Baked Spaghetti is hearty and family friendly with a crispy cheesy top layer and ground beef filling that your kids will ask for every week!
This Italian Dinner is a more classic version of baked spaghetti, it costs less than our Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti (just kidding, we don’t use cream cheese in this version) and is easier to make than Ultimate Meat Lasagna.
Baked Spaghetti is the perfect make ahead meal for parents. After you try this recipe, if your kids could vote on dinner every night, you’ll be serving this 4 days a week. And when you do serve it you can even take it from the freezer!
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. 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).
Serve Baked Spaghetti with Garlic Bread, a traditional favorite, and the perfect way to scoop up extra sauce. Try this Italian Salad Dressing drizzled on garlic bread to give it an extra kick .Add some Roasted Green Beans to the mix and roast them alongside the baking noodles. A great way to end a rich dinner is with a light, fluffy Angel Food Cake.
If you love more classic meals in your dinner 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 readers 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!
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.
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 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.
How to Store Baked Spaghetti
- Serve: You can leave the baked spaghetti out after serving for no longer than 2 hours.
- Store: Store Baked Spaghetti, covered tightly, in a fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freeze: Wrapped well, you can freeze Baked Spaghetti for 3 months.
- 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 9×13 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.
Photos used in a previous version of this post.