Cheesy Meatball Casserole

Indulge in the ultimate comfort food experience with our Cheesy Meatball Casserole! 🧀🍝 Savory meatballs, gooey cheese, and flavorful tomato sauce come together in a bubbling symphony of deliciousness. Discover a hearty and cheesy delight that will have your taste buds dancing! Get the recipe now and treat yourself to a cozy culinary adventure. 😋
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Hey there, culinary adventurers! Today, I’m excited to share a recipe that’s all about hearty goodness and cheesy bliss – my Cheesy Meatball Casserole. Brace yourselves for a flavor-packed journey that’s as easy as it is delightful to devour. Picture this: succulent meatballs nestled in a sea of gooey cheese and a tomato sauce that’s pure magic. So, roll up those sleeves, gather your ingredients, and let’s dive into the world of delicious simplicity!

Kitchen Creativity Unleashed

One lazy Sunday, I found myself staring at an almost-empty fridge and a bag of pasta. With ground beef and a sprinkle of creativity, the idea hit me – why not whip up a Cheesy Meatball Casserole? Everyone in my family loves anything and everything cheesy 😛

I tossed together some meatball magic: ground beef, breadcrumbs, and a mix of spices. While the oven worked its charm, the tomato sauce simmered, filling the kitchen with mouthwatering aromas.

As I pulled out the bubbling casserole, it hit me – this wasn’t just about avoiding takeout; it was turning kitchen odds and ends into a delicious triumph. The Cheesy Meatball Casserole became my go-to, a reminder that great recipes can come from unexpected places.

Here’s to simple joys, kitchen surprises, and the delight of turning basics into something extraordinary. Because, in the end, isn’t that what good cooking is all about? Cheers to tasty discoveries and the comfort of a well-fed soul! 🍝🎉

Recipe you might like: Potato, Sausage and Broccoli Breakfast Casserole

What you’ll need…

P.S. For exact measurements refer to the recipe card below.

Key ingredients: Olive oil, onion, garlic, tomato puree/passata, small macaroni/elbows/ditalini/small shells, lean ground beef, panko breadcrumbs, parmesan, egg, oregano, basil, fresh parsley, mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper.

Cheesy Meatball Casserole

Recipe you might like: Cheesy Broccoli and Sausage Breakfast Casserole (Keto, Low Carb)

What you’ll need to do…

P.S. Please also refer the recipe card below.

1| Start this delicious journey by preheating your oven to a toasty 350°F (180°C) and giving your casserole dish a light coat of nonstick coat of cooking spray – a little culinary insurance for a smooth exit.

2| In a medium skillet, let the magic begin with a splash of olive oil medium heat. Toss in diced onions, carrots, and garlic, seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper Stir occasionally, and in about 3-4 minutes, watch as the veggies turn translucent , realising a symphony of sizzling aroms.

3| Time to introduce the star of our show – passata. Pour it into the skillet and let it simmer for 6-8 minutes. While the sauce works its flavorful charm, set a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil. When it’s bubbling, toss in the pasta, letting it dance until just al dente, about 2-3 minutes shy of what the package suggests.

4| Drain the pasta and reunite it with its cooking pot. Add a generous dollop of tomato sauce, stirring until the pasta is perfectly coated. Transfer this saucy goodness to your awaiting casserole dish, creating the first layer of our culinary masterpiece.

5| Now, in a medium bowl, assemble the meatball dream team – ground beef, grated onion, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, egg, oregano, basil, and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Season generously with salt and pepper, and let your hands work their magic. Form 14-16 meatballs that will be the crowning jewels atop the pasta layer.

6| Pour the remaining tomato sauce over these meatball wonders and sprinkle the stage with shredded mozzarella cheese. It’s showtime! Cover the casserole with a foil curtain and let it bake for 25 minutes. Unveil the cheesy crescendo, bake for an additional 15 minutes, and witness the golden-brown finale.

7| Serve this masterpiece adorned with a sprinkle of fresh parsley. It’s time to savor the fruits of your culinary symphony. Enjoy the applause and, of course, every delectable bite! 🍽️✨

Recipe you might like: Easy Beef Enchiladas Casserole

Cheesy Meatball Casserole

Possible Substitutions:

  • Passata: If passata is not available, you can substitute it with crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce.
  • Pasta: Feel free to experiment with different pasta shapes like penne, rigatoni, or fusilli.
  • Ground Beef: Ground turkey or chicken can be used as a leaner alternative to beef.
  • Breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs can be replaced with regular breadcrumbs or even crushed crackers for added texture.
  • Parmesan: Romano or Asiago cheese can be used as alternatives to Parmesan.
  • Mozzarella: Try using a blend of cheeses such as cheddar, provolone, or Gouda for a unique twist.

