For the Sauce Layer:
- 1 lb LEAN ground beef, browned and drained
- 1 (45 oz) jar spaghetti sauce (about 5 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
- 1 medium red onion, minced
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 cup fresh spinach, minced
For the Noodle Layer:
- 1 lb spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
- 2 eggs
- 5 Tablespoons butter melted
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
For the 3rd Layer:
- 1 (16 oz block) mozzarella cheese, grated (about 4 cups)
- Begin by browning the ground beef, cooking the spaghetti and *grating the cheese. Prepping these things first, will allow you to assemble the baked spaghetti, quickly.
Once the ground beef and spaghetti are cooked and your mozzarella cheese is grated, you’re ready to start assembling the Baked Spaghetti.
To create the spaghetti layer, quickly melt butter in the microwave. Don’t overdue it. Heat it just enough to melt and then stir in the grated Parmesan. (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.
Once the eggs are beaten into the butter and Parmesan, 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.
Next, mix the spaghetti sauce, cooked ground beef, onion, garlic and spinach in another bowl. Add the cottage cheese and mix, again, just to get it distributed evenly.
Now, you have everything prepped to create the Baked Spaghetti layers.
Grease a *9×13 pan. Use 1/2 of the spaghetti to create the first layer in the bottom of the pan. Next, spread 1/2 of the tomato/meat sauce over the spaghetti. The third layer is 1/2 of the grated cheese.
Now, repeat all three layers. Your Baked Spaghetti is ready for the oven! Cover it lightly with foil. I usually just lay it over the top of the pan. The foil keeps the cheese from getting to brown, but I don’t want the melted cheese to stick to it, as the dish bakes.
Bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 more minutes to melt the cheese. When the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbling and brown around the edges, it’s done.
Let the pan rest on a cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes, so it holds together well, when you slice it.
- Category: Main Dish, Casserole
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: spaghetti, casserole