This super easy garlic bread casserole is cheesy and so delicious. Slices of garlic bread, covered with a ground beef and marinara sauce with spinach, and finished with melty gooey mozzarella. Kids and adults will absolutely love this quick and fun dinner!
What Makes This Recipe So Good
- It’s incredibly easy to put together! You’ll need less than 10 ingredients, one skillet to make the simple meat sauce and a baking dish to assemble the garlic bread casserole. This recipe requires minimal efforts, and is loaded with comforting and delicious flavors.
- This dish is such a crowd pleaser! Very kid-friendly, great to make to feed a big crowd, even the pickiest eaters will love this casserole. It has the feel of lasagna, or spaghetti and meat sauce, but serve without noodles, and over tasty garlic bread instead. And while this recipe is written for 4 servings, you can very easily double, or even triple it, if needed.
- You can use any marinara sauce of you choice. Whether you make it from scratch, or buy it ready to go, it’s up to you. I used a basic marinara, but you can totally use a four cheese, vodka sauce, garden vegetables flavored, any tomato pasta sauce you love will work. We’re adding ground beef, onion and spinach to it, to jazz it up a bit, but if you wanted to sauté some mushrooms and zucchini to add to your sauce, go for it, that’d be delicious! This recipe is totally customizable.
- After cooking the ground beef, be sure to scoop out the excess meat grease from the skillet before adding the sauce. To do so, push the cooked beef to the side, gently tilt the skillet, and use a large spoon to remove the extra fat. You can also hold the meat in place with a large wooden spoon to drain and discard of the grease into a bowl or trash. It’s not recommended to pour grease down the sink drain as the grease will solidify and could cause plumbing issues.
- Talking about the meat, you can use any ground beef you have on hand, 80/20, 85/15, 93/7, they’ll all work. If you’re not a big beef eater, you could absolutely swap it out for ground turkey or ground chicken too.
More Delicious Easy Dinners
- Chicken and Spinach Manicotti
- Garlic Bread Casserole
- Tuna Tetrazzini
- Pasta Napoletana
- Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Pork Stroganoff
- Chickarina Soup
- Tuna Tostadas with Canned Tuna
Garlic Bread Casserole
- Large skillet
- wooden spoon
- 7×11 baking dish (2.2 quart dish)
- 4 slices Texas Toast garlic bread (frozen)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- salt (to taste)
- freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- fresh chopped basil (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425° Fahrenheit.
- Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Once oil is hot and shimmery, add ground beef, season liberally with with salt and black pepper. Break up meat with wooden spoon, and cook until brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- Drain excess grease from skillet by pushing ground beef to one side, then tilt skillet towards empty side, and use large spoon to remove grease, or hold meat down with spoon and drain from side of skillet to discard.
- Add chopped onion, mix in with ground beef, and cook until onion is softened, stirring often, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Lower heat to medium, then pour in marinara sauce over beef, mix until incorporated and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While marinara and beef mixture cooks, place 4 slices of frozen Texas Toast to baking dish onto one layer. Add to preheated oven and set timer for 6 minutes.
- Add spinach to meat sauce and stir it in. Continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove skillet from heat.
- Once oven timer is up, remove garlic bread from oven. Add ½ cup of shredded mozzarella on top of bread slices. Lower oven temperature to 325° Fahrenheit.
- Cover garlic bread and cheese with meat sauce and spread into one even layer with wooden spoon.
- Add remaining shredded mozzarella cheese on top of sauce, then place dish in oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Remove baking dish from oven. Let casserole rest for 5 minutes before serving, sprinkle with chopped fresh basil if desired, and enjoy warm.
- Make it Gluten Free: use gluten free garlic bread.
- Mozzarella cheese: I highly recommend using a block of mozzarella, and shredding it yourself. Not only is it more economical, the block of cheese has no anti-caking starchy fillers you find in shredded cheese which helps it melt better.
Recipe costs provided are approximate. Actual cost per recipe & serving will vary by location, store, brand, etc. Approximate cost shown does not include costs for any optional ingredients.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes. Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used. To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.