Baked Spaghetti Casserole

Looking for a hearty and comforting dish that’s perfect for feeding a crowd or satisfying your family’s hunger? Look no further than this delectable Baked Spaghetti Casserole. With layers of savory meat sauce, creamy cheeses, and perfectly cooked spaghetti, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your meal rotation. Let’s dive into how you can create this mouthwatering masterpiece in your own kitchen.


  • 16 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey)
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar Prego® Traditional Italian Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ⅓ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat and Prep: Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F and greasing a 9×13-inch baking dish with oil.
  2. Cook the Spaghetti: Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
  3. Prepare the Meat Sauce: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and diced onion. Cook until the meat is browned and the onion is softened. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Stir in the entire jar of Prego® Traditional Italian Sauce and let it simmer while you prepare the pasta.
  4. Coat the Pasta: In the pot used to cook the spaghetti, combine the cooked spaghetti, butter, and shredded Parmesan cheese. Toss until the butter is melted and the pasta is evenly coated.
  5. Layering: Spread half of the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the cottage cheese, half of the meat sauce, and half of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients.
  6. Bake: Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Serve and Enjoy: Once baked to golden perfection, serve this comforting and hearty meal hot, and enjoy the flavorful blend of ingredients with your loved ones.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12

Serving and Storage Tips:

1. Serving Suggestions:

  • Garnish with freshly chopped parsley or basil for a pop of color and added flavor.
  • Serve alongside a crisp green salad dressed with vinaigrette for a refreshing contrast.
  • Pair with garlic bread or breadsticks for a complete and satisfying meal.

2. Portioning:

  • Use a sharp knife to cut the casserole into equal-sized portions for easy serving.
  • Consider serving with a spatula or serving spoon to ensure each serving retains its layers and presentation.

3. Make-Ahead Option:

  • Prepare the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it, covered, for up to 24 hours before baking.
  • Simply remove from the refrigerator, allow it to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes, then bake as directed.

4. Freezing Instructions:

  • This casserole is freezer-friendly! Once baked, allow it to cool completely.
  • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or transfer to an airtight container.
  • Freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  • When ready to enjoy, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating in the oven until warmed through.

5. Reheating:

  • To reheat leftovers, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Place the desired portion in an oven-safe dish and cover with aluminum foil to prevent drying out.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
  • Alternatively, individual portions can be reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, checking periodically for desired temperature.

6. Enjoying Leftovers:

  • Leftover Baked Spaghetti Casserole makes for a delicious next-day lunch or dinner.
  • Consider repurposing leftovers into spaghetti sandwiches or wraps for a fun twist on a classic dish.
  • Remember to store any remaining leftovers promptly in the refrigerator to maintain freshness.

With these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your Baked Spaghetti Casserole remains as delicious and satisfying as when it was freshly baked. From portioning to freezing, these tips will help you make the most of this comforting dish, whether serving a crowd or enjoying cozy leftovers at home.

Variations :

1. Veggie Delight:

  • Add a variety of diced vegetables such as bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, or spinach to the meat sauce for extra flavor and nutrition.
  • For a vegetarian version, omit the ground beef and increase the amount of vegetables or substitute with plant-based protein like lentils or tofu.

2. Spicy Kick:

  • Incorporate crushed red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños into the meat sauce for a spicy twist.
  • Top the casserole with sliced jalapeños or drizzle with hot sauce before serving for an added heat.

3. Cheese Lover’s Dream:

  • Experiment with different types of cheese such as cheddar, provolone, or fontina in place of or in addition to the mozzarella cheese for a richer flavor profile.
  • Consider mixing in a cheese blend for added complexity and creaminess.

4. Herbs and Seasonings:

  • Enhance the flavor of the dish by adding dried herbs such as oregano, basil, or Italian seasoning to the meat sauce or pasta mixture.
  • Fresh herbs like parsley or basil can be sprinkled over the top of the casserole before serving for a burst of freshness.

5. Gluten-Free Option:

  • Substitute gluten-free spaghetti or your favorite gluten-free pasta for traditional spaghetti to accommodate gluten sensitivities or preferences.
  • Ensure all other ingredients, including the sauce and cheeses, are gluten-free certified.

6. Mediterranean Twist:

  • Replace the traditional Italian sauce with a homemade marinara sauce infused with Mediterranean flavors like olives, capers, and sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Top the casserole with crumbled feta cheese and chopped fresh parsley for a Mediterranean-inspired finish.

7. Tex-Mex Fusion:

  • Transform the dish into a Tex-Mex delight by using a spicy salsa or enchilada sauce in place of the Italian sauce.
  • Incorporate ingredients like black beans, corn, and diced green chilies into the meat sauce for a Southwestern flair.
  • Garnish with sliced avocado, diced tomatoes, and a dollop of sour cream before serving.

8. Meaty Options:

  • Experiment with different types of ground meat such as pork, chicken, or sausage for a unique flavor profile.
  • For a heartier version, add cooked and crumbled bacon or diced pepperoni to the meat sauce.

9. Healthier Swaps:

  • Substitute whole wheat or alternative grain pasta for traditional spaghetti to increase the fiber content and nutritional value of the dish.
  • Use low-fat or part-skim cheeses in place of full-fat varieties to reduce the overall calorie and fat content.

10. Personalized Toppings:

  • Encourage customization by setting out an array of toppings such as sliced olives, diced tomatoes, green onions, or crushed tortilla chips, allowing each diner to customize their portion according to their preferences.

With these creative variations, you can customize your Baked Spaghetti Casserole to suit your taste preferences, dietary needs, or culinary whims. Whether you opt for a spicy kick, a veggie-packed delight, or a cheesy indulgence, each variation promises a delicious and satisfying dining experience. Let your imagination run wild and enjoy exploring the endless possibilities of this versatile dish!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) :

1. Can I use a different type of pasta for this casserole?

  • Yes, you can! While spaghetti is traditional, you can experiment with other pasta shapes like penne, rigatoni, or fusilli to change the texture and appearance of the dish.

2. Can I make this casserole ahead of time?

  • Absolutely! You can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it, covered, for up to 24 hours before baking. This makes it convenient for meal prep or entertaining.

3. Can I freeze leftover baked spaghetti casserole?

  • Yes, you can freeze leftovers for future enjoyment. Ensure the casserole is cooled completely, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or transfer to an airtight container before freezing for up to 2-3 months.

4. How do I reheat frozen baked spaghetti casserole?

  • To reheat frozen casserole, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Then, you can reheat it in the oven at 350°F until warmed through or microwave individual portions until heated to your liking.


This Baked Spaghetti Casserole is not only delicious but also incredibly simple to prepare. Whether you’re hosting a gathering or simply craving a cozy family dinner, this dish is sure to impress. So, gather your ingredients and get ready to delight your taste buds with this irresistible recipe!