Home » Pasta

Easy Baked Spaghetti, Delicious Family Meal

My Easy Baked Spaghet­ti recipe takes every­thing we love about spaghet­ti sup­per and makes it a deli­cious casse­role. It’s a true fam­i­ly favorite! Ten­der spaghet­ti, lay­ered with a meaty mari­nara sauce and ooey, gooey cheese. What’s not to love, right?

square of baked spaghetti on a white plate with a blue print napkin
Post may con­tain affil­i­ate links. See my Affil­i­ate Disclosure.
Baked spaghet­ti is easy and deli­cious! One of our favorite Ital­ian-inspired meals!

This Baked Spaghet­ti casse­role stretch­es one pound of ground beef and one pound of cooked spaghet­ti noo­dles to be enough for 12 serv­ings. With added pro­tein from inex­pen­sive eggs and the min­er­als and vit­a­mins from onion, gar­lic and spinach, this recipe is a scrump­tious way to nour­ish, make the most of your gro­cery bud­get and give your fam­i­ly a meal that they love.

My baked spaghet­ti recipe is a def­i­nite keep­er! Any pas­ta bake recipe lover will appre­ci­ate this deli­cious meal. Your fam­i­ly’s gonna flip for it and you’ll love how easy it is to make baked spaghet­ti. Get the kids involved in putting this dish togeth­er. It’s a recipe they’ll be excit­ed to see in your meal rota­tion, again and again.

Enjoy!

baked spaghetti on a white plate
Yum! Deli­cious baked spaghet­ti. It’s a triumph!!

The Ingredients

  • Ground Beef: (lean), browned and drained
  • Home­made Mari­nara (or your favorite Spaghet­ti Sauce): Your favorite jarred or canned brand is fine for mak­ing things quick and easy. (If you make home­made you’ll need around 5 cups.) A baked spaghet­ti casse­role will ben­e­fit from the fla­vors you and your fam­i­ly like for a plain spaghet­ti dinner.
  • Cot­tage Cheese: I always by 4%, small curd. Cot­tage cheese may seem like an odd choice for a baked spaghet­ti recipe. But, my fam­i­ly does­n’t care for ricot­ta cheese. It’s deli­cious. I promise!
  • Red Onion: Mince the onion fine. No big chunks.
  • Fresh Spinach: Just like the onion, mince it up. The tex­ture will be bet­ter than if you have flop­py wilt­ed whole leaves strewn through your baked spaghet­ti casserole.
  • Minced Gar­lic
  • Ital­ian seasoning
  • Spaghet­ti Noo­dles: Cook and drain them before you begin assembly. 
  • Eggs
  • But­ter
  • Parme­san Cheese
  • Moz­zarel­la Cheese: This dish, lit­er­al­ly, will not be the same if you don’t grate your own. Let me explain why.

homemade marinara in pan with wooden spoon
The best Ital­ian-inspired dish­es start with a tru­ly great sauce. My Home­made Mari­nara Sauce is the one you’ll want again and again. Grab the easy 30-minute recipe!

FAQ About Baked Spaghetti

Do I real­ly need to grate my own cheese?

Yes. Pre-grat­ed cheese is coat­ed with cel­lu­lose or some oth­er anti-clump­ing agent. That agent pre­vents the cheese from melt­ing prop­er­ly and it def­i­nite­ly alters the taste. Buy a block of cheese and grate it your­self. It’s so easy and more affordable!

Grating Your Own Cheese

One of my best invest­ments for the kitchen is a *4‑sided grater[affil­i­ate link]. I use it mul­ti­ple times per week. My chal­lenge this week is for you to grate a block of fresh extra-sharp ched­dar or moz­zarel­la and com­pare it to bagged, pre-grat­ed. Hon­est­ly eval­u­ate the fla­vor and melta­bil­i­ty of each. You’ll only buy block cheese from then on. The fla­vor dif­fer­ence is astounding!

And I’ve already men­tioned the oth­er impor­tant ben­e­fit of grat­ing your own cheese. It’s the melta­bil­i­ty. Coat­ed cheese does­n’t melt near­ly as eas­i­ly as fresh­ly grat­ed. When what you want is ooey, gooey, drip­py cheese melt­ing over your dish, opt for grat­ing your own block of fresh Moz­zarel­la cheese and enjoy the deli­cious difference.

More FAQs

Is there a sub­sti­tute for the Cot­tage Cheese?

If you’re not a fan of cot­tage cheese, you can sub in an equal amount of ricot­ta cheese in this recipe.

Can this be made gluten free?

Yes, it def­i­nite­ly can. And, it’s real­ly good! This dish can be 100% gluten free if you choose your favorite gluten free pasta. 

