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Baked Spaghetti

Updated on February 21, 2014
Baked Spaghetti
Baked Spaghetti | Source

Spaghetti

Have you ever tried baked spaghetti? At our house, one of our favorite great American recipes is spaghetti. What’s that – you thought spaghetti was Italian? Okay, I’ll say it’s an Italian-American recipe. I think my husband could eat spaghetti or similar dishes just about every day. I make several different versions of the dish, but this is definitely one of my preferred methods. In fact, I think it might be my favorite. I think I like it because everything “sticks together” better. You don’t have to chase the pasta all over your plate, and the cheese is nicely melted, soft, and gooey. And when you’re cooking for kids, you’ll find that baked spaghetti is much easier for them to eat because when you cut the spaghetti casserole with a serving spoon to serve it, it breaks the long noodles into more manageable lengths. Next time you’re craving a hearty pasta dish with homemade spaghetti sauce, give my baked spaghetti a try!

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce | Source

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Although some commercially prepared spaghetti sauce is pretty good, I like mine a lot better. Homemade spaghetti sauce is fairly easy to make, especially if you use canned tomato products. When we used to grow a lot of tomatoes in our garden, I made homemade spaghetti sauce from scratch with fresh tomatoes. That’s the best spaghetti sauce ever, but it’s a lot of work!

If you don’t have any fresh basil, use dried instead, but use only one-third as much because the dried version is more concentrated. Also, I like a sweet spaghetti sauce, but if you don’t, omit the sugar. An Italian pal of mine once told me that adding a little sugar to spaghetti sauce is an old Italian tradition. I have no way of knowing if that’s true or not, but I do like the taste.

You might also want to add other ingredients to your homemade spaghetti sauce, like Italian sausage, bay leaf, mushrooms, bell pepper, black olives, green olives, anchovy paste, and/or pepperoni. I use a lot of cheese in this recipe, but you might prefer to use less. You might also want to use more or less garlic.

When I’m making homemade spaghetti sauce for my baked spaghetti recipe, I make it a little thinner than I do for my traditional spaghetti. For the latter, I like the sauce to be thick enough to stand a spoon, but I don’t want it that thick for baked spaghetti because the heat from the oven will thicken the sauce somewhat. Also, a slightly thinner spaghetti sauce will keep the noodles from drying out.

Baked Spaghetti

Baked spaghetti makes a wonderful entrée. Some people refer to it as baked spaghetti casserole. I guess that’s because it’s cooked in a casserole dish, and I suppose it does qualify as a casserole. For a complete meal that covers all the major food groups, all you really need to add is a tossed salad. The baked spaghetti recipe has the bread group, the meat group, and the dairy group covered, all by itself. Something else I really like about baked spaghetti is that I can make it ahead of time and bake it just before we’re ready for dinner. If you want to do that, just cover the put-together casserole tightly with aluminum foil or plastic food wrap and keep it in the fridge.

Baked spaghetti is also good warmed up the next day. I leave any leftover spaghetti in the casserole dish and cover it with two or three thicknesses of damp paper towels. I then cover the whole dish tightly with foil or plastic food wrap. You can warm the leftovers in the oven, but it’s better to do it in the microwave because the microwave won’t dry out the spaghetti.

Baked Spaghetti Casserole
Baked Spaghetti Casserole | Source

Baked Spaghetti Recipe

This baked spaghetti recipe makes a lot of spaghetti. I make it in two separate dishes, and I often send one home with my daughter when she stops by my house after work. I enjoy making and sharing food with my family and friends, and she enjoys not having to cook after working a ten or eleven-hour day as a nurse. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.


Rate my baked spaghetti recipe. Thanks!

5 stars from 1 rating of Baked Spaghetti

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 50 min
Yields: Makes about ten servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 8 serving size box spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 28-ounce can Hunt's crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • salt, to taste
  • 4 cups (or more) shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef and onions until meat is just done. Drain and set aside. Crumble meat.
  2. Sauté fresh basil, fresh parsley, and garlic in beef drippings for one minute. Use a slotted or pierced spoon to remove.
  3. Cook spaghetti in salted water and olive oil, according to directions on box. Cook at the least amount of time the directions suggest.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Combine all remaining ingredients, except for the mozzarella cheese, in a large bowl. Stir in crumbled ground beef and onion. Add the sautéed herbs.
  5. When pasta is done, drain it well. Pour pasta into two baking dishes. I use a 13 x 9 dish and a smaller dish. Cover the pasta with the sauce. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or so, until cheese has melted and spaghetti casserole is slightly firm. For a real feast, serve garlic bread, a green salad, fresh fruit, and a nice glass of red wine with your baked spaghetti.

