Spaghetti is and always has been a staple in our house. And why not? It’s easy, it’s quick, it’s delicious… it’s perfect! This baked version requires a bit more effort, but it’s totally worth it. Plus, you can make it ahead and freeze it for those nights when you’re just too tired to think about dinner.
If you’re a meal prepper (like I wish I could be), you can make the spaghetti over the weekend and store it until you’re ready to make the dish, or you could just make the whole thing ahead and pop it in the oven on the night of. If prepping just the spaghetti, mist a little olive oil on it to keep it from getting clumpy. (I love my Kitchen Spritzer for this, and for leftover pasta.)
I love my Rectangular Baker for this dish because it cooks everything so evenly and is deep enough to keep all the yumminess inside, but any 9 x 13 baking pan will do. If using stoneware there’s no need to spray the pan, but if you’re using another pan give it a good spritz with oil or cooking spray.
There are 2 important keys to this dish.
Make sure you cook the pasta 2-3 minutes less than directed. This will prevent it from getting soggy and mushy during baking.
Use good sauce! Cheap sauce is going to make for a cheap tasting dish. Either pony up for some good quality sauce (like from a local Italian restaurant or shop you like), or make your own with my Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce recipe. Either way, good sauce is key!
This dish totally lives up to its name. Everyone wants seconds! One tray will easily serve 12 typical plates, or you could just give everyone extra up front and save them the trouble of getting up to get seconds.
- 1 lb spaghetti, cooked 2-3 minutes short of directions
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 15.4 oz jars spaghetti sauce
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups mozzarrella
- 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- Salt, pepper, and other seasonings to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°
- In a medium saute pan, brown the ground beef, seasoned to taste. Mix in 1 jar of sauce and set aside.
- In a small bowl mix 1 cup mozzarella with the cream cheese.
- In a large bowl mix the cooked pasta with the remaining jar of sauce.
- Place the sauce-covered pasta in the 9 x 13 baking pan. Cover with the cream cheese mixture, then the meat mixture. Top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Allow 5 minutes to cool before serving.