Baked Spaghetti Casserole

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Over the years I’ve tried many different recipes and variations of baked spaghetti. Spaghetti is a favorite meal in our house, especially with the kids, and I love the idea of having a spaghetti casserole that I can freeze and stick in the oven for a quick meal. The only problem is that I’ve yet to make a baked spaghetti that would be considered a real winner with everyone.

Well, until now that is. I think I’ve finally figured out a good combination that combats the usual problems we have with baked spaghetti. The number one problem we run into is that we all find the traditional baked spaghetti too dry. The kids don’t like when the noodles get a little crispy and my husband and I never think the finished product is saucy enough.

So I decided to counter that problem with a little creaminess in the noodles. It worked perfectly. The dish was definitely not too dry and there were no crispy noodles for the kids to complain about. But more importantly, it did not turn out soupy either, which I was a little concerned with. The taste might be a little off from a traditional spaghetti with meat sauce dinner, but the spirit is definitely still there. And since I just know this will freeze perfectly, it’s going to be a great option for stocking the freezer in our house.

Baked Spaghetti Casserole

  • 1/2 – 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 c. minced fresh parsley
  • 2 t. Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 t. sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 1 c. cottage or ricotta cheese
  • 3 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded Mozzarella or Italian blend cheese

1. In a large skillet, brown ground beef with onion, pepper and garlic. Drain. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes before removing from heat to cool.

2. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cool water.

3. In a large bowl, stir together the cottage or ricotta cheese, cream cheese, egg and Parmesan cheese until combined. Add spaghetti and stir until well mixed. Pour into a greased 13×9 casserole dish. Spoon the meat sauce on top of the spaghetti and cover with shredded cheese.

4. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden. (If made during stolen moments, let the casserole dish come to room temperature while the oven heats.)

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Comments

  1. Bree says:

    Fantastic idea! My family loves a splash of cream or half and half in spaghetti sauce, so this cottage and cream cheese mix-in sounds right up our alley. (your picture is making me hungry for it at 8 am in the morning!)

  2. L2L says:

    baked spaghetti is one of my husbands favorite dishes, yummy!!!

  3. Kim says:

    I’ve never made anything like this and I am really excited to try. We also have the same dilemma in our household – kids don’t like the crunchy bits and grownups want it saucy. Thank you!

  4. Meadows08 says:

    This looks delicious but we’re not fans of cottage or ricotta cheese. Do you have any suggestions for a substitution?

  5. Doreen says:

    Yummmm! I just made your baked spaghetti and loved it. I looked at a lot of recipes online hoping to find one that was similar to the baked spaghetti I order at a local Italian restaurant. Your recipe showed the most promise and sure enough, it was just like my favorite from the restaurant. My husband and son loved it, too. Thanks for a great recipe!

  6. Kim Doran says:

    Sounds simple and yummy. Definitely going to make this.

  7. Sara says:

    Excited to try this. I read where you mentioned about freezing this. Just wondering do you bake it and then freeze it or freeze before baking. Thanks!

  8. Adrianne says:

    Do you cook in over before freezing or top with cheese and freeze then cook?

  9. Dan says:

    This is an excellent recipe, never disappoints. Have made it several times and family loves it. Got one in the oven right now. YUM!

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