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Baked Spaghetti Casserole – A Delicious Twist On A Classic Recipe

This Baked Spaghetti Casserole recipe has become one of my favorite weeknight meals. Spaghetti noodles tossed in a meat based pasta sauce and then placed in a baking dish and topped with cheese.

Then it is placed in the oven and baked until the cheese is melted and the casserole is hot and bubbly.

Best of all, it can be made ahead of time and baked whenever you need a delicious meal on a busy weeknight.

Although many recipes include cream cheese, ricotta cheese or even cottage cheese, sometimes you need to keep things simple and that is exactly what this recipe does!

baked spaghetti casserole
Baked Spaghetti Casserole served with garden salad. The perfect, easy to make, weeknight meal.

Baked Spaghetti Casserole Recipe

INGREDIENTS

Spaghetti noodles
Ground beef
Onion, diced
Garlic, minced
Dried Italian Seasoning
Salt
Pasta sauce
Diced tomatoes
Fresh parsley
Mozzarella cheese
Fresh parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

The first step in making this baked spaghetti casserole is to fill a large pot of water with 5-6 quarts of water and place it over medium-high heat.

Then, while you wait for the water to come to a boil, preheat the oven and spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Once the water is at a rapid boil, add the spaghetti noodles and a little salt to the pot. Then cook the pasta according to the package directions to one minute shy of al dente consistency. Drain and set aside.

spaghetti noodles
Cook the spaghetti noodles to al dente consistency. The noodles will continue to become tender when baked.

While the pasta is cooking place a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot add the ground beef and cook until half of the meat is no longer pink.

Then add the diced onion and garlic, and continue to cook until the meat is cooked through. Be sure to break up the meat so that it when it is finished cooking it is in small crumbles.

Drain the meat mixture and then return it to the skillet. Then add the dried Italian seasoning, salt, pasta sauce, and tomatoes to the meat mixture.

Bring the meat sauce to a low simmer for 5-10 minutes. Keep the skillet uncovered and stir frequently to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom.

Then add the cooked spaghetti noodles and parsley to the skillet and toss to coat the noodles with the meat sauce.

Once the noodles are coated, place them into the prepared baking pan. Spread them out evenly in the pan and then top the spaghetti noodles with both the Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

meat sauce
Bring the meat and tomato mixture to a simmer until it thickens a bit.

Cooking Time

Place the spaghetti casserole in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. The casserole should be bubbly around the sides and the cheese should be melted and lightly brown.

Once the baked spaghetti casserole is cooked, carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and let it sit for 3-4 minutes before serving.

Although you could use a spoon to scoop out a portion of the casserole, I prefer to cut it into squares to serve.

Enjoy! Mary

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make Baked Spaghetti Casserole ahead of time?

This is a great recipe that you can make 2-3 days days ahead of time. Simply add everything to the baking pan, cover and place in the refrigerator. Be sure to bring the dish to room temperature before adding it in the hot oven to prevent the dish from cracking or breaking.

Can I make this a freezer meal?

Although pasta typically doesn’t do well when placed in the freezer, this casserole holds up better in the freezer than many other recipes. However, I would recommend cooking the pasta 2-3 minutes short of al dente consistency before assembling the casserole. Then pull it out of the freezer and let it thaw before baking.

How do I store the leftovers?

Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also freeze the leftovers. However, you may want to consider storing in individual portion sizes for a quick, ready to eat meal whenever you need one.

How do I reheat leftovers?

The best way to reheat leftovers is to place a serving of the baked spaghetti casserole in a large shallow bowl. Then add 1/2 teaspoon of water to the dish and microwave on medium power for 3-4 minutes, stirring half way through the cook time.

baked spaghetti casserole
Take the casserole out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

What To Serve With Baked Spaghetti Casserole

Although this casserole can be a stand alone meal all in itself, here are some other dishes that go well with this delicious meal:

Other Easy To Make Weeknight Dinner Meals

If you looking for other easy to make dinner recipes, check out some of my favorites below.

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Yield: 8 Servings

Easy Baked Spaghetti Recipe

baked spaghetti casserole

Spaghetti noodles tossed with pasta sauce and meat and then topped with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and baked until hot and bubbly.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. spaghetti noodles
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups pasta sauce
  • 14.5 ounce diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1/3 cup fresh parmesan cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook pasta according to the package directions to al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the ground beef and cook until half of the meat is no longer pink. Then add the diced onion and garlic, and continue to cook until the meat is cooked through. Drain and return to the skillet.
  4. Add Italian seasoning, salt, pasta sauce, and tomatoes to the meat mixture. Simmer 5-10 minutes uncovered. Stir in spaghetti and parsley.
  5. Spread into a greased 9x13 pan and top with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is browned and bubbly.
  6. Remove from the oven and let sit 3-4 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

Notes

Recipe provided by Make Your Meals

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 396Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 1012mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 27g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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