Million Dollar Spaghetti Recipe | Creamy Baked Spaghetti

Published Date: January 13, 2024
Last Updated: January 13, 2024

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Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or simply want a delicious dish that reheats like a dream, this Million Dollar Spaghetti recipe is guaranteed to be a hit. This Creamy Baked Spaghetti is simple, flavorful, and ready in under an hour.

Million Dollar Spaghetti on a white plate with salad and bread

Why This Will Be Your Favorite Weeknight Meal

It’s quick. While this recipe might not be one of my typical 30-minute or less recipes, it can certainly be made in under an hour. Most of that time is spent baking the spaghetti casserole, so the amount of time you have to spend hovering over a stove is very minimal.

You can feed a crowd. If you’re hosting company, feeding a larger family, or just want the convenience of heating up leftovers later in the week, this twist on traditional spaghetti is sure to feed the masses.

Customize it to fit your tastes. If you have picky eaters that you like to cater to, or simply like to be adventurous in the kitchen, this recipe is easily modified to please.

Brings flavor on a budget. With the ever-rising cost of groceries, recipes that can be made affordably are always a hit in our house. You’ll love that you can the whole family for under $20.

What Is The Best Cheese For Spaghetti?

While there are more traditional favorites, like mozzarella cheese or parmesan cheese that will always lead the pack when you’re asking that question, I prefer not to be picky.

Let’s be honest. Cheese is good. So, when you’re making this Million Dollar Spaghetti recipe, why choose just one or two boring cheeses? This recipe uses a combination of Mozzarella, Parmesan, Ricotta, and Cream Cheese to create a flavor bomb you’ll have a hard time saying no to.

How Can I Jazz Up Spaghetti?

Sure, spaghetti is a family-favorite, but it can be a boring dinner option when you have it frequently in your dinner rotation. If you’re looking for a way to jazz up your next spaghetti night, you’ve come to the right place! The addition of a variety of cheeses layered with lots of flavorful sauce and spices creates a dish you’ll want to make again and again.

Let’s Talk Ingredients

Ingredients for Million Dollar Spaghetti in bowls on a kitchen counter
  • Spaghetti Noodles- Traditional spaghetti noodles are what I prefer to use in this dish because they hold up to the moisture of the cheese well and give plenty of surface area to soak up the sauce.
  • Butter- Provides additional decadence to the spaghetti casserole.
  • Olive Oil– To saute the garlic.
  • Spaghetti Sauce- Choose your favorite canned, jarred, or homemade recipe.
  • Ground Beef- I prefer using ground beef because it is what we have in our refrigerator most of the time, but feel free to use Italian sausage or a combination of both for an extra flavor boost.
  • Garlic- A small amount of minced garlic goes a long way to make a delicious dish.
  • Ricotta Cheese- It’s creamy, delicious, and makes for a velvety cheese layer.
  • Cream Cheese- Adds tanginess to the dish when combined with the other varieties of cheese.
  • Mozzarella Cheese- This cheese melts well and provides each portion of this Million Dollar Spaghetti with a crave-worthy cheese pull.
  • Parmesan Cheese- A savory, nutty cheese variety that pairs well with the three other cheeses.
  • Spices- Use a combination of salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to season the ground beef and amplify the flavors of the minced garlic.

How To Make Creamy Baked Spaghetti

Spaghetti noodles boiling in a pot

Prepare the Pasta. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Cook the dried pasta according to the package instructions until al dente.

Ground beef cooking in a skillet

Brown the Ground Beef. In a separate skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and toast until golden brown. Add the ground beef and break it up with the end of a spatula. Cook it until no pink remains. Drain the renderings.

Cheeses mixed together in a large white bowl

Combine the Cheesy Ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, Italian seasoning, and half of the mozzarella cheese.

Cooked spaghetti noodles and marinara sauce mixed together in a pot

Mix in the Sauce. Pour 3 cups of spaghetti sauce into the cooked and drained ground beef. Mix the remaining 1 cup of spaghetti sauce into the cooked and drained spaghetti noodles.

