Baked Spaghetti

DinnerComfort FoodItalian SausagePasta and Noodles

Baked Spaghetti Casserole with thin spaghetti pasta, sausage, mushroom, and tomato sauce, ricotta, Parmesan, and Mozzarella cheeses.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Okay, so this baked spaghetti is crazy good! Think lasagna, but made with spaghetti noodles instead. Thin spaghetti noodles or vermicelli.

How to Make Baked Spaghetti

You make baked spaghetti almost the same way you would make lasagna. It’s a layered, baked casserole with a tomato meat sauce, Mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmesan cheeses, and pasta.

The main difference is that you use thin spaghetti noodles instead of wide lasagna pasta, and you toss in a couple of beaten eggs with the cooked noodles.

The egg helps bind the noodles in place so you can easily cut out even rectangles to serve without them falling apart.

baked spaghetti casserole in pyrex dish

It’s the perfect thing to serve a hungry teenage boy who is visiting for spring break, who somehow manages to eat his weight every day, who loves to skateboard and can play Minecraft for hours without getting bored. Not that I know anyone like this at all.

Baked Spaghetti Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8 to 10

If you don't like mushrooms, please feel free to leave them out. If you love mushrooms, I recommend using shiitake because they are so wonderfully flavorful. Or you could augment creminis with dried porcinis that have been reconstituted in hot water.

Save time on prep by chopping the onions and mushrooms while the sausage is cooking, and grating the cheese while the pasta is cooking.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb vermicelli pasta or thin spaghetti
  • 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 1/4 pound shiitake or cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups or 24 ounces of marinara or meatless tomato sauce*
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus more for greasing the casserole dish
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

*You can make your own or use a good quality jarred sauce. To make your own, make a double recipe of our basic tomato sauce, blend it smooth to use in this baked spaghetti recipe.

Method

1 Heat salted water for the pasta: Put a large pot of water on the stove on high heat. Add salt to the water, about 2 Tbsp of salt for 4 quarts of water. While the pasta water is heating, continue with the next steps.

2 Cook the sausage: Break up the sausage into clumps into a large sauté pan. Turn the heat on, to medium. Slowly cook the sausage, breaking it up into smaller pieces with the a wooden spoon. The slow cooking will help render the fat. Cook until the sausage is cooked through, no longer pink anywhere.

Remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain the fat from the pan (not into your sink or you may clog it!)

3 Cook the onions and mushrooms, add garlic, chili pepper flakes: Add the chopped onions and mushrooms to the pan. Increase the heat to medium high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions become translucent and the mushrooms have given up some of their liquid.

Add the minced garlic and red chili pepper flakes, and cook a minute more.

4 Add marinara sauce, water, cooked sausage, parsley, Italian seasoning to the pan, then simmer: Add the marinara sauce and the 1 1/2 cups of water to the pan with the onions and mushrooms. Add the sausage back to the pan.  Add the Italian seasoning and chopped parsley.

Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to a very low simmer on the lowest simmer setting on your stovetop.  Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or so while you make the pasta.

5 Cook and drain the pasta: By this time your pasta water in step one should be boiling. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook, uncovered, at a rolling boil, for 5 to 6 minutes, al dente.

Note that the pasta will continue to cook and absorb some of the sauce when it is in the casserole dish in the oven, so the pasta should be al dente. When ready, drain the pasta and rinse in cold water.

6 Toss with olive oil, then eggs: Place the cooled pasta in a large bowl.  Toss with olive oil, then the Parmesan, then 2 beaten eggs. It's easiest to do this with your (clean) hands.

7 Preheat oven and prepare casserole pan: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Rub the inside of a 13x9 inch casserole dish (a Pyrex dish works great) with olive oil.

8 Layer sauce, pasta, cheeses in casserole dish: Spread 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of the casserole dish. Place half of the pasta in an even layer in the casserole dish.

Cover with half of the sauce.

Then dot the sauce with all of the ricotta cheese. Sprinkle half of the Mozzarella over the ricotta layer.

Layer again with the remaining pasta, the remaining sauce, and the remaining Mozzarella.

9 Bake: Cover with foil and bake for 40 min at 350°F. Remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

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Baked spagetti

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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173 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Jennifer Anderson

    My family’s fav. Their only requested modification is extra sauce.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. elle

    I am making my sauce today and assembling tomorrow because I find that the tastes meld better when they hang around together. I don’t have any lasagna noodles but three boxes of angel hair and two bags of egg noodles. How can anyone have ricotta, mozz, assiago, parm and romano in the fridge and NO lasagna noodles. I really need to take an inventory, I think. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Catherine

    I stumbled upon this recipe when I was looking for something new to try at home a couple of years ago. My family LOVED it! I put my own spin on it (turkey breakfast sausage, no mushrooms…etc.) but is definitely a staple.
    In fact, this was such a huge hit I made it for my children’s teachers. (We make them dinner on the first night of school each year.) They loved it so much that word spread, now future teachers are asking for this dish if they get my children in their class. LOL! I cannot tell you how many times I have shared your website and this recipe. Thank you so much!

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Tracy Duncan

    This dish is delicious…its better than stove top spaghetti..

  5. CTTucker

    My family LOVED this. I will make additional sauce next time, as we are big sauce fans. Loved that I could make in advance and just pop in the oven.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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