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Overhead shot of a pan of dump and bake meatball casserole
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4.83 from 74 votes

Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole

​​​​​​​You don't even have to boil the pasta for this easy Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole! With only 5 simple ingredients, family-friendly weeknight dinners don't get much better than this!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword casserole, dinner, Meatball Casserole, Meatballs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 - 8 servings
Calories 461.4kcal
Author Blair Lonergan

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1 (24 or 25 ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (14 ounce) package fully-cooked miniature (cocktail-size) meatballs (if using frozen meatballs, make sure that they are completely thawed before using)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • Optional: Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped herbs (such as basil, oregano, and parsley for garnish)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, stir together uncooked pasta, marinara sauce, water, and meatballs. Season with salt to taste; stir. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  • Uncover; stir. At this point you should check the pasta to make sure that it is al dente (firm but just about finished cooking). If it’s still too hard, cover the dish and return to the oven until pasta is al dente. Then move on to the next step.
  • Sprinkle mozzarella over the top and bake uncovered for 5-10 more minutes (or until cheese is melted and pasta is tender).

Video

Notes

  • Make sure to thaw frozen meatballs in the refrigerator before adding them to the casserole.
  • Pick a high-quality, flavorful marinara sauce. With only 5 ingredients in the casserole, each individual ingredient is very important! A delicious sauce will yield a delicious meal. I like Rao's brand, but any similar variety will work.
  • Total cooking time will vary depending on the type of pan that you use and your individual oven. Glass or ceramic baking dishes will take longer than metal pans, for instance. To know when your casserole is done, taste a bite of the pasta. The noodles should be tender and most of the liquid should be absorbed.
  • Be careful not to overbake the casserole or the pasta will become mushy.
  • Garnish the casserole with fresh herbs like basil or parsley for a bright,  fresh touch. A sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese is also delicious!

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the casserole | Calories: 461.4kcal | Fat: 21.3g | Saturated Fat: 8.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.7g | Cholesterol: 64.9mg | Sodium: 1106.6mg | Potassium: 379.9mg | Fiber: 3.2g | Sugar: 8.3g