Comments

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    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Reprieve, that's great! Thanks for letting me know!!

    • Reprieve26 profile image

      Reprieve26 5 years ago from Oregon Coast

      Hey! I just wanted to let you know that I tried this recipe last week-- only I substituted lots of veggies for the beef. It turned out great! It even got my room mate's stamp of approval! Thanks for sharing!! :)

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      You're more than welcome, PDX!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      habee, thanks for checking out my taco recipe!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Adrienne, I often make this spaghetti with veggie crumbles, and hubby can't even tell the difference!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Simone, I must admit, it's pretty darn yummy! lol

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Random, glad you stopped by a look-see!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Reprieve, try using textured soy crumbles instead of ground beef!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Planter, that sounds great! Thanks!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      drbj, sometimes I add a layer of ricotta, and then the baked spaghetti really IS a lot like lasagna!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, PDX. Now I have to check out your tacos!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Myawn, thanks for visiting!

    • adrienne2 profile image

      Adrienne F Manson 5 years ago from Atlanta

      Hi Habee, I feel like the odd lady out most people here I notice are familiar with baked spaghetti. This is the first time I have heard of the dish. It looks very good. I am going to try it have to just sub the ground beef with my veggie crumbles. I am sure it still will be just as delicious. Guess what I am booking this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Lizzy, my mom used to do the same thing! Prolly where I got the idea. lol

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Susan, I use cheddar when I don't have any mozzarella, but I really prefer Italian cheeses with most pastas. Thanks!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Wmod, I really hope you enjoy it!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Mary. Sorry, I'm just getting to these comments. The weather here right now is awful - tornadoes all around us!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, this looks incredible and I bet it tastes even better!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      This look delicious and easy! Perfect for colder weather. Thanks for sharing another great recipe!

    • Reprieve26 profile image

      Reprieve26 5 years ago from Oregon Coast

      This sounds really good. I'm going to have to try this (only I'll swap out the beef for lots of veggies)! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • profile image

      seedplanter 5 years ago

      This recipe reminds me of one my mom used to make, only hers was called "More". Just add corn, peas, and olives. Oh, and about a half lb. of cooked sweet Italian sausage with a little lean ground beef.

      Great hub!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Me, too, Holle, I hate spaghetti that slides and slithers all over the plate. Your baked spaghetti looks as delicious as lasagna which is one of my favorite foods - after brownies and chocolate, that is. Actually, I would eat it BEFORE the brownies and chocolate. Grazie for this Americano-Italiano recipe.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      An interesting take on a traditional recipe. Reminds me of my hub on gringo tacos. I'm going to have to make this. it looks delicious. Thanks for sharing.^ and useful

    • myawn profile image

      myawn 5 years ago from Florida

      I have had many plates of spaghetti but never baked i will try it this way looks yummy.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Hmmmmmm.....this reminds me of my childhood.....

      My mother would make spaghetti, the "normal" way...but leftovers would be re-heated in the oven, as that was way before we had microwave ovens....so baked spaghetti, indeed...I am familiar. ...Thanks for reminding me of this!

      Voted up.

    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 5 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Habee, this sounds fantastic. Ever put in a touch of Cinnamon? I do mine very very differently and for some reason or other never tried it this way. I'm printing this out so I can take it with me the next time I do my grocery shopping. Thanks much!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      jenu, great point! I think maybe I started making baked spaghetti casserole when my girls were little. lol

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Good morning, Cardisa!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is something I've not made in quite a few years. The only difference i my recipe is that I use old cheddar cheese. I'll try it with the mozzarella though. Looks yummy!

    • Wmod514 profile image

      William Odell 5 years ago from Upstate South Carolina

      Looks good Habee....looking for a recipe I can stick with. Have seen many variations of Baked Spag and I will give this one a try...thanks for sharing !!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, habee, good to see you "back in the kitchen" cooking up some great food. (Not that I don't enjoy your other talents). This really does look good; I'll try it. It's a little different than usual and that's what I like about it. Hope it's a beautiful day for you in my old home place: Georgia!

    • profile image

      jenubouka 5 years ago

      I love baked spaghetti, there is less hassle, less mess, and it sticks to your ribs. This recipe will be perfect for my little guy, there will be (hopefully) less of an urge to throw it across the room.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Habee, you have such amazing recipes. It's 6 AM and am quite hungry now thanks to you...lol