Made with spaghetti, a simple meat sauce, and lots of cheese, Baked Spaghetti is a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Serve with garlic bread or breadsticks and a side salad for a meal the whole family will love.
Table of Contents
- Easy Baked Spaghetti Casserole
- Watch The Recipe Video
- Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- What You’ll Need
- How to Make Baked Spaghetti
- Recipe Tips & Variations
- Can Baked Spaghetti Be Prepared In Advance?
- What to Serve with Spaghetti Casserole
- How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- Can I Freeze Baked Spaghetti?
- More Easy Spaghetti Recipes:
- Get the Recipe
Easy Baked Spaghetti Casserole
This baked spaghetti casserole recipe is one of our new family favorites. It’s a bit like lasagna but so much easier to make! And sometimes I think the leftovers are an even bigger hit, as everyone always wants them for lunch.
Baked spaghetti is made with the obvious elements – spaghetti noodles and pasta sauce – plus lots of cheese. Parmesan is mixed in with the noodles for added flavor, while mozzarella is sprinkled on top and baked until bubbling. No wonder the family loves it!
Prefer cream sauce to red pasta sauce? Check out my Cheesy Baked Bacon Spaghetti recipe!
Watch The Recipe Video
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Here are just a few reasons why this may become a family favorite.
- Perfect for busy weeknights. Including the baking time, this casserole takes just over 30 minutes to prepare. Perfect for those nights you just don’t have much time to cook!
- Kid-approved. Spaghetti + cheese = what’s not to love?! As long as your kid likes pasta sauce, there’s a good chance they’ll LOVE this recipe.
- Easy to make ahead. To make things even easier, you can do most of the prep work and assemble this pasta casserole a day in advance. I’ve included more directions below!
What You’ll Need
This spaghetti casserole uses spaghetti and a jar of pasta sauce, plus a few ingredients to add more flavor. (And cheese, of course.) See the recipe card below for measurements.
- Spaghetti – Cook to al dente according to the package instructions.
- Onion & garlic – These aromatics add flavor to the pasta sauce.
- Seasonings – The only spices needed for this baked pasta recipe are Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper.
- Pasta sauce – Any jarred pasta sauce you prefer will work.
- Diced tomatoes – Enhances the tomato flavor in the pasta sauce.
- Cheese – Parmesan cheese is added to the pasta while mozzarella is sprinkled on top. Freshly shredded is always best.
- Parsley – For garnish.
Can I Use Homemade Spaghetti Sauce?
Yes, you can use your preferred homemade pasta sauce, like marinara sauce or spaghetti meat sauce. Use your judgment on whether you still need to add the aromatics and spices called for in this recipe, as your homemade sauce likely already has them.
How to Make Baked Spaghetti
This spaghetti casserole makes a quick and easy weeknight dinner that the entire family will love.
- Cook the beef. Brown the ground beef with the onion, garlic, and seasonings until no longer pink. Drain any excess grease.
- Simmer the sauce. Add the pasta sauce and diced tomatoes to the meat. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Assemble the casserole. Add the pasta to a greased casserole dish then add the sauce, parmesan, and parsley. Mix until the spaghetti is fully coated.
- Bake. Sprinkle the spaghetti casserole with the mozzarella cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
- Enjoy. Cut into large squares and serve.
Recipe Tips & Variations
Here are a few tips for making this baked spaghetti for the first time, as well as a few variations.
- Don’t overcook the pasta. Cook the pasta just to al dente. It will continue to cook in the oven, so overcooking it can lead to a mushy casserole.
- Spice it up. Add ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper to the sauce for a kick.
- Rest before slicing. Let the casserole sit for about 5 minutes after you remove it from the oven, so the cheese solidifies a bit and it’s easier to slice and serve.
- Make it vegetarian. For a vegetarian dish, just omit the ground beef from the sauce. Mushrooms would make a great replacement to saute with the garlic and onions.
- Do you cover baked spaghetti? No, you shouldn’t cover this dish when baking it. Covering it with foil will create steam which can make the spaghetti a bit soft. Plus, you really want that cheese to bubble and brown just a bit!
Can Baked Spaghetti Be Prepared In Advance?
Yup! One of the things I love most about this spaghetti bake is that it can be assembled in advance. Once everything is combined in the casserole dish, cover it with foil, and refrigerate for up to a day.
Note that you may have to add 5 to 10 minutes to the cooking time, since it will be cold when you put it in the oven.
What to Serve with Spaghetti Casserole
We like to serve this baked spaghetti recipe with the same things we’d serve regular spaghetti – some type of bread and an easy side salad.
We love using this garlic butter to turn any bread we have on hand into garlic bread and garlic knots are fun too. But you can never go wrong with Olive Garden breadsticks either! (And a slice of crusty French bread or any other bread always works in a pinch too.)
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- Fridge. Store leftover baked spaghetti in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- Reheat. You can heat the entire pan in the oven, covered in foil, or reheat individual portions in the microwave.
Can I Freeze Baked Spaghetti?
Yes! This dish freezes superbly. You can freeze it before or after baking. Just allow it to cool then cover tightly with foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge then bake in the oven until heated through. (If it was already baked, cover it with foil if necessary to avoid burning the cheese.)
More Easy Spaghetti Recipes:
- Instant Pot Chicken Spaghetti
- Cheesy Taco Spaghetti
- Easy Chicken Spaghetti
- Homemade Spaghetti Meat Sauce
- Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 16 oz spaghetti cooked according to package instruction for al dente
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 diced onion
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 32 ounces jar pasta sauce
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375℉ and prepare a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Heat a 12” non-stick pan over medium high heat, add the ground beef, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Brown until the beef is no longer pink. (Drain the beef if necessary.)
- Lower the heat to medium low, add the pasta sauce and diced tomatoes. Stir and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the cooked pasta sauce to the prepared casserole dish, pour in the sauce, add the parmesan cheese and parsley. Mix using tongs until the spaghetti is fully coated and the sauce has been evenly distributed.
- Sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the casserole is bubbling on the sides.
- Let stand for 5 minutes, cut into large squares and serve. Enjoy!