Baked Spaghetti

Baked spaghetti is so much easier to prepare than lasagna.  It’s almost lasagna but with spaghetti noodles.  

Who likes boiling lasagna noodles?  It’s a big pain! Maybe it’s just me who despises large pots of boiling water.  

My daughter claimed she likes this dish better than lasagna.  Don’t get me wrong, I still make and EAT lasagna.  Just not very often.  

This recipe makes enough for an army, so either cut it in half or feed the army.  The leftovers freeze and reheat beautifully.  As a matter of fact, it’s even better the next day!

Recipe Ingredients

It’s very simple to put together.  

  • Spaghetti noodles
  • Italian sausage – Mild or hot it’s your choice. The seasonings in Italian sausage add an extra flavor boost.
  • Onion, garlic cloves, Italian seasoning, fresh parsley, and red pepper flakes – All used for that classic spaghetti sauce flavor.
  • Marinara – Homemade or store-bought.
  • Water – This is added to keep it moist while baking.
  • Eggs – Used as a binder just like in lasagna.
  • Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese

Tips

  • Salt the pasta water. Add at least a teaspoon of kosher salt.
  • Be sure to cook the spaghetti noodles al dente. You want them a little underdone because this dish is baked.
  • Shred your own cheese. Store-bought cheese is coated in cellulose and doesn’t melt as nicely.

Variations

Instead of Italian sausage try some of the following meat suggestions.

  • Ground beef
  • Ground turkey
  • Ground chicken
  • For a vegetarian or meatless version use mushrooms or even tofu.

How to Make Baked Spaghetti

Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Cook spaghetti according to the package instructions for al dente. Drain the pasta, and rinse with cold water.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

In a large skillet over medium heat. Slowly cook the sausage (or ground beef), breaking it up into smaller pieces. Cook until the sausage is cooked through, no longer pink anywhere, and lightly browned. Remove the sausage from the pan to a paper towel-lined dish.

Add the chopped onions to the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently until the onions become translucent. Add the minced garlic and red chili pepper flakes, and cook a minute more.

Add the marinara sauce and 1 cup of water to the pan with the onions. Add the sausage back, Italian seasoning, and chopped parsley. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to a very low simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or so while you prepare the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Boiled pasta noodles in a glass baking pan.

Place the cooled pasta in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil, then 2 beaten eggs. Place half of the spaghetti mixture in an even layer in a 9×13 baking dish.

Cover with half of the meat sauce. Then dot the sauce with half of the ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese). Sprinkle half of the parmesan over the ricotta layer and then half of the mozzarella cheese.

Ingredients layered in a glass baking dish.

Layer again with the remaining pasta, sauce, ricotta cheese, parmesan, and mozzarella.

Baked Spaghetti in a glass baking dish.

Cover with foil and bake for 40 min at 350°F. Remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes uncovered.

A serving of Baked Spaghetti on a cream colored plate.

Cover with foil and bake for 40 min at 350°F. Remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes uncovered until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

FAQ

Can I make baked spaghetti casserole ahead?

Yes, you can make this dish ahead, wrap it tightly, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Add about 10 minutes to the baking time.

What to serve with baked spaghetti?

A side salad and some Italian bread are always great served with this dish.

Storage

Let cool completely, covered tightly in the fridge for up to 3 days. The leftovers are a big hit too!

Freezing

Wrapped tightly, freeze for up to 3 months.

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Baked Spaghetti - A family favorite meal. Creamy, cheesy spaghetti casserole!

Baked Spaghetti Recipe

Creamy, cheesy baked spaghetti casserole! An easy meal for any night of the week.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Entree, Main Course, pasta
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: baked, casserole, creamy, simple, southern, spaghetti
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 455kcal
Author: Leigh Harris

Ingredients
 

  • 3/4 lb Thin Spaghetti
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cloves Garlic pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper flakes
  • 3 cups or 24 ounces of Marinara
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups Ricotta Cheese
  • 3 cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Instructions

  • Heat a large pot of water to boiling, add pasta and cook for 5 – 6 minutes, al dente. (it will continue to cook in the oven)
  • Drain the pasta, rinse with cold water.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • In a large sauté pan. Turn the heat on, to medium. Slowly cook the sausage, breaking it up into smaller pieces. Cook until the sausage is cooked through, no longer pink anywhere, and lightly browned. Remove the sausage from the pan to a paper towel-lined dish.
  • Drain most of the fat from the pan
  • Add the chopped onions to the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently until the onions become translucent. Add the minced garlic and red chili pepper flakes, and cook a minute more.
  • Add the marinara sauce and the 1 cup of water to the pan with the onions. Add the sausage back, Italian seasoning and chopped parsley. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to a very low simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or so while you prepare the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Place the cooled pasta in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil, then 2 beaten eggs.
  • Place half of the pasta in an even layer in the casserole dish.
  • Cover with half of the sauce. Then dot the sauce with half of the ricotta cheese. Sprinkle half of the parmesan over the ricotta layer and then half of the mozzarella. Layer again with the remaining pasta, sauce, parmesan, and mozzarella.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 40 min at 350°F. Remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes uncovered.
  • Remove from oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 946mg | Potassium: 471mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 957IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 337mg | Iron: 2mg

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