Baked Spaghetti

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.

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


  • 3/4 lb vermicelli pasta or thin spaghetti
  • 1 lb 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 Tbsp 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.


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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  • Don

    Awesome, only thing I did different was layer with pepperoni, came out great!!


  • SLKlee

    Hi Elise I just the tonight following your recipe. Thing I did different was I added some sliced Roger Wood Smoked sausages and ground beef to the recipe since my guys are big meat eaters. It turned out great.

  • Hillary

    Hi Elise! First time commenter, love the show
    So I want to make this with a pretty layer of asparagus on top-ish (as opposed to chopping and sautéin).
    Do you think snuggling them in and baking them as is will be fine? Perhaps i should blanch them first?
    Please let me know what you think, I’d so appreciate it!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Hillary, given that the casserole bakes for an hour (40 minutes covered, 20 minutes uncovered) I don’t think you need to blanch the asparagus. You might however want to layer them under the Mozzarella and Parmesan, that way they don’t get dried out in the baking. Let us know how it goes!

  • Merle

    Can be made ahead and frozen. Then taken out when ready to use it!!!!!!!!!

  • Shelly

    I made this today and it turned out pretty good! It had awesome flavor. Next time I make it I will add more sauce as we like our saucier.

  • Celena M Stewart

    Hello Elise,

    I am preparing to make this recipe but my sausage is not italian. What can I do to compensate for the italian taste not being in my sausage?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Celena, do you have any fennel seeds among your spices? Fennel seed is the particular spice that makes Italian sausage taste like Italian sausage.

  • Brett

    Hi I just bought all the ingredients for this recipe today, but they only had half the amount of Italian sausage! Should I go buy more or will it make a big difference?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Brett, I haven’t tried the recipe with half the sausage so don’t know what to tell you. You could try it as is, you might need to add more salt and maybe some fennel seeds (fennel is the distinctive spice in Italian sausage).

  • Shelly

    So, I know you can freeze lasagna and baked ziti. Any reason this couldn’t be made ahead, frozen and then baked the day it is needed?

  • OldGreaseBall

    I don’t say it’s a bad thing but I’ve never rinsed any pasta in cold water unless I’m going to use it in a cold pasta salad. It’s a matter of preference, I guess.

    I’ll be trying this recipe soon, minus the “cold rinse” though! :-)

    • Specs

      I think the point is to not cook the eggs with the heat of the noodles before they make it to the pan.

    • Kim

      The cold rinse will stop the noodles from continuing to cook.

    • Redluv

      Cold rinse removes extra starch.

  • Joy

    I would like to make 4 batches of this recipe and bake it in a large, disposable, aluminum pan for a large group. I would like to assemble the ingredients the day before for convenience sake. Is it a good idea to remove it from the fridge before I bake it and let it sit a couple of hours to get to room temperature? Then should I bake it for the regular amount of time since it will be a deeper amount of lasagna or longer.

    • Elise

      Hi Joy, normally I would bake it straight out of the fridge and just bake it a bit longer. As for the amount, I haven’t tried scaling up the recipe, so don’t know what to tell you about how much longer to cook it.

  • Deb L.

    I have made a baked spaghetti dish before, similar to this one but never added 1 1/2 cups water to the marinara sauce. Seems like it would make it too runny. Can you explain why adding that much water to the sauce is necessary? Thanks

    • Cathy P.

      Deb L, have you gotten reply or figured out on your own if adding water to recipe is necessary? Thank you!

    • Kelly

      Hi. I just made this recipe tonight and thought twice about adding the water as well. But since it was my first time making it I decided to follow the recipe. I added the water and some of it cooks down while the sauce is simmering. Still seemed a bit watery to me when I added sauce to pasta but it turned out beautiful. I think the pasta continues to absorb the water while it is baking. Not too dry, not to wet.

  • Chi Chi

    I thought I commented a few months ago when I first made this but I did not. I should have because, obviously, my family LOVED it! Even my husband who does not like anything that resembles a casserole type dish. My daughter is having her first sleepover, ever, and requested this dish since everything HAS to be perfect. Thank you, Elise!


