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.
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.
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.
Other baked spaghetti recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:
- Baked Spaghetti from Eat at Home
- What’s Cookin Chicago?’s Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Baked Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Olives from food52
- Baked Spaghetti Romanoff from Laura Rebecca’s Kitchen
What I was cooking…