Baked Spaghetti Casserole Recipe
If your family loves spaghetti, then get ready for a baked spaghetti casserole recipe that’s part comfort food and part one-pan convenience meal! This is a kicked up version of your old favorite with the addition of some different yummy cheeses and whole wheat breadcrumbs on top.
I remember when my 7-year-old tried to help herself to thirds of this dish before I told her “no” because she was going to give herself a tummy ache! Serve this with a big green salad, and you’ll have a healthy weeknight crowd pleaser. Also, check out this breakfast casserole to add some delightful Mexican flavor to your busy mornings!
Whole Wheat Pasta Bake
As per usual, we’re taking a comfort food favorite and making a few simple swaps so you can enjoy it as a nutritious weeknight meal that’s easy and satisfying! Here, it’s all about the whole wheat.
Regular spaghetti makes for a good pasta night, but lacks fiber and nutrients that its whole wheat counterpart brings to the table. On top of that, whole wheat breadcrumbs add a crave-able ‘crunch’ that seals the deal with this spaghetti casserole bake that might just become your family’s next favorite. (Also, whole wheat noodles work well in lasagnas too!)
Can you Freeze Baked Spaghetti Casseroles?
You absolutely can! Cooked spaghetti freezes easily, and while it does take a little while to heat up it’s most certainly worth the wait. If you’re looking to make this ahead of time, or just get the most out of your leftovers, freezing this spaghetti casserole is definitely an option. Making freezer meals ahead of time can have a surprising impact on your budget and your time!
For this spaghetti casserole bake, we’d recommend freezing it the same way whether you’re prepping ahead of time, or saving your leftovers. To do so, transfer the fully cooled casserole to a large freezer container or freezer bag. We recommend reheating and eating this casserole sometime in the next 2 months if kept fully frozen for the best flavor and texture, but you can go longer if you wish.
How to Reheat Frozen Spaghetti Casseroles
You can throw it in the oven from frozen! Don’t let it cool at room temperature, since you don’t want the ground beef sitting at room temperature for any longer than necessary. Here’s how to reheat frozen spaghetti casseroles:
- Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit
- Place the frozen baked spaghetti in the oven with an aluminum foil cover
- Let heat for 40 minutes
- Remove foil and heat for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is remelted and bubbling up
How to Make Baked Spaghetti Recipe
Check out our recipe for this whole wheat baked spaghetti with ricotta below! All it takes is some cooked noodles and a baking dish to create this quick and easy cheesy baked spaghetti for yourself.
62 thoughts on “Baked Spaghetti Casserole Recipe”
So so good!!
Do you know if this dish would freeze well either before or after baking?
Hi. I have frozen it after baking.
Could it be frozen before, or is after better?
I’ve not tried freezing it before cooking.
Do you know how many servings this will make per dish? I am making this soon for our family vacation and have to feed 22 people with it ;)
Hi. Sorry, we can rarely respond to questions in real time. Lisa’s recipes are designed to feed a family of four with leftovers. I’ve found this one to be 6-8 servings.
Made this for dinner tonight and my husband who is not fond of spaghetti , loved it. Another great recipe! Thank You.
Just made this for the first time and it was delicious! I added 3 carrots and subbed a whole orange bell pepper for the 1/2 green bell pepper to sneak some extra veggies in, and my husband and kids loved it!
Do you think this could work with spaghetti squash? As anyone ever tried that?
Hi there. We’ve not tried but here is a recipe that is similar: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/spaghetti-squash-casserole.
This was so good!!! I made a couple small changes tho. I used hot Italian turkey sausage instead of beef. And I used Italian seasoned Panko breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs. Will definitely make this again!
This spaghetti recipe is just what I’ve been looking for. Thank you.
Has you tried using ground turkey? Wasn’t sure if that would be too dry and not as flavorful.
Hi Julie. We’ve not tried but I imagine that ground turkey would work fine.
We made this for dinner tonight. It was a BIG hit with the entire family!
I made this tonight and it was great! I made it meat free and had to sub plain yogurt for ricotta because I couldn’t get to the store today.
Jane, that was going to be my suggestion to make it gluten free! I’ve done a “lasagna” with spaghetti squash instead of regular noodles. Even my non-healthy family members liked it!
This dish is absolutely delicious. I’m curious if anyone has tried substituting spaghetti squash for the spaghetti noodles.
Delicious! Made this tonight and my husband and I loved it. Will definitely make this again!
What can be used instead of ricotta cheese? I saw people mentioned cottage cheese, that is not something we enjoy either. Would another type of cheese work?
Hi there. In many traditional Italian recipes Bechamel sauce is used: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/White-Sauce-or-Bechamel-Sauce-40046. You could also just use fresh mozzarella in addition to the grated mozzarella. ~Amy
Has anyone tried preparing this dish the night before, putting it in the fridge and baking it the next day? Trying to save time.
Hi Elaine. You can absolutely prepare it the day before.
What are your thoughts about leaving the meat out to make it vegetarian? I am looking for a “side dish” for a school function.
Hi Rachel. I make this as a vegetarian dish all the time. I up the noodles, onions, peppers and add spinach. ;)
We made this for dinner last night – AMAZING! I forgot to buy ricotta so I subbed in 1 cup of provolone and it was delicious! We fed 4 adults and 2 kids with enough leftover for 4 lunches today!