    • Elise

      Hi Chi Chi, oh I’m so glad your family likes it! Say hello to your daughter and her friends for me. The baked spaghetti is perfect for a sleepover party!

  • Debbie

    I made this once and everyone loved it. I am making it again now to have for tomorrow. How should I reheat the casserole so it doesn’t dry out or if I cook it tomorrow how long should it take coming from the fridge? Thanks for a delicious recipe.

    • Elise

      Hi Debbie, just cover it well with foil when you reheat it. I don’t know about the fridge timing. You might just need to heat it a little longer if you take it straight from the fridge.

  • Megan in Madison

    I made this for a family dinner –a 5 year old boy, two foodie siblings, and some hungry stressed-out adults. Super easy, and loved by all. It was shockingly good and It was easy for the kiddo to eat it without making a mess. I used store bought sauce (Newman’s own), and followed the recipe exactly. i will make this again and again.

    • Elise

      I’m so glad you liked it Megan!

  • Sue

    Elise, I made this for dinner tonight using angel hair. Really, really delicious. I used “Prego Traditional” for the sauce and substituted ground beef for half the sausage (only because my husband isn’t a huge fan of sausage). Other than that, I followed the recipe precisely. My husband had three helpings – thought he would burst! I have to say I really liked the spaghetti in place of the lasagna noodles. They gave the casserole an entirely different texture. Thanks for sharing a great recipe!


  • Mila

    I made this, it was yummy

  • Sok Hwee

    Thanks for the recipe! I made this tonight and it was a hit! I ended up using more Parmesan instead of Mozarella (bought the wrong one by accident) and it was still yummy! Will make it again next time using Mozarella!

  • Jones Enfinger

    I discovered this on Pinterest about two months ago and I made it for the third time tonight! My husband and I can’t say enough about it! I make it just as you do- to the t. It is wonderful and will be a staple recipe in our home for the rest of our years. (We are in our mid-twenties, haha) Thank you for sharing this delectible edible!

  • Anne

    Most every chef says to never to rinse your pasta in cold water-just drain. I don’t anymore for a long time and the sauce etc. is better absorbed onto the pasta.

  • Emma

    I’ve made this several times now and it is SO good – the entire family loves it!

  • Marta

    Don’t know why I never thought of baking my spaghetti,great idea but I would use mozzarella

  • Larissa

    I made this last night for a guest we had! It was a HUGE hit!! Everyone loved it! Makes a lot of food!! Fed more than 8 people with leftovers! Thanks for a great recipe!! 5 stars!!


  • caro

    can I make this the night before and cook it the next day?

    • Elise

      Hello Caro, You should be able to, as long as you keep it refrigerated. If you do make ahead, please let us know how it turns out for you!

      • Kim Artherhults

        I have made this recipe the night before several times. I put it together and do everything except bake it, then refrigerate until ready to cook it the next day. It has turned out perfectly every time! Great recipe, one of our favorites!

  • Edith

    This is a great recipe. I made it for supper this week for my husband and me. We had leftovers which thrilled him since he loved it. I used Italian sausage from one of our local farmers which was very lean–no fat to drain off. I substituted Tuscan Dream cheese from a local cheese maker (Madison, Wisconsin) for the mozzarella. It is a semi-soft Italian cheese. If you happen to live in the area you might want to give it a try. Just be sure to make the recipe for your family. With a big salad it makes a wonderful meal.

  • fabian perez

    Enhanced recipe.I do not chop onions.I let them remain in ring shape.

  • Kate

    I just made this last night. Besides using Italian chicken sausage instead, followed the recipe completely. Turned out wonderful!! So delicious. Thanks for a new idea to make my pasta dishes! My 15 month old loves it so that’s an extra plus! :)

  • Cerise

    It looks very good and I will be trying it soon. I must ask , however, in describing the recipe you said it was easier than lasagna. I have read the recipe over twice and I dont see anything that makes it easier. It seems just like lasagna only it is made with spagetti noodles instead and eggs . Can you clarify “easier” as I think I am missing the point.

