Layers of savory meatballs, creamy mozzarella cheese, and buttery garlic bread make this meatball sub casserole a perfect weeknight dinner.

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Meatball Sub Casserole! Layers of savory meatballs, creamy mozzarella cheese, and buttery garlic bread make this meatball sub casserole a perfect weeknight dinner. | HomemadeHooplah.com

About Meatball Sub Casserole

You might remember that a week or so ago that I posted an uber delicious recipe for Italian Style Meatball Kabobs. And because we’re big fans of meatballs in this house, I knew it was a good idea to pick up two bags just in case I messed up the first recipe so we’d have more on hand should the craving for meatballs ever strike us again (knowing full well that it totally would).

And as you’ve probably guessed by now, it was not even a week later before I was already eyeing that bag of meatballs, plotting their inevitable doom in our oven.

They’d barely settled into our freezer and already their days were numbered.

Meatball Sub Casserole! Layers of savory meatballs, creamy mozzarella cheese, and buttery garlic bread make this meatball sub casserole a perfect weeknight dinner. | HomemadeHooplah.com

I’ve also been on a serious Italian comfort food kick lately, and wanted to continue this theme with a new dish…  but what? What creative dish could I possibly make with meatballs? The only qualifier was that it couldn’t include spaghetti, because on the same trip I picked up the meatballs I also forgot to replenish my spaghetti supply.

I don’t know who designs grocery store layouts, but seriously, place an aisle display of spaghetti next to the frozen meatballs. Your sales will sky rocket.

So as it turns out, there are plenty of spaghetti-less meatball dishes you can make, and I ended up settling on this doozy from Pip and Debby. I made a few adjustments to our tastes (more cheese for me and Miracle Whip for him) and it then was time to get to baking!

I absolutely love dishes like this, too, because of just how easy they are from meal prep to table. You pretty much layer everything in baking dish and go.

Because who can resist a full layer of garlic bread as the base of the casserole? I know I couldn’t!

Meatball Sub Casserole! Layers of savory meatballs, creamy mozzarella cheese, and buttery garlic bread make this meatball sub casserole a perfect weeknight dinner. | HomemadeHooplah.com

And then comes the mozzarella cheese. Because mozzarella cheese.

Meatball Sub Casserole! Layers of savory meatballs, creamy mozzarella cheese, and buttery garlic bread make this meatball sub casserole a perfect weeknight dinner. | HomemadeHooplah.com

At this point you mix up some cream cheese, Miracle Whip, and Italian spices, and spread it across the cheese But I have to confess, I totally forgot to take a photograph of this step!

Clearly I was a little anxious to get to the eating part.

From there you add a whole jar of pasta sauce. There are plenty of great flavors on the market – pick something extra creative to make this dish uniquely yours. As for me, I went with a delicious cheese blend.

Meatball Sub Casserole! Layers of savory meatballs, creamy mozzarella cheese, and buttery garlic bread make this meatball sub casserole a perfect weeknight dinner. | HomemadeHooplah.com

Next come the meatballs, and the absolute best part? They’re still frozen! No need to cook or thaw them beforehand.

Meatball Sub Casserole! Layers of savory meatballs, creamy mozzarella cheese, and buttery garlic bread make this meatball sub casserole a perfect weeknight dinner. | HomemadeHooplah.com

Then finish it up by topping it with more (moar!) mozzarella cheese. Because mozzarella cheese.

Meatball Sub Casserole! Layers of savory meatballs, creamy mozzarella cheese, and buttery garlic bread make this meatball sub casserole a perfect weeknight dinner. | HomemadeHooplah.com

Then all you have to do is impatiently stare through the little door in the oven bake it for 30 minutes and viola, you now have an easy and flavorful dinner, chock full of Italian spices and meaty goodness.

Meatball Sub Casserole! Layers of savory meatballs, creamy mozzarella cheese, and buttery garlic bread make this meatball sub casserole a perfect weeknight dinner. | HomemadeHooplah.com

I know we’re rounding the bend on the summer months and everything these days is grill grill grill, but I can’t help and take a final pause for some seriously delicious comfort food like this.

Plus, this dish made great leftovers!

Meatball Sub Casserole! Layers of savory meatballs, creamy mozzarella cheese, and buttery garlic bread make this meatball sub casserole a perfect weeknight dinner. | HomemadeHooplah.com

notes & tips for this meatball casserole

  • For the garlic bread, how much you need depends on the brand and the size of the garlic bread. For this recipe, I used Mama Bella’s New York Garlic Bread and used 2 of the pre-sliced loaves to cover the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. No matter which brand of garlic bread you use, keep in mind the size of the bread and the size of your dish. You only need one layer of garlic bread.
  • A few readers have asked this question, so I wanted to post it here for clarity: the garlic bread should be baked before adding it to the casserole dish (if you’re using frozen garlic bread, just follow the instructions on the packaging). For the meatballs, they can be frozen.
  • Another question from a reader was whether or not the garlic bread in this casserole was “soggy” after baking. I think we all might have a different definition of what counts as “soggy,” but I can confirm that the garlic bread is no longer crispy or firm once this casserole is baked. The bread becomes soft while baking. I think the real indicator of how soggy the bread will get would be the type of pasta sauce you use. Using a blended sauce with a thick, even consistency might avoid this more than a sauce that’s made to be chunky.

