This baked spaghetti recipe is one of my all-time favorite pasta recipes. I love how the trip through the oven transforms traditional spaghetti recipes into bubbly, cheesy deliciousness that you just can’t get with sauce spooned over noodles.
Baked spaghetti gives the sauce and pasta time to bond and some of the moisture to evaporate, resulting in a thick, rich pasta bake that will definitely have everyone asking for seconds!
Let’s head to the kitchen and get cooking!
This baked spaghetti recipe has a lot of things going for it! Here’s a list of my favorite things!
- Plenty to go around
- Super simple to make
- Creamy tomato sauce coats every noodle
- Lots of cheesy yumminess throughout
Moisture: Make sure you allow your pasta plenty of time to drain. Toss it gently in the strainer to shake loose any trapped water. Excess moisture will make your pasta bake runny!
Vegetarian version: If you want to make a meatless baked spaghetti, you can simply leave out the meat and decrease the amount of marinara sauce. You’ll want just enough sauce to coat the noodles. You can add veggies, but beware of the moisture they will bring. Some great options would be mushrooms, zucchini, or eggplant.
Cooking the pasta: Use proper pasta cooking techniques when cooking the spaghetti. Be sure not to overcook it, or it will turn to mush when baked!
Spaghetti Bake Ingredient Notes
Pasta: Since this is a spaghetti bake, the recipe calls for spaghetti, but you can use any kind of pasta you want!
Marinara sauce: Use your favorite bottled sauce for extra convenience! I like to use a tomato basil flavor, but a four cheese or garlic marinara sauce would be good too!
Spaghetti Storing Tips
I love leftover spaghetti. It calls to me from the fridge, and I’ll confess- sometimes I don’t even bother warming it up! This baked spaghetti recipe is no different. Leftovers store best in a well-sealed container in the fridge to prevent it from drying out.
Can You Freeze This?
This baked spaghetti recipe freezes beautifully. You can freeze it prior to baking or freeze the leftovers. If you’re freezing before baking, make sure you freeze in a freezer and oven safe baking dish. Allow it to warm up a bit on the counter before popping in the oven.
If you’re cooking from frozen, it will take at least twice as long to bake.
Make Ahead Tips
Baked spaghetti is a great make-ahead dish. Simply assemble according to the direction, but instead of putting it in the oven, wrap it well with cling wrap or a tight-fitting lid and put it in the fridge!
When you’re ready for hot from the oven spaghetti, bake and serve. Your baking time will be increased slightly if it is coming straight from the fridge.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
You can store this baked spaghetti recipe in the fridge for 3-4 days. I suggest storing it in a glass container due to the tomato-based sauce. According to food handing guidelines, it can be frozen for 4-6 months.
Like most pasta recipes, you can’t make this baked spaghetti recipe incorrectly! Feel free to experiment and put your twist on it!
Can I Make This Recipe With Meatballs Instead?
This would be a fantastic recipe to convert to a spaghetti and meatballs recipe! Instead of the ground beef and sausage, use your favorite frozen meatballs or make your own! Baked spaghetti and meatballs will have the family running to the dinner table.
You can even make instant pot spaghetti and meatballs for a short cut. The Instant Pot will cook the pasta along with everything else!
Can I Add Cream Cheese?
In this baked spaghetti recipe, I use sour cream to round out the sauce. You could use 8 oz of cream cheese with very similar results. If you really want to knock their socks off with a creamy cheese sauce, try my baked spaghetti with cream cheese. It’s one of my favorite pasta bakes!
Can I Use Chicken Instead?
I love chicken spaghetti, and you could certainly make this baked spaghetti recipe into a pasta and chicken bake that your family will love. You should also check out my cheesy chicken spaghetti or my chicken spaghetti with rotel tomatoes. They’re both fabulous pasta recipes with loads of chicken and out of this world flavor!
Can This Be Made With A Mexican Twist?
One of the best things about pasta is how versatile it is! Want to infuse a little south of the border flavor? Go for it! Check out my Mexican spaghetti for inspiration. Taco spaghetti is a fun way to change up your taco night!
What Other Bake Spaghetti Can I Make?
I make my baked spaghetti with sausage, but you could use other meat like pepperoni or Canadian bacon. It would be a cross between baked spaghetti and pizza! Baked spaghetti with cream of mushroom soup instead of sour cream would be another great option to add creaminess to the sauce.
Of course, a chicken spaghetti bake like the ones listed above is a fantastic twist on the traditional ground meat approach.
- 1 (16-ounce) package spaghetti
- 1 pound ground beef 80/20
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 pound Italian Sausage
- 1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 (24-ounce) jars tomato and basil sauce or marinara sauce
- (16 ounce) container sour cream
- 3 cups mozzarella shredded, divided
- 1 cup parmesan shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cook the spaghetti in well-salted water according to package instructions, just to al dente and drain well. Wipe out the pasta pot with paper towels and pour the well-drained pasta bake in the pot.
- Add the beef, salt, and pepper to a large skillet and brown, breaking it up into medium chunks until there is no longer any pink. Drain excess fat. Pour beef into the pasta pot.
- In the same skillet, brown the sausage, breaking it up into medium chunks, until cooked through. Pour the sausage into the pasta pot. Remove and discard all but 2 tablespoons of fat in the skillet. If there are not 2 tablespoons of fat, add vegetable oil.
- Add the onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning to the skillet and saute on medium-low until onions are translucent. Pour into the pasta pot.
- Pour the tomato basil sauce, sour cream, 1 cup mozzarella, and parmesan into the pasta pot and fold until everything is evenly combined and all the pasta is well coated in sauce.
- Pour the pasta into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the top evenly with the remaining mozzarella. Bake in preheated oven until bubbly, about 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle top with parsley and serve.
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I know you’re going to love this baked spaghetti recipe! My copy is well worn since it is a frequent request at my house. Of course, I’m always happy to make it. It’s quick, easy, and oh so yummy!
I can’t wait to hear how it works for you. Be sure to leave a comment!