Well, let me tell ya, this totally lived up to all my expectations. It has become the family’s favorite spaghetti recipe! It’s a wonderful comfort food meal that makes the whole house smell incredible while it’s being prepared. My family absolutely devoured it. We had a tiny bit left over, and my son called dibs on the leftovers at breakfast the next morning. I had to literally beg to have a measly bite!
Since you use a jarred spaghetti sauce, this comes together pretty quickly. You can make this ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze without the French Fried onions. Don’t forget to add them 5 minutes before casserole is finished cooking.
- Dried Spaghetti, Uncooked - 8 Ounces
- Ground Beef - 1 Pound
- Dried Oregano - 1/2 Tablespoon
- Salt - 1/2 Teaspoon
- Pepper - 1/4 Teaspoon
- Jar of Spaghetti Sauce - 1- 24 Ounce
- Olive Oil - 1 Tablespoon (as needed)
- Sweet Red Pepper, Diced - 1/2 Cup
- Yellow Onion, Diced - 1/2 Cup
- Cream Cheese, at Room Temperature, Cubed - 8 Ounces
- Milk - 2 Tablespoons
- Parmesan Cheese Grated - 1-1 1/2 Cups
- French Fried Onions - 1 Cup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook Spaghetti according to package directions, just until al dente. Drain well and set aside.
- In a large skillet, brown beef adding the oregano, salt and pepper, and cook until there is no longer any pink. Remove cooked beef to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from skillet. If you don't have 1 tablespoon of oil, add enough olive oil to compensate. (Just eyeball this. You only need enough oil to saute the veggies.)
- Add peppers and onions to skillet and saute until they are soft. Add cream cheese and milk to skillet and stir until well combined. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl mix the cooked beef and spaghetti sauce.
- In a 9x13 inch baking dish, add about 1/3 of a cup of sauce-meat mixture, and spread to cover bottom of dish.
- Add all the spaghetti to baking dish and spread out evenly.
- Add the cream cheese-veggie mixture to baking dish and spread out evenly.
- Add the sauce-meat mixture to baking dish and spread out evenly.
- Top casserole with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake in preheat oven until casserole is baked through the center, about 25 minutes.
- Top casserole with the french fried onions and bake another 5 minutes, watching carefully so onions do not burn. SERVE :)
[donotprint]Source:Adapted from Salad in a Jar[/donotprint]