Spaghetti Casserole

5 from 25 votes
8 Comments

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Discover the ultimate comfort food – Spaghetti Casserole – made with layers of saucy pasta, creamy cheese, and savory meat sauce.

Spaghetti casserole in a glass baking dish.
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients in Spaghetti Casserole
  2. Substitutions and Variations
  3. Storing and Freezing
  4. What to Serve with Spaghetti Casserole
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. More Recipes Like This
  7. How to Make Spaghetti Casserole
  8. Spaghetti Casserole Recipe

This Spaghetti Casserole, also known as Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole, is truly the ultimate comfort food. With tender pasta, savory meat sauce, creamy cheese, and melted bubbly cheese on top, it embodies warmth, comfort, and satisfaction. Serve this on a weeknight to your family or at a gathering with friends and everyone is sure to leave with a full tummy and a full heart.

Ingredients in Spaghetti Casserole

  • Spaghetti Noodles – we like using spaghetti noodles because they soak up all the flavor of the sauce
  • Spaghetti Sauce – use your favorite brand or use a homemade recipe like our Homemade Spaghetti Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes
  • Ground Beef – normally we use lean ground beef so the sauce isn’t too oily
  • Italian Sausage – use mild or hot depending on your family’s preference
  • Yellow Onion & Garlic – this dynamic flavor duo enhances the flavor of the meat sauce
  • Cream Cheese, Ricotta & Sour Cream – these creamy elements are what make this spaghetti casserole shine!
  • Egg – the egg acts as a binder to bring the cheese mixture together
  • Italian Seasoning, Salt, and Pepper – add these spices into the cheese mixture to enhance the flavor
  • Mozzarella Cheese and Parmesan Cheese – this is the perfect combo for this recipe because mozzarella melts beautifully and parmesan brings that punch of flavor
  • Optional: fresh basil or Italian parsley for garnish
Layers of pasta, cheese, and meat sauce in a glass baking dish.


Substitutions and Variations

  • Use ground turkey instead of beef.
  • Omit the beef and pork and use breaded chicken instead for a Chicken Spaghetti Casserole.
  • Omit all meat and add extra veggies like red and green bell pepper, mushrooms, and zucchini for a Veggie Pasta Bake.
  • Use chicken instead of beef and pork and replace the spaghetti sauce with your favorite Alfredo sauce for a Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake.
  • Use cottage cheese instead of ricotta if desired.
  • Add marinara sauce or vodka sauce instead of spaghetti sauce.
  • Use sharp cheddar cheese instead of mozzarella.
A serving of spaghetti casserole on a plate.

Storing and Freezing

Store any leftover baked Spaghetti Casserole in an airtight container in the fridge. I have a few casserole dishes that come with lids for super easy storage. You can also make this casserole ahead of time and freeze it. It stays good in the freezer for up to three months. Assemble the casserole as the recipe outlines and then instead of baking, cover it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. When ready to bake, let thaw in the fridge overnight and then bake normally. You can also bake from frozen, but you will need to add an extra hour of cooking time.

What to Serve with Spaghetti Casserole

This dish is great as a meal on its own. However, if you are feeding a crowd and want to make it stretch, or if you just want to round out the meal we have some great options. Serve this dish with a steamed veggie like broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, or asparagus. Or, serve it with a salad like a garden salad or Caesar salad. You can also serve up some garlic bread on the side. We have some great garlic bread recipes include our Loaded Cheesy Garlic Bread, Quick Garlic Bread, and Hot and Cheesy Garlic Bread.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can spaghetti casserole be frozen?

Yes, for the full guide to freezing, see our guide above for freezing and baking spaghetti casserole. However the basic gist is you make up the casserole but freeze it before baking.

What is the key to making a good casserole?

Aluminum foil! Baking the casserole covered with foil allows the middle to cook evenly and the top to not get too crunchy.

How do you make spaghetti noodles taste better?

The best way to make your pasta POP is to cook it in a large pot of SALTED water. A good rule of thumb is 4 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt per pound of pasta.

Can I use all beef instead of beef and sausage?

Yes, you can omit the sausage and use all ground beef instead. You can also use ground turkey if you’d like!

Read Next: 35+ Quick and Easy To Follow Dinner Ideas Your Family Will Surely Love

A forkful of spaghetti casserole on a gold fork.

More Recipes Like This

How to Make Spaghetti Casserole

A serving of spaghetti casserole on a plate

Spaghetti Casserole

5 from 25 votes
Discover the ultimate comfort food – Spaghetti Casserole – made with layers of saucy pasta, creamy cheese, and savory meat sauce.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dinner, pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8

Video

Equipment

  • 9×13 baking dish

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and combine with 24 ounces of spaghetti sauce. Set aside.
    a pot of pasta and red sauce
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent and soft. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add beef and sausage and break them up into small pieces. Cook until meat is browned through. Add 24 ounces of spaghetti sauce and stir to combine.
    meat sauce in a skillet
  • In a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, combine ricotta, sour cream, cream cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper.
    cheese mixture in a glass measuring cup
  • Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Add half of the pasta and then all of the cream cheese mixture.
    a baking dish with a layer of pasta with red sauce and a layer of cheese sauce
  • Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella over the cheese mixture. Then add the rest of the pasta, then the meat sauce, then the rest of the mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
    unbaked spaghetti casserole in a glass baking dish
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Take the foil off and bake for another 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.
    spaghetti casserole in a glass baking dish

Notes

  • Use your favorite brand of spaghetti sauce, or use our recipe for Homemade Spaghetti Sauce.
  • You can use different pasta shapes if you don’t want to use spaghetti noodles. 
  • When reheating leftovers, add a little extra spaghetti sauce to keep it from drying out. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 815kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 38gFat: 49gSaturated Fat: 22gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 157mgSodium: 1456mgPotassium: 996mgFiber: 5gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 1571IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 376mgIron: 4mg

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About the author

Kelsey Crist

Kelsey lives in Washington with her husband, Alex, and two cats, Diana and Nova. Her happy place is in the kitchen listening to an audiobook and trying new recipes. When she's not in the kitchen you can find her hiking, shopping at Trader Joe's, or playing Animal Crossing. Her favorite food is pasta and Alex loves when she makes Homemade Oreos.

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Comments

  1. I made it 1000 times people want more of it I do them in occasion and party to I am going to do more of it and selling it to people who don’t have food or house

  2. I would love to try this recipe but there does not seem to be a way to print it. If someone could le me know how without having to copy and paste I would love to try it and many more.
    Brenda D—

    1. There is a print button in the recipe card! Under the heading “How to Make Spaghetti Casserole”.