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An image of a baked spaghetti casserole in a glass baking dish.
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4.96 from 21 votes

Baked Spaghetti Casserole

This cheesy baked spaghetti casserole is kid-friendly, filling, and perfect for feeding a crowd.  Melty cheese, meaty sauce, and al dente pasta make this a great weeknight meal!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 -12 Servings
Calories: 475kcal
Author: Amy Nash

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 32 ounces of your favorite meatless spaghetti sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups cottage cheese
  • 1 cups sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese about 3 cups

Instructions

  • Fill a large pot with salted water and bring it to a rolling boil. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente, about 11-12 minutes. Drain, toss with a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking, and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a large pan over medium heat, combine the ground beef and ½ cup of the chopped onion and cook, breaking up the meat until browned. Drain any excess grease from the pan and add the spaghetti sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the cottage cheese, sour cream, and pepper. Stir until combined, then set aside.
  • Whisk together the two eggs, melted butter, and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl and then add the cooked spaghetti. Toss to coat.
  • To assemble the baked spaghetti casserole, in a 9x13-inch baking dish, spread ½ of the cooked spaghetti noodles. Dollop spoonfuls of the cottage cheese and sour cream mixture over top and spread it into an even layer. Pour half of the spaghetti sauce and meat mixture over the top of the noodles and cottage cheese and spread it to the edges, then sprinkle half of the shredded mozzarella cheese over the whole thing. Repeat for a second layer with the remaining ingredients.
  • Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until hot in the center and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove foil and allow the casserole to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
  • If making this casserole as a freezer meal, prepare to the point of baking it in the oven, then wrap tightly in foil and freeze. Defrost completely in the refrigerator when ready to cook, then bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until hot through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Video

Notes

  • Sometimes I will add 8 ounces of chopped mushrooms to the ground beef and onions because I love mushrooms in spaghetti sauce.
  • You can use sweet Italian sausage in place of the ground beef.
  • Ricotta cheese works in place of the cottage cheese. Just mix with sour cream as directed. The flavor is slightly different and not as creamy as with cottage cheese, but still wonderful.
  • For a slightly lighter version, you can skip adding the eggs, butter, and Parmesan cheese that get tossed with the cooked spaghetti. I've made this casserole without them many times and it still tastes delicious, just not quite as rich.
  • This recipe freezes well. Just assemble and cover tightly with aluminum foil, then freeze for up to 1 month. It helps to either use disposable aluminum pans, or line your baking dish with aluminum foil before assembling so that the frozen casserole can be popped out and stored outside of the pan.
  • When ready to bake, you can either thaw in the fridge overnight and bake as directed, or bake directly from frozen by transferring the casserole back to a baking dish and baking for 60-75 minutes in a 350 degree F oven until hot all the way through.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 475kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 1210mg | Potassium: 570mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1269IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 373mg | Iron: 2mg