More comforting casserole recipes

Meatball Sub Casserole! Layers of savory meatballs, creamy mozzarella cheese, and buttery garlic bread make this meatball sub casserole a perfect weeknight dinner. | HomemadeHooplah.com

Recipe Details

Meatball Sub Casserole! Layers of savory meatballs, creamy mozzarella cheese, and buttery garlic bread make this meatball sub casserole a perfect weeknight dinner. | HomemadeHooplah.com
4.29 from 7 votes

Meatball Sub Casserole

10 mins prep + 45 mins cook
590 kcal
Yields: 6 servings
Layers of savory meatballs, creamy mozzarella cheese, and buttery garlic bread make this meatball sub casserole a perfect weeknight dinner.

Ingredients 

  • 1 loaf garlic bread, frozen (see post notes on this)
  • 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup miracle whip
  • 2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 23 ounce red pasta sauce, any flavor
  • 22 ounce meatballs, frozen
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

Instructions

  • Bake garlic bread per package directions, then set aside.
  • Change oven temperature to 350 F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, miracle whip, and Italian seasoning. Mixture doesn't need to be perfectly smooth but make sure it is thoroughly mixed.
  • To assemble dish: Line bottom of baking dish with a single layer of cooked garlic bread (as pictured above). Sprinkle on 1 cup of mozzarella cheese on top of the bread, then follow with the cream cheese mixture, spreading it out as much as you can. Cover the cream cheese with pasta sauce and then another layer of mozzarella cheese (also 1 cup). Arrange meatballs (still frozen) on the sauce and then top it all with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake dish, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until cheese has melted and meatballs are hot.
  • Serve immediately with oregano as garnish.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Pip and Debby.

Nutrition

Calories: 590kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 155mg | Sodium: 1210mg | Potassium: 766mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1325IU | Vitamin C: 8.3mg | Calcium: 319mg | Iron: 2.8mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I'm not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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Recipe Rating




19 comments

    • Kelly
    • 5 stars

    Okay so I made the meatball sub casserole many times before now and I have changed it up a bit and found that it is actually very, very tasty.
    You can double the recipe for a larger crowd and use a larger disposable pan, just spray it down with your nonstick spray and what I do is get a French bread loaf instead of the hard one I get that fat one, it’s pretty big and I cubed it with my electric knife. Then, I already have in a large bowl the cream cheese and mayonnaise mixture with the Italian seasonings and I toss it all together with the cubed bread and then I spread the bread basically, I just place it into the Disposable pan evenly put a layer of cheese, a layer of sauce, a layer of meatballs and another layer of sauce and then another layer of cheese to top it off. Bake it uncovered, 30 minutes then cover with foil and take it where I’m going and it’s ready to eat. If you want to leave it overnight, prep it up the same as above,
    Just don’t cook it just wrap it up, put in your refrigerator in the morning just uncover and cook it for 30 minutes and it’s perfect so you can make this dish ahead of time. But I find when I Cube the bread is much easier than spreading it on to the bread in the pan and you can just toss it all together and it makes everything really, really tasty because everything is coated evenly… yum enjoy

    • Crystal
    • 4 stars

    As written, this was pretty good. Leftovers the next day were also enjoyed. I used my own homemade pizza sauce to get the appropriate thickness. The garlic bread didn’t get soggy because the cream cheese layer acted as a barrier. In addition to the mozzarella, I also used some freshly shredded parmesan and picante provolone. Some changes I’ll make for next time is: 1) adding the cream cheese to the bread first for easier spreading, and 2) adding a small amount of sauce to the cheese layer, then placing the meatballs, and the remainder of the sauce with cheese because the meatballs were a little dry. This is going into our meal rotation.

    • Kandi B
    • 4 stars

    Made it exactly by the recipe except I added some fresh grated Parmesan cheese before baking 30 minutes. Casserole came out a bit dry for my preference but hubs liked it.

    • Rachel

    This is amazing! Does anyone know if it can be frozen before it’s cooked?

    • Michelle
    • 5 stars

    I made this for dinner tonight and it’s a winner!!! I had thawed meatballs that I needed to use so I baked the dish for 15 minutes. Then we added some garlic bread cubes and cheese and baked for another 10 minutes. Everyone loved it and have already requested that it be added to our meal rotation.

    • Claudia

    Does the garlic bread get soggy?

    • Hey Claudia! The garlic bread does get a bit soft while cooking. I’m not sure I would call it soggy (and we might have different definitions of that) but the garlic bread is definitely not crispy or firm once baked in this dish.

    • Jenette

    Holy Moly! Anytime I ask my son what he wants for dinner, the answer is always meatball subs. This takes it to a whole new level! Already pinned and printed. We’ll be making it this week!

    • Thanks Jenette! If you make it, I’d love to hear how you (and your son!) like it 😀

    • Sabrina

    What a great idea! This sounds like it has all the great flavors of a meatball sub! My an old friend of mine would love this!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

    Whoa, come to me glorious comfort food!! What a terrific idea!

    • Michelle De La Cerda

    Sometimes I want to make a quick casserole for dinner, but I want it to be good, something we will all want to eat. This looks like it meets all my requirements. Looks like it would please my family’s appetite.

    • Thanks Michelle! Dishes like this are definitely crowd pleasers 😀

    • Citra Kale @Citra’s Home Diary

    quick, simple yet delicious to try. gorgeous pictures also Chrisy.