Do you need a meal with easy cleanup? This One Pan Meatball Casserole is the perfect comfort food and great for leftovers!
Pasta is a huge family favorite in my house. I don’t think my family would complain if I served pasta every day!
It’s cheap and easy to make, and you can add so much variety to pasta.
As a busy mom, I love meals that don’t take up a lot of time. AND meals that have easy clean-up.
This One Pan Meatball Casserole is all of that and more! Made with simple ingredients and just a few minutes of prep, you just mix everything together in a baking dish and dinner is ready in about an hour. Perfect for busy weeknights and this was a big hit!
Scroll to the bottom of the post to get to the printable recipe card. Or keep reading for extra tips and tricks!
This recipe uses common ingredients that I (mostly) keep on hand at all times!
Pasta (I used penne pasta but other different pasta shapes are fine)
Frozen meatballs (Chicken meatballs or turkey meatballs would be a good choice too)
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Adding any of these will add extra flavor!
Homemade tomato sauce instead of jarred from the grocery store
Red pepper flakes
Tips for a perfect dish
- Definitely use uncooked pasta! Cooked pasta will not absorb all of that liquid and will also become super mushy after baking.
- For best results, make sure all of the pasta is covered in liquid. This will prevent little bits of dried pasta!
- Spray the bottom of the pan with cooking spray. The first time I made this, some of the casserole got stuck to the pan.
Can I use homemade meatballs in this?
I like to use store-bought meatballs just because it’s easier. If you choose to make your own meatballs, I recommend cooking them first before using them in this casserole. I don’t know how adding raw meatballs will affect the cooking time.
My favorite meatball recipe is also freezer friendly!
How to make
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Pour dried pasta into the bottom of a greased 9×13 casserole dish and pour the pasta sauce over top.
Add water, milk, and spices, and stir to combine. Make sure the pasta is completely covered by the liquid.
Place the meatballs on top in an even layer and cover with aluminum foil. Bake meatball casserole for 40 minutes.
Remove the foil and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of the meatballs, then bake uncovered for another 10 minutes until the cheese is fully melted.
Divide and serve with your favorite side items.
How to store
Once this has cooled to room temperature, store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Use up within 3-5 days.
This is the perfect meal for leftovers because it makes so much!
What to serve with this
My favorite side item for casseroles is a side salad! I’ve been making up a large bowl of salad ingredients for us to eat from throughout the week, and having that handy is super helpful.
That and some garlic bread would make this the ultimate comfort meal.
Meatball recipe ideas
Are you looking for new recipes that the whole family will enjoy? Check out my master post on meatball recipes with easy prep and quick cooking time!
Print the recipe now for this easy One-Pan Meatball Casserole:
- 16 ounces uncooked penne pasta
- 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 24 frozen meatballs, thawed
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Pour dried pasta into the bottom of a greased 9x13 casserole dish and pour the pasta sauce over top.
- Add water, milk, and spices, and stir to combine. Make sure the pasta is completely covered by the liquid.
- Place the meatballs on top in an even layer and cover with aluminum foil. Bake meatball casserole for 40 minutes.
- Remove the foil and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of the meatballs, then bake uncovered for another 10 minutes until the cheese is fully melted.
- Divide and serve with your favorite side items.
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.