I thought baked spaghetti was just throwing regular spaghetti into a 9 x 13 baking dish, melting some cheese over top, and calling it casserole. I was probably 30 when my grandma showed me a much better, much more tasty way to make baked spaghetti.
Two ingredients are what sets plain old spaghetti apart from baked spaghetti casserole. First, coating the spaghetti noodles with egg. It is a game changer. Second, adding cottage cheese to the mix. It might sound a little random, but it adds this extra dimension of flavor and texture that makes the casserole A-MAZING. Give it a try and be sure to let me know how it turned out for you in the comments!
1 package (16 ounces) spaghetti
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (or ½ c. frozen, chopped)
1 green pepper, chopped (or ½ c. frozen, chopped)
1 jar (32 ounces) pasta sauce
1 envelope Zesty Italian or Italian seasoning
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 container (24 oz.) small curd cottage cheese, divided
4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare spaghetti. Cook for about 12 minutes, so that spaghetti is al dente. Drain.
- Cook beef, chopped onion and chopped bell pepper over medium heat in a large skillet. Once meat is browned and onion is translucent, drain and return to skillet.
- Stir in pasta sauce and Italian seasoning.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and butter. Place spaghetti noodles in bowl and toss to coat.
- Place half of the spaghetti into a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Then layer with half the cottage cheese, mozzarella and meat sauce. Repeat layers. Leave enough extra cheese to be able to put some on the top.
7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 15 minutes longer.
8. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy with breadsticks or garlic bread!