    • Elise

      Hi Cerise, well it’s easier for me than lasagna. Lasagna noodles (unless you are using the no bake version which I don’t use) can be rather unwieldily. You have to take special care that they don’t break or stick together. And then when you layer them, they have to line up properly. Using spaghetti is just easier in my opinion.

  • AJ

    I have made this 3 or 4 times since it was originally posted. My family and I love it and leftovers are great to have on hand for lunch or hectic evenings when I don’t have time to cook. It is also a great dish to take to pot luck dinners. I found a lean turkey Italian sausage that I like very much and use that. I use Barilla cut spaghetti and cook it a couple of minutes less than the package calls for. Thanks for adding another delicious recipe to my repertoire.

    • Elise

      Hi AJ, I’m so glad you and your family like it!

  • Jerry

    Is it possible to leave the eggs out? I want to make this for a friend, but he can’t have eggs at all…

    • Elise

      Hi Jerry,
      Yes, you can certainly leave the eggs out. The baked spaghetti will not hold together as well (nothing to bind it if you take out the eggs), but it will still taste great!

      • Jerry

        Hi Elise
        Super, thank you, now when he comes over next I can surprise him :-)
        I just have to get dairy free cheese and I am set to go, thanks once again..

  • Sunny

    I love this! I wanted to make lasagna, but only pasta I had on hand was spaghetti. So, I googled “Spaghetti Lasgana” And this came up! I’ve got it staged and ready to assemble. The pasta is cooking. The only things I changed were – no mushrooms and used sweet red pepper and one seeded jalapeno. Also, I’ve never made a lasagna with straight ricotta. I tasted it – bleh. So I added some salt, parsley, 1/2 of the parm (which is shredded, not grated – what I had on hand) and an egg. Still put 2 eggs with the pasta. Also I used my homemade marinara sauce from garden tomatoes. I use recipes for inspiration and this one certainly inspired me!

  • wendy

    This was fabulous! I am a very picky eater and I highly recommend.

  • melanie m

    Made this tonight and it was a big hit with the family! I’m not a fan of Italian sausage but didn’t mind it in this recipe. So good and a keeper! thank you!!!

  • Carl Dunn

    Now I am torn between ricotta cheese and cream cheese. I love the mixture of cheeses you have chosen. I have a vegetarian in the family so I had to skip the meat but I can attest that the recipe is still delicious.

  • Teresa

    This recipe looks great! If I want to freeze it do I have to bake it first or can I freeze it after assembling?

    • Elise

      Hi Teresa, I’m guessing you would be better off baking it first and then freezing, but that’s just a guess.

  • Eli Hargi

    I did a dairy-free version of this dish tonight (thank you Tofutti and Daiya), sans the meat in the spirit of Meatless Monday. It was great! Thank you for the inspiration.

  • Maxi

    I love this so mush so did my kids I was so happy 2 year like it. my 6 year will not stop ask me to make it all the time and my 10 and 12 year will come in and say mom we love you and I do.

  • Nisha

    I just made this last night and it is AMAZING!!! I will definitely be adding this to my recipe book!!

  • ariel

    im going to try this with cream cheese, this is all i have, and some Velveeta cheese. hopefully it turns out good, i don’t like cottage or ricotta cheese.

  • Jocelyn Cotter

    I have a super busy schedule and usually try to make something that takes less than 30 minutes, but this looked so good that i made the time to make it! I am not a huge fan of tomato sauce in general, but i do love ricotta. This was so good because the noodles soaked up a lot of the extra sauce so the sauce didn’t ooze out everywhere when i cut it like lasagna normally does. made this a few weeks ago, and i’m making it again tonight! this will definitely be a regular.

  • beverly

    Back in the 1970’s I learned to make a version of this dish using zucchini or cabbage leaves or spaghetti squash for a diet class. I used non fat cottage cheese, large curd, and used ground chicken or turkey for the meat. This dish was delicious, as I remember it, and now I will make it again but using whole grain hand made noodles. Thanks for bringing back the memories of a much loved dish. I am new to this site and will be coming here regularly for more memory flashbacks. BeBeaz

  • Margaret Pargin

    I am making this dish as I type. I just spent $8 on a very good jar of marinara sauce and I hate to dilute it with 1 1/2 cups of water! Please give me assurance that this will be ok!
    I read through all the comments and no one mentioned a problem with it.

