Baked Spaghetti

Here’s a make a head casserole dish that will please the whole family!  Baked spaghetti is perfect for potluck dinners or hungry children.    While my kids are fine with a jar of sauce poured over plain noodles, you can’t beat the extra flavors in this recipe when you add the vegetables, seasonings, and ground beef.  Recipes like this are very flexible, so if you don’t like peppers, skip them or if you like black olives add them.  Whatever you like works!

Baked spaghetti also works as a make a head freezer meal.  Just keep it on the “saucy” side when you make it so that it doesn’t become too dry after freezing.  (By that I mean use less spaghetti noodles or add a little extra water to the sauce).  When ready to serve, just thaw completely and bake.  So easy & delicious!

pic 006Ingredients:

  • 1/2  cup  diced onion
  • 1/2  cup  diced green bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2  cup  canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2  cup  tomato sauce
  • 1  cup  water
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon  sugar
  • Dash of hot pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2  pound  ground beef
  • 8-12  ounces spaghetti (depending on how saucy you like it)
  • 1  cup  grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese, divided

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stockpot, combine the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, onions, peppers, garlic, seasonings and sugar.

Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat and let simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

Crumble the ground beef in a large skillet.

Cook over medium-high heat until fully cooked, with no pink color remaining.

Drain the fat from the meat, and then add the ground beef to the stockpot.

Simmer for 20 more minutes.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

In the stock pot, combine meat sauce, pasta, 1 1/2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

Pour mixture into a  9×13 baking dish.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Top the casserole with the remaining cheese, return it to the oven, and continue to cook until the cheese is melted

Adapted from:  Paula Deen