Creamy Spaghetti Casserole is a cheesy weeknight dish that can be cooked in only one hour. It’s made with ground beef, pasta, tomato sauce, garlic, onions, cream cheese, white sauce, and mozzarella cheese. This casserole is easy to make the same night or make ahead of time and put in the oven when you’re ready to eat.
- What is Creamy Spaghetti Casserole?
- Video Recipe
- How to make creamy spaghetti casserole:
- Tips for success:
- How can I make this creamy spaghetti casserole healthier?
- What other meats can I use in this dish?
- How can I make this a spaghetti lasagna?
- How to store:
- Creamy Spaghetti Casserole
What is Creamy Spaghetti Casserole?
This spaghetti casserole recipe is baked with sauce spread over the pasta to ensure it’s moist all the way through. Unlike spaghetti pie or pizza, the pasta won’t get hard and crispy after being baked. A heaping spoonful of this noodle casserole is comforting and will fill you up. If you want a side dish, choose something light, fresh, and crunchy.
- 1 pound ground beef: Use 90% lean ground beef for this recipe.
- 10 ounces spaghetti: You’ll cook the spaghetti for a few minutes to help them cook in the casserole.
- 3 cups tomato sauce: Canned tomato sauce or jarred marinara sauce will work here.
- 2 garlic cloves, minced: This is about 2 tablespoons of minced garlic.
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs: You can buy a blend of Italian herbs or you can mix dried basil, parsley, and oregano together.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil: Any neutral oil will work to saute the onions, garlic, and ground beef.
- 1 small onion, chopped: White onions are best for baking in this dish.
- 7 ounces cream cheese: Softened cream cheese makes this casserole creamy.
- 1 cup mozzarella, shredded: You can use shredded or fresh mozzarella cheese.
- 1 cup bechamel sauce: You can buy bechamel (white) sauce at the grocery store or you can make your own.
How to make creamy spaghetti casserole:
Here’s a brief overview of how to make this dish. See the recipe card below for the specific recipe instructions.
1. Preheat the oven.
2. Saute onions with some olive oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and dry herbs and cook for 30 seconds.
3. Add ground beef, salt, and pepper, and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Mix the tomato sauce into the meat mixture.
5. Cook the spaghetti for 4-5 minutes in a pot of boiling water, then drain it in a colander.
6. Combine the spaghetti with the bechamel sauce in a large bowl.
7. Spread some of the meat mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.
8. Top with spaghetti.
9. Add the rest of the tomato sauce.
10. Sprinkle the mozzarella on top.
11. Bake at 180C/350F for 20 minutes.
Tips for success:
Here are a few tips for success and variations you can try to make this the best creamy spaghetti casserole you've ever had.
- If you want to give this dish more Mexican flavors, you can add chili powder and ground cumin.
- Try adding some herbs like sage, rosemary, thyme, and parsley to make this casserole even more delicious.
How can I make this creamy spaghetti casserole healthier?
You can easily make this dish healthier and keto-friendly. Substitute the pasta for spaghetti squash instead. You can also add more vegetables like sliced zucchini, mushrooms, yellow squash, or eggplant.
What other meats can I use in this dish?
If you’d like to use different meat other than ground beef, there are lots of options. Try bacon, chicken, ground sausage, or meatballs.
How can I make this a spaghetti lasagna?
You can easily turn this casserole into a layered lasagna. Add cottage cheese, ricotta, or sour cream and layer the sauce, spaghetti, and cheese into the baking dish.
How to store:
Store any leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat it in the microwave with 30-second increments until it’s hot all the way through.
To freeze the entire casserole, wrap it in aluminum foil and then plastic wrap. Label it with what it is, how to cook, and the date. This will help you remember later. Remember that if you cook it from frozen, without thawing first, it will take longer to cook in the oven. Keep the foil on until the last 30 minutes of cooking so the top can brown.
How can I make this spaghetti casserole vegetarian?
Easily make this dish vegetarian. All you need to do is leave out the meat.
What can I serve as a side dish with this casserole?
Serve garlic bread, a crunchy green salad, or oven-roasted vegetables to balance out the textures of this dish.
What else can I use instead of bechamel sauce?
If you can’t find bechamel sauce, you can use cream of mushroom soup instead. This will ensure the casserole is still creamy.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 10 ounces spaghetti
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, mince
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 7 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella, shredded
- 1 cup bechamel sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Saute onions with some olive oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and dry herbs and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add ground beef, salt, and pepper, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Mix the tomato sauce into the meat mixture.
- Cook the spaghetti for 4-5 minutes in a pot of boiling water, then drain it in a colander.
- Combine the spaghetti with the bechamel sauce in a large bowl.
- Spread some of the meat mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.
- Top with spaghetti, leftover tomato sauce, and sprinkle the mozzarella on top.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 622Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 913mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 37g