Layer the Spaghetti Casserole. Put the butter in the microwave and warm until melted. Place the melted butter in the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish. Layer the Million Dollar Spaghetti accordingly:

Grid of Million Dollar Spaghetti process images
  • Half of the spaghetti and pasta mixture
  • Cheese filling
  • Remaining pasta and sauce mixture
  • Ground beef and sauce mixture
  • Top with shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole baked to perfection

Bake to Perfection. Bake the layered spaghetti casserole at 375F for 15-20 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy! Slice the Million Dollar Spaghetti into 12 servings, plate, and enjoy!

Variations

  • Use Italian Sausage. If you’re looking for a more robust flavor, consider using ground Italian sausage in place of the ground beef in this recipe.
  • Swap out Sauces. Not a fan of red sauces? Consider swapping out the marinara with an alfredo or pesto sauce for a tasty bite!
  • Add in some veggies. If you want to add some veggies to make this a more nutritious meal, try sauteeing some onions with the ground beef while cooking. Layer in some spinach and sun-dried tomatoes with the cheese layer before baking.
  • Get creative with the pasta. Do you have every kind of pasta in your pantry EXCEPT for spaghetti noodles? Just cook the pasta of your choice according to the package instructions and use it to layer according to the instructions above.

What To Serve With This Million Dollar Spaghetti

Not sure what to serve with your next Baked Spaghetti Casserole? Here are some ideas to make this dish a complete meal:

  • Garlic Bread
  • Green Salad
  • Breadsticks
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Steamed Broccoli

How Long Does It Last?

If you want to use this as a meal prep dinner option, you can rest easy knowing it reheats like a dream. If anything, the longer it sits, the better it tastes. When stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container, you can expect this Million Dollar Spaghetti recipe to last up to 4-5 days.

More Tasty Pasta Dishes

If you love how quick and easy this Million Dollar Spaghetti is, make sure you share it with your friends on social media so they can try it too!

Yield: 12 servings

Million Dollar Spaghetti Recipe | Creamy Baked Spaghetti

Million Dollar Spaghetti on a white plate with salad and bread

Whether you're cooking for a crowd or simply want a delicious dish that reheats like a dream, this Million Dollar Spaghetti recipe is guaranteed to be a hit. This Creamy Baked Spaghetti is simple, flavorful, and ready in under an hour.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound Ground Beef
  • 16 oz Spaghetti Noodles
  • 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 36 oz (1 1/2 jars) Spaghetti Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 15 ounces Ricotta Cheese
  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese
  • 2 cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Instructions

    Prepare the Pasta. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Cook the dried pasta according to the package instructions until al dente.

    Brown the Ground Beef. In a separate skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and toast until golden brown. Add the ground beef and break it up with the end of a spatula. Cook it until no pink remains. Drain the renderings.

    Combine the Cheesy Ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, Italian seasoning, and half of the mozzarella cheese.

    Mix in the Sauce. Pour 3 cups of spaghetti sauce into the cooked and drained ground beef. Mix the remaining 1 cup of spaghetti sauce into the cooked and drained spaghetti noodles.

    Layer the Spaghetti Casserole. Put the butter in the microwave and warm until melted. Place the melted butter in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish. Layer the Million Dollar Spaghetti accordingly:

  • Half of the spaghetti and pasta mixture
  • Cheese filling
  • Remaining pasta and sauce mixture
  • Ground beef and sauce mixture
  • Top with shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Bake to Perfection. Bake the layered spaghetti casserole at 375F for 15-20 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy! Slice the Million Dollar Spaghetti into 12 servings, plate, and enjoy!

Comfort Cooks Ashley Picture 2

Hi! I'm Ashley.

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I'm married to my high school sweetheart and we have three amazing sons.

I love carbs, cheese, and all things spicy and deep fried. There's nothing that makes me happier than a full kitchen table and a family with a full belly!


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