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Cheesy meatball traybake recipe

Cheesy meatball traybake recipe

108 ratings

For manic weeknights when you're short on time, this oozy meatball orzo traybake recipe is the ideal family dinner. Make ahead and freeze, or prep and cook in under 1 hour for a super satisfying supper that's packed with rich Italian flavours and topped with crumbly salad cheese. See method

  • Serves 4
  • 5 mins to prepare and 50 mins to cook
  • 511 calories / serving
  • Freezable


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 336g pack 12 beef meatballs
  • 500ml tomato passata
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 200g orzo
  • 75g reduced-fat salad cheese, crumbled
  • 15g fresh basil leaves (optional)

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    22g 31%
  • Saturates

    8g 42%
  • Sugars

    12g 14%
  • Salt

    1.6g 26%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 51.4g Protein 26.2g Fibre 2.7g


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5-7 mins until starting to soften. Add the meatballs and cook for 8-10 mins more, turning occasionally, until browned. Pour in the passata and 200ml water, then stir in the tomato purée, bay leaf and sugar. Season and bring to a simmer. Transfer to a roasting tin and bake for 10 mins.
  2. Rinse the orzo under cold water. Drain well, then stir into the meatball mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, then scatter over the cheese and bake for a further 10-12 mins or until cooked. If you like, you can pop it under the grill for the final 2-3 mins to brown the cheese. Scatter over the basil to serve, if using.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

Cook as instructed and allow to cool completely. Then transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container, seal and freeze for up to 1-3 months. To serve, defrost thoroughly in the fridge overnight before reheating. To reheat and serve, place on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the dish is heated through.

See more Budget recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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