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 bake this delicious baked spaghetti!
What I Love About Baked Spaghetti With Cream Cheese Recipe
- The creamy tomato sauce
- The crispy fried onion topping
- Makes plenty to go around
- Straightforward prep
Baked Spaghetti With Cream Cheese Ingredients
- 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.
- Jar Spaghetti Sauce: This recipe calls for 2 jars of prepared spaghetti sauce. If you’d like to use homemade, try my homemade Marinara sauce.
- Meat: I use 80/20 ground beef.
- Italian Seasoning: I use McCormick Italian Seasoning Perfect Pinch.
- Salt + Pepper
- Olive Oil: You’ll only add this if you don’t have enough drippings from cooking the meat.
- Onion: I use a yellow onion but a white one would work too.
- Bell Pepper: Use any color you’d like. Red is my preference.
- Garlic: Use fresh cloves.
- Cream Cheese: Use regular full fat not the low fat version.
- Sour Cream: Adds creaminess to the cheese mixture.
- Mozzarella: Shred your own from the block. The stuff that comes pre-shredded in the bag is coated with cellulose which is obtained from wood pulp.
- Parmesan: Buy it in the containers from the deli, skip the stuff in the green contain.
- Fried Onion: This is an unusual ingredient in spaghetti dish, but my family loves it on top.
- Pasta Prep: As with all baked spaghetti recipes, you want to make sure you use good pasta prep techniques. Salt the water well before cooking. 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.
Storing + Freezing + Make-Ahead
- How To Store: 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 a resealable plastic bag or glass containers because of the tomato-based sauce.
- How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge? This will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- 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!
This is delicious with a simple salad tossed with my super easy balsamic vinaigrette or my fully loaded Mediterranean salad. It’s also wonderful with my ever-fluffy Olive Garden breadsticks, or amazing herb garlic bread.
More Spaghetti Recipes
There are endless variations of spaghetti dishes that are all as delicious as the original! Check out these Spaghetti variations!
- Tiktok Spaghetti
- Italian Spaghetti
- Chicken Spaghetti
- Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Spaghetti And Meatballs Recipe
- Spaghetti Recipe With Ground Beef
- Chicken Spaghetti With Rotel
- Instant Pot 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!