Whether you need a tasty weeknight meal or something special for a party, give this Meatball Casserole recipe a try. It is easy to make, and the leftovers are just as good as the meal itself. Best of all, it's always a hit with kids and adults alike!
Looking for an easy and delicious casserole recipe that the whole family will love? Look no further than this meatball bake recipe.!
It is pure cheesy comfort food that never gets old.
Give it a try today - you won't be disappointed!
Ingredients for Making Meatball Casserole Recipe
- Ground Beef: I use 80/20 ground beef for the most flavor. To make this dish lighter, you could also use ground turkey.
- Breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs are my favorite for this recipe, but you could also use regular breadcrumbs. Gluten-free breadcrumbs would also work.
- Parmesan Cheese: Grated parmesan cheese adds a delicious depth of flavor to the meatballs.
- Eggs: The eggs help bind the meatballs together.
- Italian Seasoning: I love the flavor of Italian seasoning in this recipe. If you don't have any on hand, you could use a combination of oregano, basil, and thyme.
- Garlic Powder: Garlic powder is a must, in my opinion! Feel free to add more or less, depending on your preference.
- Salt and Pepper: I like to use sea salt and fresh ground black pepper in this recipe.
- Pasta: I like penne, but you could also use another type of pasta, such as rigatoni or shells.
- Marinara Sauce: If you're looking for a homemade marinara sauce recipe, this one is my favorite.
- Ricotta Cheese: Ricotta cheese adds a creamy element to the casserole. You could probably also use cottage cheese or cream cheese, but I haven't tested this.
- Mozzarella Cheese: Fresh mozzarella cheese is best in this recipe, but you could also use shredded mozzarella cheese.
Tips & Tricks for Making Meatball Pasta Casserole
- You can make and bake your meatballs a day ahead of time to make putting this casserole together a cinch.
- I like to use ground beef for my meatballs, but you could use a combination of ground beef and pork if you prefer. Turkey or chicken meatballs also work.
- If you're short on time, you could use store-bought marinara sauce instead of making your own.
- This casserole can be easily doubled or tripled to feed a large crowd.
- For a super-quick dump and bake meatball casserole, you can use purchased fully cooked frozen meatballs and jarred sauce in this recipe.
A vegetable side is all it takes to make this Meatball Casserole a complete meal. Some great options include:
- Garlic Roasted Broccoli
- Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
- Green Beans with Bacon
- Roasted Cauliflower
- Sauteed Kale
I hope you enjoy this Meatball Casserole recipe! If you try it, please comment and let me know how it turned out. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many different types of beef that you can use for meatball casserole. The most important factor is choosing ground beef with high-fat content.
This will ensure that your meatballs are flavorful and moist. I recommend using 80/20 ground beef for the best results.
No, you don't have to brown the meatballs before baking. However, you can if you want to.
Yes, meatballs can be baked. Baking is one of the best methods for cooking meatballs because it helps to prevent them from drying out.
You can do a few things to ensure that your meatballs don't fall apart.
First, make sure that you're using high-fat ground beef.
Second, be careful not to overmix the meatball mixture. Overmixing can cause the meatballs to be tough and dry.
Adding binders, like breadcrumbs and eggs, helps meatballs stay together.
Finally, make sure that you don't overcook them.
Cook the meatballs just until they are cooked through.
Tools Needed to Make Cheesy Meatball Casserole
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Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Reheating instructions: To reheat, simply place the desired amount of casserole in a baking dish and heat at 350 degrees until warmed through. If it looks dry, you may need to add a little water to the dish.
How to Make Meatball Casserole
First, start by preheating the oven to 475 degrees. Next, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
While the water is boiling, combine the ground beef, panko, parmesan, eggs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
Be careful not to overmix.
Form the mixture into 35 meatballs using a small cookie scoop. Place the meatballs on a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 11 minutes, or until cooked through.
While the meatballs are cooking, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
Once the meatballs are cooked, reduce the oven to 350 degrees. Transfer the meatballs to a large bowl and add the cooked pasta.
Toss with some of the marinara sauce.
Pour ¼ cup of the marinara into the bottom of a 13 x 9 casserole dish and spread it out. Add the pasta and meatballs on top and spread into an even layer. Dollop with the ricotta cheese.
Top with 3 cups of marinara and the mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly. (If the top gets too brown, you can cover it with aluminum foil.)
Allow cooling slightly before serving. Garnish with a sprinkling of parsley or other fresh herbs if desired. Enjoy!
More Recipes with Meatballs
If you like this meatball pasta bake, here are more meatball dinner ideas you are sure to love!
- This Meatball Sub Recipe is a family favorite! I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made it. Give it a try; I think you will love this recipe as much as I do.
- These Greek Meatballs have a creamy feta sauce that is crave-worthy. Serve these as an appetizer or a main course.
- Slow Cooker Chipotle Meatballs are one of my favorite easy recipes. Serve them over pasta or with toothpicks as an appetizer on your next buffet.
- Gluten-Free Meatballs without Breadcrumbs are perfect for the next time you crave spaghetti and meatballs.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 eggs beaten
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 4 cups marinara sauce divided (such as CrockPot marinara)
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 16 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 475° F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, panko, parmesan, eggs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Form into 35 meatballs using a small cookie scoop to portion out the meatballs.
- Transfer the meatballs to a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet. Cook for 11 minutes until cooked through.
- While the meatballs are cooking, cook the pasta according to package directions.
- Reduce the oven to 350 ° F.
- Transfer the meatballs to a large bowl and add the drained cooked pasta.
- Toss ¾ cup of the marinara with the cooked pasta and meatballs.
- Place ¼ cup of the marinara in the bottom of a 13 x 9 casserole dish and add the pasta and meatballs on top.
- Dollop with the ricotta cheese.
- Top with the remaining 3 cups of marinara and mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving