Olive Magazine
Sloppy Joe Meatball Bake Recipe

Sloppy joe meatball bake

Published: October 7, 2017 at 12:45 pm
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
  • Easy
  • Serves 6

Take ready-made meatballs up a notch in this cheesy bake topped with melting mozzarella. Serve with buttered crusty bread for the whole family to tuck into that cheesy goodness


Make these cheesy meatballs for a comforting family dinner. Also check out our classic sloppy joes, plus discover more delicious meatball recipes, such as our baked Italian meatballs and vegetarian meatballs.


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 24 ready-made beef meatballs
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 600g passata
  • 300g tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 50g dark muscovado sugar
  • flat-leaf parsley, a small bunch, roughly chopped
  • 2 x 125g balls mozzarella
  • buttered crusty bread or rolls, to serve
  • gherkins, to serve
  • thinly sliced red onion, to serve


  • STEP 1

    Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large, deep frying pan and, in two batches, fry the meatballs on high until browned all over. Scoop into a large baking dish.

  • STEP 2

    Add another 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan along with the onions, carrot and celery, and cook gently for 15 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes.

  • STEP 3

    Tip in the passata, chopped tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, ketchup, vinegar and sugar, with lots of seasoning. Add 200ml of water, then bubble for 20 minutes until the sauce is rich and thick. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

  • STEP 4

    Pour the sauce over the meatballs and stir in half the parsley. Tear over the mozzarella and bake for 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and the cheese is bubbling.

  • STEP 5

    Serve scattered with the rest of the parsley, and buttered crusty bread, gherkins and sliced red onion on the side.

Try more of our indulgent meatball recipes

Sausage Meatball Pasta Recipe with Broccoli

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