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.