Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti is creamy and cheesy, topped with meat sauce and extra bubbly cheese, like a cross between ziti and lasagna!
Pasta bakes are an easy way to make your favorite Italian Recipes that feed a big crowd, and that the kids will love too! This recipe is cheesy, beefy, and satisfies everyone, just like Cheesy Beef Pasta Bake, Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Ravioli Lasagna Bake.
Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti is a hit with many families, and it isn’t hard to see why. With melted cheese, cream cheese, meat and Homemade Marinara Sauce, and perfect as a make ahead meal you can freeze, this dish is a perfect meal in a pan and even better served with a nice side salad.
It may seem like there is a lot of meat and cheese going on in this 9×13 pan, but you can probably get 12 portions out of the meal, 9 if you’ve got a lot of hungry people to serve. The flavors are rich enough that a smaller portion is enough to satisfy.
You can even make this Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti in a double quantity so you have one tray to serve and one to freeze.
For making ahead the only difference in the directions would be to follow all the steps until it says to put it in the oven. At that point, top with foil and freeze.
To serve, remove from the freezer the day before you plan on serving so it can defrost in the fridge.
If you don’t remember to remove it, you can expect your cook time to be about an hour long at least.
You’ll want to let the Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti cool for about 5-10 minutes when it comes out of the oven. It is easier to cut into perfect squares using this silicone spatula which has a great shape to it.
The presentation is fun when cut neatly into squares, but even if you scoop it out with tongs or a spoon, it will taste delicious!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Try making this pasta bake with Italian sausage instead of ground beef, or lighten it up with ground Italian chicken or turkey sausage, or chunks of grilled chicken breast.
Use chunks of cooked chicken with a creamy Alfredo sauce for a Chicken Alfredo Million Dollar Spaghetti (optional you can also toss in frozen peas). Or leave out the meat altogether and use spinach, lemon juice and lemon zest with a creamy Alfredo sauce for a vegetarian take.
Add roasted vegetables like zucchini, eggplant and red onion in addition to or in place of the meat.
Yes, it’s so fun! Instead of ground beef, use chopped pepperoni, chopped bell peppers, onions and sliced olives for a combination pizza flavor.
How to Store Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti
- Serve: Do not leave this recipe, which contains meat and dairy, at room temperature longer than 2 hours.
- Store: Cover with foil or plastic wrap and store Million Dollar Spaghetti in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat individual slices in the microwave for 1-3 minutes.
- Freeze: To freeze Million Dollar Spaghetti, follow the instructions above for freezer storage prior to baking, and keep frozen up to 3 months. You can also freeze leftover Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti, just allow to thaw before reheating in the microwave or oven.
- 1 pound spaghetti , cooked two minutes shy of directions and drained
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium onion , chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 6 cups Quick and Easy Marinara Sauce
- 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- parsley , chopped (optional as a garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large skillet add the beef, onions, garlic, salt and pepper into the pan and cook on high.
- Once browned, turn off the heat, drain the liquid left in the pan and mix in one cup of the marinara sauce.
- Add the cooked spaghetti to the remaining 5 cups of the marinara sauce and toss to combine.
- Mix the cream cheese and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese in a bowl.
- Add half the pasta/sauce to the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.
- Add the cream cheese mixture and top with the remaining pasta/sauce mixture.
- Add the meat sauce mixture on top of the pasta and top with remaining cup of mozzarella cheese.
- Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly
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