Baked Spaghetti – Cheesy and creamy pasta baked in a delicious meat sauce. Less than 10 ingredients and only 45 minutes to make!
This cheesy baked spaghetti is one of my favorite freezer meals. It’s super simple and perfect for busy weeknights. I also love chicken broccoli rice casserole, green chile enchiladas, Mexican lasagna and chicken pot pie.
Baked spaghetti casserole
If you’re looking for an easy and delicious comfort meal, this baked spaghetti (also known as spaghetti casserole) is perfect for you. It has 4 different kinds of cheese inside and is coated in a flavorful pasta sauce. It’s similar to lasagna but with thin spaghetti noodles. Talk about delicious!
Baked spaghetti is the perfect meal for family gatherings or to bring someone when they need a meal. We also make this occasionally when we have guests over. It makes a lot!
My whole family loves this baked spaghetti recipe and requests it again and again. It’s definitely one of my kid’s favorite meals. We love serving this spaghetti with a big salad and homemade garlic bread.
How to make baked spaghetti
Step 1: Brown the ground beef
Add hamburger to a large pan and heat over medium-high heat. Break apart with a spoon, then add in onions. Cook until they become soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Then add garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. Cook meat until browned. S&P to taste, then add in Italian seasoning.
Step 2: Add sauce and simmer
Add in spaghetti sauce and let simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.
Step 3: Cook the noodles
Cook spaghetti noodles about 6 minutes, or until al dente. Do not overcook. Reserve 1 cup of water for pasta sauce and then drain. Add up to 1/2-1 cup of the water to the red sauce.
Step 4: Mix in remaining ingredients
Once noodles are drained, add in the cream cheese and toss together. Once it begins to melt, add in the cottage cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese. Then toss together with the sauce. Then press into a greased 9×13″ pan.
Step 5: Bake the spaghetti casserole
Add remaining mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and parmesan to the top of the casserole if desired. Then bake in the oven at 350°F for 30-40 minutes.
Can I freeze spaghetti casserole?
This baked spaghetti recipe makes a lot, so most of the time I will freeze half of the spaghetti (before baking) to save for a busy day. Follow the simple instructions below to freeze and then thaw.
Do not bake. Combine the sauce and noodles and then allow to cool completely. Once cooled, add to a freezer container and top with remaining cheese. Label with the date (I love these freezer labels), then store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Remove spaghetti casserole from freezer and place in refrigerator. Let thaw overnight, then cook in the oven at 350°F for 30-40 minutes.
More pasta dishes:
- Easy Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
- Creamy Baked Caprese Pasta
- Cheesy Baked Ziti
- Cheesy Baked Ravioli
- Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Baked Spaghetti Recipe
- 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey , or Italian sausage
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2-3 cloves garlic , minced
- 24 ounce jar marinara or spaghetti sauce
- 12 ounces thin spaghetti noodles
- 4 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese , can sub ricotta cheese or sour cream
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese , divided
- 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Optional: Fresh basil, S&P, Italian seasoning
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
- Add hamburger to a large pan and heat over medium-high heat. Break apart with a spoon. Add onions and cook until they become soft (about 3-5 min). Then add garlic and cook a minute longer. Cook meat until browned. Salt and pepper to taste. Add in a teaspoon of Italian seasoning if desired.
- Add in spaghetti sauce and let simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.
- Cook spaghetti noodles al dente, about 6 minutes. Do not overcook. Reserve 1 cup of water for pasta sauce and then drain. Add up to 1/2-1 cup of the water to the red sauce.
- When the noodles are drained, add in the cream cheese and toss together. Once it has started to melt, add in the cottage cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese. Then toss together with the sauce. Then press into the pan.
- Add remaining mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and parmesan to the top if desired.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes.
- For a thinner sauce, add in 1/2 cup of the pasta water before simmering.
- To freeze: Do not bake. Combine sauce and noodles and then cool completely. Then add to a freezer container and top with remaining cheese. Label with the date, then store in freezer for up to 3 months.
- To thaw: Let thaw in the fridge overnight, then cook in the oven according to directions.