Baked Spaghetti is total comfort food with homemade meat sauce and cheesy goodness. Make it ahead of time and throw it in the oven for the best warm dinner.
As a lover of cooking and food, I treasure having my kids in the kitchen with me. I love teaching them simple cooking skills that I know they will carrying with them as they grow. And they learn how to feel confident in the kitchen as I pass down this tradition of sharing love through food.
My Baked Spaghetti recipe is a great recipe to make with kids. It has moving parts and timing, so it is perfect for teaching those skills, while being a relatively uncomplicated recipe.
This easy pasta casserole is like a lazy lasagna without the ricotta. It uses my meat sauce recipe which brings the most perfect flavor.
We had friends over this weekend and I was looking for a simple meal to fix. This baked spaghetti was just the ticket. Simple to make and everyone loved it.
How to Make Baked Spaghetti
- Cook the spaghetti. See my tips below for cooking spaghetti perfectly.
- Make the meat sauce. While the noodles cook, begin cooking ground beef, onion, and garlic together. Then drain the grease and stir in tomatoes and seasonings.
- Make the spaghetti filling. Mix Parmesan cheese and eggs into the spaghetti.Drain and rinse the cooked noodles and stir in parmesan cheese and whisked eggs.
- Put it all together. Layer the ingredients by starting with a little meat sauce, then adding the spaghetti filling. Add the rest of the sauce and then top with shredded mozzarella.Pour a little of the meat sauce into the bottom of a baking dish.
- Bake and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks for Cooking Spaghetti
- Use enough water. We are making a pound of spaghetti, so you need to use 4 to 6 quarts (16 to 24 cups) of water.
- Bring your water to a roaring boil. Make sure you see really big bubbles before you add the dry noodles.
- Salt the water. When you add the dry spaghetti also throw in 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.
- Note the cooking time on the box of the spaghetti. Set a timer for the time called for, making sure to pick the lower end of the time range. We are baking the spaghetti so a little underdone is okay.
Storing and Reheating Left Overs
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. To reheat, cover and microwave at half power until warmed through. You can also cover and bake just the portion you want to eat. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Making Easy Baked Spaghetti Ahead
This is a great recipe to make on a Sunday afternoon and then wrap and put in the refrigerator when you get home from work Monday evening.
- Make up until putting it in the oven.
- Cover with aluminum foil and put in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
- When you are ready to make, put it in the preheated oven (straight from the refrigerator) for 50 minutes.
- Uncover and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.
Freezing Spaghetti Bake
This spaghetti bake recipe can be made ahead of time and frozen. We are using a disposable baking dish in this version so the recipe can go straight from the freezer to the oven without cracking.
- Make the recipe in a disposable baking dish.
- Follow the recipe up to the point of putting it in the oven.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil and then wrap three times in plastic wrap.
- When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour covered and 20 minutes uncovered.
Pro Tip: Make a Double Batch!
Double everything as you are making it and divide the recipe into two casserole dishes – one regular and one disposable. Bake one right away and wrap and freeze the other for a day when you just need to pop something in the oven.
Tips and Tricks
- Grate your own cheese. The melty cheese is one of the highlights of this recipe. Block cheese that you grate yourself will melt a lot better than pre-shredded cheese.
- Swap in store bought sauce. Cook the beef with the garlic and onion, and where you would add the tomatoes and spices, put in a 24 ounce jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce. Skip the simmering, just stir in the sauce until it is warmed through.
- Make it vegetarian. Swap the meat that you brown at the beginning for vegetables. Good options are carrots, celery, zucchini, and bell peppers. Sauce them in 2 tablespoons of olive oil before moving on to step 4.
- Swap the ground beef for ground turkey. Brown the ground turkey in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Just like in lasagna, the eggs are what help bind and hold the recipe together.
Yes! For angel hair pasta, I recommend cooking it for about a minute less than the box recommends.
Yes! This recipe can be made 24 hours in advance. Store in the refrigerator and add 10 minutes to the baking time.
Yes! You can leave the meat out of the sauce or you can swap it for some vegetables like we do in my zucchini lasagna.
What to Serve with Baked Spaghetti
I love the delicious flavors in this recipe for baked spaghetti. To round it out for dinner, I like adding a vegetable side dish. Here are a few that would go perfectly with this casserole.
Other Make Ahead Baked Pasta
If you love the idea of making a double batch of this recipe and freezing one, let me share with you a few others.
If you make this baked spaghetti recipe or any of my other recipes, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
- 1 pound spaghetti cooked according to package instructions (see note), drained and rinsed in room temperature water
- 1 pound ground beef (I used 80/20)
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a roaring boil and cook the spaghetti according to package directions, drain the noodles, and rinse in room temperature water. (Continue to step 3 while the water is coming to a boil.)
- In a large skillet or dutch oven, cook ground beef onion, and garlic over medium heat, until the beef is just cooked through. Drain the grease and return the skillt to the heat.
- Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and sugar. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 10 mintues.
- In a large bowl, toss the cooked spaghetti with the beaten eggs and parmesan cheese.
- Pour just enough of the meat sauce into the bottom of the pan to coat it. Then add the spaghetti. Pour the remaining meat sauce over the spaghetti and top with mozzarella.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additonal 20 minutes.