How to Make Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole

Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole is a decadent and hearty dish that combines the best elements of spaghetti and lasagna into one irresistible casserole. This luxurious meal features layers of pasta, cheese, a rich meat sauce, and a creamy center that sets it apart from your standard pasta bake. Perfect for feeding a crowd, special family dinners, or when you’re in the mood for a comforting and satisfying dish, this casserole lives up to its name by delivering a million-dollar taste experience.

 

 

 

 

Why You’ll Love Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole

  • Rich and Creamy: The combination of cream cheese, sour cream, and cottage cheese creates a velvety layer that melds beautifully with the pasta and sauce.
  • Hearty and Filling: Packed with a flavorful meat sauce and plenty of cheese, this casserole is sure to satisfy even the biggest appetites.
  • Make-Ahead Convenience: Prepare it in advance and bake when ready to serve, making mealtime stress-free.
  • Crowd-Pleaser: Its indulgent flavor and comforting nature make it a hit at potlucks, family gatherings, and holiday dinners.

Ingredients Notes

  • Spaghetti: The base of the casserole. Cook until al dente so it doesn’t become too soft when baked.
  • Ground Meat: Beef or a mix of beef and Italian sausage browned with onions and garlic for the meat sauce.
  • Marinara Sauce: Use a high-quality store-bought sauce or your favorite homemade marinara.
  • Cream Cheese, Sour Cream, and Cottage Cheese: Blended together for the creamy middle layer that adds richness and depth.
  • Cheese: A combination of shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese for topping, creating a gooey and golden crust.
  • Seasonings: Adjust to your liking with Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and any other preferred herbs or spices.

Recipe Steps

  1. Preheat Oven and Prep Ingredients: Begin by preheating your oven and greasing a large baking dish. Cook the spaghetti and prepare the meat sauce by browning the ground meat with onions, garlic, and marinara sauce.
  2. Mix Creamy Layer: In a bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, and cottage cheese until smooth. You can also mix in some cooked spaghetti into this mixture for an even distribution of creaminess.
  3. Layer the Casserole: Start with a layer of half the cooked spaghetti in the bottom of the dish. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the spaghetti, then add the remaining spaghetti. Top with the meat sauce and sprinkle generously with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  4. Bake: Cover with foil and bake until bubbly. Remove the foil in the last 10-15 minutes to brown the cheese.
  5. Serve: Let the casserole rest for a few minutes before serving to allow it to set for easier slicing.

Storage and Reheating

  • Refrigerate: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: This casserole freezes well. Cool completely, cover tightly, and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Reheat: Warm in the oven covered, at 350°F until heated through, adding a splash of water or additional sauce to prevent drying out.

 

How to Make Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole

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Author: Maria

Ingredients

For the Casserole:

  • Spaghetti noodles: 16 oz cooked al dente
  • Ground beef: 1 lb can substitute with ground turkey or Italian sausage
  • Onion: 1 medium finely chopped
  • Garlic: 3 cloves minced
  • Marinara sauce: 24 oz jar
  • Cream cheese: 8 oz softened
  • Sour cream: 1 cup
  • Cottage cheese: 1 cup can substitute with ricotta cheese
  • Butter: 1/2 cup 1 stick, divided
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese: 2 cups
  • Shredded cheddar cheese: 1 cup
  • Salt and pepper: to taste
  • Italian seasoning: 1 teaspoon optional
  • Parsley: chopped for garnish

Instructions

Preheat Oven and Prepare Pasta:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Cook spaghetti according to package instructions until al dente, drain, and set aside. Toss the cooked spaghetti with half of the butter to prevent sticking.

Cook the Meat:

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef with the chopped onion and minced garlic until the meat is browned and the onions are soft. Drain excess grease.
  • Stir in the marinara sauce to the meat mixture and simmer for about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning if using. Remove from heat.

Mix Creamy Layer:

  • In a bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, sour cream, and cottage cheese (or ricotta) until smooth.

Assemble the Casserole:

  • Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with some of the remaining butter. Spread half of the cooked spaghetti in the bottom of the dish.
  • Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the spaghetti.
  • Layer the remaining spaghetti on top of the cream cheese mixture. Dot with the remaining butter.
  • Pour the meat sauce over the top spaghetti layer, spreading to cover.
  • Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese evenly over the top.

Bake:

  • Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Then, remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

Serve:

  • Let the casserole cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley for a fresh touch.

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