Let’s talk million dollar spaghetti recipe. This is one of those recipes that is truly, CRAZY delicious. If it’s not in your regular dinner rotation, that should change stat!
This dish is part spaghetti and part lasagna. It combines three different kinds of cheese, Italian sausage, and a half cup of butter. Hence the reason this is called million dollar spaghetti.
Let me tell you, something happens when all the cheeses and sausage get melted together that is almost magical. I promise it will quickly become your family’s favorite baked spaghetti dish.
What I Love About Million Dollar Spaghetti Recipe
- Even picky eaters will love it!
- Casserole = Make-Ahead MAGIC
- Serious Ooey gooey comfort food
- Makes a family sized quantity
Million Dollar Spaghetti Recipe Notes
Does that say cottage cheese? Yes, it does. Before you dismiss this million dollar spaghetti recipe, hear me out: cottage cheese is a mind-blowing ingredient that far too many people avoid, thinking their food will turn out tasting too “curdled.” That is not the case at all! More importantly, its texture changes when it melts to something wonderful.
Cottage cheese adds a fabulous creamy texture to foods as well as hearty servings of protein. But if it still seems just too odd for you, ricotta cheese is a perfectly acceptable substitute! It just won’t be quite as creamy, though. Use the same amount as the cottage cheese.
Spice it up! The dried Italian seasonings and the sausage, as well as the extra spices you add to this dish, will give this casserole that zesty Italian kick — but try tossing in a handful of chopped fresh basil, if you have any on hand, especially as a finishing garnish.
Meat: I use Italian sausage in my million dollar spaghetti recipe, and man, is it good. The extra flavor added by that sausage is simply outstanding, and really makes this recipe a true crowd-pleaser.
If you or your audience are not particularly fond of sausage (like my sister, Alise!!), you can absolutely use ground beef instead, but I don’t think the final flavor is as robust.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
This lasagna-spaghetti hybrid will retain its shape for up to 3-4 days in the fridge. Longer, and you risk bacteria growth, as well as soggy, inedible pasta. But! If eaten within the four-day window, it’s just as mouth-watering as it was the first day!
Can You Freeze This?
Absolutely! Many casserole baking dishes come with their own attachable airtight lid. If yours doesn’t have one, simply spoon it into an airtight container or resealable plastic bag, and store in your freezer for up to 1-2 months.
Remember, frozen pasta will get softer, so there will be a textural change.
To Freezer Before Its Baked
- Assemble the recipe through step 5.
- Wrap the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap first, then aluminum foil. (Remember, plastic wrap sticks best to itself. Start with a long piece of plastic wrap that goes all the way around the baking dish.)
- Thaw the casserole overnight in the fridge.
- Bake it!
- Enjoy ♥
Make Ahead Tips
If there’s food more make-ahead friendly than casseroles, I don’t know it! This million dollar spaghetti recipe can be whipped up in a pinch by making the sauce (Step 3) and storing it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. When you’re ready to compile the full dish, simply make the remaining ingredients, mix in the sauce, and proceed, time saved!
It’s a great dish to prep the day before or early on the day of serving. Just assemble the dish, and refrigerate. It can last 24 hours without drying out.
Just before dinner you can pull the dish out of the fridge and bake. I would strongly recommend that you let the pasta sit out on the counter for 30-40 minutes or so after pulling it out of the fridge.
***Do not put in a cold glass or ceramic baking dish in a hot oven or it might break. I usually pull the pasta out and set it on the counter while I fix the garlic bread and salad.
If necessary, you can use two 8×8 baking pans. Sometimes I’ll bake one small pan and freeze the other for a later meal.
After baking, this million dollar spaghetti recipe needs to sit for a little bit before cutting. I usually give it 10 full minutes of cooling before I dig into it with a knife or spatula.”)
Wanna lure the crowd quickly to the table? Easy peasy. Just fill up your dinner table with the rich aroma of my ever-fluffy Olive Garden breadsticks, Garlic Bread,or take a bite of beer bread, or Bisquick biscuit recipe and let them hear the crunchy sound of its crispy crust!
More Spaghetti Recipes
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Mexican Spaghetti
- Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Chicken Spaghetti with Rotel
- Spaghetti Pie
- TikTok Spaghetti
Million Dollar Spaghetti
- 16 ounces dried spaghetti noodles
- 1 cup (1 Medium) yellow onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage casing removed
- 6 cups homemade marinara sauce,-divided or 2 (24-ounce) jars marinara sauce
- 8 ounces cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 3 cups mozzarella shredded-divided
- 1/2 cup butter cut into slices-divided
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bring a large pot of water, with 1 tablespoon of salt, to a boil. Cook pasta according to the package. Drain well, then return pasta to the original pot, and add 3 cups or 1 jar of prepared marinara sauce and combine. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add onion and garlic and cook until they begin to soften about 5 minutes. Add sausage to skillet, and brown, crumbling sausage with a wooden spoon. Cook until there is no longer any pink in sausage. Drain well. Add the remaining 3 cups or 1 jar marinara sauce to the skillet. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine Cottage cheese or ricotta cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, 1 cup mozzarella, and Italian seasoning. Set aside.
- Place half the sliced butter in the baking dish. Spread half the spaghetti in the dish, then spread the cheese mixture evenly over the spaghetti. Top with the remaining butter slices. Spread remaining spaghetti over cheese mixture. Pour tomato meat sauce evenly over the top layer of spaghetti.
- Top with remaining mozzarella and bake in the preheated oven until casserole is heated through about 35-45 minutes.