What is Jovial Brown Rice Pasta?

box of jovial brown rice spaghetti, uncooked

Jovial brown rice pas­ta is still the only gluten free brand we will buy. It does­n’t go mushy. It does­n’t crum­ble apart and it has the tex­ture of reg­u­lar noo­dles. My fam­i­ly can’t tell the dif­fer­ence unless I men­tion that’s what I’ve used. They are our all-time favorite spaghet­ti noodles.

The least expen­sive place I have found to buy it is online at Vita­cost. It’s only $3.99 com­pared to $4.49 to $6 in oth­er places. At Vita­cost you can get free ship­ping with a $50 order. With my Ama­zon prime account I get them for around $4.67 each with free ship­ping [affil­i­ate link].

How to Make the Best Baked Spaghetti

  1. Cook spaghet­ti in boil­ing water for two or three min­utes less than the pack­age instruc­tions tell you. They will con­tin­ue cook­ing in the baked spaghet­ti once it’s in the oven. You don’t want to end up with over­done noodles.
  2. Brown the ground beef in a large skil­let until it is cooked through and no longer pink. Use lean ground beef, so you get the most for your mon­ey and don’t lose so much to grease. When using ground beef in a casse­role or “mixed” dish, I opt for very lean beef (at least 90/10, some­times 93/7) because fla­vor will come from oth­er sea­son­ings and ingredients.
  3. Grate the cheese. Buy a block and grate it your­self, so it melts bet­ter and tastes delicious!
How to Make Baked Spaghetti

Mixing the Individual Layers for Your Pasta Bake Recipe

  1. To cre­ate the first baked spaghet­ti lay­er, just bare­ly melt but­ter in the microwave. 
  2. Stir the Parme­san into the bare­ly melt­ed butter.
  3. Beat the eggs into the butter/Parmesan mixture..
  4. Once the eggs are beat­en into the but­ter and Parme­san, pour that mix­ture over the al dente spaghet­ti. You can try to do this step with a spoon, but I find the eas­i­est way to be sure all the ingre­di­ents in the spaghet­ti mix­ture are even­ly dis­trib­uted, is to sim­ply toss it all togeth­er with my hands.
  5. To make the sauce for baked spaghet­ti, mix the mari­nara sauce, cooked ground beef, cot­tage cheese (or ricot­ta cheese if mak­ing that sub­sti­tu­tion), onion, gar­lic and spinach in a sep­a­rate bowl. Set it aside.

mixing the meat, tomato sauce and cottage cheese layer for baked spaghetti
Mix­ing the sauce for baked spaghet­ti. Mari­nara sauce, cot­tage cheese, ground beef, spinach and herbs.

Assembling the Baked Spaghetti Casserole

  1. Pre­heat oven to 350° and grease a *9x13 bak­ing dish to hold your baked spaghetti.
  2. Place half of the al dente spaghet­ti to cre­ate the first lay­er in the bot­tom of the pan. 
  3. Next, spread half of the tomato/meat sauce over the spaghet­ti mix­ture layer. 
  4. The third lay­er is half of the shred­ded Moz­zarel­la cheese. Dis­trib­ute it even­ly over the sauce lay­er of your baked spaghetti.
  5. Now, repeat lay­ers one to three. First spaghet­ti, then meat sauce and then shred­ded Moz­zarel­la cheese.
  6. Your Baked Spaghet­ti is ready for the oven! Cov­er and seal with foil. (Spray the under­side of your foil with pan spray before seal­ing it down. It real­ly does help keep the cheese from stick­ing to it.)
  7. Bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes. 
  8. Remove the foil and bake 10 to 15 min­utes more to fin­ish melt­ing the cheese. When the cheese is ful­ly melt­ed and the baked spaghet­ti casse­role is bub­bling and brown around the edges, it’s done. 
  9. Let the bak­ing dish rest on a cool­ing rack for 5 to 10 min­utes, so your Baked Spaghet­ti holds togeth­er more eas­i­ly, when you slice it. 
  10. (option­al) Gar­nish with fresh pars­ley or chopped basil.
layers 1, 2 and 3 of baked spaghetti in a 9x13 pan
Lay­ers 1, 2 & 3 of baked spaghet­ti, assem­bled in a 9x13 pan. Repeat with lay­ers 4, 5 & 6.

What to Serve with Baked Spaghetti

We like all our pas­ta bake recipes, and espe­cial­ly this Baked Spaghet­ti, served with a green sal­ad, steamed broc­coli or sauteed zuc­chi­ni. And of course a nice piece of crusty bread or gar­lic bread fin­ish­es the meal to perfection. 

