How to Make an EASY Baked Spaghetti Pasta Bake

This Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole, sometimes called spaghetti pie, is a layered spaghetti casserole similar to lasagna but uses spaghetti noodles. This dish is very easy to make and is family-friendly. It can be made gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan with some simple recipe swap outs.

I enjoy preparing this Baked Spaghetti with ricotta but you can also make it with cottage cheese if you prefer. Fresh ricotta cheese and homemade pasta sauce make this spaghetti casserole recipe truly special but if you’re in a time crunch, you can always opt for the store-bought varieties, too.

In image of a baked spaghetti casserole in a baking pan with slices of garlic bread and butter on a cutting board.

This Baked Spaghetti recipe is super simple to make and the whole family will love it. It’s a definite crowd-pleaser.

For a Pot Luck or weeknight supper, you can easily make this ahead of time and reheat it just before serving.

This makes a large quantity, so if you are cooking for one or two, the recipe is also very easily halved! It makes great leftovers too!

In image of a baked spaghetti casserole in a glass baking dish and a spatula.

If you are cooking for a crowd or are filling the freezer with make-ahead meals, this recipe can also easily be doubled! It’s SO versatile.

Just be sure to use freezer-safe dishes or disposable tin pans.

Be sure to follow manufacture recommendations if you chose to freeze glass pans as they can shatter in the oven if reheated improperly.

In image of a baked spaghetti casserole in a baking pan a slice on a spatula.

Ingredients for Baked Spaghetti

You can find full list of amounts on the printable recipe card below but you will need

  • non-stick cooking spray or other oil to lightly coat the pan.
  • Spaghetti, regular, whole wheat, or gluten-free
  • Eggs (optional)
  • Lean Ground Beef, turkey, chicken, or soy crumbles
  • Garlic, minced
  • Onion diced fine
  •  Pasta Sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Ricotta Cheese or cottage cheese
  • Parsley, freshly chopped
  • Granulated garlic, or powdered garlic
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to taste

How to Make Baked Spaghetti

For full printable recipe instructions, see the recipe card below, but you will:

  • Prepare the pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Add the one half of the cooked pasta noodles to create the base.
  • Top with a layer of ricotta cheese topped with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
  • Add half of the meat sauce.
  • Repeat with a second layer – only I did it in reverse this time and I add the second half of the pasta.
  • Then add the remaining meat sauce.
  • Lastly, top with cheese.
  • Cover and bake.
1 - Prepare the pan with non-stick cooking spray.1 – Prepare the pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2 - Add half of the cooked pasta to form the base for the first layer.2 – Add half of the cooked pasta to form the base for the first layer.
3 - Add a layer of cheese with ricotta, parmesan, and Mozzarella.3 – Add a layer of cheese with ricotta, parmesan, and Mozzarella.
4 - Top with half of the meat sauce.4 – Top with half of the meat sauce.
5 - Top with the second half of the pasta.5 – Top with the second half of the pasta.
6 - Add the remaining meat sauce.6 – Add the remaining meat sauce.
7 - Top with remaining Mozzarella.7 – Top with remaining Mozzarella.
8 - Add on top the remaining ricotta and Parmesan.8 – Add on top the remaining ricotta and Parmesan.
9 - Cover and Bake. Then uncover and bake to brown the cheese.9 – Cover and Bake. Then uncover and bake to brown the cheese.
9 - Allow to rest and then slice.9 – Allow to rest and then slice.
10 - Serve hot. 10 – Serve hot.
11 - Enjoy!11 – Enjoy!

What to Serve with Baked Spaghetti

This is a very heavy and filling meal. It is best to serve with Caesar salad and perhaps some garlic bread. As a side dish, it’s great with parmesan chicken and a salad.

In image of a baked spaghetti casserole in a baking pan with slices of garlic bread and butter on a cutting board. A slice has been removed from the lower left corner of the pan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Baked Spaghetti be made ahead? Absolutely. This is even great reheated and served the next day. If you are making this ahead, stop after you have layered it. Cover and refrigerate and then continue with the instructions for baking in the oven

Can Baked Spaghetti be frozen? Yes. Just be sure to use an appropriate freezer-safe dish and follow any manufacturer instructions on reheating is using glass.

