"Revamp boring spaghetti by baking it in a deep dish filled with delicious cheeses, savory meats, and flavorful red sauce. An easy weeknight dinner!"
We’ve been together for a long time, haven’t we?
All the way back to when I first laid eyes on you in my mother’s kitchen.
But it wasn’t exactly “love at first sight” for us, though, was it?
No, it took some time before I could warm up to you… because my mother kept presenting you to me as spaghetti – and for whatever reason, that just did not fly with my five-year-old self.
Thankfully I’ve grown wiser in my years and have seen the error in my ways (ie, I know full well that spaghetti is awesome), but even now I don’t make spaghetti the exact same way my mother did. I like to put a little twist on our family tradition to call it my own.
Because you see, when I make spaghetti, I like to bake it in a deep dish filled with delicious cheeses, savory meats, and Ragú sauce. I especially love their Sundried Tomato & Sweet Basil flavor – it brings all of my favorite Italian flavors together without all the fuss. How perfect is that?!
This dish has slowly become a “new” tradition in our house. The Husband loves spaghetti just as much as my family does, so of course, he was always asking me to make it.
And once I finally embraced the deliciousness that is spaghetti and Ragú, this casserole dish became our compromise – I still get my comforting-inducing cheesy pasta dish while he gets his classic spaghetti and sauce.
It’s a win-win!
And speaking of tradition, did you know that Ragú was founded by a woman named Assunta Cantisano?
I only recently learned her story, but it’s the épidémie of woman power:
A single mother who immigrated from Italy to the US during the Great Depression, armed with determination and an authentic Italian sauce recipe.
I love hearing that my favorite brands have a rich history.
notes & tips for this baked spaghetti casserole recipe:
- It’s clear by this post that I love Ragú sauce, but you can use any type of sauce you have on hand (or make your own homemade meat sauce or marinara sauce) for this spaghetti casserole.
- Like the square baking dish that was used in these photographs? You can pick one up here: square baking dish.
- If you love casseroles, be sure to check out Chicken Penne Casserole, Meatball Sub Casserole, Teriyaki Chicken Casserole, White Chicken Taco Casserole, and Tuna Noodle Casserole!
- Looking for more Italian recipes? Be sure to check out Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana, Penne alla Vodka, Gnocchi alla Sorrentina, Baked Italian Sausage Ravioli, Creamy Italian Baked Eggs, Cheesy Spaghetti Stuffed Peppers, Easy Cheesy Manicotti, and Creamy Pesto Shrimp Pasta.
Baked Spaghetti Casserole
Revamp boring spaghetti by baking it in a deep dish filled with delicious cheeses, savory meats, and flavorful red sauce. An easy weeknight dinner!
- 12 oz spaghetti
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 23 oz spaghetti sauce flavor of your choice
- 2 egg
- 16 oz ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese plus more for topping
- 3 tbsp butter melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese mild or sharp
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- In a 6 quart stockpot, cook spaghetti to package instructions and drain thoroughly. If desired, rinse spaghetti with cold water to stop cooking and make noodles easier to work with. Set noodles aside.
While spaghetti cooks, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add ground beef and onion to skillet and cook & crumble beef until browned, about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic to skillet and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Drain any excess grease then return meat mixture to skillet.
Add your chosen spaghetti sauce to skillet and allow to simmer with meat 5 minutes, then turn heat to low.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and melted butter. Set aside.
- Add 1/3 of the meat mixture to the bottom of prepared baking dish, then top it with 1/3 of the cheese mix. Add 1/2 of the spaghetti and spread evenly. Repeat with another layer of meat sauce, cheese, then spaghetti. Finish with the remaining cheese sauce and meat sauce. Sprinkle cheddar, Monterrey jack, and mozzarella cheeses on top.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until cheese sauce has melted and dish is heated through. If you rinsed noodles with cool water, bake at least 25 minutes.
Serve spaghetti casserole immediately with parsley, red pepper flakes, and extra parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.