Out Of This World 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. I’ve been making my version of baked spaghetti for years for my family, taken it to numerous covered dish suppers, and shared it with friends when they need a little TLC.
When I was developing this recipe, I took all the traditional ingredients of a spaghetti dinner and of baked lasagna and added them together. The results are absolutely “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 short cut 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 when it’s cooked. That layer right there is what makes this baked spaghetti so special. It’s funny, 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 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 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!
- 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, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and egg.
- To build baked spaghetti, place approximately 1/2 cup of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 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 1/2 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.
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