The cheesy meatball casserole – easily one of the tastiest, coziest dishes to serve up on a chilly evening. It’s filled with rich flavors and pretty easy to make once you have the right recipe at hand.
If you are looking for the best meatball casserole recipe to try out yourself, then this is the recipe for you. Check out the recipe below and give this easy meatball casserole recipe a try tonight!
The Joys Of Meatball Casserole
As the nights grow shorter and we all start turning up the thermostat, meatball casseroles are one of the best dishes to enjoy during chilly evenings. Plus, a meatball casserole recipe is a simple recipe to follow and doesn’t use a lot of ingredients.
You don’t even need cooking spray! All you need is plenty of pasta, frozen meatballs, cheese, and sauce! So, if you have some marinara sauce to use up then a meatball casserole is a great dish to serve up.
Meatball casserole is super hearty because it contains a lot of chunky meat, filling pasta (or mashed potatoes) for your carbs, and a ton of other flavor through the marinara sauce.
Let’s move onto the recipe!
Meatball Casserole Ingredients
If you have never tried this recipe before, then it’s important you know what ingredients you will need beforehand.
To make meatball casserole, you will need the following ingredients:
- Italian Meatballs (14 ounces) – These can be your own meatballs (homemade meatballs from ground turkey or ground beef), or use frozen meatballs made from ground beef if you prefer. Just make sure your meatballs are completely thawed.
- Uncooked Pasta (16 ounces) – You can use any kind of pasta you like but we would recommend fusilli pasta as it holds marinara sauce really well. Other types of pasta you can use include penne pasta, rotini pasta, and shell pasta.
- Marinara Sauce (1 jar) – Again, you can use your own homemade marinara sauce.
- Water (3 cups) – This is to help the marinara sauce cover all the meatballs and other ingredients. As a result, it’s part of the meatball casserole sauce overall!
- Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (2 cups) – If you want a really cheesy meatball casserole, then you can add additional cheese. Some people even like to add grated parmesan cheese to the mix so pick the cheese you prefer for your cheesy meatball casserole.
- Fresh Herbs – This step is voluntary but you can add some fresh chopped herbs such as fresh basil to garnish your servings.
- Other additional ingredients – include Italian seasoning, kosher salt (just a sprinkle), garlic powder and onion powder (just a teaspoon of each), extra tomato sauce, crushed red pepper or red pepper flakes for a little heat. Add them to the recipe if you see fit and don’t forget – you can add as much extra cheese as you like!
As for equipment, all you will need is a baking dish and a wooden spoon for serving.
Starting Your Meatball Casserole Recipe
Now you have everything ready, it’s time to start making your meatball casserole.
First, you will need to preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, gather all your ingredients and grab the casserole dish you will be using. A good casserole dish should be around 9 x 13 inches in dimensions, so if your casserole dish is smaller you will need to use less ingredients.
Some people ditch the casserole dish altogether and just use a slow cooker – this is fine too! Just make sure that your meatball casserole is fully cooked before serving.
In your casserole dish, you will need to add the water, the marinara sauce, the pasta, and thawed meatballs. Stir them all in together and then you can add your Italian seasoning and other additional ingredients for your meatball casserole. Make sure everything is evenly stirred out.
Then, cover your baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for around 35 minutes.
Then, when your meatball casserole is al dente (this means nearly cooked but still needs finishing), then remove the meatball casserole baking dish from the oven and remove the foil. Your pasta should be springy and meatballs cooked. Stir the casserole once more and then you can add your cheese.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over the top of your casserole. If you really want that cheesy goodness, then add some parmesan cheese too.
Once you have added as much cheese as you desire (or just follow the recipe) then it’s time to return the casserole back to the oven and leave it to bake uncovered for another 5 to 10 minutes. Then, your meatball casserole will be fully cooked.
The melted mozzarella cheese will cover the top of your meatball casserole and make it absolutely delicious!
And voila! You have made your very own cheesy meatball casserole! All that is left to do is serve it up with a simple green salad and enjoy!
There are tons of delicious recipes out there but out of all the casserole recipes, this recipe for a cheesy meatball casserole is easily the best! It makes great use of any remaining marinara sauce sauce, pasta, frozen meatballs, and cheese all in one easy meatball casserole recipe.
So, if you love cooking and you are looking to try a new recipe tonight, then this is the casserole recipe for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Goes Well With Meatballs?
When serving a meatball casserole, there are tons of sides you can serve up with it. However, some popular side dishes served with meatball casserole include a side salad, garlic bread, or some mashed potatoes.
Does The Meatball Casserole Keep For Later?
If you have leftovers, you can save some of your meatball casserole for another time. All you have to do is pop it in an airtight container and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
Alternatively, leave it in its baking dish and cover with plastic wrap, then put it into the refrigerator when cool. Make sure you eat it within three days!
Also, you can freeze meatball casserole. Again, move your leftovers into a container and leave it in your freezer. Do not use your baking dish for this. Meatball casserole can stay edible up to 10 months after it is cooked as long as it remains frozen.
If you have leftover ingredients like leftover sauce or meatballs, then store them separately as they can be used to bake again.
How Long Does It Take To Bake Meatball Casserole?
A meatball casserole takes around 40 to 45 minutes to bake in the oven until fully cooked. However, make sure you are not using frozen meatballs in your casserole.