This easy Spaghetti Casserole is the perfect weeknight meal! It’s easy to make, only requires one pot and has all your favorite ingredients like ground beef, onions, garlic, spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Plus, it’s loaded with that delicious taste of spaghetti that you love. So if you’re looking for easy recipes to whip up on busy weekdays, this Spaghetti Casserole is sure to hit the spot! Try it and let us know what you think. Enjoy!
Craving Italian Sunday dinner but don’t want to slave over the stove for hours? No worries! There are lots of delicious and Easy Italian Recipes that you can whip up with minimal effort. From classic dishes like spaghetti and meatballs, to simple salads packed with olive oil and Parmesan cheese, you can easily make a meal your family will love in no time at all. So why not give it a go and enjoy some fantastic Italian food tonight!
Ingredients Needed for this Recipe
Here’s what you need for this weeknight meal!
- Spaghetti– When picking out spaghetti noodles for this casserole, it’s best to go with a long noodle as they bind more easily with all the ingredients. To create a crunchy top layer and an even creamier bottom layer, opt for classic thin spaghetti varieties. Angel hair pasta is also a great option if you want something more delicate tasting.
- Ground Chuck– The best way to make a truly tasty spaghetti casserole is by using ground chuck – and there’s a few reasons why. Firstly, the texture of ground chuck is perfect for this type of dish. It’s not too coarse and not too fine – it’s right in the middle so that it still has some bite! Additionally, ground chuck carries a lot of flavor with it.
- Onion– Onions are a classic staple for spaghetti casseroles because they add a delicious depth of flavor and subtle sweetness that really brings out the dish’s other ingredients.
- Garlic– Garlic truly is the secret weapon when it comes to making a delicious spaghetti casserole. It adds a depth of flavor and aroma that you just can’t get from other ingredients. Adding the right amount of garlic can bring out all the other flavors while still standing out on its own.
- Spaghetti Sauce– When it comes to the perfect spaghetti sauce for your casserole dish, you’ll want something that offers plenty of flavor with a hearty texture. The best option is usually one that has an extra-rich tomato sauce as its base. Look for sauces that include traditional Italian herbs and spices like oregano and basil, plus garlic and onion for depth of flavor.
- Mozzarella Cheese– Mozzarella cheese is the key ingredient that makes the perfect spaghetti casserole. Its creamy texture and delicate flavor adds a nice balance to the bolder flavors of other ingredients used in this dish such as ground beef, onions, and garlic.
- Salt & Pepper– Salt and pepper are key ingredients for most forms of cooking, so it is not surprising that they play an important role in Spaghetti Casserole too. Salt helps to enhance the flavors in the dish by releasing its savory notes, while pepper adds a subtle spiciness to contrast with the sweet tomato sauce.
- Cream Cheese– Cream cheese adds a smooth, creamy texture and flavor that takes the dish to a whole new level. It’s no surprise that this simple ingredient can instantly liven up casserole spaghetti—cream cheese’s hint of milky sweetness perfectly complements the savory and umami flavors of the other ingredients.
- Ricotta Cheese– Ricotta cheese can take a simple spaghetti casserole dish from good to great! Its creamy texture and light flavor help bring together the different ingredients, without overpowering them.
- Parmesan Cheese– When it comes to savory comfort food, nothing hits the spot quite like a cheesy spaghetti casserole. The secret behind its delectable flavor lies in the use of Parmesan cheese – and this is why it’s so good. The sharp, saltiness of Parmesan really helps to bring out the robust flavors in spaghetti casserole, while its nutty aroma adds some complexity to the dish.
- Garlic Powder– Delicious garlicy spaghetti casseroles are a favorite comfort food of many, and one ingredient that helps make them so savory is garlic powder. This flavorful and versatile condiment packs a big punch when it comes to seasoning meals because it blends in to all of the other ingredients.
- Dried Oregano– When you come home after a long, tiring day and you still have to make dinner – what do you reach for? Spaghetti casserole! This OG of comfort food is easy to prepare with just a few ingredients and one secret flavor- the ever so beloved dried oregano. Adding just a pinch of this herb can truly bring your casserole to the next level.
