This dump-and-bake meatball pasta casserole recipe is what busy weeknight dreams are made of. Why? Because there’s just four ingredients, minimal prep and you just dump all the ingredients into a casserole dish and bake. Nope, you don’t have to cook the pasta before you assemble the casserole. So easy!
The ingredients are probably already in your kitchen: dried pasta, marinara sauce, frozen meatballs and shredded mozzarella cheese. Everything is put into a 13×9-inch baking dish, stirred, covered and baked until the pasta is tender. Once it’s tender, uncover and top with the shredded cheese. Bake a few more minutes and dinner is ready to be served.
Use whatever short pasta you like for this
meatball casserole. Ziti, penne, rotini, elbows, cavatappi or fusilli are good options. If you don’t want to use frozen meatballs, use your favorite homemade meatball recipe, but be sure to cook them before adding to the other ingredients. Serve this budget-friendly casserole with a garden salad or fresh vegetable – and don’t forget the garlic bread!
Cuisine: American / Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8
- 1 package (16 ounces) short pasta (fusilli, cavatappi, elbow macaroni, rotini, penne, etc.)
- 1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
- 1 package (14 to 16 ounces) fully cooked meatballs, thawed
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Here’s how to make it:
- Pour the uncooked pasta into the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking dish. Add the marinara sauce, meatballs and 3 cups of water. Stir. Cover with foil and bake in a preheated 425-degree F oven for about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Uncover and stir. If the pasta is to your desired tenderness, top with the cheese and bake about 10 minutes more. If not, cover it back up and continue to bake a few more minutes, then add the cheese.
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