Baked Spaghetti Casserole
This Baked Spaghetti Casserole is a family favorite and so easy to make on a busy night.
Everyone will love the classic comfort of spaghetti – red meat sauce, warm spaghetti noodles, and lots and lots of gooey cheese – all layered together in a simple 9×13″ baking dish.
Baked SpaghettI: a Good Make-ahead dinner
Got a busy week?
Make this dish a day or two in advance, keep covered in the fridge, and pop it in the oven when it’s getting close to dinner time.
For this recipe, you start out with a package of spaghetti.
Recently our family made the switch to whole wheat pasta (which works great for this recipe!), but any kind of pasta will do.
You will also need 1 jar of your favorite meatless spaghetti sauce (I’ve been on a Prego kick lately, but any kind will work).
Ground Beef vs. Ground Turkey
I also used a lean ground beef in this recipe, but ground turkey will work perfectly as well. I have found that ground turkey can be subbed for ground beef in almost any recipe (this one included).
Another option would be using ground Italian sausage in place of the ground beef – I love using sausage when I make spaghetti and think that it would be delicious in this dish.
Cottage Cheese Substitute (Ricotta Cheese)
Many of our readers have asked what they can use in place of cottage cheese in this recipe.
I like using cottage cheese in this recipe because of the extra moisture that it provides, but many of our readers have done a swap with ricotta cheese and LOVED the outcome.
I also like using cottage cheese because it has fewer calories and it is usually an ingredient I always have in my fridge.
However, I love ricotta cheese in lasagna and feel that it would be a great substitute in this dish. If you try it, please leave a comment below and let us know how it worked!
related recipe: love baked pasta? Try our Million Dollar Casserole, too!
Other add-ins for this Baked Spaghetti recipe (mix it up!):
- green bell pepper pepper
- chopped spinach
- frozen peas
- red onion
- pepperoni slices
- black olives
- red bell pepper
- cooked chicken and alfredo sauce in place of the spaghetti sauce and ground beef
How to Bake Spaghetti Casserole and Freeze
If you want to make this dish as a freezer meal, make sure that you use a freezer-safe dish and follow all of the same directions until it says to bake the casserole.
At that point, make sure that you top the dish with foil (or the included lid – you just want to keep it from getting freezer burned) and place it in the freezer.
I would recommend that you eat the dish within 30 days.
When you are ready to bake the casserole, remove it from the freezer 24 hours in advance and place it in the fridge to thaw (otherwise you are going to have to add 1-2 hours to your baking time and you might end up with some overcooked noodles).
You can then just follow the regular baking directions and your family and friends will rave about the delicious meal you prepared.
Perfect side dishes for Baked Spaghetti:
- Italian Green Salad
- Twisted Cheese Breadsticks
- Marinated Italian Vegetables
- Homemade French Bread
- Parmesan Peas
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