For the spaghetti:
- 1 package (16oz spaghetti, uncooked)
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
For the spaghetti sauce:
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Black pepper (to taste)
- 1 medium onion (finely diced)
- 2 medium celery stalks (finely diced)
- 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can (15oz diced tomatoes)
For the cheese sauce:
- 1 package (8oz cream cheese, softened)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 package (8oz shredded mozzarella cheese)
- Prep: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a deep 13×9 inch pan. Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and put back in the pot. Drizzle with ½ tablespoon olive oil, cover with a lid and set aside.
- Make tomato sauce: While the spaghetti are cooking, in a skillet over medium heat, season ground beef with salt pepper and garlic powder, then cook until browned in remaining ½ tablespoon olive oil. Add onion and celery and cook until softened. Stir in Italian seasoning and tomato paste, then stir in diced tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Make cheese sauce: Combine all ingredients for cheese sauce until smooth. Set aside.
- Assemble: Place half of the cooked spaghetti in the prepared baking dish. Top with cheese sauce and remaining spaghetti. Spread spaghetti sauce on top and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 35 ro 45 minutes, or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
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My kids love spaghetti, but I have to say… It’s not my favorite to make because it gets so messy once we sit down to eat.
They can always convince me to make a baked spaghetti casserole though… Because who can resist layers of oodles of noodles, ricotta sauce, spaghetti sauce and melty mozzarella?
I definitely can’t, and neither should you 😉
I’m full disclosure, I always find casseroles a little cumbersome to make. There’s a few different elements to be made before assembling them into a dish, and it can easily break into chaos mid-cooking.
I’m not even going to pretend that this baked spaghetti casserole is any different: You need to cook the spaghetti, cook the spaghetti sauce and stir up the ricotta sauce.
But luckily each of those steps is easy to accomplish, so once you get those spaghetti layered in the baking dish and into the oven, and send the crying kids to do the dishes… 😉 you will still have the strength to pour yourself a glass of grape juice and relax until dinner is ready.