    • Elise

      If you don’t dilute the sauce, the result will be dry.

  • Heather

    I was wondering, if everything is cooked except for the beated egg, why cook it for an entire hour? It’s in the oven now (has been for about 20 minutes already). Just checked and it’s already boiling. How can you tell when it’s done?

    • Elise

      Good question. It takes that amount of time to penetrate the dish so that the internal temperature rises enough to cook the egg so that it “sets” the baked spaghetti. An hour should do the trick.

  • leilani

    just ask if i can used micro wave instead of oven.dont had oven et.

    • Elise

      I haven’t tried making this in a microwave, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you.

  • Starr

    Ok I’ve been browsing your site forever and I finally made this and OMG!! MY KIDS and Hubby thank you!!! Had to substitute the ricotta for cottage cheese since I don’t have a store near me that sells it, but still it was soooo good, almost better than my moms famous Lasagna! Don’t tell her though.. Thank you so much for this recipe

  • Linda

    In a word, INCREDIBLE! I made it yesterday and will undoubtedly repeat this often. I did substitute turkey italian sweet sausage for the meat sausage and for me, it was perfect. The spaghetti held together and made squares just as promised. Honestly, this is so delicious. I am always a tad slow with prepping, so recipes usually take longer than expected. That will not hinder my desire to make it again.


  • MyThy as in "Mighty"

    And here I thought I needed lasagna noodles. (Although I just discovered TJ’s “No boil” lasagna noodles and they’re convenient!) Can’t wait to make this!

  • Linda

    I recently had a vegetarian houseguest and made this using sauteed zucchini, leeks and more mushrooms. It was a major hit. I found I had to add extra water and some tomato paste to make the sauce sufficient for the pasta, but maybe that’s a matter of taste. It was brilliantly good and the leftovers were fought over by everyone in the house! No egg flavor at all — nobody knew that eggs were in it. And it really was just as good as a leftover.

  • Kelly

    I love all your recipes. I am on your site every week making new recipes. This looks great. We are going to make it this weekend. Can I make it ahead of time and cook it the next day? It would make it really easy for a weeknight meal. Let me know. Thanks

    • Elise

      Great question. The dish has raw egg in it, so it’s probably better that you make it and cook it ahead, and then just reheat it to serve.

      • Kelly

        Thank you. This was so incredibly good. My husband loved it. I made it with your baked asparagus with parm recipe on the side. Keep these great recipes coming! I make something from your site every week.

  • Wizzy

    I made this a couple weeks ago. All in all it was DELICIOUS!! I might have used too much spaghetti as I barely had enough sauce for the dish. Since I’m not a mushroom person I didn’t add them. I froze most of it and am having some tonight.

  • Steffanie

    My children loved this. Fabulous, thank you!

  • Joyce

    Just had this casserole for dinner. I didn’t know what kind of noodle to use so I went with what I thought a “thin spaghetti” would be: angel hair. Probably not the best choice. Too mushy-almost a rice like texture. Otherwise the recipe was great!

  • olive

    Hi Elise! Could I use cream cheese for the ricotta? or would cottage cheese be better? :)

    • Elise

      I think cottage cheese would be better. Closer to ricotta.

  • cherryl

    this is a great sunday night, winter, end of a long day meal – perfect with salad & crusty bread; easy to do. However, the 10 minute prep is not realistic! this is a pet hate of mine – realistic time frames should be a must. I’m a pretty good cook plus very experienced. It’s a tall ask aks to prepare this dish in 10 minutes, particularly first time. Allow 20-30 mins prep time plus cooking. give it a go though; kids love it plus a bit of stodge is really good on occasions! Mean this in the most complimentary way.

    • Elise

      It will take 20-30 minutes of prep time if you do all of your prep up front, which I don’t recommend. I do this recipe with zero additional prep time because I’m prepping while the cooking is going on. But, if you prefer to prep it first and then cook, then go for it! I’m so glad you liked the dish!

