Meatball Sub Casserole

A loaded pan of meatball sub casserole.

What family doesn’t love a good Meatball Sub Casserole? I’m always on the lookout for beef casserole and beef meatball recipes for my guys since they are such big carnivores.
This casserole is an easy baked dish that is hearty, filling, and fast, perfect for at-home meals, in-the-field-meals or potluck meals. And, it’s a great casserole to make ahead and bake later.
This recipe came from my good friends, Mattie and Kenzie Cramer, Manhattan, KS. 

Meatball Sub Casserole Recipe 

Full pan of meatball sub casserole with cheese and marinara.

Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’….Shall We? 🙂 

Casseroles.  The best survival food in the land, if you ask me.  Every Mom in the country needs good, reliable casserole recipes…..wouldn’t you agree?

I find the best casserole recipes come from other Moms who like to share their favorites…..after all, casseroles can be life-saving when it comes to getting dinner on the table.  Sometimes, dinner is a complete emergency and we need all the help we can get.

Since we raise cattle in NE Kansas, we always have a freezer full of beef that needs used up. That said, many of the casseroles I make are beef recipes.

We are big fans of Fiesta Ground Beef and Noodle Skillet (you can also make an Instant Pot version) as well as Cheesy Hash Brown Meatloaf Pie.

Are you seeking a good low-carb casserole recipe, perhaps? If so, try out Low-Carb Zucchini Lasagna Roll Ups. If counting carbs isn’t your gig, you may enjoy Oh Snap! Baked Spaghetti Pie Casserole. My boys love it!

What to Love About This Recipe  – 

  • It’s a great make-ahead recipe – make now and bake later!
  • This dish freezes well – make a double recipe and freeze one for later.
  • A super family friendly casserole that’s easy, fast, and yummy.

How to Make Meatball Sub Casserole in 4 Easy Steps – 

  1. Place the garlic bread slices across the bottom of a greased casserole dish.
  2. Prepare the cream cheese filling; spread over the slices of bread; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  3. Combine the marinara sauce with water, then stir in the browned meatballs; spread over the cream cheese layer, then top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
  4. Bake, uncovered, until hot and bubbly throughout and golden brown on top.  Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Helpful Recipe Tips –

  • This recipe is easy to double and make two casseroles.  Eat one for dinner now and freeze the other one for later, or give to a family that needs a meal.
  • To bake this casserole from frozen, place it into the oven, covered, at 350 degrees F. for 40 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees F.; uncover the casserole and continue to bake an additional 30-40 minutes or until hot at the center (165 degrees F.) and golden brown on top.
  • To know when a casserole is nicely hot at the center and a safe internal temperature, too, use an instant-read meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer at an angle, right at the center of the casserole.
    Watch the display until the degrees stop climbing; this is the finished internal temperature.  For a casserole, you want it to be 165 degrees F. at the very center.
  • Browning the meatballs before adding them to the sauce adds a nice flavor layer.  This is a worthwhile step, but if you opt not to do it, the casserole will still be yummy.
  • Browning the meatballs first also ensures they render their fats so the casserole won’t be greasy in consistency.
  • Any type of meatballs can be used – beef, turkey, or pork – use your favorite.
  • Any type of cheese can be used in this recipe, too.  If your family prefers cheddar instead of mozzarella, go for it!
  • This casserole is delicious when sprinkled with a bit of parmesan cheese, too, just before serving.

More Delicious Recipes to Try – 

Printable Recipe for Making Meatball Sub Casserole – 

A loaded pan of meatball sub casserole.

Meatball Sub Casserole

What family doesn't love a good meatball casserole? I'm always on the lookout for beef casserole and beef meatball recipes for my guys since they are such big carnivores.  This easy baked casserole is hearty, filling, and fast. And, it's a great casserole to make ahead and bake later. 
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 427kcal


  • 1 loaf buttered garlic bread cut into 1-inch-thick slices (you will have some leftover)
  • 1 lb. frozen cooked meatballs thawed
  • 8 oz. cream cheese very softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 28 oz. jar marinara sauce
  • 2/3 cup water


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a greased 9 x 13 pan, arrange the sliced garlic bread in a single layer, buttered side up; set aside.
    (If you are using plain French or Italian bread, butter each slice and sprinkle with just a smidge of garlic powder, if desired.)
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the meatballs, browning them a bit on each side, allowing them to render their fats somewhat; drain any fats that accumulate.
    Add the marinara sauce to the meatballs, along with the water; bring to a gentle simmer, then remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese with the mayonnaise, and Italian seasoning; gently spread this mixture over the sliced bread in the casserole dish; sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
  • Spread the marinara/meatball mixture over the cream cheese layer; sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
    Bake the casserole, uncovered, on the center rack of the oven, for 25-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly throughout and golden brown on top. Serve at once.
    Don't over bake; this can cause the bread on the bottom of the casserole to become tough and chewy.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: beef meatball recipes, ground beef casserole, how to make meatball subs from scratch, meatball casserole, meatball recipes


Calories: 427kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 947mg | Potassium: 505mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 856IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 3mg

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Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli



Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

Blog Comments

5 stars
This looks delicious and so easy to make!

Hi Kellie –
Let me know what your family thinks about the Meatball Sub Casserole – my guys gave it a thumbs up!
Thanks for your comment here – I so appreciate hearing from you.
Chef Alli

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