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Spaghetti casserole is the definition of comfort food! Hearty, delicious, and an easy way to make and eat spaghetti.

It’s fun to switch up Spaghetti every once in a while, whether we decide to make Chicken Spaghetti, Spaghetti Chili, or this new Spaghetti Casserole!

Spaghetti Casserole in a white serving dish.

Easy Baked Spaghetti Casserole

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy casseroles? Especially this Spaghetti Casserole!

Here is why:

  • SIMPLE. They’re so easy to whip up and throw into the oven for dinner!
  • KID APPROVED. All the kids love this (and the adults do too!)
  • HEARTY. Pasta, meat sauce, and lots of cheese! What more could you want?
  • MAKE AHEAD + FREEZER MEAL. Casseroles are also great for making ahead of time or making as a freezer meal for later.

This casserole is simple a good, classic recipe that will never go out of style.

Ground beef and tomato sauce in a skillet for spaghetti casserole recipe.

How to Make Spaghetti Casserole

  1. PREP. Start by preheating the oven to 350. While the oven is preheating, cook the spaghetti according to the package directions, then drain and set aside.
  2. MEAT. While the spaghetti is cooking, add the ground beef to a large skillet. Cook, breaking into small pieces, until browned and cooked through. Drain the grease, then return the ground beef to the skillet.
  3. SAUCE. Add the spaghetti sauce (or Marinara sauce), sour cream, garlic salt, oregano, and basil to the skillet. Stir everything to combine.
  4. COMBINE. Add the cooked spaghetti noodles and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese to the skillet, and mix.
  5. BAKE. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and the parmesan cheese over the top. Cover the casserole with foil and bake 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and browned.

Garnish with any fresh herbs like basil or parsley.

Spaghetti casserole filling in a skillet.

Recipe Tips

Here are a few pasta tips to keep in mind…

  • Breaking the spaghetti noodles into quarters makes it easier to cut, serve and eat
  • Try using OTHER PASTAS: angel hair is the most similar and keeps the “spaghetti” look, but you can also use shaped pasta such as penne and bow tie.
  • Try other cheeses: You can add Ricotta cheese, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese or even cottage cheese.
  • If you can, avoid the pre shredded bagged cheese. It contains a coating that keeps the cheese from sticking together, but it also keeps the cheese from melting as well.
  • Change up the meat. Use Italian sausage instead of, or along with ground beef or use ground chicken or ground turkey.
  • Add Veggies. Sneak in some diced onions, mushrooms, broccoli or bell peppers.
  • Spice it up with red pepper flakes or hot sauce.
Spaghetti casserole recipe in a white dish ready to be baked.

Making Ahead + Side Options

One reason I love casseroles is because they typically make a great freezer meal. This dish is no different!

The only adjustment to make is undercook the pasta then assemble as written. Cover the pan with plastic wrap then again with aluminum foil.

  • FREEZE for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use it thaw in the fridge and bake according to directions. (be sure to remove the plastic wrap)
  • MAKE AHEAD. If you don’t want to freeze this dish you can still make it up to 24 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until baking. 

SERVE THIS WITH:

Baked spaghetti casserole close up image.
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5 from 139 votes

Spaghetti Casserole Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Spaghetti casserole is the definition of comfort food! Hearty, delicious, and an easy way to make and eat spaghetti.
Servings: 12
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 16 ounce package spaghetti
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt (with parsley flakes)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 26.5 oz spaghetti sauce jars (or marinara jars)
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Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions, then drain.
  • While the spaghetti is cooking, add the ground beef to a large skillet. Cook, breaking into small pieces, until browned and cooked through. Drain the grease, then return the ground beef to the skillet.
  • Add the spaghetti sauce, sour cream, garlic salt, oregano, and basil to the skillet, and stir to combine. Add the noodles and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese to the skillet, and stir to combine.
  • Pour the casserole into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and the parmesan cheese over the top.
  • Cover the casserole with foil and bake 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and browned.

Video

Notes

FREEZE for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use it thaw in the fridge and bake according to directions. (be sure to remove the plastic wrap)
MAKE AHEAD. If you don’t want to freeze this dish you can still make it up to 24 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until baking. 

Nutrition

Calories: 461kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 86mg, Sodium: 454mg, Potassium: 347mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 338IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 201mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
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About Alicia

Hi! I’m Alicia and I blog at The Baker Upstairs. I am in love with all things food! I love to bake bread, cupcakes, cookies… you name it! When I’m not baking, I am running after my two adorable little girls, working as an RN, knitting, reading, and trying to squeeze in time with my husband every day.

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5 from 139 votes (116 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




59 Comments

  1. Kimberly Hughes says:

    This recipe sounds awesome and I’m anxious to try it out! Would it be okay to use a different kind of pasta, for instance elbow or penne noodles? What do you think? I really appreciate the recipe and thank you in advance for your advice regarding the alternative types of pasta.
    With Sincere Gratitude,
    Kimberly

    1. Kimberly Hughes says:

      When I saw your link for spaghetti casserole, I immediately “jumped to the recipe” and totally overlooked the fact that you had already addressed the alternative pasta ideas for this meal! I apologize for the superfluous question that I just posted.
      Thanks again for this delicious sounding recipe! Will attempt to try it out this evening…
      Have a great day!
      Sincerely,
      Kimberly

      1. Lil'Luna Team says:

        Oh just seeing this comment now too! No worries at all. We’re happy to answer ANY questions you have! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

    2. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Yay! I hope you enjoy the dish. And yes, absolutely! You can use whichever kind of pasta you prefer.

  2. C. Madden says:

    Why is sour cream in this recipe? What does it do, add or change? Can I omit it?

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      The sour cream makes the texture of the sauce creamy and delicious! You could leave it out — the dish would have a slightly different texture and flavor. You could also substitute plain greek yogurt for the sour cream.

  3. Natalie says:

    5 stars
    Nice & delicious option! We can get tired of regular spaghetti & this was easy & family friendly!

  4. Lisalia says:

    5 stars
    This was a yummy dinner! Easy to throw together and the family loved it! Who knew traditional spaghetti could be any better!

  5. Amy L Huntley says:

    5 stars
    So simple to put together. I feel like this is easier to eat than spaghetti too. My family enjoyed this recipe and we will be making it again soon!

  6. Allyssa says:

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this super delicious spaghetti casserole! Very easy to make and fam really loves it!

  7. Katie says:

    5 stars
    This is such a fun and easy weeknight dinner. Delicious every time!

  8. Sadie H. Lyons says:

    5 stars
    This casserole recipe is so easy and it’s delicious. I did add extra spices to add a little more favor. I did not have any basil so I add Italian spice, garlic black pepper spice, onion powder and oregano. I used sharp cheese instead parmesan cheese.

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Perfect!! Those are great options! Thank you for sharing that!

  9. Ruthi says:

    5 stars
    I absolutely loved it! This one is going into the file to make again and again. My only change was to add a layer of pepperoni on the very top and cooked that the last 15 minutes. My extremely picky hubby ate two very large servings!

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Yay!! That’s what I love to hear! Thank you for letting me know!

  10. Darcie Songer says:

    5 stars
    All your recipes sound or look great

    Thank you

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Thank you so much!! Hope you like the ones you try 🙂