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Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole

Dinner in a Flash: The Ultimate Dump-and-Bake Meatball Casserole

Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole

Calling all busy bees and comfort food enthusiasts, meet your new weeknight savior – the Dump-and-Bake Meatball Casserole! This hearty, flavorful, and incredibly easy dish is the answer to your weeknight dinner woes. It's packed with satisfaction without requiring hours of prep or elbow grease in the kitchen.

Why This Dump-and-Bake Meatball Casserole Deserves a Spot on Your Dinner Menu:

  • Effortless Elegance Defined: This recipe is the champion of convenience. Minimal prep work and a simple "dump and bake" method mean a delicious and satisfying meal can be ready in under an hour. No more spending hours slaving over a hot stove!
  • Freezer Friendly Feast: This casserole is a dream come true for meal preppers! Prepare it ahead of time, freeze it for later, and enjoy a delicious homemade meal whenever you need a break from cooking.
  • One-Pot Wonder: Say goodbye to overflowing sinks and mountains of dirty dishes! This recipe comes together in a single baking dish, minimizing cleanup and leaving you more time to relax.
  • A Taste of Italy Made Easy: The combination of juicy meatballs, savory marinara sauce, and bubbly cheese creates a classic Italian flavor profile that everyone will love. It's comfort food at its finest, without the fuss.

Gather the Ingredients for Your Hearty Comfort Food Adventure:

  • For the Hearty Base:
    • 1 bag frozen meatballs, defrosted - the savory stars of the show
    • 1 jar marinara sauce (your favorite variety) - flavorful base for the casserole
    • 3 cups water - creates the perfect sauce consistency
    • 1 box bowtie pasta - adds a delightful bite to the casserole
    • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning - a touch of herbal magic
  • For the Cheesy Topping:
    • 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded - stretchy, melty goodness
    • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated - adds a salty and nutty depth of flavor

Step-by-Step Guide to Dump-and-Bake Bliss:

  1. Preheat for Perfection: Get your oven ready to work its magic by preheating it to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
  2. The Dump Part: In a large, oven-safe pot or skillet, it's time for the fun part – the dumping! Combine all your ingredients together: defrosted meatballs, marinara sauce, water, uncooked bowtie pasta, and Italian seasoning. Give everything a good stir to make sure everything's evenly distributed.
  3. Bake, Then Bake Some More: Cover the pot or skillet with a lid and pop the casserole into the oven to bake for 35 minutes. Let the delicious flavors meld and the pasta cook through.
  4. Cheesy Bliss Awaits: After 35 minutes, take the casserole out of the oven. Uncover it and get ready for cheesy goodness – sprinkle the top generously with the shredded mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan cheese.
  5. Melty Perfection in Minutes: Return the uncovered casserole to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. You're looking for melted, bubbly cheese and perfectly cooked pasta.
  6. A Touch of Rest: Remove the casserole from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld even more and the cheese to set slightly. Nobody likes a burnt tongue!
  7. Dinner Time!: Serve your Dump-and-Bake Meatball Casserole hot and enjoy a delicious and effortless Italian feast! It's the perfect weeknight dinner that will leave you satisfied without breaking a sweat.

Tips for Extra Casserole Magic:

  • Personalize Your Pasta: Feel free to experiment with different types of pasta, such as penne, rigatoni, or even zoodles for a lower-carb option.
  • Veggie Power: For a veggie-packed twist, add chopped spinach or bell peppers to the casserole before baking. It's a great way to sneak in some extra nutrients.
  • Leftovers for the Win: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for longer storage. This casserole is perfect for meal prepping or quick lunches throughout the week.