Orzo, Pancetta, and Provolone Bake with Turkey Meatballs


Here's how to make turkey meatballs into a meal: toss them into a casserole with orzo, pancetta, and plenty of cheese. This baked turkey meatball recipe is hearty and a hit with kids and adults.

Orzo, Pancetta, and Provolone Bake with Turkey Meatballs
Photo: Jason Donnelly
Prep Time:
40 mins
Bake Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 5 mins


  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • 4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

  • 16 ounce dried orzo pasta

  • 6 ounce thinly sliced pancetta, chopped, or 6 slices bacon, chopped

  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 large)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup dry white wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 cup shredded provolone cheese (4 ounces)

  • ½ cup chopped roasted red sweet peppers

  • ½ cup whipping cream

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 12 ounce package (12) refrigerated cooked turkey Italian meatballs

  • ½ cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)

  • cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

  • Snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

  2. In a 4-quart Dutch oven bring broth to boiling. Stir in orzo. Cook, uncovered, for 6 to 7 minutes or until orzo is almost tender and liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

  3. In a large skillet cook and stir pancetta over medium heat until brown and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove pancetta and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet. Add onion to the reserved drippings; cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add wine, stirring to scrape up crusty brown bits. Return to heat and simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes or until wine is reduced by half. Add wine mixture to orzo in Dutch oven. Stir in pancetta, provolone cheese, roasted peppers, whipping cream, salt, and black pepper. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish.

  4. Add meatballs to baking dish, pressing lightly into orzo mixture. In a small bowl combine panko, Parmesan cheese, and thyme. Drizzle with oil; toss to coat. Sprinkle mixture over meatballs and orzo mixture.

  5. Bake, uncovered, about 25 minutes or until bubbly and crumbs are golden. If desired, sprinkle with parsley.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

743 Calories
32g Fat
72g Carbs
35g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 743
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 81mg 27%
Sodium 1211mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 72g 26%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 35g
Vitamin C 36.6mg 183%
Calcium 313mg 24%
Iron 4.7mg 26%
Potassium 451mg 10%
Folate, total 193.5mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.5mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.2mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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