We’ve been making a similar recipe for years – it’s one of our family’s favorites! (Adults and children alike!) Sometimes, to cut down on the grain amounts (I follow a diabetic diet), I’ll use substitute spaghetti squash or grated zucchini for 1/2 of the pasta. The kids barely notice and I love being able to eat a second helping guilt-free! :)
Zucchini “noodles” for half the pasta–I would never have thought of that! Amazing idea!!
Looks amazing! I’ll try this out tonight and share this recipe!
I’m wondering about the grated mozzarella. In the past I’ve noticed that you don’t use pre-packaged grated cheeses, which is generally my rule of thumb as well. However, I’ve had zero luck at trying to grate fresh mozzarella at home. Is there a brand you like for grating or a pre-packaged brand that meets your approval? Thanks!
Hi Hillary. Nope, not really. We would look for an organic brand. I buy Organic Valley most often but the shredded cheeses usually have cellulose added so go for a block. ~Amy
The problem might be that you are using “fresh” mozzarella. Fresh mozzarella is softer and moister than regular mozzarella which would make it a lot harder to shred. Fresh mozzarella is the kind you would typically find in a caprese salad or something similar. Try to find a regular mozzarella cheese (not labeled as “fresh”), and you shouldn’t have a problem.
Hello! I am brand new to clean eating and I just started my challenge today. I am getting all of my information off of this website(which is great by the way) but I am confused about using the jar spaghetti sauce. Isn’t that a processed food? I am just trying to do this right and any information that anybody has to help clarify would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Hi Mickey. Products that have five or less ingredients with no additives and preservatives are fine for our real food pledge. There aren’t a lot of them, though. :) We stick mostly to whole foods and whole food ingredients. ~Amy
Does your recipes include nutrition facts such as calories, fat and carb content per serving? That’s important to me as I am on a weight loss journey. :-)
Mignon, here are nutrition facts* for this recipe (per 100g):
Energy (calories): 181 kcal
Protein: 8.91 g
Fat: 10.85 g
Carbohydrates: 12.25 g
Fiber: 1 g
Cholesterol: 42 mg
* Estimated values checked on http://happyforks.com/analyzer
Could I do steps 1-5 on the previous day or two and leave it in the fridge before cooking it in oven? Or will it make the spaghetti noodles too soggy? Thank you
Hi Barbara. We’ve not tried that. Let us know if you do. ~Amy
We have an egg allergy. What could I replace it with? Thanks
Maybe applesauce? I know I use it in cake recipes as a substitute for egg(egg allergy here too). Have not tried the applesauce, but just a thought.
I have an egg allergy and for something like this, I use the “Egg Replacer” found in most grocery store baking aisles. Its got stuff like Tapioca starch, potato starch, things like that and gets mixed with water.
This recipe is very similar to “Spaghetti Pie” that my Mom used to make when I was a child I updated the recipe (pastured Italian pork sausage from a local farm for the ground beef, whole milk ricotta instead of cottage cheese, whole milk mozzarella, whole wheat spaghetti, etc.) and it has been a family favorite ever since. My recipe makes half as much and is made in a pie plate(hence the name spaghetti pie) then cut in wedges to serve. I double my recipe and make 2 pie plates, one for dinner and 1 for the freezer.
How many calories per serving please?
Hello Martha. We do not provide nutrition information on our recipes. Our focus is on getting people eating real food and not so much on numbers. There are many online tools that can help you calculate those details. Some readers use My Fitness Pal. ~Amy
I was planning on making spaghetti and your meatball recipe, but this was a great twist without having to take the time and mess to form the meatballs. I didn’t have green pepper or all the cheeses but added some mushrooms and just used extra parmesan. It was delish!
I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. Even my three year old (who doesn’t like any ingredients mixed together) tried a bite and said, “It’s kind of good. I’ll try it again sometime.” I’ll take it!!! :)
Thank you for so many tasty and healthy recipes and ideas!
Sounds like progress to me …love it! :)
This sounds so delicious! I’ll certainly be trying this recipe out soon!
Ooh I need to make this. It sounds wonderful!
I use italian sausage instead of the ground beef. Gives this a way different flavour.
Could I make this and freeze it? Would you bake it first and then freeze?
Hi Dana. You can freeze it baked or unbaked. I would thaw it over-night either way before baking/reheating. ~Amy
Just checked my pantry and fridge and my five year old is very excited – we are going to make this tonight! We don’t like ricotta cheese, so I’m replacing with cottage cheese (which I use in place of ricotta all the time without problems)…also replacing ground beef with ground turkey – we’ll see how it turns out :)
I will be making this for dinner! Yum Yum!!!
If I sub all cottage cheese for the ricotta, will it make the texture weird? My husband can eat cottage cheese, but ricotta gets his lactose intolerance going. Weird, I know. :)
Judy – I’m no expert but I’m thinking it will be just fine. I use the two interchangeably!
I will be trying this tonight! I think my kids will love it, thanks for another great recipe! Love your site!
Sounds fantastic!! I would absolutely love this, but my husband LOATHES tomatoes…therefore I can never make any pasta casseroles. Anyone have an idea for what I can substitute for the tomatoes? Maybe some pesto mixed with a little alfredo? I still think I will be making this for myself and freeze portions to have for lunch or single dinners! Thanks for the great recipe!
Megan – Did you see this recipe? I bet he’d love this! https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2014/02/06/recipe-white-chicken-lasagna/
I did not see that recipe, it sounds delicious! Thank you for pointing it out! And thank you for all of the work that you do, I have been following your blog for years, and it keep encouraging me to continue eating real food!
I’ll try this, but I don’t eat beef so I bill use ground turkey. Yum!