Baked Spaghetti is hearty and family friendly with a crispy cheesy top layer and ground beef filling; your kids will ask for baked spaghetti every week!
The more classic version of baked spaghetti, it costs less than our Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti (I kid I kid, we don’t use cream cheese in this version) and is easier to make than our Ultimate Meat Lasagna.
Baked Spaghetti is the perfect make ahead meal parents. I’m telling you, if our kids could vote on dinner every night, I’d be serving this 4 days a week. And when I do serve it I take it from my freezer! We try to bring more classic meals into the rotation than just this baked spaghetti. Here are some of our favorite classic dinners:
More Classic Dinner Recipes:
- Classic Pot Roast with Vegetables – with oven, slow cooker and instant pot directions, this is a family favorite!
- Classic Beef Meatloaf – this recipe is tested and loved by clients over 10 years!
- Perfect Simple Roast Chicken – this chicken is guaranteed to be crispy skinned!
- Oven Baked Chicken and Rice – the chicken flavors the rice and the top layer is perfectly crispy!
- Oven Baked Beef Tacos – enjoy your dinner too, all the tacos are prepped and made ahead then baked!
If it’s your first time cooking a baked spaghetti recipe, this is a good one to try. Dinner tonight starts out like a traditional pasta dinner and ends like a hybrid of spaghetti and lasagna.
How to Make Baked Spaghetti:
- Boil the spaghetti noodles until al dente, or one minute shy of the directions.
- Brown your meat in a skillet and add in the Quick and Easy Marinara Sauce.
- Whisk eggs, cheese and butter together and stir in your cooked spaghetti.
- Layer your spaghetti mixture into a dish with layers of cheese and meat sauce.
What you are making is basically a baked spaghetti casserole. But the best version of one you’ll ever taste. With crispy edges, mozzarella and cottage cheese this is a dish people will crowd the pan asking for seconds.
WHAT GOES WITH BAKED SPAGHETTI?
- Garlic Bread: A traditional favorite, and the perfect way to scoop up extra sauce.
- Roasted Green Beans: Add some greens to the mix and roast them alongside the baking noodles.
- Italian Salad Dressing: Try this dressing drizzled on garlic bread to give it an extra kick.
A great way to end a rich dinner is with a light, fluffy Angel Food Cake.
Alternatives to ground beef
- Italian sausage: the seasonings in Italian sausage add a kick of flavor to the baked spaghetti.
- Ground turkey: an alternative to red meat that is delicious and filling.
- Ground tofu: tofu takes on a lot of the flavor of the sauce, and is a delicious vegetarian option.
- Jackfruit: This one takes a little more prep, but its meaty texture is hearty and tasty.
- Mushrooms: Delicious and versatile, mushrooms are great browned in melted butter.
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SLOW COOKER VERSION
If you are going to be out all day and want something ready when you get home, slow cookers are a great way to go. Slow cooking the spaghetti lets it stew in its own juices, infusing it with flavor.
- Cook the spaghetti noodles in a pot of boiling water until al dente (still firm.)
- Brown the ground beef in a pan with the chopped onion until cooked through, and then add in the marinara sauce and stir on medium heat.
- Mix the eggs, cheese and butter together and add the cooked spaghetti noodles.
- Layer the spaghetti mixture and the meat sauce into the slow cooker, and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
STORING THE LEFTOVERS
You can store your baked spaghetti and eat the left overs for a quick dinner later. According to USDA’s website:
- Serving: You can leave the baked spaghetti out after serving for no longer than 2 hours.
- Storing: You can store the spaghetti in a fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freezing: You can freeze for 3 months.
Baking spaghetti instead of just boiling it gives you the crispy, cheesy top layer that lasagna fans love. This easy baked spaghetti is a great middle ground between spaghetti dishes and a Traditional Baked Ziti.
Baked Spaghetti is so much more than just tomato sauce over noodles, this easy recipe is a great meal for weekdays, since you will have leftovers for later dinners. Make it for the whole family and let the kids scoop out what they want (you’ll be surprised how much they eat.)
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 yellow onion , chopped
- 4 cups Marinara Sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- 2 cups cottage cheese , divided
- 4 cups mozzarella cheese , shredded and divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 9x13 baking dish with vegetable oil spray.
- Cook pasta 2 minutes shy of the directions.
Add meat and onions to a large skillet on medium-high heat and brown while breaking it apart until fully cooked, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add in the Marinara Sauce and mix well.
- Toss the noodles in the salt, eggs and butter.
- Put half the pasta in the bottom of the baking dish, then add half the cottage cheese, half the meat sauce and half the mozzarella.
- Top with the rest of the noodles, the rest of the cottage cheese, meat sauce and mozzarella.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the cheese on top is crispy and golden brown.