Quick pasta & mini-meatballs

Quick pasta & mini-meatballs

Total Time
30 min
12 min
18 min
This is the perfect, quickest, most delicious pasta recipe for one. You can multiply this recipe to serve a crowd or to make easy take-to-work lunches for yourself. We call for rotini here, but you can use any kind of whole wheat pasta you have on hand. The tiny meatballs are made with lean ground beef, fresh basil, seasoned breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and a pinch of salt, all of the classics we love in a meatball. Cook them in a small skillet, then add the pasta along with store-bought marinara sauce, and your satisfying pasta dinner is ready to go.


Uncooked whole wheat pasta

2 oz, rotini variety

Uncooked 93% lean ground beef

3 oz

Fresh basil

4 tsp, chopped, divided

Seasoned breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp, Italian variety

Grated Parmesan cheese

1½ Tbsp, divided


1 small clove(s), minced

Table salt

1 pinch(es)

Cooking spray

3 spray(s)

No sugar added fat free marinara sauce



  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt if desired. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water to thin sauce if necessary.
  2. Meanwhile, combine beef, 2 tsp basil, breadcrumbs, 2 tsp Parmesan, garlic, and salt in a small bowl; form into 8 meatballs.
  3. Coat a small skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add meatballs; cook, shaking pan occasionally, until meatballs are browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add drained pasta and sauce to skillet, along with some reserved pasta cooking water, if desired; toss over low heat until coated. Stir in remaining 2 tsp basil; serve sprinkled with remaining 2 ½ tsp Parmesan.
  4. Makes 1 serving.