This Meatball Casserole is a quick, easy and hearty family dinner. With just a couple minutes of prep, just dump and bake!
Why You’ll Love This Meatball Casserole
- QUICK AND EASY – With just 5 simple ingredients and a couple minutes of prep time, you’ll have this ready to go on even the busiest weekday nights!
- MAKE AHEAD MEAL – This is a great casserole to make ahead of time and bake when you need it. And it’s freezer friendly!
- FEEDS A CROWD – This recipe feeds 10-12 people. So it’s great to serve a crowd at a potluck or pitch in. Or, separate it and freeze half of it for a quick meal later on!
- KID FRIENDLY – What kid doesn’t love noodles and meatballs! We promise even the fussiest of eaters will love this one!
Meatball Casserole Recipe
For step-by-step instructions, check out the printable recipe card below. Really you just need to dump all of the ingredients into a baking dish or casserole dish and then throw it in the oven. But here is what you’ll need to get started:
- PENNE PASTA – Uncooked. Really, you can use any smaller pasta you’d like. Elbow, macaroni, rigatoni, bowtie or rotini would all work great. And remember, you DON’T need to cook the pasta before adding it.
- MARINARA SAUCE – We recommend using a higher quality, flavorful marinara sauce. Other than that, there are tons of different flavors and varieties that would be great in this recipe.
- WATER – This will cook the pasta while baking.
- FROZEN MEATBALLS – Really, any meatballs will work. Ground Beef, Pork, ground chicken, ground turkey are all great. And you can use any size. Use smaller sized, cocktail meatballs to make this dish a little more kid-friendly. Just make sure you always thaw them first. Or, use your own homemade meatball recipe if you have one.
- MOZZARELLA CHEESE – Shredded. Tons of gooey, melted cheese makes is the best part of this dish!
Storage, leftovers and Freezing
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should be good for about 4 days. Reheat until warm. If the pasta dies up a bit, you can add some more marinara sauce.
Meatball Casserole freezes well. You can freeze it before or after baking. If you freeze after baking, make sure you allow it to cool fully before putting into a freezer safe container. Thaw before baking. You could bake this from frozen, but we haven’t tried that and I’m sure you’d have to adjust baking time.
What To Serve with Meatball Casserole
This dish would be great with a side salad. Or a nice crusty garlic bread or any rolls. You can also serve it with some veggies, like broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels Sprouts.
Notes, Tips and FAQs
- GARNISH – It’s a good idea to garnish this dish for some extra flavor and color. Sprinkling some Basil, oregano, parsley or parmesan cheese on top would all be great. Or top with red pepper flakes for a little kick.
- CAN YOU MAKE THIS GLUTEN FREE? – Absolutely! Just substitute for gluten-free pasta and gluten-free meatballs!
- ADD ITALIAN SEASONING – Some people like to add a little Italian Seasoning for some extra flavor. But it is not necessary.
- WHAT IF YOUR CHEESE STARTS BURNING BEFORE THE CASSEROLE IS DONE? – All ovens operate a little differently. Keep any eye on your casserole. If the cheese starts getting too brown, you can cover it with Aluminum Foil.
We hope you enjoy this Meatball Casserole Recipe. We’d love to hear how it turns out in the comment section! Happy Eating!
LOOKING FOR MORE GREAT CASSEROLE RECIPES? CHECK OUT:
- BACON CHEESEBURGER TATER TOT CASSEROLE
- BIG MAC CASSEROLE
- BISCUITS AND GRAVY CASSEROLE
- BROCCOLI CHEESE CASSEROLE
- CHEESEBURGER CASSEROLE
- 1 box 16 oz, penne pasta, uncooked
- 1 jar 24 oz, marinara sauce
- 3 cups water
- 1 small package 14 oz, meatballs (thawed & cooked)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Add pasta and marinara sauce to a 9x13 baking pan and stir well.
- Add water.
- Top with meatballs.
- Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes, remove foil, and stir pasta. Return the foil and return to oven for the remaining cooking.
- When cooking is complete, remove foil, top with cheese and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.