How do I reheat Baked Spaghetti? It can be reheated on half-power in the microwave for a quick meal or in the oven. If I use the oven cover and reheat at 275F until the cheese is hot and bubbly and the layers are heated through.

Is Baked Spaghetti Gluten-Free? It can be! The recipe pictured here was made with GF spaghetti noodles. Note that a box of GF noodles is only 12 oz and not 16. I went with just a 12 oz box but if you had 2 boxes you could use 1/4 of a second box but I didn’t find that necessary.

In image of a baked spaghetti casserole in a baking pan with a slice up on a spatula.
EASY Baked Spaghetti Pasta Bake 11

How to Make an EASY Baked Spaghetti Pasta Bake

Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
Baked spaghetti is similar to lasagna, but made with spaghetti noodles instead. Rich tomato sauce, mozzarella, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and pasta come together into one family-friendly meal. Can be made GF, Vegan, and Vegetarian.
4.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
0 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 456 kcal

Equipment

  • 9×13-inch Casserole dish

Ingredients
  

  • 16 oz Spaghetti , regular, whole wheat, or gluten-free
  • 2 Eggs , beaten
  • 1 pound Ground Beef Lean Beef or substitute turkey, chicken or soy crumbles
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic , minced
  • 1 medium Onion , diced fine
  • 3 cups Pasta Sauce , homemade or store-bought
  • 1/3 cup Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 16 oz Ricotta Cheese or cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Parsley , freshly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Granulated garlic , or powdered garlic
  • 16 oz Mozzarella cheese , shredded
  • Salt and Ground Black Pepper , to taste

Instructions
 

  • 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 in reverse order so the cheese ends up on top.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350° for 40 minutes then uncover and bake another 20 minutes longer or until cheese is melted, golden-brown, and bubbly.

Notes

  1. Nutritional information is for lean ground beef.
  2. Be sure to follow manufacture recommendations if you chose to freeze glass pans as they can shatter in the oven if reheated improperly.
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
    Can Baked Spaghetti be made ahead? Absolutely. This is even great reheated and served the next day. If you are making this ahead, stop after you have layered it. Cover and refrigerate and then continue with the baking instructions when you are ready.
    Can Baked Spaghetti be frozen? Yes. Just be sure to use an appropriate freezer-safe dish and follow any manufacturer instructions on reheating if using glass baking pans. I generally freeze in aluminum pans and top with foil for safety.
    If you are cooking from frozen, make sure you have an aluminum pan. Glass can sometimes shatter in the oven. You will bake at 350F for about 80-90 minutes.
  4. How do I reheat Baked Spaghetti? It can be reheated on half-power in the microwave for a quick meal or in the oven. If I use the oven cover and reheat at 275F until the cheese is hot and bubbly and the layers are heated through. The time will depend on the size portion you are reheating. 
  5. Is Baked Spaghetti Gluten-Free? It can be! The recipe pictured here was made with GF spaghetti noodles. Note that a box of GF noodles is only 12 oz and not 16. I went with just a 12 oz box but if you had 2 boxes you could use 1/4 of a second box but I didn’t find that necessary.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving (1/12th of recipe)Calories: 456kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 29gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 672mgPotassium: 518mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 814IUVitamin C: 6mgVitamin D: 1µgVitamin E: 2mgVitamin K: 17µgCalcium: 328mgFolate: 29µgIron: 3mgZinc: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

22 thoughts on “How to Make an EASY Baked Spaghetti Pasta Bake”

  1. Spot on with this recipe, I actually feel this is exactly as I had it as a kid. It was excellent and my kids loved it too.

    Reply
  2. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several
    e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Cheers!

    Reply
  3. I had this at a potluck years ago and have been wanting to make it ever since. So glad I found your site. Awesome!

    Reply
    • You can. However, the eggs are used here as the binder to make the baked spaghetti bind up and stay together like a lasagna. You can substitute them with two chia seed eggs (see our substitutes page – link at the top pf the page) or egg substitute.

      Reply

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