I am so excited to share one of my family’s all-time favorite pasta recipes, this baked spaghetti with cream cheese recipe was an instant sensation in my house. None of my other spaghetti recipes inspire the same amount of enthusiastic arguing over leftovers (when there are any!).
The cream cheese and marinara sauce coat each and every spaghetti noodle to perfection. Then I top it off with a layer of Parmesan cheese AND french fried onions.
Let me tell ya, that topping is ah-mazing, and it’s the secret to this recipe’s success! My mouth is watering just thinking about baked spaghetti with cream cheese!
Let’s head to the kitchen and get cookin’!
This baked spaghetti with cream cheese recipe is one of my family’s all-time favorites. Here are some of the highlights!
- The creamy tomato sauce
- The crispy fried onion topping
- Makes plenty to go around
- Straightforward prep
This baked spaghetti with cream cheese recipe comes together easily. Here are a few notes to help you out!
Pasta Prep: As with all baked spaghetti recipes, you want to make sure you use good pasta prep techniques and don’t overcook your pasta when you boil it. Leave a little bite in it, and it will finish cooking in the oven!
The Sauce: I use two layers to make this cream cheese spaghetti sauce. I find the cream component of the sauce comes together easier if your cream cheese and milk can sit out for about 30 minutes first. If your cream cheese is fresh from the fridge, I recommend cutting it into small cubes to help it melt faster.
Pasta: I like spaghetti for this recipe since the noodles can get a generous coating of sauce. You can use any type of pasta you have on hand! For shorter pasta, you’ll likely need a bit more than 8 ounces of dry pasta.
Spaghetti Storing Tips
To maximize the freshness of your leftovers, make sure you store this baked spaghetti with cream cheese recipe in a container with a tight-fitting lid to prevent it from drying out. I prefer to store spaghetti in glass containers because of the tomato-based sauce.
Can You Freeze This?
This is a great make and freeze dish. Follow the instruction up to the point of baking. Allow it to cool completely before wrapping it well in cling wrap and putting it in the freezer.
Do not top with the onions before freezing. Wait and put them on at the end of the bake as instructed.
Make Ahead Tips
As mentioned above, this baked spaghetti with cream cheese recipe freezes really well. It will taste as fresh as if you made it that day! You can also make ahead to the point of baking and put it in the fridge for a day or two. It’s a great way to make this a mid-week meal!
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
This baked spaghetti with cream cheese recipe will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, according to food safety guidelines. It will keep in the freezer for several months.
Always remember that pasta recipes can be endlessly adapted to your individual tastes and needs. Here are some ideas to inspire you!
Can This Be Made With A Mexican Twist?
Taco spaghetti may sound crazy, but I think it’s a great twist on tradition. You could play with the flavors of this recipe or check out Mexican Spaghetti for a cheesy, south of the border spaghetti bake that might just replace your taco Tuesday routine!
Can I Cook This In An Instant Pot Instead?
To convert this to an Instant Pot Spaghetti recipe, you would have to adjust the moisture level. Typically, recipes like Instant pot spaghetti and meatballs call for about 3-4 cups of water because the pasta and sauce are cooked together.
I don’t think it would be a good option with the cream cheese, and you wouldn’t be able to crisp the onions on top. I’d stick to the oven on this one!
Can I Cook This Using Crockpot?
I think the crockpot method would have the same issues as the Instant pot method for this baked spaghetti with cream cheese recipe. You’re going to get the best results after a trip through the oven, but don’t worry! I’ve got you covered with a great crockpot spaghetti recipe!
You’ll love the convenience, and the sauce is delish!
Can I Use Chicken Instead?
Chicken spaghetti is a fantastic way to change up this recipe. You can simply swap out a pound of cooked, shredded chicken for the ground beef.
What Other Bake Spaghetti Can I Make?
I love baked spaghetti with cream cheese sour cream and cottage cheese. The time in the oven allows the cream and sauce to bake into the pasta for a thick, casserole-like dish.
Baking is an extra step, but it’s oh, so worth it. Other excellent spaghetti bakes are chicken spaghetti bake, and nothing beats a simple cheesy baked spaghetti!
Baked Spaghetti With Cream Cheese
- 16 ounces dried spaghetti uncooked
- 2 (24-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce~ divided
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- as needed olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 cup sweet red pepper, ribs and seeds removed then diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 ounces--(1 1/2--8ounce packages) 8-Ounce Packages Cream Cheese, softened at room temperature, and cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese grated
- 1-2 cup french fried onions
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9X13 inch baking dish; set aside.
- Cook Spaghetti according to package directions, just until al dente. Drain well and return cooked pasta to original pot it was cooked in. Add 1 jar of prepared marinara sauce and toss to evenly coat pasta.
- In a large skillet, brown beef adding the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and cook until there is no longer any pink. Remove cooked beef to a paper towel lined plate; set aside. Drain and discard all but 2 tablespoon of fat from skillet. If you don't have 2 tablespoon of oil, add enough olive oil to compensate. (Just eyeball this. You only need enough oil to saute the veggies.)
- In a medium bowl mix the cooked beef and remaining 1 jar of prepared marinara sauce.
- Add onions, red peppers, and garlic to skillet and saute until they are soft. Remove from heat. Add cream cheese, sour cream, and Mozzarella to skillet and stir until well combined. Set aside.
- In prepared 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. Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake in preheat oven until casserole is baked through the center, about 25 minutes.
- Remove casserole and top with the french fried onions and bake another 5 minutes, watching carefully so onions do not burn. SERVE!
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There are endless variations of spaghetti dishes that are all as delicious as the original! Check out these Spaghetti variations!
- Chicken Spaghetti Casserole – Stuffed with chicken, pasta, and yumminess
- Italian Spaghetti – You can’t beat classic Italian flavors
- Spaghetti And Meatballs Recipe – Rich marinara and moist, perfectly spiced meatballs
- Million Dollar Spaghetti – I promise it tastes as good as it sounds!
- Spaghetti Recipe With Ground Beef – Traditional but by no means boring
Be sure to leave me a comment! I love to hear from you!!