Choose any of your favorite side dish­es and enjoy this sim­ple meal with your fam­i­ly. I hope it becomes a fam­i­ly favorite in your house, too. DELISH! Enjoy, my friend!

baked spaghetti on a white plate

The Recipe

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
baked spaghetti on a white plate

Easy Baked Spaghetti


  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 serv­ings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This is the best Baked Spaghet­ti recipe.  It takes every­thing we love about spaghet­ti sup­per and rais­es it to the next lev­el. Ten­der spaghet­ti, lay­ered with a meat sauce and ooey, gooey cheese. Not only is it deli­cious, it stretch­es a lb of ground beef to feed 12.  There’s noth­ing about this scrump­tious pas­ta bake recipe that isn’t a win.  It freezes well to bake lat­er, too.  Serve it with a green sal­ad and some gar­lic bread for a per­fect meal!


Ingredients

Scale

For the Meat Sauce Layer:

  • 1 lb LEAN ground beef, browned and drained
  • 5 cups home­made mari­nara (or your favorite store-bought spaghet­ti sauce/ mari­nara sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups cot­tage cheese
  • 1 medi­um red onion, minced
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, minced (Mea­sure after it’s minced.)
  • 2 Table­spoons minced garlic
  • 1 tea­spoon Ital­ian seasoning

For the Noo­dle Layer:

  • 1 lb spaghet­ti noo­dles, cooked and drained (gluten free Jovial brown rice noo­dles work great)
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 Table­spoons but­ter melted
  • 1/2 cup Parme­san cheese, grated

For the 3rd Layer:

  • 1 (16 oz block) Moz­zarel­la cheese, grat­ed (about 4 cups)

Instructions

  1. Pre­heat oven to 350° and grease the bak­ing dish.
  2. Brown the ground beef in a large skil­let over medi­um heat.
  3. Cook the spaghet­ti noo­dlesCook the spaghet­ti 2 to 3 min­utes less than the sug­gest­ed time on the pack­age.  It will con­tin­ue to cook in the oven. 
  4. *Grate the Moz­zarel­la cheese and Parme­san cheese.
  5. Melt but­ter in the microwave.  Don’t over­do it.  Heat it just enough to melt.
  6. Stir in the grat­ed Parme­san cheese. (Remem­ber, grate your own for max­i­mum fla­vor and ease of melt­ing!) Stir­ring the cheese into the but­ter will help to cool it quick­ly. Stir for awhile longer if it still feels to hot. Your going to beat the eggs into it next and you want them to mix in, not cook.
  7. Beat eggs.
  8. Mix the beat­en eggs into the but­ter and Parme­san cheese.
  9. Pour the mix­ture over the cooked spaghet­ti. You can try to do this step with a spoon, but I find the eas­i­est way to be sure the spaghet­ti is even­ly coat­ed is to sim­ply toss it all togeth­er with my hands.
  10. Cre­ate the meat sauce by mix­ing the home­made mari­nara (or pas­ta sauce), cot­tage cheese, cooked ground beef, onion, gar­lic, Ital­ian sea­son­ing and spinach in anoth­er bowl.
  11. Grease a *9×13 pan .
  12. Place half of the cooked spaghet­ti noo­dles in the bot­tom of the bak­ing dish to cre­ate the first lay­er. Next, spread 1/2 of the tomato/meat sauce over the spaghet­ti. The third lay­er is 1/2 of the grat­ed cheese.
  13. Now, repeat all three lay­ers. Your Baked Spaghet­ti is ready for the oven! Cov­er and seal the bak­ing dish with foil. Spray the under­side of the foil with pan spray.  It real­ly does help keep the foil from stick­ing to the cheese.
  14. Bake in a 350° oven for 30 min­utes. Remove the foil and bake 10 more min­utes to fin­ish melt­ing the cheese. When the cheese is melt­ed and the casse­role is bub­bling and brown around the edges, it’s done.
  15. Let the pan rest on a cool­ing rack for 5 to 10 min­utes, so it holds togeth­er well, when you slice it.
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Main Dish, Casserole
  • Method: Bak­ing
  • Cui­sine: Ital­ian

Key­words: spaghet­ti, casserole

Need More Easy Ground Beef Recipes?

Easy, 5‑Ingredient Meat Loaf

Enchilada Casserole, 5‑Ingredient Simple

Marinara Sauce

homemade marinara recipe in jars on concrete counter top with fresh tomatoes and a blue and white gingham napkin

92 thoughts on “Easy Baked Spaghetti, Delicious Family Meal”

  1. Real­ly fla­vor­ful and very tasty! Thanks a lot for this amaz­ing and great recipe! Will sure­ly have this again, super easy to make! Loved it and high­ly recommended!

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating