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Meatball Sub Casserole

Meatball Sub Casserole is a super easy casserole dish that tastes like a meatball sub but in casserole form. So good and a family favorite!


Raise your hand if you love meatball subs? Now how would you like to take all those flavors you love about a meatball sub and turn it into a casserole? Well, here ya go folks. This was the best tasting casserole I have had in a while. Not only was it super easy to make but the flavors blended so well together. The whole family loved it!

angled photo of fully cooked Meatball Sub Casserole in a white casserole dish.


  • Homemade meatballs can be used in this dish; however, you want them to be fully cooked before adding them to this dish. This is a family friendly meal and using the pre-made meatballs really makes this quick to make.
  • I would definitely serve this with a salad. Perhaps a big, green salad full of veggies and maybe topped with my Copycat Olive Garden Salad Dressing And for dessert, how about some No-Bake Strawberry Tiramisu?
  • For a softer casserole, don’t toast the bread first. For a more firm casserole, toast the french bread slices first.
  • For a twist, try using thawed garlic Texas toast rather than the Italian bread.
  • Store any leftovers (covered) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze leftovers, as long as it is properly wrapped, to protect against freezer burn, for up to 3 months.
  • I haven’t tried freezing this meal before cooking. You might be able to do it but you’d have to definitely add onto baking time so you’ll have to play that by ear and check it periodically to make sure the middle is fully cooked.
Meatball Sub Casserole shown fully baked in a white and red casserole dish with a red and white dishcloth on the side.


  • Italian bread – French bread can be used here. Basically you don’t want a bread that is too soft or it will get too soggy.
  • cream cheese – it’s really important that your cream cheese be fully softened or it will end up with lumps in it when you try to mix it.
  • mayonnaise – I know mayonnaise might seem weird in here but I need you to trust me on this. It adds additional creaminess and another layer of flavor that really makes this creamy filling taste so good!
  • Italian seasoning – if you don’t have Italian seasoning, you can just combine a bit of dried basil and dried oregano.
  • shredded mozzarella cheese – I just buy the pre-shredded mozzarella cheese but you can certainly shred yours by hand if you prefer.
  • frozen meatballs – I go with the Italian style meatballs and they do need to be thawed. I usually just put the bag in my refrigerator the night before I make this. They actually thaw out pretty quickly so you can also leave them out on the counter for an hour or two as well.
  • pasta sauce – I am a fan of Rao’s pasta sauces but I know they can be on the pricey side so use what you enjoy or can afford. It will still work great!


Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Arrange bread slices in a single layer in an ungreased 9×13-inch baking dish. Just fill in any gaps with smaller bits of bread. I did have a couple slices of bread leftover since my loaf of Italian bread was pretty wide. I used those extra slices to make some garlic bread to serve with this. 

sliced Italian bread shown in an even layer in a baking dish.

In a bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise and seasonings. 

cream cheese, spices and mayonnaise shown in a white bowl.

Spread mixture over bread slices.

cream cheese mixture shown spread over bread slices in baking dish.

Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the shredded mozzarella cheese on top.

shredded mozzarella cheese shown sprinkled over cream cheese layer.

Gently mix together spaghetti sauce and meatballs. 

thawed Italian style meatballs shown mixed together with pasta sauce in a white bowl.

Spoon this mixture the over cheese layer.

pasta sauce and meatballs shown spread out on top of casserole dish.

Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

remaining shredded cheese shown sprinkled on top of casserole.

Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes. If you notice it is getting too brown, you can always cover the dish loosely with a bit of aluminum foil.

overhead photo of fully cooked Meatball Sub Casserole in the baking dish on a wooden surface.

Allow to cool for a few minutes then slice and serve!

a slice of meatball sub casserole shown on a white plate with a glass of iced tea in the background.


Originally published: May 2012
Updated & Republished: June 2023

Meatball Sub Casserole recipe from The Country Cook.

Meatball Sub Casserole (+Video)

Meatball Sub Casserole is a super easy casserole dish that tastes like a meatball sub but in casserole form. So good and a family favorite!
4.90 from 38 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1-inch thick slices
  • 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided use
  • 1 bag frozen Italian style meatballs, thawed
  • 24 ounce jar pasta sauce
  • dried parsley, for garnish (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • Arrange bread slices in a single layer in an ungreased 9×13-inch baking dish. Fill in any gaps with pieces of bread.
  • In a bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise and seasonings. Spread mixture over bread slices.
  • Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Gently mix together spaghetti sauce and meatballs. Spoon over cream cheese layer.
  • Sprinkle the top evenly with remaining shredded cheese.
  • Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes. If you notice it is getting too brown, just loosely cover it with some aluminum foil.
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes then slice and serve.


