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Favorite Baked Spaghetti

This yummy baked spaghetti casserole will be requested again and again for potlucks and family gatherings. It's especially popular with my grandchildren, who just love baked spaghetti with all the cheese. —Louise Miller, Westminster, Maryland
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 1 hour + standing
  • Makes
    10 servings


  • 1 package (16 ounces) spaghetti
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) pasta sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups 4% cottage cheese
  • 4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Chopped fresh basil, optional


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cook spaghetti according to package directions for al dente. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until beef is no longer pink and onion is tender, 6-8 minutes, breaking up beef into crumbles; drain. Stir in pasta sauce and seasoned salt; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese and butter. Drain spaghetti; add to egg mixture and toss to coat.
  • Place half of the spaghetti mixture in a greased 13x9-in. or 3-qt. baking dish. Top with half of the cottage cheese, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake until heated through, 20-25 minutes longer. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. If desired, sprinkle with basil.

Baked Spaghetti Puttanesca:

Add 1 tablespoon minced garlic while cooking the ground beef mixture. After draining, stir in 3 tablespoons rinsed and drained capers, 1 cup coarsely chopped black olives, 3 finely chopped anchovy fillets and 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Proceed as directed, topping with additional olives and capers before serving.

Favorite Baked Spaghetti Tips

Should I cover pasta while baking?

To ensure the spaghetti is warm and bubbly throughout, it’s a good idea to cover the pasta while baking. Covering the spaghetti while it bakes for the first 40 minutes in the oven allows for heat circulation and even baking. A sheet of aluminum foil does the trick.

Can baked spaghetti be made ahead of time?

Save yourself some time later on and bake spaghetti ahead of time! You can keep the pre-baked casserole assembled and wrapped with plastic wrap in your refrigerator for up to two days. To assemble and freeze the pre-baked spaghetti, wrap the casserole in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. When you are ready to bake, let it thaw in the refrigerator, then proceed with baking as directed (if you bake directly from frozen, be sure to add additional time). Feeling time-crunched at dinner? Try even more make-ahead 13x9 recipes for your family.

What meat goes well with spaghetti?

For this recipe, there are so many meat options that go well with spaghetti. You can easily swap out ground turkey or chicken as a lighter alternative to the beef. For a slightly spicier, flavorful option, try ground sausage.

What dessert goes well with spaghetti?

Try an Italian dessert that goes well with spaghetti, such as a classic tiramisu, cannoli or a panna cotta with berries. Or, simply brew some espresso and serve with <a href=""biscotti! Research contributed by Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant
Nutrition Facts
1-1/4 cups: 526 calories, 24g fat (13g saturated fat), 127mg cholesterol, 881mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 3g fiber), 31g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • Judi
    Apr 4, 2021

    Needs more sauce

  • mrscessna
    Mar 28, 2021

    I agree with others who recommend more sauce (with garlic), or less spaghetti.

  • Rebecca
    Mar 1, 2021

    It did not occur to me that this receipt would feed 8 people! Boy was I surprised when I got it all together. There is no way it would have fit in a regular 9x13 pan so I used an 11x18 and it just fit I had about a pound and a half of ground beef defrosted so I used all of that and and entire container of cottage cheese. Next time I will use more sauce, but it was still wonderful. I called my cousin and told her not to cook dinner, they loved it too and I left her the receipt. It was definitely a hit. I think this would be easily cut in half which I would do again just for myself. I use only Di Sorrento Roasted Garlic and Onion sauce for "sauce in a jar", I've tried them all and Di Sorrento is by far the best available.

  • Karen
    Feb 25, 2021

    To dry waste of all that cheese..baked only 20m..

  • lczurek
    Feb 22, 2021

    I made this exactly as the recipe called for but I used an entire container of cottage cheese and I added garlic. It turned out perfect! Will definitely keep this in my rotation.

  • diannevdv
    Feb 20, 2021

    Loved this!! I had homemade meatballs that I thawed and added to this casserole instead of the mixture of ground beef. I did saute diced green pepper and onion to add to the jar of spaghetti sauce. Also baked it in 2 8x 8 pans as I made one for my daughter. I was able to assemble 1 full layer of spaghetti, ricotta, sauce with 12 meatballs and topped with the mozzarella cheese. as the pan was not deep enough for another layer...It was plenty.. I I did not add all the spaghetti as it would have been too much. I also added another half jar of spaghetti sauce and replaced the cottage cheese with ricotta cheese

  • Paprika114
    Feb 20, 2021

    This recipe sounded good. And, being an Italian family, we substituted ricotta for the cottage cheese and used sauce with basil and garlic. However the whole family found this recipe bland. There didn't seem to be enough sauce for the dish, and there was something missing. Perhaps Barb had a point and I should have used my homemade sauce instead of Prego. Will not be making make this again.

  • biggestkat
    Feb 20, 2021

    Excellent, fast and easy!

  • carolynstanek
    Feb 19, 2021

    We enjoyed the taste of this spaghetti. I thought 16 ounces of spaghetti sounded like too much compared to the amount of other ingredients, so I cut it back to 12 ounces. The next time I will cut it back even further to 8 or 10 ounces.

  • Karen
    Feb 18, 2021

    My grandson who always tells me he doesn't like casseroles, loved this! We did too!