  • Jim Gauntt

    Elise, this is really good. As you may remember we did a variation on the Pasta Puttenesca sauce recipe you posted. The second time we did made Puttenesca we used the leftover sauce we made (see our posted revisions) to make this. We found however, we should have had more sauce the way we constructed the baked spaghetti – no problem – just whipped up a little more spicy marinara and voila’ – a little on the bottom and a little on the top when serving the dish fixed it right up! Thanks again for being the go to place for great recipes!

  • Sarah

    Made this last night…it was wonderful!!! Can’t wait to make it for party- definitely a ton of food.

  • Marion Olson

    I made this the other night, and I have to say it’s the best pasta casserole I’ve ever made – and the easiest, too. I love the *idea* of lasagne better than the actual outcome. Somehow it always seems to be just too much work, and the layers never really come together – the noodles just keep them too separate, and it slides apart in serving.

    When I saw the photograph for this recipe, I could tell that it would answer that problem, and it certainly did. The fine spaghetti and the eggs make a layer, but the sauce with the sausage and mushrooms and the cheeses all come together is a very satisfactory melange. I’m rarely a fan of red sauce for pasta, but this was perfect. My husband, who loves any kind of casserole and any kind of pasta with red sauce, was delighted.

    This one is going to stay in the rotation!


  • Laura

    Yummy! We loved this–I made it with zucchini ‘noodles’ and it turned out great. Thanks!

  • Paula

    This is a terrific recipe. I made it a few days ago for just the two of us; was good that night. Tonight we had the left overs. My husband was ecstatic about it. Definitely a keeper. Thanks Elise.

  • Donna

    This was delicious! My 13-year-old son is eating the leftovers today for lunch at school. I left the mushrooms out and used less ricotta than called for. We are not big ricotta fans so I would like to make this again using something else. I would also use less onion and chop it finer than I did this time. I used Newman marinara sauce, and about a jar-and-a-half instead of just one jar. Delicious recipe that we will eat again!

  • Nik

    I’m not a huge fan of eggs, mostly because of the taste. Does this dish come out tasting very eggy, or does it just add to the texture? I find carbonara way too eggy if that’s a frame of reference.

    • Elise

      In my opinion it’s not eggy at all. The egg just helps the noodles stay together when you cut servings.

  • Julie

    Followed the recipe exactly (minus mushrooms) and made this last night. It is OMG good! Boy do we have leftovers for a week too! Thanks for another delicious recipe!

  • Karen

    I made this last night, but made one change – instead of 1 1/2 cups of water added to the sauce, I added 1 cup red wine and 1/2 c. water. It worked perfect and was delicious. Loved that it cut into squares that stayed together too – thanks so much!

  • Amy B

    For my family that doesn’t like too much cheese, this is a winner. And, there are plenty of leftovers for some great dinners to follow. Thanks!

  • Kayleigh

    Does anybody know of any alternatives that I could use for the meats? I am trying to be more conscious of my red meat consumption, meaning none at all, but this recipe looks absolutely amazing!

    • Elise

      Take a look at our spinach and mushroom lasagna. You could swap out the sausage in this baked spaghetti recipe for spinach and mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms work best.

    • Karen

      We’ve been experimenting with soy-based faux meat products on our Meatless Mondays. You can buy soy “crumbles” that have the same look and texture as ground beef (and plenty of protein), but no flavor — they just kind of absorb the flavors of whatever they’re in. We use them for tacos, baked pasta dishes, etc. Another option is ground turkey.

      • Somia

        I have used the Boca crumbles with great success in faux bolognese and chili recipes. I prefer the Boca crumbles over Morning Star or Quorn.

  • Laura

    I made this tonight~it was soo yummy!

  • Karen

    Do you think it would work to add a layer of thawed, drained frozen spinach? If so, where would you put it? I might omit the ricotta too, since it’s not my fave texture — maybe I could use spinach at that point in the layering?