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Can Spaghetti Casserole Be Made Ahead of Time?
Making a casserole ahead of time is a great way to save time during busy weeknights, and spaghetti casserole is no different! The good news is that it’s incredibly simple! All you need to do is prepare the ingredients and assemble them in the dish pre-cooking.
Once you’re ready to prepare dinner, all you have to do is preheat the oven, put your casserole in there and wait for it to be done – usually within 40 minutes. With some advanced planning, you can make sure that your children are eating healthy and home-cooked meals while still keeping your sanity intact!
How Long Do Spaghetti Casserole Leftovers Last in the Refrigerator?
If you’ve got leftovers of a scrumptious spaghetti casserole, the first step is to get it in the refrigerator, stat! But you may be wondering from there — how long do these leftovers really last? Well, although there is no one-size-fits-all answer as it depends on a range of factors, generally speaking you can keep that spaghetti casserole delicious and safe to eat for 3 – 4 days.
Be sure to measure the time not from when you actually cooked your meal but rather when it’s cooled down enough to transfer it into the refrigerator. And once served right out of the fridge (preferably within that window), it’s recommended that you enjoy those remaining leftovers within an hour or two at most. So you can go ahead and put away any fears of eating stale spaghetti casserole when temptation strikes!
What Can You Do with Spaghetti Casserole Leftovers?
Spaghetti casserole leftovers are a great way to get creative with meal prep. The options are virtually endless! You can give them an Asian twist by adding in stir-fried vegetables, or keep it Italian by topping them with some gooey mozzarella cheese for delicious pizza-style slices. Somewhat like a deconstructed lasagna, the leftovers could be made into mini calzones by rolling them up and baking in the oven until golden brown.
If individual slices aren’t your thing, try layering up with extra sauce and cheese to create cheesy pasta bake perfection. And don’t forget about the multitude of uses for the leftovers in countless other recipes – spaghetti casserole is a great addition to salads, soups, toasties and more!
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More Easy Italian Recipes
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You’ll Love these Other Spaghetti Recipes!
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This spaghetti casserole is an easy weeknight meal. It's made in one pot and it's loaded with ground beef, onions, garlic, and spaghetti sauce.
- 1 Pound Uncooked Spaghetti
- 1 Pound Ground Chuck
- 1/2 Medium Onion, Chopped
- 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce
- 2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 8 Ounces Cream Cheese, softened
- 8 Ounces Ricotta Cheese
- 1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- Preheat oven to 375F and move the rack to the top third of the oven.
- In a medium bowl, add the cream cheese, ricotta, parmesan, garlic powder, and dried oregano. Stir it together until you've got a nice, smooth mixture. Set aside.
- Boil a large, salted pot of water for the pasta and cook it 2 minutes less than package directions suggest. Once it's done, drain it and add it back to the same pot it was cooked in.
- Meanwhile, add the meat to a skillet, along with the chopped onion. Cook over medium-high heat, breaking the meat up as you go along, for about 10 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Drain the grease from the meat.
- To the skillet, stir in the garlic and cook for about a minute. I add a bit of salt & pepper too.
- Add the skillet mixture to the pot that has the pasta in it, and then pour in the marinara sauce. Toss until everything is coated (this is easiest to do with tongs or two large spoons).
- Add half the pasta/sauce mixture to a 9x13 baking dish, then spread it in an even layer.
- Spread the cheese layer evenly over the pasta/sauce layer. This step can get a little messy. It doesn't have to be done perfectly.
- Add the remaining pasta/sauce mixture and spread it out evenly, then top the casserole with the mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and browned.
- Let the casserole sit for 5-10 minutes, then use a spatula to cut it into individual portions.
Especially when it's still hot, you won't get nice, even squares with a perfectly even cheese layer. It'll mix together a bit, but I went for plenty of sauce (especially so leftovers aren't dry).