Craving a hearty, cheesy pasta bake but want something more elevated than the same old lasagna? This baked spaghetti recipe puts a creative spin on the classic comfort food by layering noodles, meat sauce, garlic, herbs and a creamy cheese blend before baking to absolute perfection. This meal brings back childhood memories but definitely doesn’t taste like the spaghetti you had from a can as a kid!
Baked spaghetti has something for everyone – pasta lovers will devour the ultra-cheesy noodles, spice fans will enjoy the pops of flavor from crushed red pepper and fresh garlic, and meat eaters will be satisfied with the hearty, robust meat sauce made from spicy Italian sausage and ground beef. The addition of a sour cream, parmesan and Boursin cheese mixture takes this dish over the top. Every bite features a delightful medley of textures from the crispy top layer of cheese to the soft, saucy noodles. Serve straight out of the oven for an irresistible cheese pull on every decadent forkful. Customize to your taste by adding more red pepper flakes for extra heat or stir in some spinach for a pop of color.
What type of pasta should I use?
I recommend using a long pasta like spaghetti or linguine. The long noodles hold up well when baked and layered in the dish.
Can I substitute the cheeses?
Feel free to use whichever Italian cheeses you prefer. Just aim for a blend of soft melting cheeses and hard grating cheeses.
What if I can’t find San Marzano tomatoes?
Regular canned diced tomatoes will work fine as well. Just try to get unseasoned so you can control the flavor.
What meat substitutions work best?
Ground turkey or chicken can easily replace the beef and sausage. For vegetarian/vegan, you can use lentils or mushrooms.
Does this freeze well?
Yes! Fully assemble the casserole, then wrap tightly and freeze. Thaw overnight when ready to eat.
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 lb ground beef (80/20)
- 1 lb mild Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons garlic base
- 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
- 28 oz canned San Marzano chopped tomatoes
- 28 oz tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 5 oz Boursin garlic and herbs cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
- 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 lb spaghetti noodles
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Dice the bell pepper and onion. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the peppers, onions and crushed red pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften.
- Add the ground beef and Italian sausage to the pot. Break up the meat and season with all-purpose seasoning and Italian seasoning. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until browned. Drain excess fat if needed.
- Stir in the tomato paste, garlic base and red wine (if using). Cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato sauce. Simmer for 30-45 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes or a pinch of sugar.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Recipe by Ineskohl.info
- In a bowl, mix together the sour cream, Boursin cheese, 1/2 cup parmesan, Italian seasoning and 1 tablespoon parsley. Grate in the garlic cloves.
- Shred the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses.
- Spread a thin layer of sauce in a casserole dish. Top with a layer of cooked spaghetti, followed by the sour cream cheese mixture and shredded cheeses. Top with another layer of sauce and spaghetti to create lasagna effect.
- Bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes until hot and bubbly. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley. Enjoy!
- Make sure to salt the pasta water before boiling for properly seasoned noodles
- Allow the assembled casserole to rest at room temp for 15 minutes to allow cheeses to melt before baking
- For easy removal from pan, line with parchment paper or non-stick foil before assembly
- Add vegetable like spinach, olives, peppers to boost nutrition
- Top baked spaghetti with extra shredded cheese for the last 5 minutes of baking for an extra gooey dish
- Bake the dish covered for the first 20 minutes, then uncovered last 10 minutes to brown the cheese
- Let casserole stand 5-10 minutes before serving so flavors can settle and cheese firms up