Sunday, December 22, 2013

Easy Meatball Sub Casserole

I was feeling rotten all day with a bad headache, so I wanted something quick and easy to throw together after work.  This super easy casserole fit the bill with the flavors we love without any fuss. I added a simple salad and called it a night.

Some of the food I make is more "girlie;" and while I'm sure the ladies would enjoy this just as much, this one just seems like it would be a great bet if you have a bunch of guys over.  Even the next day, it heat up beautifully for leftover lunch.  The texture is almost like a savory Italian bread pudding!


Print this Recipe!


Ingredients: 
  • Loaf of French bread
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp lite mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 pound frozen meatballs, thawed out enough to cut in half
  • 1 can spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

 
Step-by-Step:
Into an oven safe casserole dish, we will just layer in the ingredients, starting with the thick slices of French bread.  Toast the bread in the oven until golden brown.  Immediately rub the bread with the cut side of a large garlic clove when you remove the bread from the oven.  The garlic will actually start melting down into the bread, giving it a great flavor.  Remember - season each layer of your food for the best flavor at mealtime!  (Alternative - I bet you could use slices of the frozen "Texas Toast," some of which have varying degrees of garlic, cheese, etc already on them.  Just a thought.)

rub hot toast with a cut clove of garlic
For the next layer, combine the 8oz softened cream cheese, 2 Tbsp lite mayo, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp Italian seasoning.  Spread this on top of the toasted bread.
On top of the cream cheese layer, add the thawed meatballs which you have cut in half.  Be generous.  Place them side by side, touching each other.  If you are as impatient as I am, you probably popped them into the microwave to thaw them.  Oh heck yeah I do that!
On top of the meatballs, add the whole large can of spaghetti sauce.  I like this canned sauce for this recipe because it's smooth, it has a good flavor, and it's cheap!
On top of the sauce, add your cheeses.  Oh how I love cheese!  Sprinkle with just a tad more Italian seasoning if you'd like, or dried basil.
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
a bit of Italian seasoning or dried basil as garnish
Bake covered for 30 min at 350 degrees.  Then about 5 minutes or so uncovered just until the cheese is the perfect amount of melted!  I bought (and chopped) some fresh basil to garnish the top with, but darn it if I didn't forget all about it! See... I told you I had an awful headache.

This recipe goes very well with a simple side salad.  The acidity and crunch of the salad helps balance out this rich, creamy casserole.
I was really impressed by how nicely the reheated for my lunch the next day.  The flavors seem to come together even more... as it does for many Italian dishes.

I hope you've enjoyed this recipe.  If you would like to see what else I've been cooking up, hop on over to my Recipe Index and check it out for tons of ideas!

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Written Method:
Into an oven safe casserole dish, we will just layer in the ingredients, starting with the thick slices of French bread.

Toast the bread in the oven until golden brown.  Immediately rub the bread with the cut side of a large garlic clove when you remove the bread from the oven.  The garlic will actually start melting down into the bread, giving it a great flavor.  Remember - season each layer of your food for the best flavor at mealtime!  (Alternative - I bet you could use slices of the frozen "Texas Toast," some of which have varying degrees of garlic, cheese, etc already on them.) 

For the next layer, combine the softened cream cheese, mayo, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.  Spread this on top of the toasted bread.

On top of the cream cheese layer, add the thawed meatballs which you have cut in half.  Be generous.  Place them side by side, touching each other.  If you are as impatient as I am, you probably popped them into the microwave to thaw them.  Oh heck yeah I do that!

On top of the meatballs, add the whole large can of spaghetti sauce.  

On top of the sauce, add your cheeses.  Oh how I love cheese!  Sprinkle with just a tad more Italian seasoning if you'd like, or dried basil.

Bake covered for 30 min at 350 degrees.  Then about 5 minutes or so uncovered just until the cheese is the perfect amount of melted!  I bought (and chopped) some fresh basil to garnish the top with, but darn it if I didn't forget all about it!

3 comments:

  1. Your recipes look amazing! Making me so hungry! Too bad I'm somewhere in the middle of ND on a 16 hour trip. :) Thank goodness for pinterest!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Another hit at home for weekly dinner. I used Garlic Cheese Bread that I already had in the deep freezer. I did not have cream cheese on hand :-( so I'm sure I missed loads of yumminess, but it still tasted incredible regardless. My family devoured it and my 8 year old daughter asked for seconds. I can't say enough how your blog saves me loads of time on what to prepare for the week.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This looks so good, I can't wait to try this out!

    ReplyDelete

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