YouTube video


  • Please refer to my tips and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions. 
  • For a firmer bread base, I recommend toasting the bread first. You can place the dish into the oven (on the broiler setting) and toast both sides. It should only take a minute or two.
  • Note: frozen meatball packages come in varying sizes – anywhere from 18 ounces to 32 ounces. This recipe will accommodate most of those sizes. As long as you are grabbing a standard size bag and not a family size bag, it will work. 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American


Calories: 579kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 42g | Sodium: 529mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was so good! I was looking for a recipe to use some meatballs I had in the freezer. I also had a loaf of frozen garlic bread, so I used that, too. It was delicious. I did not toast the bread in advance. I wanted it to soak up the sauce. The only thing I would change is to add a little more sauce next time. It was really good. That cream cheese mixture really made it creamy. So good.

  2. 5 stars
    Toasted the bread as suggested by other reviewers. Followed the rest of the recipe as written. It turned out perfectly. Everyone loved it. Will definitely make again.

    1. You can look at my ingredient picture to see what I used. Unfortunately I’ve found that frozen meatballs come in varying sizes depending on where you live. I first shared this recipe 13 years ago and since then they’ve changed the bag sizes so many times & it’s impossible to keep up. Also, some frozen meatballs are larger than others. So you just need enough to cover the top. If it’s a little less or a little more, it’ll still work. It doesn’t need to be exact. Just get a standard size bag.

  3. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! I have made it several times using the Texas toast! I skip the cream cheese and mayo, and just pile on the meatballs, sauce and cheese! It’s great for a quick weeknight meal!

  4. This is a question. Has anybody tried this with riced cauliflower instead of bread. Hubby is a low to 0 carb diet?

  5. With me being diabetic and so many people doing low carb…I think I’ll try this with my homemade low carb bread…the rest should work just fine…wonder what it would taste like with Alfredo instead of pasta sauce? Hubby can’t take the tomatoes!!!

  6. 5 stars
    I had a loaf of french bread so I used that instead. It came out great. I did toast the bread before hand. Very easy dinner just add a salad.

  7. 5 stars
    I took a chance and made two of these. One for my hubby and I, the other for our friend who just had a baby. Not a move I would usually make when trying a recipe for the first time.

    This was DELICIOUS. I had to improvise since my bread was moldy. I sliced up pieces of regular bread, then toasted them in a pan with butter and Italian seasoning. Since I didn’t have slices I was stumped as to how I was going to spread the cream cheese mixture. I microwaved it until soft, then added the mayo and seasoning. After mixing everything together in a medium size bowl I added the bread pieces then stirred to combine. It turned out wonderfully, so I’ll do that again next time.

    Great recipe and easy to change to taste (I didn’t, I thought it was great!)

  8. This is on your post for freeze & make ahead meals…. Where do you pause the cooking/prep to freeze?

  9. 5 stars
    My son loves meatball subs, and this was an easier version of that!! Delicious! I did toast the bread prior as mentioned…PERFECT! Thank you!!

  10. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe 3-4 times and my family loves it. This last time, I used a French bread that was thinner and crusty, so it came out less mushy and even more delicious with some extra crunch in it! I didn't toast the bread before either. Love this super easy and quick recipe that's easy to throw together when I get home from work. Thanks!

  11. 5 stars
    Great recipe! The bread I used ended up not being very good -maybe stale, I should’ve tested it before using. BUT, the next day I scooped off everything else and made meatball subs! Yum! Thanks for sharing!

  12. 5 stars
    I’ve gone through the comments looking to see if anyone has tried making this ahead of time and freezing it with any success. No luck. I’ve made it fresh a few times and was just wondering if it would work from frozen.

  13. Has anybody tried this with garlic toast at the bottom in place of the bread? OBVIOUSLY not good for you but I bet it would be good!

  14. 5 stars
    I was a little nervous but I went ahead and tried it.. Let me tell you I have a four (almost 5 in a week) year old boy who is so picky and only eats the meatballs out of his spaghetti, but loves French bread and hummus. He approves of this casserole. Even in the stage of putting the cream cheese, mayo and Italian seasoning over the bread I kept having to replace my toasted bread slices bc he kept taking them to eat himself and give his dad to try. He loves to Cook with me in the kitchen and had a blast being my taste tester. I am going to be one of those people wanting that cookbook! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!