Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti

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 creamy with a melty cheese center, topped with meat sauce and extra bubbly cheese. Tastes like a cross between baked ziti and lasagna with half the effort!

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.

Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti is creamy with a melty cheese center, topped with meat sauce and extra bubbly cheese. Tastes like a cross between baked ziti and lasagna with half the effort!

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.

Million Dollar Baked Spaghetti Collage of meat cooking

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!

Serve Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti with Garlic Bread and a copycat Olive Garden Salad for an easy and complete Italian meal your family will love.

Million Dollar Baked Spaghetti Collage of prep steps

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute the ground beef in Million Dollar Spaghetti?

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.

Can I make a white sauce version of Million Dollar Spaghetti?

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.

What veggies can I add to Million Dollar Spaghetti?

Add roasted vegetables like zucchini, eggplant and red onion in addition to or in place of the meat.

Can I make Million Dollar Pizza Spaghetti?

Yes, it’s so fun! Instead of ground beef, use chopped pepperoni, chopped bell peppers, onions and sliced olives for a combination pizza flavor.

Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti spatula lifting slice from pan

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.
Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti is creamy with a melty cheese center, topped with meat sauce and extra bubbly cheese. Tastes like a cross between baked ziti and lasagna with half the effort!

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Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti

Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti is creamy and cheesy, topped with meat sauce and extra bubbly cheese, like a cross between ziti and lasagna!
Yield 9 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 513kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 351mg | Potassium: 311mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 590IU | Calcium: 233mg | Iron: 1.9mg
Keyword: Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti
Million Dollar Baked Spaghetti Collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post:

Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti is creamy with a melty cheese center, topped with meat sauce and extra bubbly cheese. Tastes like a cross between baked ziti and lasagna with half the effort!
Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti is creamy with a melty cheese center, topped with meat sauce and extra bubbly cheese. Tastes like a cross between baked ziti and lasagna with half the effort!
Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti is creamy with a melty cheese center, topped with meat sauce and extra bubbly cheese. Tastes like a cross between baked ziti and lasagna with half the effort!
Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti is creamy with a melty cheese center, topped with meat sauce and extra bubbly cheese. Tastes like a cross between baked ziti and lasagna with half the effort!
Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti is creamy with a melty cheese center, topped with meat sauce and extra bubbly cheese. Tastes like a cross between baked ziti and lasagna with half the effort!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. This is my go to baked spaghetti recipe – it’s delicious ! The only thing I do a bit differently is I mix everything together once the beef and pasta are cooked. Obviously then it’s not layered like a lasagna, but in my opinion it’s easier.

    Fantastic recipe !

  2. Hi Sabrina, thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I made it tonight and was delicious ( it’s a keeper in my house). I misread how much mozzarella cheese to put in with cream cheese and put in the whole 3 cups, so I still added the cheese on top. Total of 4 cups, was deliciously cheesy. Next time I will add some green pepper with onions. We like green peppers in this house.

  3. Great recipe! I tried it initially because my sister doesn’t like cottage cheese or ricotta cheese & you were using cream cheese & we all loved it!!!! Oh, by the way I used cauliflower instead of spaghetti & it was delicious!!!! Thanks!!!! Making it over & over again!!!

  4. Delicious !! I tripled this recipe and fed my family and friends. They all loved it…especially my 4 year old granddaughter. I will be making this again soon. Thank You Sabrina.

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