarella and all of the parmesan cheese. Mix well.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan and press the mixture into each cup with the back of a spoon. Arrange the meatballs on top. Spoon over the remaining sauce and mozzarella.
Bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese melts.
Makes 12 cups (serves 4)