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Confetti Spaghetti

It's not uncommon for folks to go back for second helpings of this hearty main dish when I share it at church potluck suppers. The combination of ground beef, noodles, cheese and a zippy tomato sauce is a crowd-pleaser. —Katherine Moss, Gaffney, South Carolina
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min.
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 1 package (16 ounces) spaghetti
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef, green pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in next 8 ingredients. Drain spaghetti; add to beef mixture.
  • Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes longer.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 259 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 42mg cholesterol, 424mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 16g protein.

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  • 2124arizona
    Oct 6, 2020

    We love baked spaghetti and this is a keeper ??

  • ellimaye1
    Jan 9, 2019

    This one made it into the cookbook. It has been a family favorite for years. We buy a portion of a cow so our ground beef is in 1 pound packages which is plenty for us. Also our tomato sauce comes in 15 oz cans so I just use the whole can. I've started to use a heaping 1/8 tsp of cayenne since my husband likes things spicy.

  • mother of 3
    May 14, 2018

    Mmmmm - we're blessed casseroles exist. I used 12 oz. gluten free penne, 24 oz. Bertolli pasta sauce, 1/2 the sugar, omitted the salt & green pepper, for extra flavor I browned 1 lb. beef in duck bacon fat, increased the chili powder to 1.5 teaspoons with a dash of cayenne. DH spoiled his appetite with matzo cheese sandwiches; no comment from him. I liked the flavor change. Sorry, Lisa, I changed the recipe to suit our tastes.

  • aug2295
    Mar 15, 2017

    Awesome recipe - loved how easy this was to put together. I would probably increase the seasoning a bit next time and use and extra half cup of cheese. But overall, yum.

  • KelliHill
    Nov 14, 2016

    Wow! Yum! Easy recipe with basic ingredients but so much flavor! This was a great weeknight family meal. I used 1.25lbs 85/15 ground beef, fun curly noodles, and doubled the shredded (used triple) , cheddar on top. Thanks for a keeper!

  • Lisa
    Nov 12, 2016

    Been fixing this since it was originally published in TOH magazine. Everyone always likes this dish and comment it is quite different than regular baked spaghetti. That is why I like this soooo much! I make it as is. Never had a prob with it being dry but I use 80/20 gr chuck. Wish reviewers would stick reviewing the original recipe. Seems all too often reviews have been tweaked so much that it's a completely different dish than the one submitted. I read the reviews for the pros and cons of the recipe.

  • linsvin
    Oct 27, 2016

    When I made this I omitted the tomato sauce and substituted my canned spaghetti sauce I made this summer. You can tweek this recipe in so many ways. Very good, quick and great presentation with a small salad and garlic bread.

  • angela32
    Oct 20, 2016

    Everyone Loved it, will make it again....and again!

  • sweet80pea
    Oct 19, 2016

    Great basic recipe and starting point for a baked spaghetti! It definitely can be modified to your taste or whatever you have already on hand. Tried it out this morning to pack for family lunch. I made some edits based on others reviews and the family's personal preference. First, I used egg noodles instead of the spaghetti because that's what I had on hand. I chopped and saut?ed 3 cloves of garlic with the onions, and instead of using beef, I used half sweet Italian sausage and half ground turkey meat. I skipped the green peppers because no one likes them but me in the house. I swapped out the canned tomatoes in the recipe for a 16 oz. jar of store brand spaghetti sauce and a can of Rotel. With that being said, I only added in the brown sugar and chili powder as extra spices just because, but it probably didn't need it since the sauce and Rotel are pretty flavorful. After tossing the pasta into the sauce, it did seem a tiny bit on the dry side as others have noted, so I added a little bit of the pasta water just until it didn't seem to dry anymore. Topped it with the Italian Cheese Mix, then baked and enjoyed! Thumbs up!

  • sunshinewonder
    Oct 14, 2016

    First, let me say that me and my guy liked this so much that I am definitely making it again, and I'm sure if I don't make it soon enough he'll ask for it. I made this using the directions from the most recent Taste of Home magazine, which called for a 12 oz package of spaghetti instead of 16 oz as is listed here on the website and I side with other reviewers who said this was on the dry side. I can't imagine how much drier it would have been with another four ounces of pasta! I'm doubling the sauce next time and will increase the spices so they don't get diluted. I'm going to stick with using 12 oz of pasta because I like the protein to starch ratio to lean towards protein. I do have one possible explanation as to why some of us are getting a dry casserole and others aren't, and that could be the ground beef we're choosing. I use, quite literally, the leanest ground beef I can get. 96% lean. I imagine the fats from regular 80% lean beef would keep the dish moist, but I have managed to get me and my guy very healthy our cholesterol levels low (his doctor loves me) by cutting out fats wherever I can. So in this recipe I'll just add more tomato sauce and spices.