The massive variety of casserole dishes out there is seriously mind boggling. You can turn just about any mix of ingredients into a casserole. I had a few ingredients on hand and my mind immediately jumped to spaghetti but I really didn’t want JUST spaghetti. So I hopped on Pinterest and searched “Pasta Dishes” and low and behold one suggestion immediately appealed—MEATBALL SUB CASSEROLE!!!
My mind went into prep mode and I didn’t even bother reading the recipe. I just headed for the kitchen and started pulling all the ingredients I’d normally throw together for an actual meatball sub and of course sent the hubby out for just one ingredient! The results were overwhelmingly conclusive in my household—winner! Not to mention it resulted in 8 servings—homemade meatball subs using pretty much the same ingredients would have resulted in 4 maybe 5 servings so this option is much better bang for your buck! Check it out!
The first step is placing bread in the bottom of a casserole dish. You can use french or Italian bread for this.
Place a cheese mixture over the top of the bread. I used ricotta cheese but you could also use cottage cheese in a pinch.
Place meatballs on top of the cheese mixture. Use thawed frozen meatballs or homemade meatballs. I used homemade cheesy meatballs when I made this casserole.
Add the tomato sauce to top off the meatballs. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and then bake.
- 6-8 thick cut slices of a homemade or store bought French or Italian Bread (I cut mine into chunks but it isn’t necessary to do so)
- 15 oz. Part-skim Ricotta Cheese
- 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan or Three Cheese Blend (Parmesan, Romano & Asiago)
- 2 dozen meatballs (thawed if using frozen----I used homemade Cheesy Baked Meatballs I had stored in the freezer)
- 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes (I used one seasoned with garlic, oregano & basil)
- 6 oz. can of tomato paste (I used one seasoned with garlic, oregano & basil)
- 1 cup water
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prep a 9x13 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a small pan combine diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water and minced garlic; bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- Layer sliced bread into the bottom of the dish, trying to cover as much of the bottom in an even layer as possible.
- In a medium bowl mix together ricotta, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, egg and ¼ c cheese until thoroughly mixed together
- Spread evenly over the top of the bread slices and smooth with a spatula.
- Top with meatballs.
- Pour sauce over everything and spread around covering all of the meatballs and the open areas as much as possible.
- Sprinkle with remaining 1-cup shredded cheese and basil.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly.
- Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve & enjoy!
Add other ingredients as desired such as green peppers, mushrooms, additional cheeses, black olives or pepperonis etc. If you like it on a sub you’ll like it this casserole too!