I love meatball subs but it is such a mess to serve to children. I also love one pan meals that are hearty and satisfying. This casserole meets both needs.
I adapted this recipe from a recipe found in the Food for Life cookbook. This cookbook was created to meet the needs of those following the Trim Healthy Mama diet. I don't know much about THM (something about separating fats from carbs?) and don't follow the diet myself (Okay, my real-life friends can quit rolling their eyes at the thought of Gina dieting.) but this cookbook looks like a great resource for those who do. It is a lovely cookbook with lots of photos that makes one just want to try a recipe.
I glanced through a friend's copy of the cookbook and found this meatball sub recipe, which has become a new family favorite.
I layer thick slices of sourdough bread in the bottom of a pan. You could use any kind of bread that you have on hand.
The creamy cheese layer is what makes this casserole so delicious.
I swapped the meatball recipe in the cookbook with my favorite meatball recipe. You could do the same.
Pour pizza sauce over the meatballs.
Layer on the cheese, slide in the oven and prepare for a yummy meal.
Meatball Sub Casserole
(Adapted from Food for Life)
2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup tomato juice
6-7 thick pieces of sourdough bread (or other bread)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp pepper
1 quart spaghetti/pizza sauce
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
Mix ground beef, onion, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, eggs, and tomato juice. Shape into balls (I use a small cookie scoop.) Place on pan and bake in oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until cooked through. Cool.
Layer bread in a greased 9x13 pan.
Mix mayonnaise, Parmesan, cream cheese, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Spread over bread, sealing edges so the bread does not get soggy. Place meatballs over creamy layer.
Pour sauce over meatballs. Sprinkle on cheese. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.