This One Pan Meatball Casserole combines juicy, tender meatballs with light and fluffy mashed potatoes. Topped with tangy marinara and plenty of gooey cheese, this casserole is the ultimate crowd-pleaser.
This easy meatball casserole recipe, from my list of most popular casserole recipes, combines two family favorite comfort foods into one flavorful and cheesy casserole.
Homemade juicy meatballs, seasoned to perfection, are nestled on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes all bathed in a rich and tangy marinara sauce.
The casserole is finished with a layer of gooey mozzarella cheese, creating a mouthwatering combination of flavors and textures. It's perfect for a cozy family dinner or any potluck gathering.
Why We Love This Cheesy Meatball Casserole Recipe
- Family favorite: With savory meatballs and creamy mashed potatoes this dish is sure to please the whole family. Even your pickiest eaters will love it.
- Simple ingredients: This recipe requires just a handful of simple ingredients you can pick up from any grocery store.
- Great for any occasion: This is such a hearty and comforting casserole that its perfect for busy weeknights, potluck dinners, or dinner with friends.
What Goes Into this Casserole?
- Ground beef
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Mashed potatoes (homemade or store bought)
- Marinara sauce, store bought
- Mozzarella cheese
- Fresh basil or Parsley, to garnish
See the recipe card below for the full list of ingredients as well as complete instructions.
Substitutions and Variations
- We used fresh homemade meatballs, but you can use frozen meatballs or store-bought meatballs for a shortcut.
- This recipe calls for ground beef, but you can use ground turkey, regular or hot Italian sausage or a mixture of each.
- Jarred pasta or spaghetti sauce is a great short cut, but if you have a favorite recipe for homemade pasta sauce, feel free to use it instead.
- For Italian meatballs, mix in some parmesan cheese and a sprinkling of dried Italian seasoning blend. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a kick of heat.
- If you prefer a pasta dinner recipe, swap out the potatoes with al dente penne pasta for a meatball pasta bake.
- You could also put these meatballs right on a sub roll for sandwiches!
- To make this a low-carb or keto meatball casserole, you can use mashed cauliflower, roasted spaghetti squash, or zucchini noodles instead of the potatoes.
How to Make Easy Meatball Casserole
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease a baking sheet.
Step 2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine beef, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Step 3. Scoop the meatball mixture with a large cookie scoop to form meatballs.
Step 4. Arrange them on the baking tray by leaving a little space in between each one.
Step 5. Bake the meatballs on the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes.
Step 6. Spray with cooking spray or grease a 9 x13 inch baking dish and spread the mashed potatoes in the bottom.
Step 7. Cover with half the jar of marinara sauce. Set aside.
Step 8. When the meatballs are ready, transfer them to the baking dish on top of the marinara sauce.
Step 9. Cover with the rest of the jar of sauce.
Step 10. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Add extra if you want it extra cheesy.
Step 11. Bake the meatball casserole in the oven for 20 minutes.
Step 12. Remove and allow to rest 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve and enjoy!
Allow the casserole to cool completely. Cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap or transfer leftovers to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Sure! Wrap the cooled casserole tightly in plastic wrap then with a layer of aluminum foil or place in a freezer-safe container or a resealable freezer bag for up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating in the microwave or oven.
It's a hearty dish that you can easily pair with a simple side of green beans or side salad and a slice of garlic bread.
- Double the recipe for the juicy homemade meatballs and freeze them for later use. Pre-freeze them for about an hour on a sheet pan then throw them in a freezer bag for up to a couple of months. You can use them in casseroles, soups, or sub sandwiches.
- When rolling meatballs, dampen your hands a little to prevent the mixture from sticking.
- For a shortcut, you can prep some of this dish in advance. Bake the meatballs and mashed potatoes the day before and store them separately in the fridge. Then, you can just assemble the casserole just before baking.
More Delicious Casserole Recipes
- Loaded Potato Casserole
- Garlic Parmesan Brussels Sprouts Casserole
- Cheesy Potato and Smoked Sausage Casserole
- Green Bean Casserole Without Mushroom Soup
- Taco Casserole
- Easy Breakfast Casserole
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One Pan Meatball Casserole
- 2 lb ground beef 906 g
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 cups mashed potatoes 22 oz | 630 g
- 1 jar marinara sauce store bought (14 oz | 420 g)
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese 7.76 oz | 220 g
- Parsley to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 F | 200 C. Grease a baking tray.
- In a bowl, combine beef, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Scoop beef with a cookie scoop to form meatballs.
- Arrange on the baking tray by leaving space in between.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grease a 9 x13 inch baking dish. Add mashed potato and cover with half of the marinara sauce. Set aside.
- When meatballs are ready, transfer in the baking dish and cover with the other half of the marinara sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove and allow to rest 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Allow to cool down and freeze in an airtight container for 1 month.
Reheat in the microwave until heated through.