It’s back to school season! Families are busier than ever with carpool, packing lunches, homework, after-school activities, and everything else that comes with the school year. Finding time to make dinner can sometimes seem impossible.
Back-to-school meal planning is already well underway at my house, since the grandkids started back to school in early August. Budget-friendly, simple to prepare meals like spaghetti are truly a saving grace this time of the year. This post is Sponsored by Ragu®. All opinions are my own.
My family really enjoys a weekly spaghetti night. I love spaghetti night because it’s a wholesome meal that takes little time to prepare and is very budget-friendly. My back-to-school meal plan included a spaghetti and meatballs dinner to kick off the first week of school.
This meal was so easy to prepare thanks to my simple oven-baked meatballs recipe and Ragu® Spaghetti and Pasta Sauce from Costco. I just love it when dinnertime is this easy, without coming out of a take-out box.
I feed a lot of people, so shopping at bulk food stores like Costco makes my life easier and saves me some money in the process. Every penny counts these days.
The extra larger bottles of Ragu® Spaghetti and Pasta Sauces are perfect for family mealtime. While at Costco, I stocked up on some other grocery items and even treated myself to a new television for my bedroom.
I deserve a treat for myself every now and then. Right?
Ragu® Spaghetti Sauce pairs perfectly with my oven baked meatballs. I’ve shared the recipe below:
Spaghetti with Oven Baked Meatballs
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 (45 ounce) jar Ragu® Spaghetti Sauce
spaghetti noodles, prepared and drained
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a 13×9-inch pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until well combined. Shape mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs. You should get 30-40 meatballs, depending on how large you make them. Place 1 inch apart in pan.
3. Bake uncovered for 18 to 22 minutes or until no longer pink in the center.
4. Remove meatballs from pan and place in a large pot, along with the Ragu® Spaghetti Sauce. Place a lid on the pot and heat on low until warmed. Serve with spaghetti noodles.
This recipe feeds a large family. You can easily cut this recipe in half to serve up to 4 people or you can double it and set some meatballs aside for some Swedish meatballs later in the week.
Planning out meals in advance during the school is essential. Check out my meal planning tips below.
Back-to-School Meal Planning 101
Want to put a delicious and healthy homemade on the dinner table every night of the week? There is basically no chance of success without a plan. Meal planning is easy. Make a list of what meals you want to prepare for each day of the week, then create your shopping list from that menu.
While making your meal plan think of ways you can make meal prep easier. For example, plan two meals during the week that require ground beef. On the first night, cook all of the ground beef setting aside what you need for later in the week.
For more mealtime inspiration, follow Ragu® on Pinterest. What are your meal planning tips for busy weeknights?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ragu®. The opinions and text are all mine.
Spaghetti with Oven Baked Meatballs
- 1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a 13x9-inch pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
- 2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until well combined. Shape mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs. You should get 30-40 meatballs, depending on how large you make them. Place 1 inch apart in pan.
- 3. Bake uncovered for 18 to 22 minutes or until no longer pink in the center.
- 4. Remove meatballs from pan and place in a large pot, along with the Ragu® Spaghetti Sauce. Place a lid on the pot and heat on low until warmed. Serve with spaghetti noodles.