Cheesy Beef Meatball & Gnocchi Bake with Arugula Salad & Garlic Bread
Craft

Cheesy Beef Meatball & Gnocchi Bake

with Arugula Salad & Garlic Bread

45 MIN
+$5.50/serving 4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

TECHNIQUE TO HIGHLIGHT
If your oven has a broiler—a section of the oven that provides direct, intense heat—we’ve provided instructions to use it at the very end of baking, allowing the layer of mozzarella (on top of the juicy meatball and pillowy gnocchi bake) to turn deliciously bubbly and golden brown.
CLICK FOR RECIPE CARD

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    1110 Cals (est.)
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Nutrition Label
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fresh
ingredients
Cheesy Beef Meatball & Gnocchi Bake with Arugula Salad & Garlic Bread
Title
  • 24 oz Usda Prime Ground Beef
  • 17.6 oz Gnocchi
  • 2 Small Baguettes
  • 1 14.5-Oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 5 oz Baby Spinach
  • 4 oz Arugula
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 6 oz Radishes
  • ½ lb Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • ¼ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Shallot
  • 2 oz Sliced Roasted Red Peppers
  • 2 Tbsps Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 oz Garlic & Herb Spreadable Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning (Whole Dried Basil, Sage, Oregano, Savory, Rosemary, Thyme & Marjoram)
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Remove the spreadable butter from the refrigerator to soften. Arrange two oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Halve the baguettes.

Form & bake the meatballs
2 Form & bake the meatballs

In a large bowl, combine the beef, breadcrumbs, and half the Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Shape the mixture into 16 tightly packed meatballs. Transfer to a large baking dish. Place on the upper oven rack and bake 14 to 16 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.* Remove from the oven. Carefully drain off and discard any excess oil. 

*The USDA recommends a minimum safe cooking temperature of 160°F for beef.

Cook the gnocchi & make the sauce
3 Cook the gnocchi & make the sauce

Meanwhile, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the gnocchi; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the sliced shallot, chopped garlic, spinach, and remaining Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted. Add the tomatoes (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and 1/2 cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

Assemble the casserole
4 Assemble the casserole

To the baking dish of baked meatballs, add the cooked gnocchi and sauce. Gently stir to combine. Evenly top with the cheese (tearing into small pieces before adding).

Bake the casserole & garlic bread
5 Bake the casserole & garlic bread
  • Line a sheet pan with foil. Place the halved baguettes, cut side up, on the foil. Evenly spread the softened butter onto the cut sides of the baguettes. Place the garlic bread on the lower oven rack and toast 7 to 9 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Place the casserole on the upper oven rack and bake 7 to 9 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. If desired, turn your oven to the broil function; broil the casserole 2 to 4 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown (watching carefully so it doesn’t burn). Remove from the oven. Let stand at least 2 minutes before serving.
Make the salad & serve your dish
6 Make the salad & serve your dish

Meanwhile, halve the radishes lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Roughly chop the peppers. In a large bowl, combine the sliced radishes, chopped peppers, vinegar, and a drizzle of olive oil. Just before serving, add the arugula; season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the baked casserole with the salad and garlic bread on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Remove the spreadable butter from the refrigerator to soften. Arrange two oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Halve the baguettes.

2 Form & bake the meatballs

In a large bowl, combine the beef, breadcrumbs, and half the Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Shape the mixture into 16 tightly packed meatballs. Transfer to a large baking dish. Place on the upper oven rack and bake 14 to 16 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.* Remove from the oven. Carefully drain off and discard any excess oil. 

*The USDA recommends a minimum safe cooking temperature of 160°F for beef.

Form & bake the meatballs
Cook the gnocchi & make the sauce
3 Cook the gnocchi & make the sauce

Meanwhile, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the gnocchi; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the sliced shallot, chopped garlic, spinach, and remaining Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted. Add the tomatoes (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and 1/2 cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

4 Assemble the casserole

To the baking dish of baked meatballs, add the cooked gnocchi and sauce. Gently stir to combine. Evenly top with the cheese (tearing into small pieces before adding).

Assemble the casserole
Bake the casserole & garlic bread
5 Bake the casserole & garlic bread
  • Line a sheet pan with foil. Place the halved baguettes, cut side up, on the foil. Evenly spread the softened butter onto the cut sides of the baguettes. Place the garlic bread on the lower oven rack and toast 7 to 9 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Place the casserole on the upper oven rack and bake 7 to 9 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. If desired, turn your oven to the broil function; broil the casserole 2 to 4 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown (watching carefully so it doesn’t burn). Remove from the oven. Let stand at least 2 minutes before serving.
6 Make the salad & serve your dish

Meanwhile, halve the radishes lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Roughly chop the peppers. In a large bowl, combine the sliced radishes, chopped peppers, vinegar, and a drizzle of olive oil. Just before serving, add the arugula; season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the baked casserole with the salad and garlic bread on the side. Enjoy!

Make the salad & serve your dish
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