Baked Spaghetti

by Lana Stuart on July 5, 2011 · 28 comments

Baked Spaghetti

Just in case you were wondering, no, I haven’t dropped off the face of the Earth. I haven’t stopped cooking either. I’ve just been otherwise occupied for the past few weeks. BeeBop and I both took a nice long vacation that started with a U.S. Navy reunion in Charleston, South Carolina, followed by a week-long visit from our beautiful grandkids! We’ve been so busy we didn’t know whether we were coming or going for a few days there.

You know I’ve said before how I have no problem taking the occasional shortcut in the kitchen, right? Well, when you have important visitors like grandchildren it’s even more urgent to get in and out of the kitchen in a hurry. We never want to miss a minute with them when they’re here! It’s also important to make recipes that are kid-friendly. This recipe fits both those descriptions. I’ve taken a big shortcut by using a jarred spaghetti sauce and you can bet your bottom dollar that kids love this Baked Spaghetti. While the spaghetti bakes, you can fix up a nice tossed salad and some garlic bread and you’re good to go!

Start by putting a large pot of salted water on to boil and preheating the oven to 350.

Baked Spaghetti

While the water is heating, cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until it’s nicely browned with no visible pink color remaining. Drain off any excess fat and return the ground beef to the pan. Add the spaghetti sauce, salt and pepper, and stir that together with the ground beef.  Bring the mixture to a bubble, cover it and reduce the heat to a simmer. I always use Ragu Traditional style spaghetti sauce for this recipe. It’s a kid favorite and contains lots of veggies. Always a bonus.

By this time, the water should be boiling so you can drop in your pasta and let it cook according to the package directions.

Baked Spaghetti

When the pasta is done, drain it and start assembling the casserole. Put about 1/3 of the meat sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish, followed by about half the cooked pasta and half the cheddar cheese.  Add another third of the sauce and the remaining pasta. End with the rest of the sauce and top with the remaining one cup of cheddar and the parmesan cheese on top.

Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. And, by the way, it’s easier to serve if you cut it into squares.

Enjoy!

Baked Spaghetti
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Layers of meat sauce, spaghetti and cheese baked until bubbly. Very kid-friendly!
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. pasta
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Begin by putting a large pot of salted water on to boil and preheating the oven to 350.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until ground beef is brown and no pink color remains.
  3. Drain any excess fat and return to the pan.
  4. Add the spaghetti sauce, salt and pepper, stirring well with the ground beef.
  5. Bring the mixture to a bubble, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  6. By this time, the water should be boiling so you can drop in your pasta and cook it according to the package directions.
  7. When the pasta is done, drain it and start assembling the casserole.
  8. Put about ⅓ of the sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish, followed by about half the cooked pasta and half the cheddar cheese.
  9. Add another third of the sauce and the remaining pasta.
  10. End with the rest of the sauce and top with the remaining one cup of cheddar and the Parmesan cheese on top.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
  12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit before serving.
Notes
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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jennifer @ Jane Deere July 5, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Perfect shortcut! Looks delish! I think we all take shortcuts at times…and yes…it’s important!

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2 Lana July 5, 2011 at 10:17 pm

I find that I take shortcuts more and more these days. Life’s just too busy during the week not to take advantage of some help. Weekends are a little more relaxed and I can really enjoy cooking then.

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3 sippitysup July 5, 2011 at 9:59 pm

So warm and comforting! GREG

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4 Lana July 5, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Thanks, GREG!

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5 Nutmeg Nanny July 5, 2011 at 10:42 pm

I love baked spaghetti! It was one of my favorite dishes growing up :)

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6 Stacy July 6, 2011 at 2:09 am

I’ve only started making something like this about a year ago, and I had never even heard of it before then. We make something more like “spaghetti pie” but it’s more or less the same kind of thing. I like yours better–it’s a bit more straightforward and I’ve only had so-so results with the various versions of ours. Thanks! I love your blog too.

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7 SMITH BITES July 6, 2011 at 9:36 am

shortcuts are allowed where grandkids are concerned Lana!!! plus, i don’t think there’s anything wrong with using a good jar of sauce – especially when making this fabulous baked spaghetti!

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8 Lana July 6, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Thanks, Deb! I do admit to using jarred sauces fairly regularly. I mean, really, why not when there are so many good quality ones out there.

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9 Barbara | Creative Culinary July 6, 2011 at 11:51 am

I’m with Deb on this one Lana; I’ve found a great sauce at Costco that is always in my cupboard…grandkids or not; sometimes it’s just a necessity!

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10 Lana July 6, 2011 at 7:28 pm

So right, Barbara! Sometimes a shortcut is an absolutely necessity.

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11 Alison @ ingredients, Inc. July 6, 2011 at 11:52 am

This is my kids favorite kind of meal!

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12 Lana July 6, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Yes, give our grandkids this and some garlic bread and they’re happy as can be!

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13 Georgia Pellegrini July 6, 2011 at 12:09 pm

This looks very comforting!

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14 Lana July 6, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Thank you, Georgia. It’s such a simple, shortcut recipe that I almost didn’t post it. But what the heck…people are busy and need a quick meal sometimes!

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15 Helga July 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm

I made this for dinner tonight using angel hair pasta and it was great, I really enjoyed it, so simple, but so tasty. My two year old loved it too and he doesn’t usually like tomato based sauces. Will definitely be making it again, thanks for sharing.

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16 Lana July 6, 2011 at 7:29 pm

I’m so pleased to know that you enjoyed it, Helga! Nothing makes me happier than knowing someone tried and like one of my recipes.

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17 claudia lamascolo/aka pegasuslegend July 6, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I have heard of this recipe and never tried it my my what am I waiting for! Looks awesome!

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18 Lana July 6, 2011 at 7:30 pm

I hope you will try it, Claudia! Although I’m sure your one of your homemade sauces would be so much better!

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19 Kathleen July 6, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I love baked spaghetti and yours looks ah-mazing!!!!

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20 Lana July 6, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Why, thank you, Kathleen!

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21 Drick July 7, 2011 at 8:11 am

love a shortcup recipe myself, especially when it’s a good one, like this one…. make one very similar too

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22 Sues July 7, 2011 at 11:33 am

I’m pretty sure the only thing better than spaghetti is baked spaghetti!! This is making me crave pasta like crazy :)

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23 Chaya July 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm

I love baked spaghetti but I am never sure why. Baking gives it a quality it does not have when cooking on the stove. I leave out the meat and make it similarly to yours. I must print your recipe.

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24 Jeff Blackwell September 10, 2012 at 7:46 am

Amanda:

Do you think I could double the recipe for “Baked Spaghetti “to serve 12 people. We’re all going to the beach house soon and this would make a great recipe unless you could recommend something else. I just devour your web site. Thanks.

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25 Lana September 10, 2012 at 7:56 am

Hi Jeff,

I’m not “Amanda,” but… yes, you could easily double this recipe. You’d probably to need to use two casserole dishes for the doubled recipe, though.

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26 Rosemary Meyer August 4, 2014 at 2:04 pm

I have an over supply of spaghetti and this the ideal recipe for this ( I just over bought pasta ! Also an ideal dish for potluck for big crowds Thanks for sharing!

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27 Mykele October 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Am I the only one that puts sugar in her sauce to cut back on the acidity of tomatoes? I thought this practice was huge in the South!

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