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This Easy Baked Spaghetti is a one-pan meal that’s always a hit at the supper table or at a covered dish supper. With a creamy, cheesy center, and a meaty sauce, this pasta casserole is comfort food taken to a whole new level!
When you’ve got a big casserole dish, loaded with perfectly cooked pasta that’s been tossed in cream cheese, then topped with more cheese and a meat sauce that tastes like it’s been cooking for hours, well, you’ve got something special.
When I developed this recipe, I took all the traditional ingredients of a spaghetti dinner and baked lasagna and added them together. The results are absolute “out of this world” so, now you know how I came up with the name!
To pull this recipe together I start by making the sauce. I use a little shortcut here because it’s such a time saver. I use a jarred Mariana sauce and mix it with cooked ground beef and onions. Then, I let it simmer a bit to bring all the flavors together for a true home-cooked taste.
While my sauce is bubbling away, I cook the pasta and make the cheese layer. I blend cottage cheese, Parmesan, and one egg together to make a creamy mixture that will melt into the pasta. That layer right there is what makes this easy-baked spaghetti so special.
Whenever I serve it, my normal lively, noisy table conversation gets quiet and the only sounds are oohhs and aahhs. I’m not kidding. This is a dish that is so comforting and so satisfying.
I make this casserole in a 9×13 dish. The recipe makes enough for 12 people if you’re serving a salad and bread along with your meal. If not, and you’re feeding a bunch of hungry folks, then you can easily get 8 servings. An added bonus to this out of this world dish is that it freezes well.
Just assemble it per the instructions, then instead of baking it in the oven, just wrap it up and freeze it. When you want to serve it, take it out of the freezer and let it thaw 24 hours prior to baking. I’ve often divided the recipe into two portions, cooking one and freezing one. This is a great way to stretch your budget and stock your fridge!
I could go on and on about how good this easy-baked spaghetti is, but the real proof is in the taste. All I can say with that is, get ready to savor the best, over the top, out of this world, baked spaghetti ever. Enjoy!
More Recipes You’ll Love…
- Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- Spaghetti Salad
- Out of This World Rotel Chicken Spaghetti
- Skillet Chicken Spaghetti
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small to medium onion – chopped
- 1 24 oz jar Marinara sauce – I use Rao’s
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese – grated
- 1 egg
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 8 oz cream cheese
- 2 cups Mozzarella cheese – grated
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium size skillet, cook ground beef and onion until done. Drain off fat. Pour Mariana sauce over meat and mix well.
- In a large pot, cook spaghetti according to package directions. When done, drain. Add cream cheese and mix well, coating all spaghetti.
- Mix together, in a medium size bowl, cottage cheese, ½ cup Parmesan cheese and egg.
- To build baked spaghetti, place approximately ½ cup of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish. Place half of spaghetti on top of meat mixture smoothing to the edges of casserole dish. Layer on cottage cheese mixture, covering all of spaghetti. Layer remaining spaghetti over cheese. Spoon remaining meat mixture over all layers. Top with Mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle on ½ cup of Parmesan cheese and bake for additional 15 minutes until cheese is golden brown. Remove from and allow to reset 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.
I made this last week and followed the recipe exactly, except for I use ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese. It was delicious and the entire pan got devoured. This week I thought I was making the same recipe but I forgot the cream cheese and it is not as good. I also baked it twice as long because I got mixed up with another recipe so for the others out there the cream cheese makes this recipe pop with creamy cheesiness!
Do you use the powder grated parmesan cheese in the green jar that’s located in dry grocery or do you use the refrigerated cheese in a bag
Just use whatever you have or you like.
This recipe is our go too for spaghetti night. It’s so good. I add garlic and Italian Seasoning to the meat. and I use half of the cream cheese.
Making this for my hubby as requested for his birthday meal. The family loves it and I love how easy it is! Thank you!
I’m also a southern soul, born and raised in Hampton SC, but my father was German, so we had some interesting dishes over the years. I’m going to make the baked spaghetti today. It’s really cold here in VA today so it sounds good. Thanks for your wonderful recipes.
Thanks for your kind comment and the terrific rating! Welcome to the Southern Soul family.
Robin S Johnson
It is “Out Of This World Spaghetti”. I made this recipe for 48 hungry Masons. They loved it!
Thanks so much for the great comment and the terrific rating!
Loved it, and making it again!,,
Awesome and thanks for the terrific rating!
This recipe is delicious and satisfying.
My husband and i enjoyed it.
