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Meatball Parmesan Casserole

March 20, 2020
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Meatball Parmesan is a recipe that I love to make when I’m feeding a large group or just to meal prep for the week. I promise these meatballs are legit and with the first bite you will know that a good Italian boy wrote this recipe

Ricotta: my secret weapon for Moist Meatballs

Ricotta has been my secret weapon for any meatball or meatloaf recipes for years. It gives the meat a much lighter texture and keeps everything held together so that you really don’t need to use much of a binder to form the meatballs. Ricotta cheese combines with the meat much better than cream cheese or Marscapone. Meatball Parmesan Casserole feeds a lot of people and is great reheated the next day and day after that making this perfect for meal prep.

How long to cook Meatball Parmesan Casserole 

I bake these meatballs at a higher temperature so I can develop a nice crust on top of the meatballs. Because they are larger they can handle the higher heat without overcooking.  Once the meatballs crust has formed I top the meatballs with a generous amount of sauce making sure to completely cover the meatballs with sauce. This will protect the meatballs from the high heat as well as give the sauce time to absorb into the meat really keeping them moist and tender. After adding the cheese and baking until it’s golden and bubbly I recommend you wait at least 10 minutes before serving. This will let the sauce cool down and continue to absorb into the meatballs for maximum flavor.

No Breadcrumbs??? And you call yourself Italian!

I know this will seem Sacrilegious to some but using rolled oats is another secret ingredient that helps these meatballs stick together without turning out mushy or dry. It’s also a great option to keep these meatballs gluten free. If you want you’re more than welcome to substitute the rolled oats for seasoned bread crumbs but I promise this recipe is kid tested and Nona approved. If you are on a keto diet I’ve got you covered as well. I substitute Pork Panko Pork rind breadcrumbs. They’re a great zero carb substitution that I use for breading chicken tenders and all kinds of other LowCarb recipes.

How Big to Make the Meatballs

You can Make you're Meatballs as large or as small as you like. I went with Jumbo 6 oz. Meatballs because it takes less time than rolling lots of smaller meatballs. If you do decide to make smaller 2 oz size meatballs I found this Neat Meatball Scoop that will make the task more manageable. The Casserole dish i use is a 9x13 Enameled Cast Iron Casserole Pan. Its a really great serving dish because it keeps the food warm a lot longer than other casserole dishes.

Homemade Marinara Recipe



  • In a saucepan over medium low heat saute diced onions, garlic and olive oil until onions are lightly caramelized.
  • Add Tomato paste and seasoning, continue to saute for 2 minutes
  • Pour in red wine and canned tomatoes. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove sauce from heat, add butter then pulse with Stick Blender. You can Control how chunky or smooth as you prefer.

More Casserole Ideas

Meatball Parmesan Casserole

Meatball Parmesan Casserole

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Casserole, Comfort food, Italian, Meatballs
Servings 15
Calories 507 kcal


  • 9x13 Oven Safe Casserole Pan


Meatball Mix

Additional Ingredients

  • 1.5 cup Shredded Mozzarella
  • 24 oz Marinara
  • 1/3 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1 lbs Penne Pasta Optional (served on side)


  • Combine all ingredients of Meatball Mixture. Make sure the fully incorporated but don't overwork the meat. Form Meatballs and place in Casserole Pan. Bake for 30 Minutes at 425 degrees F.
  • Carefully drain off any excess liquid then cover meatballs with Marinara, Mozzarella and Grated Parmesan Cheese. Bake For and additional 10-15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden. Let meatballs rest for 10 Minutes before serving.


Makes Fifteen 6 oz Meatballs. Portion size One meatball with sauce and cheese. Add pasta separately 


Serving: 6ozCalories: 507kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 30gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 1049mgPotassium: 572mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 592IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 227mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Cuban Casserole, Meatball parmesan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Nutrition Facts
Meatball Parmesan Casserole
Amount Per Serving (6 oz)
Calories 507 Calories from Fat 360
% Daily Value*
Fat 40g62%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Cholesterol 165mg55%
Sodium 1049mg46%
Potassium 572mg16%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 592IU12%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 227mg23%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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