We’re still in the process of dwindling down our food supply before we leave for Mexico, and I am finding that I am constantly surprised with the amazing food I can make with what’s left. I seriously had the typical “there’s nothing to eaaaaat“, while my pantry is stocked full of hidden treasures. It’s always so easy to give up and cave in to something quick and easy, so I decided to explore the pantry yet again last night. Teaming up with Pinterest, I learned that I had nearly all the essentials to make some kind of spaghetti dish. I wanted to make something that was new though, and more unique. Enter: Baked Spaghetti.
- 1pkg Spaghetti noodles (The recipe I used called for angel hair pasta. I think regular noodles work better to hold it all together)
- 1lb ground beef
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 jar pasta sauce (I used Target brand 3 cheese)
- 2 cans cream of mushroom soup (Can be substituted with another creamy soup).
- 16oz cottage cheese (The original recipe called for sour cream. I only had cottage cheese, which I prefer. Using cottage cheese gives the spaghetti a lasagna feel, which is pretty cool)
- 4 cups of cheese (Use whatever you want. I used mild cheddar since it’s all we had.. but next time I may want to do Parmesan or mozzarella)
- Feta cheese (For an extra creamy flavor, not necessary though)
- Garlic, pepper, Italian seasonings, onion powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown meat, drain. Cook noodles, drain. Add tomato sauce and pasta to meat, let meat simmer for a few minutes on medium. Remove meat from heat. In a separate bowl (no need to heat this), combine cottage cheese and cream of mushroom soup. Spray baking dish ( I used 9″x13″) with non-stick coating. Coat bottom of dish with meat & sauce mixture, only enough to cover the surface. Layer meat mixture with noodles, then with cottage cheese mixture, followed by 2 cups of cheese. Repeat layers until dish is full. Bake for 30 minutes and enjoy!
First of all, this baby requires a ton of cheese to hold everything together. The recipe I used suggested to layer everything twice for a thicker casserole. I suggest only layering once if you’re looking to cut some calories out of this hearty dish. I did plenty of substituting for this recipe, and it turned out just fine. It’s a pretty flexible recipe, with plenty of room for your own special ingredients.
Secondly, this dish probably needs to settle for at least 15 minutes. I made the unfortunate mistake of cutting into it right away (it smelled soooo good, and I was starving!), and it was basically a big pile of noodles when I got it onto my plate. It’s supposed to be neatly tucked and easy to serve, much like lasagna. I learned this morning however, that letting the baked spaghetti sit over night does WONDERS for the shape. When I cut myself a piece this morning to take to work, the shape held perfectly. So maybe there’s something about making it ahead and refrigerating it for later?
Either way, the flavor of this bake is outstanding. The cream of mushroom and cottage cheese really adds something special to this bake. Naturally, it’s covered in a ton of cheese, so that’s always delicious. Overall, I absolutely loved the baked spaghetti, and I think it would be great for family gatherings and hungry folks.
Day Two: A nicer shape!