Meatball Sub Casserole

As I posted on Facebook earlier, I guess I needed to cook an actual dinner.  Josh managed to eke an hour for dinner out of his work schedule, and he gave me VERY.  LITTLE.  NOTICE.  Luckily, I pulled out what I had originally planned for yesterday:  the meatball sub casserole from Big Oven and a kale-and-brussel-sprouts salad kit (from Sam’s for only $1.29…not a reduced produce item price).

I didn’t realize this, but this casserole goes together to go into the oven in just under 10 minutes (It probably would have been fewer if I hadn’t gotten frustrated in the rush to have everything ready) and then into the oven for 30 minutes (27 at 350 degress and 3 at an open-door broil).

Muffin loved this…he loves anything with meatballs.

There was one small problem:  we had spaghetti and meatballs not too long ago, so we didn’t have quite a full pound of meatballs.  I added a few cut up bits of breakfast sausage from breakfast this morning.  I thought it was great, but Josh thought that maple sausage didn’t really go with the mix.  He thought a not-maple variety would have worked, however.

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By the way…guess who didn’t follow the recipe exactly?  Me.

Meatball Sub Casserole

5 slices Texas toast, toasted (I used Kroger brand, but Sunbeam would also be great)

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon each salt, pepper (freshly ground), basil, oregano, and parsley

1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce (I used Classico’s Cheesy Spinach Florentine…it was yummy!)

1 cup water

1 pound frozen precooked meatballs, thawed (or zapped in the microwave for a minute from frozen…you may add chunks of sausage, too)

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In an ungreased 9×13 pan, arrange slices of toast.  I had to cut up a few of the pieces to make them fit.

In a bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, and the seasonings.  Spread the mixture over the bread.  Cover with 1/2 cup of the shredded mozzarella.

In a larger bowl, combine the meatballs (and sausage, if using), spaghetti sauce, and water.  I poured the water into the spaghetti sauce jar when I emptied it, lidded the jar, shook it, and was able to get out most of the tomatoey bits.

Slather the sauce and the meat over the layers in the pan.  Cover with remaining shredded mozza.

Bake, uncovered, for 27 minutes.  In the last three minutes, turn the heat up to broil to brown the cheese a bit.

Serve with something green to feel wholesome.

This recipe, if the ingredients are in-house, goes from start to oven in fewer than ten minutes.  That’s a very important recipe to have in your arsenal.  If you make homemade meatballs and freeze them, the good-for-you factor is upped by a lot.

Muffin Approved

What is a quick, go-to recipe for you?

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