top of page

Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole

Prep Time:

5 minutes

Cook Time:

40 minutes





Hey there! Let me walk you through making this incredible Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole. Believe me, it's an absolute game-changer for easy, family-friendly dinners!

Here's what you'll need:

Bowtie Pasta: No boiling required, just dump it in!
Pasta Sauce: Choose your favorite flavor; I go for classic tomato & basil.
Frozen Pre-Cooked Meatballs: Thaw them out beforehand for best results.
Kosher Salt
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Optional Garnishes: Think freshly grated parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley for that extra flair!

Now, onto the fun part, making this casserole:

Preheat the oven to 425°F and spray your 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
Dump in the pasta, water, pasta sauce, meatballs, and kosher salt. Cover the pan with foil.
Set the cook time for 35 minutes. Remember to stir everything together at the halfway mark (around 18 minutes).
Once the initial cook time is done, give the casserole another stir, then sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top. Bake for an additional 5-8 minutes until the cheese is beautifully melted.

Now, let's address some FAQs!
Meatball Varieties: Any frozen meatballs will do, just ensure you're using the 14 oz package as specified.

Pasta Sauce Options: Get creative with flavors! Garden vegetable, spicy vodka, or classic tomato basil are all winners.

Spicing It Up: Feel free to add garlic powder, onion powder, or any other dried seasonings for that extra punch.

Cheese Decadence: Layer on some sliced provolone or sprinkle with parmesan for added richness.
Thinking about making it ahead of time? Absolutely! Just prep it as directed, wrap it up tight, and refrigerate until dinnertime.

Remember, stirring halfway through is key for perfect texture. As for pasta options, stick to similar-sized shapes like penne or mini bow-ties.

And here are a few pro tips to ensure success:

Stirring Halfway Through: Ensures everything is evenly coated for maximum flavor.

Quality Pasta Sauce: Invest in the good stuff; it makes all the difference!

Kosher Salt: Elevates flavors without overpowering.

Thaw Those Meatballs: No one likes a cold center!

Meatball Size Matters: Stick to the 14 oz bag for optimal results.

So there you have it, your guide to a mouthwatering Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole. Trust me, once you try it, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it!


  • 1 box (16 oz) bowtie pasta; uncooked

  • 3 cups water

  • 1 jar (24 oz) pasta sauce

  • 1 bag (14 oz) frozen precooked meatballs thawed

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or any salt of your choice

  • 1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese (I used the Triple Cheddar Cheese)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

  2. Dump the uncooked pasta into the baking dish, then add the water, pasta sauce, meatballs and salt. Cover the pan with tin foil.

  3. Bake for 35 minutes, stirring everything together hallway through.

  4. Once done, stir the pasta again and top it with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake for an additional 5-8 minutes until the cheese has melted.

  5. Serve with a garnish of parmesan cheese or chopped fresh parsley if wanted.

Recipe Notes

Thawing Frozen Meatballs: Ensure your meatballs are fully thawed before adding them to the casserole dish. For a quick thaw, microwave them or leave them in the fridge overnight.

Meatball Size Variation: If you can't find a 14 oz package, opt for a similar-sized one (18 oz) or a larger pack (28 oz) and use half. Adjust the quantity accordingly; roughly 14 oz equals 3 cups. For larger meatballs, consider halving them for uniformity.

Pasta Sauce Selection: Choose a quality pasta sauce like Rao's or Classico to enhance the flavor. Experiment with different varieties such as tomato & basil, garden vegetable, or spicy vodka to suit your taste.

Customize with Seasonings: While the recipe is straightforward, feel free to spice it up with dried garlic powder, basil, or Italian seasoning. Add your favorite dried seasonings for extra flavor.

Stirring Matters: Stirring halfway through ensures even distribution of water and sauce, preventing crunchy noodles. This step is crucial for a perfectly cooked casserole.

Cheese Enhancements: Opt for shredded mozzarella from a block for optimal melting and flavor. Layer sliced cheese like provolone or muenster for added richness. Sprinkle parmesan cheese for extra indulgence before serving.


Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 905mg | Potassium: 543mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 561IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 2mg

bottom of page