Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole is packed with flavor! The perfect combination of spaghetti, meat sauce, ricotta, and cream cheese topped with mozzarella cheese to make an amazing Italian comfort food everyone will love.
Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole
There is something so comforting about a plate of spaghetti. It reminds us of being kids and slurping up the noodles, it is an easy meal to make when we are exhausted but want something filling, it is a pantry staple that almost everyone I know keeps on hand but most of all it just tastes amazing.
This million dollar spaghetti recipe takes a normal plate of spaghetti and launches it to a whole new level of goodness.
I mean the combination of ricotta cheese and cream cheese with garlic powder makes a creamy layer of goodness sandwiched between meaty marinara sauce and noodles.
The best part of this Million Dollar Spaghetti is you get to decide what kind of marinara you want to use! You can pick up your favorite jar of pre-made sauce at the grocery store, make crockpot marinara sauce, or Olive Garden Marinara Sauce or use your family's favorite tomato sauce.
It is really up to you what you want to use. We tend to use one of our favorite scratch-made marinara sauces or Rao's marinara which we stock up on at Costco.
When I made this Million Dollar Baked Spaghetti the first time my husband told me that I had taken spaghetti dinner and rocketed it to a whole new level and he was not sad about it. I am pretty sure he made groaned with joy when he took the first few bites. He kept saying..oh wow...this is so good...oh my goodness.
Who doesn't want to hear how great a dish tastes when they have spent time putting it together.
We serve this with our favorite garlic bread and a side salad. You could also serve it with Olive Garden Breadsticks. Paired with a great red wine from our monthly wine subscription and this is a dinner that makes us very happy.
- Ground Beef
- Spaghetti Noodles
- Marinara Sauce - scratch-made or store-bought
- Italian Seasoning
- Cream Cheese
- Ricotta Cheese
- Garlic Powder
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Minced Garlic
- Salt and pepper
Ground Beef - We use an 80/20 ground beef mix but you could easily combine ground beef and Italian sausage to add even more meat flavor to this great baked spaghetti casserole. You could also change this to ground turkey or ground chicken.
Marinara Sauce - Feel free to use your favorite spaghetti sauce in this recipe.
Mozzarella Cheese - we use shredded mozzarella cheese but you can easily use a mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheese or other favorite shredded cheeses. A sprinkle of parmesan cheese would also taste amazing.
Ricotta Cheese - You can easily substitute cottage cheese for ricotta cheese
Spaghetti Noodles - you can easily change the noodles to any noodles you have in the pantry.
Optional Add ins - mushrooms, sour cream, spinach, slices of butter
Large Mixing Bowl - We are big fans of this glass batter bowl that has a handle. It makes it easy to stir ingredients and keeps the mixing bowl steady on the counter.
Hamburger Mix and Chop - We use the mix n chop to break up the ground beef and love it.
Heat resistant potholders - A couple of years ago we had a fire scare when we didn't realize we had turned a burner on and a cloth potholder caught fire. Thankfully we walked by the kitchen and saw the smoke and were able to get it out ourselves. Since then we have only used these heat-resistant potholders.
Don't forget to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
The hardest part of this recipe is to remember to set out the cream cheese ahead of time so it is at room temperature and easier to mix with the ricotta cheese.
You can easily make this vegetarian by leaving out the meat mixture or using a meat alternative like beyond beef or Boca burger crumbles.
To make this vegan you can leave out the meat and regular cheese and use vegan cheese and pasta.
Make sure to cook spaghetti only to al dente in boiling water so it doesn't become mushy while absorbing some of the sauce while it is baking.
Store this baked spaghetti casserole in an airtight container or covered by plastic wrap.
There are a lot of Million Dollar baked Spaghetti Casseroles that call for a ½ cup slices of butter to be mixed in with the noodles. We skip this step to save on calories and still find this casserole to be rich and flavorful.
Can you freeze Million Dollar Spaghetti?
Yes, we highly suggest making two of these at the same time and freezing one of them. This way you have a ready-made meal on days you don't feel like cooking.
Just follow all the steps up to put the casserole in the oven. Top the dish with aluminum foil and freeze until you are ready to use it.
Just set the spaghetti casserole in the refrigerator the day before you plan to serve it so it has time to dethaw.
Great Dinner Recipes
Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole Recipe
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cook spaghetti noodles to al dente. About 3 minutes before they are done on the box directions.
- Saute onions for 3-4 minutes, add in minced garlic and saute for an additional minute or 2
- Add in ground beef, break up and brown
- Drain spaghetti and mix with 1 cup of marinara sauce, set to the side
- Combine cream cheese, ricotta cheese, and garlic powder and mix together.
- Drain ground beef once it is done cooking, add it back to the pan and add in 2 cups marinara sauce. mix together.
- Spray a 9 x13 casserole dish with non stick spray. Add ½ of the spaghetti noodles to the dish and spread them out.
- Top spaghetti noodles with cream cheese ricotta mixture spread as evenly as possible.
- Top cream cheese ricotta mixture with remaining spaghetti noodles
- Top spaghetti noodles with ground beef marinara mixture, top with mozzarella cheese
- Bake for 30 minutes until mozzarella is melted