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Meatball Mac and Cheese

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6-7 cups leftover mac and cheese
1/2 cup milk
1 cup grated Colby cheese
24 frozen precooked meatballs, thawed
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Meatball Mac and Cheese

Just five ingredients (two of them leftovers) make this spectacular main dish recipe in minutes.

  • Serves 4
  • Easy

About This Recipe

I just love using leftovers to make a new recipe. And this recipe couldn’t be easier. This recipe for Meatball Mac and Cheese uses leftovers of my fabulous Super Creamy Mac and Cheese and adds more cheese and some frozen precooked meatballs. Bake it again for the ultimate in comfort food.

I prefer Wild Rice Meatballs by the No Name people because I think they have a wonderful flavor and texture. But you can use any meatballs you like – even make your own! The meatballs do have to be cooked before they are added to the mac and cheese, though.

I thaw the frozen meatballs in the microwave oven. Just put them in a dish and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on high. Let them stand a bit, then add to the dish.

All you need to serve with this recipe is some mixed vegetables or a nice green salad tossed with avocados and ranch dressing. Enjoy every bite.

P.S. Of course, you can just add meatballs when you make the original Mac and cheese. Just remember to thaw and heat them first!

Tips for the best Meatball Mac and Cheese:

  • When you add the milk to the leftover Mac and cheese, stir gently but thoroughly. You don’t want to break up the pasta more than you have to.
  • For food safety reasons, al leftovers need to be heated to 165°F. And I’m going to be bossy – you have to check that temperature with a good food thermometer. Thermapen is the best, and my favorite.

Why this recipe works:

  • The macaroni in the Mac and cheese will absorb lots of the sauce as it cools and is chilled. You must add more liquid (and cheese) to bring back the original consistency.
  • Stir the milk into the Mac and cheese gently. You don’t want to break up the pasta too much, or the dish will be mushy.
  • It’s always a good idea to use high quality pasta when making Mac and cheese because the ingredient is so prominent. And undercook it slightly before adding the sauce, so the pasta doesn’t overcook as it bakes.

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Preheat the oven to 375°F. Put the leftover mac and cheese in a 2 quart baking dish and drizzle the milk over it.


Stir the milk into the mac and cheese, using the spoon to break up large clumps of macaroni. Stir in the Colby cheese.


Add the meatballs to the mac and cheese mixture. Sprinkle everything with the Parmesan.


Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the casserole starts to bubble around the edges and the center is thoroughly heated to 165°F.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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