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Favorite Baked Spaghetti

This baked spaghetti is my grandchildren's most-loved dish. It feels like such a special dinner and is so cozy for winter. —Louise Miller, Westminster, Maryland
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 1 hour + standing
  • Makes
    10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 ounces) spaghetti
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) pasta sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups 4% cottage cheese
  • 4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Chopped fresh basil, optional

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cook spaghetti according to package directions for al dente. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until beef is no longer pink and onion is tender, 6-8 minutes, breaking beef into crumbles; drain. Stir in pasta sauce and seasoned salt; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese and butter. Drain spaghetti; add to egg mixture and toss to coat.
  • Place half the spaghetti mixture in a greased 13x9-in. or 3-qt. baking dish. Top with half the cottage cheese, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake until heated through, 20-25 minutes longer. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. If desired, sprinkle with basil.

Recipe variation: Baked Spaghetti Puttanesca

Add 1 tablespoon minced garlic while cooking the ground beef mixture. After draining, stir in 3 tablespoons rinsed and drained capers, 1 cup coarsely chopped black olives, 3 finely chopped anchovy fillets and 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Proceed as directed, topping with additional olives and capers before serving.

Favorite Baked Spaghetti Tips

Should I cover pasta while baking?

To ensure the spaghetti is warm and bubbly throughout, it’s a good idea to cover the pasta while baking. Covering the spaghetti while it bakes for the first 40 minutes in the oven allows for heat circulation and even baking. A sheet of aluminum foil does the trick.

Can baked spaghetti be made ahead of time?

Save yourself some time later on and bake spaghetti ahead of time! You can keep the prebaked casserole assembled and wrapped with plastic wrap in your refrigerator for up to two days. To assemble and freeze the prebaked spaghetti, wrap the casserole in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and freeze for up to three months. When you are ready to bake, let it thaw in the refrigerator, then proceed with baking as directed (if you bake directly from frozen, be sure to add additional time). Feeling time-crunched at dinner? Try even more make-ahead 13x9 recipes for your family.

What meat goes well with spaghetti?

There are so many meat options that go well with spaghetti. You can easily swap out ground turkey or chicken as a lighter alternative to the beef. For a slightly spicier and flavorful option, try ground sausage.

What dessert goes well with spaghetti?

Try an Italian dessert that goes well with spaghetti, such as classic tiramisu, cannoli or panna cotta with berries. Or, simply brew some espresso and serve with almond biscotti.

Research contributed by Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant
Nutrition Facts
1-1/4 cups: 526 calories, 24g fat (13g saturated fat), 127mg cholesterol, 881mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 3g fiber), 31g protein.
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