    • KLGT

      I add frozen, well drained chopped spinach to the ricotta whenever I make lasagna type recipes. It’s a simple, easy way to add more veggies … a trick I became very good at with boys who “hated” them.

  • Mike

    I know you’re really good, Elise; but 10 minutes prep time??

    • Elise

      Hi Mike, All you have to do is chop some mushrooms, an onion, and mince some garlic to get started. The shredding of the Mozz and the Parm can be shredded while the sauce and the spaghetti is cooking. Actually, I do my mushroom and onion prep while the sausage is cooking, which brings down the prep time in addition to cook time to practically zero.

      • Mike

        But you need to run the water and get it to boiling! That’s more than 10 minutes, by itself!

        • Elise

          Hi Mike, heat the water while you are preparing the sauce, as indicated in the recipe. There is no additional prep time needed for bringing water to a boil, unless it takes your burner longer than 25 minutes to bring 6 quarts of water to a boil.

  • Monica Pileggi

    My mother-in-law, who is from Naples Italy, made something similar and used to called spaghetti pizza. This is her recipe, which I have on my blog page:

  • el brujo

    Question: the pasta is almost done, so are the sauce and meat…. why cooking it so much? 40 minutes in the oven looks like too much. Doesn’t the pasta get too hard and dry? Looks great though. Reminds me my childhood….

    • Elise

      The eggs need to set. And it’s an hour in the oven, 40 minutes covered, 20 minutes uncovered. As long as you cover the top with sauce and cheese, the pasta will not dry out.

  • rita

    I used to make a version of this called Baked Pizza Spaghetti when I cooked in a Frat. House. It had pepperoni and shreaded mozzerella cheese plus a spicy sauce. It was delish and yours sounds great too.

  • mlbros

    This is what my family calls spaghetti pie. I have made this for years but I put it in a pyrex pie pan and cut slices. I use lowfat cottage cheese well drained and add both an egg and grated Parmesan cheese to the noodles. Flatten them out with a wooden spoon to form the crust then layer cottage cheese or ricotta, red sauce, cooked Italian sausage or cooked ground beef and cover with mozzarella cheese and bake. Yum

  • Candice


    My family and I aren’t big on cheese. Would it be okay to skip the Parmesan cheese and Ricotta?


    • Elise

      Hi Candice, I wouldn’t, but that’s me. If you don’t like Parmesan or ricotta, skip them. Let us know how it turns out!

  • Denny

    If you want your pasta to be more firm than you can use whole grain. Also if you use ground turkey or even ground beef you can use Oregano or better yet mixed Italian seasoning to give it the Italian flavor you want

  • Lois

    I use only Barilla pasta my local store does not carry the Rusticella D’Abruzzo and after 42 years my husband decided he no longer likes sausage, so I did make this dish with ground beef, it came out very good but not as good as it would with the sausage. Also, I only use ricotta cheese, just do not care for cottage cheese in my itallian dishes.

    • Elise

      If you make it with ground beef, I would add a bit more Italian seasoning and also some fennel seeds, one of the main spices in Italian pork sausage.

  • Diane

    I would like to use spaghetti squash. Would it hold up well in the dish? Should I try drying it a bit before using?

    • Elise

      I think if you do a quick Internet search you’ll find plenty of recipes for baked spaghetti squash made in a similar manner as this recipe.

  • linda

    Im used spaghetti squash …just to make it a little more healty…it was very good …

  • Cassie

    How many (realistically) will this feed? I have a really big family that I recently started doing the cooking for and am wondering if I need to double the recipe…If it feeds less than 6 (4 of which are boys), would it be best to double it or should I make 2 separate dishes? P.S. Leftovers are more than OK! Thanks for the help!!!

    • Elise

      Hi Cassie, it depends on how hungry those boys are and what else you are serving. This recipe easily serves 6. But if you like leftovers and you have extra big appetites, you might want to make another one.

  • Doni

    I have made a lot of variations Lasagna Casserole, but I like this one the best because of the thin noodles and the addition of the eggs and cheese with the noodles. I usually do it in 2 deep dish pie pans because I can bake one now and freeze the other for another meal. With a salad or vegetable and bread it is about perfect for a family week night meal. And it’s a bonus to have a ready made meal in the freezer. I would think you can leave out the onions and garlic, sub onion powder and garlic powder if you like. The cheese and sausage both have a lot of salt so I would be careful about adding salt.

