Dump and bake meatball casserole

Are you tired of spending hours in the kitchen, slaving over a hot stove to prepare a delicious meal? We all lead busy lives, and sometimes we need a quick and easy solution that doesn’t compromise on taste. That’s where the Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole comes in! This one-pot wonder is a game-changer, allowing you to enjoy a hearty, comforting meal without the hassle. In this blog post, we’ll take you through the steps of making this mouthwatering dish, from ingredients to tips and even some exciting variations. So, let’s dive right in and discover the magic of dump and bake cooking!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Before we start assembling our Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole, let’s gather all the ingredients. The beauty of this recipe is that it requires minimal prep work and simple, everyday items. Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Casserole:

  • 1 pound of frozen meatballs (store-bought or homemade)
  • 2 cups of uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1 can (24 ounces) of marinara sauce (feel free to use your favorite brand)
  • 2 cups of chicken or beef broth (whichever you prefer)
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Garnish:

  • Fresh basil leaves or parsley (optional)

Now that we have all our ingredients ready, let’s move on to the fun part—the instructions!


  1. Preheat Your Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C). This ensures that your casserole will cook evenly and thoroughly.
  2. Dump Everything In: In a large baking dish (approximately 9×13 inches), combine the frozen meatballs, uncooked rotini pasta, marinara sauce, chicken or beef broth, dried Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Give it a good stir to make sure everything is well mixed.
  3. Cover and Bake: Now comes the magical part. Cover your baking dish with aluminum foil and place it in the preheated oven. Let it bake for about 35-40 minutes.
  4. Uncover and Sprinkle Cheese: After 35-40 minutes, remove the foil and sprinkle the shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese evenly over the top of the casserole.
  5. Bake Again: Put the uncovered casserole back in the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly, and the pasta is cooked al dente.
  6. Garnish and Serve: Once your Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole is out of the oven, let it rest for a few minutes. You can garnish it with fresh basil leaves or parsley for a burst of color and flavor. Serve it hot, and watch the smiles around the dinner table!

Tips for a Perfect Casserole

  • Use high-quality meatballs for the best flavor. You can even make your own meatballs using a mixture of ground beef and pork for a unique twist.
  • Feel free to customize the pasta. If rotini isn’t your favorite, try penne, bowtie, or any other pasta shape you prefer.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta in the initial baking. Remember, it will continue to cook when you add the cheese and return it to the oven.
  • Experiment with different cheese blends. Cheddar, provolone, or a blend of Italian cheeses can add an extra layer of flavor.
  • If you’re a fan of spice, sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top before serving for a little kick.

Variations to Explore

  1. Veggie Delight: For a vegetarian version, skip the meatballs and add a medley of your favorite roasted vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms.
  2. Mexican Twist: Swap out the marinara sauce for enchilada sauce, use frozen meatballs seasoned with Mexican spices, and top with cheddar and jalapeños for a zesty Tex-Mex flavor.
  3. Greek Fusion: Instead of marinara sauce, use tzatziki or a creamy lemon-dill sauce. Add frozen meatballs seasoned with Mediterranean herbs and top with feta cheese and Kalamata olives.

The Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole is a true kitchen lifesaver. It’s the kind of dish that makes you look like a culinary genius with minimal effort. Whether you’re a busy parent, a working professional, or simply someone who values their time, this casserole is a game-changer. With endless possibilities for customization, it’s a recipe that will keep your taste buds excited.

So, the next time you’re in a rush but still crave a delicious homemade meal, remember this recipe. Give it a try, and you’ll be amazed at how something so easy can taste so incredibly good. Happy cooking, and here’s to enjoying more quality time around the table!

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