Revamp boring spaghetti by baking it in a deep dish filled with delicious cheeses, savory meats, and a flavorful red sauce. An easy weeknight dinner!
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About Baked Spaghetti Casserole
This baked spaghetti casserole has quickly become a staple in our house, but that took some time – which, of course, was all my fault.
I grew up convinced I didn’t like spaghetti (thanks to irrationally picky eating habits as a kid) despite the fact that I loved just about every other type of pasta. Thankfully I’ve grown wiser in my years and have seen the error in my ways (ie, I now acknowledge that spaghetti is awesome), but even now I don’t make spaghetti as much as I should.
Or, that is, I didn’t make it enough – until I discovered this casserole.
Because you see, when I make spaghetti, I like to bake it in a deep dish filled with delicious cheeses, savory meats, and flavorful spaghetti sauce. And once I finally embraced the deliciousness that is spaghetti, this casserole dish became our compromise – I still get my comforting-inducing cheesy pasta dish while an old friend of mine still gets his classic spaghetti and sauce.
It’s a win-win!
Can you freeze spaghetti casserole?
Yes, you can freeze this casserole, and you can do it both before or after baking. However, I would only recommend freezing the leftovers. If you’re meal prepping this dish or dinner at a later date, I would highly recommend freezing it before baking. You’ll have much better results this way.
To freeze before baking:
- Line a baking dish with ziplock bags, making sure that a few inches of foil extend over all sides of the dish.
- Follow the recipe instructions and assemble the ingredients in the prepared baking dish. (Note: even though you’re not baking the casserole at this point, the ground beef should still be cooked before adding it to the dish.)
- Transfer the casserole dish to the freezer and freeze until firm. Once firm, grip the excess foil around the edge and lift the prepared casserole out of the baking dish. Fold the edges of the foil over the casserole, then cover the top with more foil. Secure it as best you can to keep out air.
- Store in the freezer for up to one month.
To freeze after baking:
Allow spaghetti casserole to cool completely, then transfer serving-sized portions to ziplock bags. Store in the freezer for up to one month.
How to reheat spaghetti casserole
No matter how you froze your casserole, it’s best to let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
If you froze the casserole before baking, do the following:
- Remove casserole from the freezer and peel away all of the foil (both top and bottom).
- Place frozen casserole in a baking dish, then cover with more foil or some plastic wrap.
- Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- Bake per recipe instructions.
What to serve with spaghetti casserole
This baked casserole goes well with all traditional accompaniments for pasta, but a few of my favorites are:
notes & tips for this baked spaghetti casserole recipe
- Like the square baking dish that was used in these photographs? You can pick one up here: square baking dish.
More comforting casserole recipes
Baked Spaghetti Casserole
- 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 salted 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.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I'm not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.