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My Million Dollar Spaghetti recipe is made with tender pasta layered with a flavorful, meat sauce and a creamy cheese mixture, then baked to golden brown perfection. A comforting meal that does taste like a million bucks!

top view of casserole dish with baked spaghetti and melted cheese
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I love pasta and I love spaghetti even more. I am always thinking of easy ways to make life easier. My Million dollar spaghetti is the perfect combination of lasagna and spaghetti. The layers of spaghetti noodles, delicious meat sauce and a creamy cheese blend make for the BEST Italian casserole. It’s always a good day when baked pasta is on the menu, whether it’s baked tomato feta pasta, baked macaroni, and cheese, or this incredibly delicious spaghetti casserole.

Recipe Summary

  • So comforting: Not only is million dollar spaghetti over-the-top delicious, but it’s also nice and filling. Plus, a warm bowl of this pasta is total comfort food!
  • Kid-friendly: There’s not too many kids that will balk at a saucy, cheesy pasta for dinner. In fact, I bet they will be begging for seconds!
  • Versatile: There are lots of ways to serve this meal and make it your own. It’s great served alone or with some crusty bread and a salad. You could also change up the meat to include ground beef instead of chicken or turkey.
Serving million dollar spaghetti out of a casserole dish.

Ingredients Needed

To make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients (amounts included in the recipe card further down this post)

  • Spaghetti: I like to use whole wheat spaghetti for an extra boost of fiber, but any spaghetti noodles will work. Use gluten-free pasta to make this dish completely gluten-free friendly.
  • Pasta sauce: You can try my homemade marinara sauce or grab your favorite brand from the store.
  • Olive oil: For sautéing the onion and garlic and browning the meat. Avocado oil also works.
  • Onion and garlic: Chopped yellow onion and garlic for wonderful savoriness.
  • Ground meat: This recipe calls for either ground chicken or ground turkey but you can really use any ground meat you prefer.
  • Seasonings: A simple blend of Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, kosher salt and pepper add delicious flavor.
  • Cottage cheese: Makes the cheese layer super creamy while adding extra protein!
  • Cheese: A mix of parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese are flavorful and perfectly melty.
Raw ground chicken in a bowl near bowls of parmesan cheese, mozzarella and marinara.

How to Make It

  1. Boil noodles: Cook the pasta according to package direction, until just cooked to al dente. Drain well and return to the pot. Stir in the pasta sauce.
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes.
  3. Cook the meat: Add the ground meat and continue to cook, mincing the meat with a wooden spoon.
  4. Season: Once the meat is no longer pink, sprinkle it with Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Cook just until it starts to brown.
  5. Make the cheese mixture: Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the cottage cheese, parmesan and 1 cup of mozzarella.
  1. Assemble: Spread half of the spaghetti in a rectangle baking dish. Top with half of the cheese mixture, half of the cooked meat, then repeat the layers. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded mozzarella.
  2. Bake: Place in a preheated oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until bubbly and golden on top.

My Pro Tip

Helpful Tips

  • Cook pasta al dente: Do not overcook the pasta because it will also bake in the oven.
  • Cheese: For the shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese, we recommend using freshly grated cheese. Pre-shredded cheese often contains stabilizers and anti-caking agents. Also, high-quality cheeses will melt better and add wonderful flavor to this dish.
  • Let sit: Once this pasta bake comes out of the oven, it’s best to let it rest for at least 10 to 15 minutes so it has time to set and won’t fall apart when serving.
side shot of a white dish will red looking spaghetti in dish topped with melted cheese

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes spaghetti taste better?

To really bring a depth of flavor to any spaghetti dish, try adding sautéed onion and garlic, your favorite spices, and even fresh herbs.

Is there a substitute for cottage cheese?

If you would like to swap the cottage cheese for something else, try using an equal amount of ricotta cheese.

What to serve with million dollar spaghetti?

We love to serve baked pasta recipes with fresh green salads. Salads are light and make a great complement to the rich and hearty pasta. And don’t forget the garlic bread!

Storage Recommendations

Million-dollar spaghetti is delicious leftover and makes a fabulous ready-to-go lunch or dinner the next day. Here is how to store it, so it stays fresher longer:

  • In the refrigerator: Place leftovers in an airtight container or cover the dish you baked it in with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Because of the cheese and cottage cheese in this recipe, I don’t recommend freezing it. Once thawed, the cheesy layer won’t have the best texture.

Spaghetti served in a white bowl with a fork.

More Spaghetti Recipes

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5 from 1 vote

Million Dollar Spaghetti

By: Rena
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour
top view of casserole dish with baked spaghetti and melted cheese
This Million Dollar Spaghetti recipe is made with tender pasta layered with a flavorful, meat sauce and a creamy cheese mixture, then baked to golden brown perfection. A comforting meal that does taste like a million bucks!

Ingredients

  • 10 oz whole wheat spaghetti
  • 28 oz pasta sauce, divided
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup ground parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Cook the pasta according to package direction, until just cooked to al dente. Drain well and return to the pot. Stir in the pasta sauce.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes.
  • Add the ground meat and continue to cook, mincing the meat with a wooden spoon.
  • Once the meat is no longer pink, sprinkle it with Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Cook just until it starts to brown.
  • Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the cottage cheese, parmesan and 1 cup of mozzarella.
  • Spread half of the spaghetti in a rectangle baking dish. Top with half of the cheese mixture, half of the cooked meat, then repeat the layers. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded mozzarella.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until bubbly and golden on top.

Notes

Place leftovers in an airtight container or cover the dish you baked it in with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 525kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 37gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.05gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 1565mgPotassium: 1044mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1540IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 360mgIron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Tried this recipe?Mention @healthyfitnessmeals or tag #healthyfitnessmeals!

Author

About Rena Awada

Hi, I’m Rena! I am here to help you prepare delicious, light, fresh meals that your whole family will love!

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