The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, Delivers On This Dish

Everything Ree does speaks to her home-style hospitality. Recently I saw a video about the mercantile store her family opened up. It has a restaurant t that features some of her favorite recipes, her line of kitchen ware, and a whole bunch of other fun and practical things that people just can’t get enough of. Someday I would love to go and visit and you never know..Ree might be the one behind the cash register or pouring coffee and checking in with guests.


Mini- Meatball Italian Casserole


  • 3/4 pounds Italian Sausage
  • 3/4 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1/2 cup Regular Oats
  • 1 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1 whole Egg, Beaten
  • 1/4 cup Minced Fresh Parsley
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 Ounces) Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 cups Hot Water
  • 12 leaves Basil
  • 12 ounces, weight Ziti Pasta, Cooked To Al Dente
  • 16 ounces, weight Fresh Mozzarella, Cut Into Large Cubes



  1. In a bowl, mix together the sausage, beef, oats, 1/2 of the Parmesan, egg, half the parsley, and salt and pepper until well combined.
  2. Form into small meatballs (about 1/2 inch) and brown in batches in a skillet over medium heat.
  3. Remove the meatballs from the pan and drain.
  4. Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, salt and pepper, sugar, and water.
  6. Stir and bring to a simmer, then add in the meatballs and continue simmering for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow it to cool. Stir in the basil once cool.
  8. In a casserole dish, add half the pasta, half the mozzarella cubes, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and half the meatball sauce
  9. Repeat with another layer, ending with the meatball sauce.
  10. Cover with foil and either refrigerate for up to 2 days, or bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Serve piping hot!


Quick tip: My daughter is having a baby any day now so I am making up 2 8×8 pans and putting them in her freezer so she has a few extra meals ready to pop in the oven when she gets home. Make sure when you take a meal to someone who could use a bit of care that you send it in an aluminum foil pan so they don’t have to wash and return.

Recipe and image courtesy of Ree Drummond of Prairie Woman


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.