Awesome and thanks for the terrific rating!
This is an easy recipe and everyone loved it! Thank you so much for sharing!
Thanks so much, Deb. I really appreciate the excellent rating!
My son had a school function tonight in which I needed to feed about 20 teenage boys, so I went on the search a few weeks ago for meals to feed a crowd and I landed on this one. I ended up making 3 pans worth (plus an extra pan with everything but the cottage cheese mix) and the boys devoured it. Many went back for 2nds, some 3rds & one even told me he went back 4 times. My son even asked me why I hadn’t made this at home before, so now I have a new meal to add to my menu at home. Thanks for making this night a success!
Hey there Lisa!
My goodness, I am so happy to hear that this dish was a hit, it’s definitely perfect for feeding a crowd! When my son was in High School, this was one of the meals I also used to prepare anytime he brought home a huge crowd of hungry teenage boys, it’s always a hit. Like you said, it’s perfect for family dinners and weeknight meals, it’s also super freezer-friendly and you can prepare it ahead of time then bake when you’re ready. Thank you so much for your kind words and your phenomenal rating, I really appreciate your support! I hope y’all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, happy Holidays!
It was very good however the sauce seemed to evaporate while baking. I even used a 32 oz jar of sauce instead of the 24 oz in the recipe. Next time I’ll be sure to use alot more sauce
Hey there Amy!
Thank you so much for your interest in this recipe and for your wonderful rating, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this recipe! Cooking is all about making recipes fit your own tastes and preferences, so adding more sauce next time sounds like a great idea to me! I really appreciate all your support, let me know if you ever have any questions, I’m always happy to help!
This is so delicious that I am making for the second time this month. I refuse to eat left over spaghetti but this I can eat left over and it tastes even better the second day!
Hey there Teresa!
Wow! I am thrilled to hear that you’ve been enjoying this recipe! I totally agree with you that this Baked Spaghetti makes wonderful leftovers, it’s a great meal for hectic weeks and super easy to make. Since you enjoyed this recipe, you should check out my Out of This World Rotel Chicken Spaghetti, it’s just as quick to prepare and the flavors are incredible. Thank you so much for your kind words of support and your wonderful rating, let me know if you ever have any questions about a recipe, I’d be happy to help!
Thank you so much! My granddaughter & family are coming for a visit. I think they will love your recipe! I will let you know.
Can I prepare baked spaghetti day before and hold in the refrigerator until next day?
Hey there Linda!
Thank you so much for your interest in this recipe, that’s a great question! You can absolutely prepare this recipe ahead of time, just follow the instructions in the recipe card until you get to the baking part, then simply cover it with tinfoil and store in the fridge until you’re ready to bake! I really hope you enjoy the recipe, let me know how everything turns out!
Can this be frozen?
Hey there Lenetta!
Thank you so much for your interest in this recipe, that’s a great question! The answer is yes, this dish is absolutely freezer-friendly! Just assemble it per the instructions, then instead of baking it in the oven, just wrap it up and freeze it. When you want to serve it, take it out of the freezer and let it thaw 24 hours prior to baking. I’ve often divided the recipe into two portions, cooking one and freezing one. This is a great way to stretch your budget and stock your fridge! I hope this helps, let me know how you like the recipe!
Do you thaw it in the fridge?
Absolutely delicious recipe for a crowd – everyone loved it and asked for the recipe. The only changes I made were using ricotta instead of cottage cheese and adding garlic to the meat while sautéing. We’ll definitely be eating this again soon!
Hey there Mary!
WOW! Thank you so much for your kind words and this phenomenal rating! I am thrilled to hear that everyone enjoyed this recipe, I completely agree that this dish is perfect for feeding a crowd. It sounds like you made a delicious meal, with some tasty additions, I like to add garlic sometimes as well. Thank you so much for your support, it means the world. If you ever have any questions about a recipe, please feel free to reach out!
My family loved this dish.I my self don’t care for cream cheese but this dish was out of this world packed with some much flavor one thing I should have done though was baked it a little longer ty
Hey there Kelly!
Wow! Thank you so much, I am so thrilled to hear that you and your family enjoyed this recipe. It’s such an easy-to-make weeknight meal, what’s not to love. If you liked this recipe, you should check out my Creamy Chicken Casserole recipe, it’s just as easy to make and it’s a terrific make-ahead dish. Thank you for your phenomenal rating and your kind words of support, if you ever have any questions about a recipe please feel free to reach out!
I left out cottage cheese and added peppers, mushrooms, garlic and spinach. Everyone loved it!
