Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole

Mike tried this recipe on February 18, 2024

In most cookbooks I’ve read, when someone mentions the word “dump” in a recipe it usually refers to something that’s super-simple to make, and most frequently involves a slow cooker. As in, you “dump” all the ingredients into the slow cooker, mix them up, put the lid on it, and set it to cook on Low for 6-8 hours. I’ve made a few dishes like that, and they usually come out pretty well.

For a change, I came across this “dump” casserole and decided to try it. It’s a baked pasta dish that involves hardly any prep work and no pre-cooking. You literally mix everything up, dump it into a casserole dish, and bake it. I did make one adjustment to the ingredients on this one from the original; when I first measured out the ingredients there didn’t seem to be enough meatballs to my liking, so I added a few,

Adapted from The Food Hussy

Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 50 mins Rest Time 5 mins Total Time 1 hr
Cooking Temp: 425  °F Servings: 8
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


A very simple pasta casserole that is literally "dumped" together and baked. What can be easier?

Adapted from The Food Hussy



  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Spray the inside of a 13 x 9 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. In a large bowl combine pasta, water, meatballs, marinara sauce, and onion and pepper mix (if used) and mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into the casserole dish and spread evenly. Cover dish with aluminum foil.

  3. Bake in oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and remove foil, checking for doneness of the pasta. If the pasta seems not quite finished cooking to al dente, cover and cook another 5 minutes; if done, discard foil. Sprinkle the Mozzarella cheese evenly over the top of the casserole, then return to the oven for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese if desired.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size about 1 1/2 cups

Servings 8

Amount Per Serving
Calories 645kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 33g51%
Saturated Fat 11.7g59%
Cholesterol 65mg22%
Sodium 1127mg47%
Potassium 293mg9%
Total Carbohydrate 57.8g20%
Dietary Fiber 6.5g26%
Sugars 8.9g
Protein 25.9g52%

Calcium 92 mg
Iron 4 mg

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


  • The original recipe called for 14 ounces of meatballs, which when measured out seemed extremely thin for a dish with 8 servings, I increased it to 32 ounces (the size of the meatball package I had purchased).
  • Any frozen meatballs can be used (homestyle, Italian style, etc.) as long as they are fully cooked (usually they are)
  • An "onion and peppers mix" usually combines chopped yellow onions and sliced green and red bell peppers. It is found in the frozen vegetables section of the grocery. This mix is an optional ingredient to provide some depth of flavor and fresh vegetables in the dish. You could also substitute fresh onion and peppers if desired, approximately 2/3 cup of each.
  • It is not necessary to thaw the meatballs or onion and pepper mix prior to cooking.
Keywords: pasta, meatballs, baked, marinara, mozzarella, casserole, easy, quick, dinner
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