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Spaghetti and Meatball Casserole

Thanks for sharing!

Baked spaghetti and meatball casserole is a fun twist on that classic favorite dinner. It is easier to make than lasagna and more fun too!

close up piece of spaghetti casserole with cheesy pasta layer topped with meatballs, tomato sauce and more cheese.

On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese.  I lost my poor meatball, when somebody sneezed…. Of course spaghetti and meatballs is one of those foods that makes you feel like a kid again.

There is something so fun about long noodles covered in sauce and cheese.  Plus there is a satisfaction that comes with taking a bite out of a meatball.

bowl of spaghetti tossed with cottage cheese etc.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret.  (Shhhhh!)  As a parent to a toddler, spaghetti and meatballs are not quite as much fun.

Don’t get me wrong, it is fun to watch the little guy enjoy himself with a big plate of ‘sketti.  But as he’s slurping the noodles, it is hard not to notice the specks of sauce flying.

Then there are the meatballs.  The glorious meatballs.  

They are unlikely to actually go rolling away because of a sneeze, but the chances of one hitting the floor don’t seem so astronomical.

close up of corner of baking dish with creamy spaghetti mixture topped with meatballs and tomato sauce.

Add to that the fact that we have light colored carpet on our dining room floor.  Don’t ever put light colored carpets on a dining room floor!

It was there when we moved in, but we didn’t have a little one yet so we didn’t think much of it.  We always had a drop cloth under his highchair, so it still wasn’t a huge deal when he was younger either.

Now he is a big boy and eats at the big table.  Really, he does a pretty good job for the most part.  There are likely to be almost as many splatters and crumbs around my husband’s spot as Little Dude’s.

BUUUT, it still makes me nervous.  We keep saying we are going to replace the carpet, but it seems a shame to rip it up when it’s in pretty good shape.

Plus there’s the whole contractor’s wife thing.  Actually, my husband is pretty good about stopping to do a project at the house when I ask him to.

I just need to tell him what the project is, pick out the materials and design and then we sync our calendars to find a block of time that will work.  We both mark it in and it gets done.

full pan of spaghetti and meatball bake fresh from the oven.

But it is really hard to ask him to block of time where he could be doing paying jobs to replace flooring that isn’t bad.  So one of these days a glass of red wine…. or a meatball will end up on the floor.  In the meantime we just try our best not to let that happen!

All of that was the long way of saying I wanted to recreate spaghetti and meatballs so that there wouldn’t be as much slurping.  And with any luck there wouldn’t be any meatball covered in tomato sauce hitting the floor.

So, I made spaghetti and meatballs in casserole form.  It’s easier to serve and fun to eat.  Plus there is just something about baked pasta (and all of the accompanying cheese!) that makes it that much better.

Dinner plate with spaghetti and meatball casserole, salad and breadstick ready to eat.

It’s a new twist on one of my childhood favorites and is sure to be one of Little Dude’s childhood favorites!  What are you favorite foods from childhood?

2019 update:

I originally wrote this post in July of 2016.  I made it again the other night and thought I would snap a few updated pictures to share with you.

It turns out, all of these years later I still have carpet in the dining room.  No meatball ever hit the floor and the area around Little Dude’s seat is still no worse that my husband’s spot! 😉

Piece of cheesy spaghetti casserole with tomato sauce and meatballs on top.

I originally made this recipe with ricotta cheese, but have since made it with cottage cheese quite a few times too.  Both work great, so use whatever you have on hand or whichever you prefer in lasagna.

If you are a fan of spaghetti and meatballs, you may want to try creamy spaghetti and meatballs in the instant pot too. It is a quick and easy way to whip up dinner!

For more dinner inspiration, check out my collection of pasta recipes. There are so many tasty ways to turn a box of pasta into a fabulous meal.

Piece of cheesy spaghetti casserole with tomato sauce and meatballs on top.

Spaghetti and Meatball Casserole

Baked spaghetti and meatball casserole is a fun twist on that classic favorite dinner. It is easier to make than lasagna and more fun too!
4.87 from 23 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dinners
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 334 kcal


  • 1 pound of your favorite meatballs
  • 16 oz box of spaghetti
  • 24 ounce container of cottage cheese*
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 24 oz jar marinara sauce
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese


  • Cook your spaghetti to al dente. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.
    16 oz box of spaghetti
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Once your spaghetti is cool enough to handle, stir together the cottage cheese, garlic, eggs, salt, and pepper. Toss the noodles in this mixture and press into a well greased 9×13 pan.
    24 ounce container of cottage cheese*, 4 eggs, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, salt, black pepper
  • Place meatballs on top of spaghetti and distribute sauce over the casserole.
    24 oz jar marinara sauce, 1 pound of your favorite meatballs
  • Cover and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • Remove cover and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Return to oven uncovered to bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned to your liking.
    2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then cut and serve.


*Feel free to use a tub of ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese if that is your preference, it is good either way.
You can use homemade meatballs in this recipe. Cook them according to your recipe’s directions before putting them on the casserole.
Frozen meatballs also work great. They help to make this a quick and easy meal. 



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 334kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 21gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 913mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7g
Tried this recipe?Mention @carleecooks or tag #cookingwcarlee!
Baked spaghetti and meatball casserole is a fun twist on that classic favorite dinner. It is easier to make than lasagna and more fun too!

Thanks for sharing!

Recipe Rating


Saturday 21st of October 2023

Made this tonight and it’s so easy and so wonderful!


Saturday 21st of October 2023

I am so glad you liked it!


Sunday 17th of March 2019

Question! Do you cook freshly made meatballs before putting into casserole?!


Monday 18th of March 2019

You certainly can! I just used frozen meatballs to make it quick and easy!


Monday 11th of March 2019

This is awesome! I am so happy to find recipes that my little grand daughter will eat, she is so picky. Thank you for sharing.


Thursday 14th of March 2019

She's going to love it! Thank you!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen

Wednesday 6th of March 2019

This sounds so good Carlee! Who wouldn't love this casserole?!


Thursday 14th of March 2019

I haven't met anyone yet! Thanks, Kitty!


Wednesday 6th of March 2019

This looks delicious and would certainly be a big hit at my house. Incidentally... I'm starving right now. Can I have a plate of this delicious casserole? :)


Thursday 14th of March 2019

Of course, come on over! Thank you <3