I first had this casserole at a work potluck luncheon. It was such a hit with all my co-workers that I made sure to ask the gal for her recipe. I’ve since added a couple of my own additions to the recipe and it has now become a trusted casserole in my family and is often requested around the holidays. Really — what’s more perfect during the busy holiday season than a casserole you can make ahead and reheat or even freeze for later and reheat? This Baked Spaghetti is super simple to make and takes much less effort than a traditional lasagna. Since ounce for ounce, lasagna noodles are also around four times the price of a box of spaghetti, this dish is also a little more economical as well.
For a Pot Luck or weeknight supper, you can easily make this ahead of time and re-heat it just before serving. Since this makes a large quantity, the recipe is easily halved and if you are cooking for a crowd or want a try to put in the freezer, it’s also easily doubled.
- 1-16 oz package spaghetti, regular, whole wheat or gluten-free
- 1 pound lean ground beef, turkey, chicken or soy crumbles
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, diced small
- 3 cups marinara sauce,homemade or store-bought
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups (16 oz) cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ tsp granulated garlic powder
- 16 oz (4 cups) mozzarella cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Return meat to the skillet and add the marinara and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- In a bowl mix 2 cups cottage OR ricotta cheese with fresh chopped parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste; set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. Drain spaghetti well (do not rinse) and return to the pot; add the egg mixture and toss to coat. This will become your binder in the oven.
- Now into a greased (butter, non-stick cooking spray, olive oil, etc) 9" x 13" casserole dish, add half of the spaghetti, taking care to spread it out to the edges of the pan and then spoon half of the cottage cheese (or ricotta) mixture, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese over the top -- again, working to the edges of the pan. Repeat with a second layer.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350° for 40 minutes then uncover and bake another 20 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.