Hey there Julia!
So glad to hear everyone enjoyed this, I bet adding the extra veggies was delicious! Thank you so very much for your phenomenal rating, if you ever have any questions about a recipe don’t hesitate to ask!
Omg!!!! We have tried so many baked spaghetti recipes. Our search is over. Only thing we did different was use homemade sauce. This was amazing
I’m so thrilled y’all enjoyed this recipe! Using your own marinara sounds like a really nice touch, great way to make the recipe your own. Thank you so much for your rating and your support!
This sounds great– Question – can this be frozen before and/after- Only me in HH and want some good healthy recipes to make & freeze. Still love to cook- and need recipes to fill my freezer and this one sounds great- mine never turned out good before- My son comes by at times and I would love to surprise him with this. Thank you
That’s a great question! You can absolutely freeze it, I recommend in an airtight container. I really hope you and your son enjoy this recipe, it’s definitely a favorite in my house! Let me know how it goes!
This sounds absolutely delicious! I love baked spaghetti. I’m obsessed with reading through directions before I start a recipe and needed to know… do I layer just 1/2 cup of the meat sauce initially or should it be 1/2 of the entire meat sauce ? Thanks. I can’t wait to try this recipe
Thank you so much for your interest and support, that’s a great question! It’s half a cup of the sauce at the bottom of your pan when you begin layering, then half your spaghetti, then your cottage cheese mixture, then the rest of your spaghetti and sauce. I hope you like this recipe! Let me know how it goes!
Delicious! Has anyone tried freezing it before cooking?
Thank you so much for your fantastic rating! I haven’t personally tried freezing it before cooking but I’m sure it would work well. I would just make sure that it’s in an air tight container. Let me know how it goes!
Oh my GOODNESS 😍 This an absolute favorite dish of mine. I am ridiculously thankful that you decided to share this recipe with the rest of the world!
Hey there Ashley!
Oh my goodness! Thank you so much, I am thrilled to hear that you’ve enjoyed this recipe! It’s a favorite weeknight meal in my house so I am really glad that you’re enjoying it as well. Thank you so much for your fantastic rating and your kind words, you’ve made my day! If you ever have any questions about a recipe please don’t hesitate to reach out!
This is an outstanding recipe. It’s truly Yummy good! 😋
Hey there Deborah!
Thank you so much for your rating and your kind comment! I really appreciate your support!
My whole family loved this! I definitely will be making again but next time with a larger jar of sauce as it was a bit dry for our liking.
This dish is so good my friends couldn’t believe that I made it! I love it when the wives of my friends wanted the recipe! I tweeked it a bit using a little more cottage cheese and parmesan adding a little cheddar cheese to the top. I use ragu simply cause I love the taste. In fact, making it again tonight. Thanks so much sharing your culinary skills with me and helping me impress my friends.
I liked the flavor but it was too dry. Needs more sauce. Next time I’ll use a larger jar.
Even better than expected!!!! Super easy if directions are followed. I made for movie night today and WOW!!!! My 11 year old daughter got 3rds and she never eats 3rds of anything. Thank you thank you!
I made this last night, husband went for seconds! Just the 2 of us, going to eat leftovers tonight… it was that good! Thank you.
I love a good recipe that makes leftovers.
I hope you have a wonderful day.
SERIOUSLY GOOD PEOPLE!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!! If this was a man…just kidding.,but seriously. Very tasty and easy to make. Of course, I had to add my own touches. So I used 1\2 pound of mild Italian sausage along with a pound of meat. I added saute’d onion and green bell pepper “chopped” and my own Italian seasonings. AND…instead of adding cream cheese, I just added more parmesan to the pasta to coat the pasta. Then, I mixed one egg and coated the noodles with that. And then…I baked it for 45 minutes and I removed the foil that I had placed over the dish before baking it, and cooked it 25 more minutes. And…enjoy 🙂
Love your changes Annie! Thank you so much for the rating. I’m doing a happy day over here.
Have a wonderful day,
My family loved this. My husband and kids wolfed it down. I’m a vegetarian, so I didn’t have any. But, In the near future, I hope to make a vegetarian version. I added some Italian seasoning and a package of sliced fresh portabella mushrooms. I made a mistake and accidentally mixed my spaghetti with the cream cheese and the cottage cheese layer, it still turned out just fine!
I made this with ground italian sausage. Everybody LOVED it!!! Thanks for a new family favorite!!
This was so good and very flaverful. We used ricotta instead of cottage cheese. We will be making this a lot thanks for sharing!
