★★★★★

Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole

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

Rectangle baking dish with baked pasta and cheese.

Growing up in the midwest, casseroles are a part of our way of life. Add in the fact that I am Lutheran, and you’ll find casseroles at every funeral and holiday at church.

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! I love that it makes a big 13×9 dish. Now that my kids are leaving the nest, I love that I can divide it in half in two square pans and freeze on for later!

White plate with scoop of baked spaghetti casserole topped with parmesan cheese. Two forks and pan of casserole in background.

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What you’ll need for Million Dollar Spaghetti

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!

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

Baking dish with scoop removed of spaghetti casserole.

How to Make Baked Spaghetti Casserole

Scroll to the end of the blog post for complete recipe details, including measurements and print options!

STEP 1. Cook the noodles according to package directions.

Add 1 jar of the sauce to the cooked noodles. Set aside.

STEP 2. 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.

STEP 3. In a bowl, combine cottage cheese with cream cheese, sour cream, and half of mozzarella cheese. Set aside.

How to Layer Spaghetti Casserole

Step by step photos of spaghetti casserole assembly.
  1. Add butter cubes to the bottom of a 13×9 deep dish casserole.
  2. Spread half of the spaghetti (with sauce) in the bottom of the dish.
  3. Top with ALL of the cheese mixture.
  4. Follow up with the remaining half of the pasta (with sauce).
Step by step photos of spaghetti casserole with finished pasta picture.

5. Add all the meat sauce to the top of the million dollar casserole.

6. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top, with the grated parmesan.

7. Bake casserole UNCOVERED in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.

8. Serve and enjoy! Add fresh parsley if desired!

Tips for Million Dollar Spaghetti

  • 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!
Collage photo with baked spaghetti casserole in rectangle baking dish.

MORE Easy weeknight dinners:

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
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 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.

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

Aimee

About Aimee

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

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on March 1, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. 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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