Baked Spaghetti

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.

Scoop of Baked Spaghetti

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:

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.

Baked Spaghetti in Casserole Dish

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.


  • 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.

Pan of Beef Baked Spaghetti


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.


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.)

Spoonful of Beef and Cheese Baked Spaghetti

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Pin Recipe

Baked Spaghetti

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!
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 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.


Calories: 651kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 162mg | Sodium: 1406mg | Potassium: 855mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1285IU | Vitamin C: 9.6mg | Calcium: 378mg | Iron: 3.8mg
Keyword: Baked Spaghetti, How To Make Baked Spaghetti

Collage of Baked Spaghetti in Pan photos

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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    1. Hello Catie, I’m sorry but I sadly do not have the information as I have never used a nesco. I’m also not sure what you mean by notifying the recipe. Do you mean how to adjust the recipe?

  1. Is it possible to prep this the night before then cook it the next day? How long would I cook it if so. Sorry a little new to cooking ?

    1. Hello Nicole, this is a great recipe for new cooks. there is not much to prep, but if you want you could cook the meat before and add it later. I hope this helps.

  2. I made a spaghetti sauce for super Tuesday of this week so i had the sauce already. Followed directions except added more cheeses and it was Amazing!!!! My husband and mom both agree, best baked spaghetti we have ever had. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  3. Oh lawdy this recipe is BOMB!! Per my family’s personal preferences I do half marinara and half Alfredo making more of a vodka sauce. I also added some larger pepperoni to the layers. Its definitely a hit, as the 2.5 yr old is on his 3rd helping and the 8yr old said “it’s so good I want some more but I’m stuffed”

  4. What modifications do I need to make it in a crockpot? Add the spaghetti uncooked? Make it in oven and spoon in crockpot just to keep warm?

  5. Another idea my 12 year old daughter had was to add mini pepperoni on top and it was actually great! I did half with pepperoni and half without . Everyone loved it!

  6. I loved the nostalgic feeling about this dish. However, this was just too much pasta for my personal taste and the appropriate sized dish, ha! It kind of diluted the yummy flavors I could tell were there! I do really appreciate that this dish doesn’t shy away from a healthy protein source like beef and healthy saturated fats as well.

    Next time, I will double the ground beef and half the pasta, and perhaps throw in an extra egg.

    1. Yes, you can just place it in the oven tightly covered with foil and cook for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. I usually like to sprinkle a bit of pasta sauce over it first to add some moisture back in. Good luck!

  7. I substituted plain Greek yogurt for the cottage cheese and it was so unbelievably delicious! Between 5 people there wasn’t any left! Thank you for this tasty recipe!

  8. If I’m prepping this 24 hours in advance, would I bake it or leave it for the next day? Thanks; I look forward to trying it!

  9. Can I use sour cream instead of cottage cheese or ricotta? I use it in a baked ziti for creaminess, so I thought it might work in this as well. If so, how much would you suggest, the same as the cottage cheese?

  10. A tasty, easy recipe, but it’s incredibly high in fat/saturated fat per serving. To help eliminate some of this, use a low-fat cottage cheese; it won’t change the flavor of the dish. Definitely eliminate the 5 tablespoons of butter as it’s totally unnecessary. Lastly, remove the eggs as they did nothing to help bind the spaghetti in my preparation. Changing those three things helps eliminate fat and calories.

  11. My kids don’t care for the cottage cheese, is there something I could substitute for it, or omit all together? It does look delicious.

  12. I never leave reviews for recipes, but I made this last night and had to say thank you! My entire family loved this, and that never happens! My youngest son has autism and is an extremely picky eater, but even he devoured this. My husband is still talking about it! I will admit that I’m not a fan of cottage cheese and was nervous about it, but it totally works in this. Thank you!

    1. This makes me so happy! I’m glad you loved it so much to want to come back and let me know, Lindsay.

      1. I do not cook or bake a lot but tonight I wanted to make a special dinner for my family… I’m SO GLAD I tried this recipe. SUPER simple, everybody was raving! I will be making this again soon. Thank you so much! 5?????

  13. “So this is what heaven tastes like” that’s a direct quote from 7-yr-old? needless to say, this was a hit. Thanks for a great, comfort food recipe!

  14. Hi- with the cottage cheese, am I just layering it or do I mix it in? Cottage cheese is intimidating me for some reason!!

    1. I have a very hard time getting my family to eat leftovers, but this baked spaghetti was gone the next day! This is definitely a keeper.

  15. This recipe was amazing! I loved the ingredients and the instructions. Dinner was amazing! I just need it to be a little more details in the instructions. Other than that it’s perfect!

  16. Made this tonight following the recipe except for the following: used ricotta and added a little oregano (personal preference). It was very good and we went back for seconds. I might add a little more meat next time – again personal preference. If you follow the recipe as written you will not be disappointed. It is also a tasty recipe for a potluck. I’ve saved the recipe in my “will make again” file.

  17. how do you view the video of the recipe you are cooking and viewing, instead of a video of “my other recipes “

    1. Check out my facebook page. There is a section with all of our videos and you can scroll through and select the specific ones you want to view. Hope this helps!

  18. Loved every bite of this cheesy, savory dish! Had nothing but smiling faces all around our dinner table; delish!

    1. Hi Sabrina, can you elaborate what I’m supposed to do with the butter and eggs for the pasta dish. I’m a little confused. Thanks.

        1. Anyone have issues with the eggs scrambling with the hot noodles when tossed? If so, does it taste okay once baked? Because that just happened. Noodles should probably cool before tossing?

          1. Oh no! You can definitely let the noodles cool before mixing it to avoid that happening.

  19. I have never tried baked spaghetti before but this looks so heavenly, I’ve got to give it a go. Thanks so much!

  20. I’ve really been craving comfort food lately and have been eating lots of casseroles and spaghetti – this recipe looks like the best of both worlds! Yum!

    1. Not sure how that got in the text, thanks for catching it. I did test it using provolone but ended up not including it in the recipe.

  21. Hi Sabrina–All I can say—is—you are one of the best and most-talented cooks on the internet–thank you so much for all the reicpes you share with us–I will give this baked spaghetti a try–it looks delicious–

    1. You could substitute with ricotta cheese but it offer a milder flavor and finer texture in the baked spaghetti. Enjoy!