Easy Baked Spaghetti is a delicious and simple dish that is perfect for a quick weeknight meal or a weekend family dinner. This recipe takes the classic spaghetti dish and adds a twist by baking it in the oven, resulting in a gooey and cheesy pasta casserole.
To make this Easy Baked Spaghetti, start by boiling the spaghetti noodles until they are al dente. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce by sautéing onions, garlic, and ground beef in a skillet. Once the meat is browned, add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and Italian seasoning to the skillet. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
Once the spaghetti noodles are cooked, drain them and layer them in a baking dish. Pour the meat sauce over the noodles and mix them together until well coated. Top the dish with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve the Easy Baked Spaghetti with a sprinkling of fresh basil and a side salad for a complete and satisfying meal.
Spaghetti: You will need about 8 ounces (226 grams) of spaghetti to make this dish. Spaghetti is a long, thin pasta that is commonly used in Italian cuisine. It is typically made from durum wheat and water.
Ground beef: About 1 pound (454 grams) of ground beef is required for this recipe. Ground beef is a versatile ingredient that adds flavor and texture to the dish.
Onion and garlic: These aromatic vegetables are used to enhance the flavor of the dish. You will need 1 medium onion and 2 cloves of garlic, both finely chopped.
Tomato sauce and diced tomatoes: These canned ingredients form the base of the spaghetti sauce. You will need 1 can (15 ounces or 425 grams) of tomato sauce and 1 can (14.5 ounces or 411 grams) of diced tomatoes.
Italian seasoning and basil: These dried herbs add a burst of flavor to the sauce. You will need 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning and 1 teaspoon of dried basil.
Cheese: For the cheesy topping, you will need about 1 cup (110 grams) of shredded mozzarella cheese.
Salt and pepper: These common seasonings are needed to taste. Add salt and pepper according to your preference.
These ingredients, when combined together, create a delicious and comforting baked spaghetti dish that everyone will enjoy.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a separate pan, cook the ground beef over medium heat until it is browned and cooked through. Drain any excess fat.
- Add the diced onion and garlic to the pan with the ground beef and cook until the onion is translucent.
- Add the spaghetti sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to the pan and stir well. Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked spaghetti and the sauce, tossing until the spaghetti is evenly coated.
- Transfer the spaghetti mixture to the greased baking dish and spread it out evenly.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and Parmesan cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the spaghetti, spreading it out evenly.
- Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the spaghetti and egg mixture.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
- Remove the dish from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
Now you’re ready to enjoy your delicious baked spaghetti! Serve it hot and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
Tips and Variations
1. Add Vegetables
Upgrade the nutritional value of your dish by adding some vegetables to the spaghetti. You can sauté diced bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms before mixing them in with the sauce. Alternatively, you can also add frozen vegetables like peas or spinach for a quick and convenient option.
2. Customize the Sauce
Experiment with different flavors of sauce to add your own twist to the dish. Instead of using plain marinara sauce, try using spicy arrabbiata sauce for a kick of heat, or a creamy Alfredo sauce for a rich and indulgent version.
3. Mix in Some Protein
To make the dish more filling and protein-packed, consider adding cooked ground beef, Italian sausage, or shredded chicken to the spaghetti. This will not only add extra flavor but also make it a complete meal.
4. Vary the Cheese
While the recipe calls for shredded mozzarella cheese, you can experiment with different types of cheese to suit your taste. Try using a combination of mozzarella, Parmesan, and cheddar cheese for a flavorful melt, or use a sprinkle of Gruyere or Swiss cheese for a more sophisticated twist.
5. Make it Spicy
If you like a little heat, add some red pepper flakes or chopped jalapeños to the sauce. This will give the dish a spicy kick and add an extra layer of depth to the flavors.
With these tips and variations, you can create a personalized version of Easy Baked Spaghetti that suits your taste preferences and dietary needs. It’s a versatile dish that can be easily customized to become a family favorite!