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This Meatball Casserole contains just FOUR ingredients and comes together fast. A super easy dinner your family will love, coming right up!
Juicy meatballs, perfectly cooked pasta in a marinara sauce and plenty of cheese. Yum!
Step-by-step photos and instructions are below!
Hey! I’m sharing a VERY simple recipe that is perfect for busy weeknights with you all today. This Meatball Casserole recipe contains just FOUR ingredients – so, you’re already well on your way to getting the perfect meal on the table in under 30 minutes.
This is one of my family favorites! It is pure comfort food and generates zero complaints. If you have a family – you’ll know that any time that happens, dinner is a big hit!
We grab 4 very common ingredients and combine them. Pasta, meatballs, sauce, and cheese. You could throw a little Italian Seasoning or fresh basil in there if you want to!
Love Meatball recipes? Check out my Meatball Sliders!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Just four simple ingredients I bet you already have in your house.
- Easy prep, most of it hands off. This is an easy weeknight dinner, but you could also make this ahead and freeze.
- Minimal steps. Just bake the meatballs, cook the pasta and add it with sauce and cheese to a baking dish.
What to serve with Meatball Casserole
I have included step-by-step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
Since we bake the pasta with the sauce, the pasta doesn’t need to be fully cooked. It will continue cooking in the oven. If the pasta seems too dry, add a little water to the dish.
What to do with leftovers
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat until it is piping hot!
Mix up the cheeses! I use cheddar and mozzarella, but any combination will work well (we also enjoy pepper jack in place of cheddar!). I also like to sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top of the mozzarella.
Add a little Italian seasoning, onion powder or garlic powder to your pasta sauce, to bump up the flavor.
Try different pasta shapes! Rotini, penne shells, macaroni – anything will work. If you opt for long pasta like fettuccine or spaghetti – break it up into small pieces before cooking.
This recipe can be frozen after baking.
Make in a foil pan and cover with foil, wrap with plastic wrap or a freezer bag and freeze up to 4 months.
Recipe Ingredients and Possible Substitutes
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Pasta. Any kind of pasta will do. If you are using spaghetti or fettucine, I recommend breaking it up, so it’s easier to scoop out and serve. I use penne or shells most often.
- Marinara Sauce. Choose your favorite canned version, or make your own homemade marinara sauce! I use a basic tomato sauce, but love mixing it up with different flavors.
- Cheese. I use both cheddar and mozzarella.
- Homestyle Meatballs. Use homemade Italian meatballs made from ground beef and or pork (try this meatball recipe – mozzarella stuffed meatballs, or these turkey meatballs). Store-bought meatballs are just fine. Beef, turkey, fresh, frozen meatballs, whatever.
- Large pot for boiling pasta
- 9×13 Casserole Dish or any large baking dish.
How to make this recipe
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The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Cook the meatballs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place meatballs on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet coated lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes, then gently turn meatballs over and bake an additional 8 to 10 minutes. They’re cooked when internal temperature reaches at least 175 degrees F.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water just a few minutes less than called for on the package. Drain well.
Assemble and bake
Pour the pasta into the bottom of the baking dish. Add the sauce.
Add half the cheese, and mix – the add the meatballs to the pasta.
Add the remaining mozzarella cheese on top, and bake meatball casserole 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and brown.
More delicious pasta recipes
- Chili Mac with Turkey. We’re bringing childhood back! Lightened-up with turkey vs beef, and made in one pan – this one is a family favorite!
- Skillet Mac & Cheese. Comfort food at its finest, this skillet mac & cheese is so easy! Just the skillet and a pasta pot, the and a quick broil, and this is ready FAST!
- Florentine Chicken Lasagna Rolls Spinach, garlic, and cheese are all winners for this weeknight dinner! Delicious homemade Alfredo sauce is the key to these!
- Ham Tetrazzini. A super-fast weeknight dinner, this Ham Tetrazzini is a spin on the traditional version and is sure to please the whole family.
4 Ingredient Meatball Casserole
- 1 lb dry pasta
- 24 oz marinara sauce
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 1 lb meatballs (fresh or frozen)
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place meatballs on aluminum foil-lined baking sheet coated lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 15 minutes; gently turn meatballs over and bake an additional 8 to 10 minutes until internal temperature reaches at least 175 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water just a few minutes less than called for on the package. Drain well.
- Pour pasta into a casserole dish (9”x13” pan size), add the sauce and half of the cheese and mix well.
- Add the meatballs on top and add the remaining cheese.
- Bake until cheese is bubbly and brown (about 15 minutes)
- Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Update: This recipe was originally published in March of 2020. It was updated and republished in November of 2022.