★★★★★

Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole

This hearty baked spaghetti casserole is loaded with flavor. Million Dollar Spaghetti is a cheesy, meaty weeknight dinner recipe!

If you love a good Italian meal, be sure to also try our shortcut Ravioli Lasagna recipe. And end the meal with our favorite Olive Garden Breadsticks!

Million Dollar Spaghetti casserole in 13x9 baking dish cut into squares.

Why this Recipe is Best

This million dollar casserole gets it’s name from the richness and depth of flavor, not for how much it costs to make! If anything it can win you award, it’s beloved by everyone I’ve ever made it for!

Growing up in the midwest, casseroles are a part of our way of life.

From hashbrown casserole to green bean casserole, and all the JELL-O dump salads in between, this spaghetti casserole recipe is by far one of my favorites.

The hearty meat sauce combined with the rich and creamy filling is like a spaghetti version of Baked Ziti.

You’ll love this easy weeknight dinner!

  • Large 13×9 baking dish
  • Can be frozen
  • Hearty meat sauce
  • Prepare ahead of time

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make a million dollar spaghetti casserole.

Meat sauce. For extra flavor, I use a combination of ground beef and Italian sausage, along with garlic, onion, and my favorite marinara sauce.

If you prefer meatless, load up your sauce with green peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, and/or eggplant! Simmer the vegetables of your choice with your marinara sauce to cook them down and soften the texture.

Pasta. Classic spaghetti noodles is what I choose, but you can opt for the thin spaghetti (like in this Chicken Tetrazzini recipe), or any other style you love…rotini, bowtie, etc.

Cheese. The center layer of cheese is what makes this casserole magical. You’ll need cottage cheese, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese! This is similar to how I make my lasagna.

Add sour cream and butter and you’ve got one heck of a spaghetti casserole!

Easy Instructions

Meat spaghetti sauce in skillet for spaghetti casserole.

I love that this dinner can be made ahead of time. Whether you prep the ingredients in the morning, early afternoon, or even the night before.

Cook Noodles. Whichever noodle option you choose, cook them up and add some of the sauce to the noodles. Set aside.

Meat Sauce. Brown the meat and add pasta sauce. Set aside.

Make Cheese mixture. Combine the cottage cheese with cream cheese, sour cream, and half of the mozzarella. Set aside.

Assemble the casserole.

Step by step photos showing how to assemble spaghetti casserole.
  1. Butter Cubes.
  2. Pasta with Sauce.
  3. ALL the Cheese filling.
  4. Other Half of Pasta Sauce
  5. Meat Sauce
  6. Mozzarella Cheese.

Bake uncovered.

Million dollar casserole served on a plate.

Tips and Tricks

  • Assemble baked spaghetti up to 24 hours in advance if desired. Keep covered in refrigerator and add an extra 15 minutes to baked time if chilled.
  • Freeze casserole by covering with foil and freezing for up to 30 days. Thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours before baking. I don’t recommend baking from frozen as it will dry out.
  • This is a huge dish of food. If you don’t have a deep 13×9, use two square pans instead. Perfect if you want to freeze a batch for later!
  • Want to share with a neighbor? Bake it in a disposable foil pan so you don’t have to worry about getting a dish back.
  • Swap out the cottage cheese for ricotta for a more classic flavor!
  • Serve with an Italian Salad and Cheesy Garlic Bread
Close up of layers in spaghetti casserole recipe.

More Easy weeknight dinners

PS. If you try this recipe, please leave a STAR rating in the recipe card below. I love your feedback! Connect with me on social media by following me on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest.

Yield: 12 servings

Million Dollar Spaghetti

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

This hearty baked spaghetti casserole is loaded with flavor. Million Dollar Spaghetti is a cheesy, meaty weeknight dinner recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb spaghetti noodles
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 jars (24 oz each) marinara sauce, any variety
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 3 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup butter, sliced
  • parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cook the noodles according to package directions.
  2. Add 1 jar of the sauce to the cooked noodles. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, brown ground beef and Italian sausage with onion and garlic. Drain grease and add the second jar of marinara sauce to the cooked meat. Set aside.
  4. In a bowl, combine cottage cheese with cream cheese, sour cream, and half of mozzarella cheese. Set aside.
  5. Add butter cubes to the bottom of a 13×9 deep dish casserole.
  6. Spread half of the spaghetti (with sauce) in the bottom of the dish.
  7. Top with ALL of the cheese mixture.
  8. Follow up with the remaining half of the pasta (with sauce).
  9. Add all the meat sauce to the top of the million dollar casserole.
  10. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top, with the grated parmesan.
  11. Bake casserole UNCOVERED in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.

Notes

  • If you prefer meatless, load up your sauce with green peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, and/or eggplant! Simmer the vegetables of your choice with your marinara sauce to cook them down and soften the texture.
  • Assemble baked spaghetti up to 24 hours in advance if desired. Keep covered in refrigerator and add an extra 15 minutes to baked time if chilled.
  • Freeze casserole by covering with foil and freezing for up to 30 days. Thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours before baking. I don’t recommend baking from frozen as it will dry out.
  • Swap out the cottage cheese for ricotta for a more classic flavor!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 503Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 770mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 29g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Hearty Million Dollar Baked Spaghetti is the perfect casserole for weeknight dinner. You’ll love the cheesy filling!

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on March 19, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. I made this for a homeless shelter and they loved it. I’m making it for my family tonight and I know they will love it too. Thank you for publishing this. 💕💕💕

  2. Just made this tonight and it was a huge hit. Make sure you use a deep dish pan as she directs or else you’ll have a mess! The cheese layer is DIVINE!

  3. My family doesn’t care for meat sauce or vegetables in their sauce. Would could I use in their place to make it layered enough and not too bland? ( I want to make this for Easter for those who are not ham eaters!)

    1. I have made it with just the spaghetti sauce. I used garlic powder and onion powder to keep the sauce smooth. It was still good. Thankfully my children now appreciate it as the recipe explains.

  4. This looks amazing and so delicious! My family is going to absolutely love this recipe! So excited to give this a try!

  5. My clear glass casserole dish is 15x10x2. Would it still take about 35 mins at 350?
    Thanks. I’m making this today for family.

  6. So nice to meet you pretty lady, not only do you share great recipes but you ae a lovely person as well 🙂
    I am Italian but your recipe here sounds great , I have a Shell recipe much like this but this one sounds and looks even easier .
    Thank you for sharing, God bless XXXXXXX

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