    • Janet Freel

      I love the idea of dividing it in to smaller dishes and freezing. It is just my husband and I so that would be perfect.

  • Hiram

    Is there a good substitute for the onions and garlic? My allergy will probably flare up to these ingredients. Is garlic salt as effective?

    • Elise

      If you are allergic to alliums (onions, garlic, etc.) then skip. There really is’t a substitute flavor-wise. If you can tolerate onion powder or garlic salt, please do add to taste.

  • Lisa

    This has long been one of our favorite dishes, which I originally made with some leftover spaghetti and sauce. Now it is a staple that my family asks for quite often. I use cottage cheese instead of ricotta and ground beef instead of sausage. Easy, filling meal!

  • Michaela @ Serif and Spice

    Awesome idea! I’d love to make this using ground turkey sausage and switching out the pasta for spaghetti squash for a gluten free dinner. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Anne

      Oh ground turkey with Italian seasonings sounds divine!!!

  • Anita

    Do you think ground beef would work ok in place of the Italian sausage? (I know it would be more bland… alas, that’s what I’m going for.)

    • Michelle

      I made this last night for dinner (actually I assembled it 2 nights ago and then baked it last night) – it was REALLY good. I followed the recipe except for using ground turkey instead of Italian sausage. I still thought it was very flavorful. I’m pretty sure I’ve never found a bad recipe on here – and this one is definitely a keeper. It was much easier to make than it looks, and lighter than a big lasagna. And best part is I have leftovers today for lunch!

      • Kathy L.

        You can get Italian turkey sausage in most stores. Much better than just ground turkey.

  • Gail

    Has anyone made this recipe? I’d like to know how it turned out and what rating you would give it.

    • nancy merrriman

      I haved cooked from this site for over 3 years and never had a failure. Just follow her instructions, you won’t miss! I will cook this one for my grandson’s 21st birthday in a couple of weeks.

      • Elise

        Thanks for the vote of confidence Gail!

      • Lindsay

        I don’t want to be dramatic or anything, but this site seriously saved our marriage! That, or our pocketbooks since we don’t have to eat out all the time. I found this site in 2006 and I have been a huge fan ever since. Every single thing I make on here is delicious. You can trust Elise, she will never lead you astray!

    • Kathleen

      Add me to the list of no-failures from this site. This is my most dependable cooking blog for years. My family has a hands down favorite (Chicken Picatta) that I tried for the first time when Elise posted it.

  • Lisa

    I like to do a gluten-free, vegetarian version of lasagna like this but with spaghetti squash. Really healthy and perfect for a crowd!

  • Lynn

    Why do you rinse the pasta when you want you want the dish to stick together?

    • Elise

      Great question Lynn. Because if the pasta sticks together in the bowl, it will be difficult to spread it out over the casserole dish. Also, you do want to coat the spaghetti noodles in beaten egg so that the whole casserole will have a little more structure.

  • Alison

    I’ve been meaning to ask you for ages… but if I can’t locate any Italian sausage (sweet or otherwise), what would you recommend as a substitute?

    • nancy

      On your computer find a recipe for Italian sausage. At your market buy some ground pork. And now you have Italian sausage. My husband makes all our Italian and breakfast sausages; the fat content can be decreased that way. And it freezes well.

    • Elise

      You can also use ground beef or pork. I would add some Italian seasoning and specifically some fennel seeds. Also, you’ll need to add more olive oil to make up for less fat if you are using lean beef or pork.

    • Kathy L.

      Just buy the Italian whole sausage in the casing. All supermakets have it. Go for the sweet or mild. Take it out of the casing.. Then you have ground sausage with all the spices.. I wouldn’t substitute. I use it all the time and cut it out of the casing to mix it with my ground sirloin to make meatballs.

  • Patrick

    I’m thinking a better quality spaghetti would make the consistency a little firmer. Does anyone have ideas of some higher priced spaghetti brands?