Recipe you might like: Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese

Possible Additions:

  • Vegetables: Enhance the veggie quotient by adding diced bell peppers, zucchini, or spinach to the meatball mixture.
  • Spices: Kick up the heat with a dash of red pepper flakes or add a smoky flavor with a hint of paprika.
  • Herbs: Experiment with fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary to elevate the overall flavor profile.
  • Sausage: For an extra layer of savory goodness, mix in some crumbled Italian sausage with the ground beef.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Prep Ahead: Prepare the meatball mixture and tomato sauce a day in advance for quicker assembly on the day of baking.
  2. Cheese Blend: Combine different cheeses for a more complex and nuanced cheesy flavor in your casserole.
  3. Uniform Meatballs: Use an ice cream scoop or your hands to ensure evenly sized meatballs for consistent cooking.
  4. Sauce Thickness: Adjust the simmering time of the tomato sauce to achieve your preferred thickness.
  5. Broil for Crispiness: If you love a golden-brown cheesy crust, broil the casserole for a couple of minutes after baking.
  6. Customize the Pasta: Cook the pasta slightly under the recommended time to prevent it from becoming mushy during baking.

Feel free to get creative and tailor the recipe to your taste preferences. Cooking is an art, so don’t be afraid to add your personal touch! 🎨👨‍🍳

Cheesy Meatball Casserole

Storage Options:

  1. Refrigeration: Once your Cheesy Meatball Casserole has cooled to room temperature, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator. It can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Freezing the Casserole: If you want to extend the shelf life, consider freezing the casserole. Wrap it securely with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Label with the date for easy reference. The casserole can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
  3. Individual Portions: For convenient reheating, consider dividing the casserole into individual portions before storing. Place them in airtight containers or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and foil.

Reheating:

  1. Oven: For the best results, reheat the casserole in a preheated oven at 350°F. Cover it with foil to prevent excessive browning and heat for approximately 15-20 minutes or until thoroughly warmed.
  2. Microwave: If you’re in a hurry, individual portions can be reheated in the microwave. Use a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe cover or damp paper towel, and heat in 1-minute increments until heated through.

Tips for Reheating:

  1. Add Moisture: If the casserole seems a bit dry after reheating, consider adding a splash of broth, tomato sauce, or a drizzle of olive oil to restore moisture.
  2. Check Doneness: Ensure the meatballs are heated through by checking their internal temperature, which should reach at least 165°F (74°C).
  3. Crispy Top: To revive the crispy cheesy top, broil the casserole for a few minutes after reheating, keeping a close eye to prevent burning.

Remember, while reheating methods may slightly alter the texture, the flavors will still be delicious. Now you’ve got the flexibility to enjoy your Cheesy Meatball Casserole whenever the craving strikes! 🍲❄️

Cheesy Meatball Casserole

Elevate your dinner game with our mouthwatering Cheesy Meatball Casserole! 🎉✨ Immerse yourself in layers of succulent meatballs, melted cheese, and a rich tomato sauce that will make your taste buds sing. This easy-to-follow recipe is a crowd-pleaser that brings warmth and joy to any table. Ready to dive into a world of cheesy perfection? Let's get cooking!

Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 45 mins Total Time 1 hr Difficulty: Intermediate Cooking Temp: 350  °F Servings: 6 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion, carrots, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables become translucent, approximately 3-4 minutes.

    Cheesy Meatball Casserole Cheesy Meatball Casserole

  3. Add passata and let the sauce simmer for 6-8 minutes.

    Cheesy Meatball Casserole

  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook al dente, 2-3 minutes less than the package instructions.

  5. Drain the pasta and return to the cooking pot. Add one-third of the tomato sauce to the pasta and stir to evenly coat pasta. Transfer the pasta to the prepared casserole dish.

    Cheesy Meatball Casserole

  6. In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, grated onion, breadcrumbs, parmesan, egg, oregano, basil, and one-half of the fresh parsley.

  7. Cheesy Meatball CasseroleGenerously season with salt and pepper and begin working the mixture with your hands. Mix just until everything is combined, but don't overwork the meatball mixture. Roll into 14-16 meatballs and place the meatballs on top of the pasta layer.

  8. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the meatballs. Sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella cheese.

  9. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes, just until the cheese has melted and is golden-brown.

    Cheesy Meatball Casserole Cheesy Meatball Casserole

    Cheesy Meatball Casserole

  10. Serve garnished with the remaining fresh parsley. Enjoy!

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