I made this wonderful recipe last night. I loved it going to take it now to share with friends. This is the perfect bring u close meal for the times we are now in. Of course I double the recipe which was simple ? Thank you for I look forward to making many more of your recipes.
So sad I didn’t read the comments before I made it. I don’t like cottage cheese and meant to use ricotta. ;-(
I hope you’ll give the recipe another try and switch out the cottage cheese for ricotta.
Have a great day,
Its coming along nicely. And I think I like the cottage cheese. Wonderful recipe, thank you!
I am thrilled to hear it turned out well, and I am so glad you ended up liking it with the cottage cheese! I hope you make it again, and if you try it with the ricotta let me know how it goes! I hope you have a great day!
There should not have been any difference in the flavor at all.
Thanks so much for your great rating, I appreciate it! I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe, and you’re right there shouldn’t be a real difference in flavor if you substitute the cottage cheese for ricotta. Have a great day!
Donya, I love how kindly you respond to people who “change” the recipe or add or subtract some ingredients. I admire you and love your dishes.
Hey there Evelyn!
You are so sweet thank you so much! I’ve always thought about recipes as something to find inspiration from. When you cook it’s either for yourself or the people you love, and either way you have to make food the way you want to eat it. I share with y’all the way I like to make these dishes, but it’s important to tweak the recipe to fit your own tastes. Thank you so very much for this kind comment, it truly warmed my heart to read, I appreciate your support. I hope you’re having a great summer!
Can this dish be frozen? If so, do the cooking directions change?
Hey there Richella!
Thank you so much for your interest in this recipe, that’s a terrific question! Yes, this dish is absolutely freezer-friendly! You’ll want to prepare the recipe exactly as stated in the directions, but instead of placing it in the oven to bake, simply wrap it up so it’s airtight and then freeze it. To bake or reheat the dish, bake it for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees. I hope this is helpful, let me know how everything turns out if you give it a try, I’d love to hear what you think!
It was a hit with the family. Made it for Christmas Eve dinner. I’m always looking for recipes that don’t keep me in the kitchen while everyone is visiting in the living room. Put it together the day before and refrigerated it. served with salad and hot rolls. Lots of compliments, even the littlest one loved it.
I made this for dinner tonight, and OMG it is truly OUT of this world with delicious flavor. Thanks so much for posting.
You are welcome, Toni! I’m so glad you liked it.
Have a great day,
How can I halve this recipe? It’s only me I’m cooking for and don’t like freezing food.
Hey Lisa, you sure can! Just measure out everything for half the recipes and it should turn out beautifully. Enjoy!~
Thank you! Should I still use a 13×9 pan or a smaller one? I want it to come out thick like the picture.
Hey Lisa. I’d use a square 8×8 inch dish. If you don’t have one at home, you could buy a metal one from the grocery. You’ll get a deep layered turn out that way.
Hope this helps,
Thanks so much for replying, Donya! It looks and sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try it!
George V V
I made this it was awesome,
The flavors marry over night, I did split the ground beef with half the amount
Using Italian sweet sausage casings removed
I love this! Thanks for the great rating.
Have a good day,
This would be an amazing dinner any night of the week!
Oh my gosh!! So good! I did substitute ricotta cheese for the cottage cheese because we don’t like cottage cheese, other than that made exactly as written. We loved it! Will make this regularly.
Thanks so much for letting me know! I love your substitution. I am just ticked you loved the recipe.
It was inhaled….it was that good!!!
Do you have a particular brand of marinara sauce you use? It can make all the difference in taste.
I use Raos sauce. I love them!
We made this for supper tonight!! It was wonderful! Thank you for sharing the recipe!
Made this for Dinner today it was delicious but next time I’m going to use 2 lbs of hamburger and 2 24 oz of spaghetti sauce.
Awesome recipe. I made some changes. I didn’t use spaghetti. I used rigatoni. Changed cottage cheese to ricotta. I didn’t cook the pasta to time. I did about 2/12 minutes less. In the ricotta mix I used fresh basil. Seasoned to taste the meat sauce. A little pesto in the cream cheese/ pasta mixture. Parmesan and parsley the last step and it was amazing
Let me just say, that sounds absolutely delicious! I’m glad you made the recipe your own, that’s what cooking is all about after all. Thank you so much for your fantastic rating, I am thrilled you liked the recipe!
Well this just sounds so creamy and yummy… I’m going to make this tomorrow !! Thank You for sharing it.