    • Tina

      Patrick, try Barilla. It holds up really well in casseroles and is more forgiving if it cooks a tad over.

    • Angelo

      Hi Patrick, the best & the only pasta I do buy is from Abruzzo the brand is (Rusticella D’Abruzzo) the spaghetti name is Chitarra hand made is the best, I did turn a few peple on to this pasta is a bit pricy can be found on high end supermarket but worth every bite. hope helps.

    • Karen P

      Barilla is good but I think the very best is De Cecco pasta. It has both great flavor and texture. It’s a little more expensive but worth it, IMHO.

  • Andrea

    If I wanted to do this with cottage cheese in place of the ricotta, would it be a good idea to drain out the extra water? Thoughts anyone? This looks mouth watering but I’m not a huge fan of ricotta.

    • Wendy

      Andrea, I have been using cottage cheese in place of ricotta in my lasagna for years! Drain the water, then puree the cottage cheese in a food processor until smooth :)

      • Andrea

        Thanks, Wendy! I’ve used cottage cheese in lasagna before but didn’t think to puree it. I’ll try it your way and report back how it turns out. :)

      • PepperReed

        I never thought of that either! Thanks for the great idea.

    • Marzia

      Here in Italy, “lasagne” are usually made with ragù and bechamel sauce. This same sauce is used for most “paste pasticciate” or “paste al forno”. If you don’t particularly like ricotta, you could try substituting it with bechamel… In Italy you can purchase it already prepared in the supermarket. The combination of tomatoe sauce and bechamel makes a very creamy pasta. When we use a dried egg pasta… we often don’t cook the pasta beforhand. We just assemble the dish the night before with the raw pasta, leave it in the fridge, and then cook it slowly the next day.

    • KarenB

      I have exclusively used cottage cheese for my lasagne as I can’t stand the texture of ricotta lol. But years ago, my kids wanted lasagne, but asked me to not use cottage cheese. I subsequently found a recipe which uses cream cheese, parmesan (I use Asiago) sour cream and eggs and fresh herbs like basil, oregano, etc. I mix it with a blender, make my own spaghetti sauce like Elise (I usually use Classico and “doctor” it up with more herbs, wine, garlic, etc) I use the cream cheeae mixture rather than ricotta or cottage cheese and my family (now all adults) always ask me to bring it to family potlucks. Even my dtrs father in law couldn’t get enough of it! Lol. In fact, I just made the sauce on top the stove, and then transferred it to my crock pot so I can leave it unattended and not worry about the low flame on the gas stove. Thank you, Elise, for posting your spaghetti pie recipe!

      • cassi

        I have always use cottage cheese. I don’t like ricotta cheese. I have
        never thought of using cream cheese. Could you please give me your recipe with the cream cheese? Thank you Cassi

        • CJ Tweed

          This recipe is really close to one that I make called “Pavarotti Pasta”. It’s essentially the same idea. Angel Hair pasta cooked al dente and tossed in 2T butter is the first layer. Next, the cheese layer: 8 oz cream cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream and 1 to 1.5 cups cottage cheese (add 1/2 cup chopped green pepper and a minced green onion) – mix them all together and spread over the pasta. Then add your meat sauce and top with mozza.

    • DMS

      Andrea, I lived in an Italian community for many years and I always used un-drained cottage cheese. I’d just scoop it into the food processor and add an egg to it. When I fed my neighbors and friends (loads of older Italians) they often commented that it was good I was using Ricotta. I’d just smile and say thank you.

      • Fran Tarrio

        I have used ricotta and mix with sm curd cottage cheese(blend it) the cottage cheese has flavor and I use asiago as it has more flavor also.

    • Sally

      I have used cottage cheese but I add sour cream, Parmesan cheese and some mozzerella cheese to the cottage cheese. I like it better than ricotta. I have also used macaroni instead of spaghetti.

    • John Hattery

      My mother used cottage cheese to make lasagne for years. No draining, no blending. Just mixed an egg in with the cottage cheese then layered into the lasagne during assembly.