Easy Baked Spaghetti Casserole with a meaty sauce layered between spaghetti and cheese….like a spaghetti Lasagna only easier to make!
This delicious casserole feeds a crowd and then some. I love to make this up on a Friday night so we don’t have to cook all weekend. Love my Friday night music and cooking sessions!
How to make Baked Spaghetti Casserole –
Start with ground beef, chicken or turkey. 93/7 ground chicken is usually my choice. You can cut a few calories with 100% fat free ground turkey but it tastes like a paper plate. Ever eat a paper plate? Ya me either, not starting now….
PRO TIP: First thing, start the water boiling for the pasta before browning the beef because this step alone will reduce your time at the stove by about 15 minutes.
Ground meat, onion, garlic all in the pan and then comes the crushed tomatoes and spices.
SUB TIP: You can substitute one 32 ounce store bought marinara in place of the crushed tomatoes. Taste for seasoning as you may not need it.
Can I use other shaped pasta in this spaghetti casserole?
- We love to use angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti for this casserole. It makes a lighter meal.
- You can also sub any pasta, penne, macaroni, linguine…any will work!
After pasta is done and your sauce is cooked…start the quick job of layering.
- Meat Sauce
- ending with sauce and cheese!
Bake for 30 minutes and serve it up!
What should I serve with this?
- Cheesy Garlic Bread
- Easy Homemade Rolls
- simple green salad
Can I freeze this Baked Spaghetti Casserole?
- Yes! Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat at 325 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.
This makes a hearty lunch the next day as well. The casserole that keeps on giving!
More easy casseroles for you….
Sunday Night Cheese and Chicken Casserole
Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole
To casseroles that feed the people we love!
Baked Spaghetti Casserole
- 8 oz spaghetti angel hair or thin spaghetti are great substitutes to keep it light
- 1 pound ground chicken beef, or turkey 93/7 fat content
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons ground oregano
- 1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes or a 32 ounce jar of store bought marinara. Taste for seasonings before adding oregano salt and pepper.
- 2 cups grated cheddar and mozzerella blend cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- In large skillet brown ground meat. Drain excess fat. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- In same skillet, add olive oil, chopped onions and garlic. Saute until onions are soft.
- Add crushed tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.
- Add meat into sauce.
- Butter a 9 x 13 dish.
- Cover the bottom of the dish with 1/3 of the meat sauce.
- Top with half the pasta and 1/2 cup of cheese.
- Repeat layers ending in sauce. Top with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until warmed through and bubbly!
- Substitute angel hair or thin spaghetti for a lighter version.
- Use one 32 ounce of store bought marinara in place of the crushed tomatoes if desired.
- If using full fat ground beef, drain all but two tablespoons of the grease after browning.
I love how easy this recipe is! The crushed tomatoes made the sauce very tart – but I added some butter (about 5tbsp) and brown sugar (about 4 tsp) and that cut the tartness and gave it a nice flavor. I liked it so much after that I would make the recipe the same way again, adding the butter and sugar!
Am I missing something? Is the pasta pre-cooked or raw when you add it to the casserole dish?
Kathi @ LaughingSpatula.com says
Hi there! Instruction #2…cook pasta according to directions on box. So yes, pre cook the pasta :). Thanks!
Thanks. That was a total senior moment!
Kathi @ LaughingSpatula.com says
From one senior to another…clink!
This looks really good but I will use GF pasta
Kathi Kirk says
Hi Lynn – I think that would work fine. I’ve cooked with it before but not for this dish.
Thanks for the note!
Hi, I have been looking for a spaghetti casserole for may daughters Harry Potter Birthday party this weekend. She wanted Slytherin Spaghetti but I didn’t know how to make this ahead! Can I make day before and heat next day? Will pasta get mushy? I need spaghetti for 24, would two 9×13 pans work? Thanks so much
Kathi Kirk says
Hi there! Yes, this casserole will hold up great overnight and for 24 you will need two batches. Sounds like a fun party!
Beautiful photos, Kathi….this looks yummy and now I am in the mood for spaghetti but I have to say that I have yet to make meatballs with chicken.
This sounds like a nice, easy and quick dinner after a very busy day, so I’m saving this recipe for just such an occasion. I’ll use whole wheat pasta, and I’ll serve it with a nice green tossed salad. I’m a huge fan of Flat Leaf Italian Parsley, so I’ll sprinkle some minced parsley over the casserole after it comes out of the oven. I ‘luv’ these E-Z recipes on busy days, so thanks….and please keep them coming’!