My Million Dollar Spaghetti Recipe makes a baked spaghetti casserole that has layers of meaty sauce, noodles, and a cheesy middle. Hearty, comforting, and incredibly easy to make, this million dollar spaghetti bake can also be made in advance — plus, it’s freezer-friendly!
Million Dollar Spaghetti Recipe
Whenever I need some good ol’ fashioned comfort food, I usually think of a casserole. And what can be more comforting than pasta and cheese? Million dollar spaghetti casserole is like your favorite classic spaghetti and meat sauce only better.
The first time I made this, I had no idea it was called a million dollar spaghetti bake. I had some leftover spaghetti and meat sauce and decided to throw it together with some cheese to create a brand-new meal. After doing some reading I found out that it’s actually a dish in its own right! Who knew?
This comforting casserole gets its name because it’s so rich and indulgent that it should cost a million dollars! The good news is that it won’t set you back that much — in fact, it comes together with some really affordable ingredients.
Why You’ll Love This Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole
- Perfect for a crowd
- Can be made in advance
- Made with easy-to-find ingredients that won’t cost a fortune
- It’s downright delish!
Key Ingredients to Make Million Dollar Baked Spaghetti
- MEAT – You can use either ground beef or Italian sausage for your million dollar baked spaghetti — whatever you prefer and/or have on hand.
- VEGETABLES – The same goes for the vegetables… opt for your favorites! I’m using onion, green bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, and sliced olives.
- PASTA SAUCE – I typically reach for my favorite store-bought pasta sauce to help keep this easy million dollar spaghetti, well, easy. If you prefer a homemade marinara sauce, that’s fine as well.
- DRY SPAGHETTI – It wouldn’t be a million dollar spaghetti recipe without it. That said, linguine, angel hair pasta, or even egg noodles would all work wonderfully.
- EGGS – To help bind the cheeses found in the middle layer together.
- PARMESAN, RICOTTA, CREAM CHEESE – Along with the eggs, these cheeses make up that creamy cheesy layer. It’s very similar to the cheese mixture found in lasagna. YUM!
- SHREDDED MOZZARELLA – To put on top, along with some extra Parmesan. Fresh mozzarella would also be good!
Instructions to Make My Million Dollar Spaghetti Bake
RECIPE PREP: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×13 or larger casserole dish. Start boiling water for your pasta.
MAKE THE SAUCE: While the pasta is cooking, brown the meat, onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms until the meat is no longer pink and the vegetables are softened. Stir in the pasta sauce and olives. Stir in your drained pasta.
CREATE THE CHEESY MIDDLE: In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, cream cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, and 2 eggs.
ASSEMBLE: Place 1/2 of the noodle mixture in the bottom of your prepared pan. Top with the cheese mixture, then add the remaining noodle mixture. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and the remaining Parmesan cheese.
BAKE: Bake your million dollar spaghetti casserole for 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted. Let it stand for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Easy Million Dollar Spaghetti Substitutions
Definitely feel free to change things up with this million dollar spaghetti recipe to suit your family’s needs. Here are just a few examples:
- You can replace the ground beef or sausage with ground chicken or turkey if you prefer.
- Use whatever vegetables you like. Spinach, shredded zucchini… whatever you have on hand!
- The pasta can also be changed. Refer to my list of substitutions that are most similar to spaghetti above, or use penne, ziti, or bowtie shapes. You could even skip the pasta altogether and use spaghetti squash!
- You can also replace the ricotta cheese with cottage cheese.
Absolutely! It’s one of the things I love most about this million dollar spaghetti casserole, and it’s what makes this dish so convenient for busy weeknights or entertaining. Simply follow the instructions above and on the recipe card below, but hold off on baking until you’re ready to serve. Just be sure to cover it tightly with foil or plastic wrap before storing it in the fridge to keep it from drying out.
You sure can! Million dollar baked spaghetti freezes beautifully, making it a great option for meal prep. Once assembled and baked, let it cool completely then wrap it in several layers of plastic wrap and foil. It will keep in the freezer for 2-3 months — allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating. Covered with foil in the oven at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes should do the trick. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes or so or baking so the top turns golden brown.
This is a hearty and filling dish on its own, but you can pair your million dollar spaghetti casserole with a fresh salad, roasted vegetables (I love green beans), and garlic bread. Finish it all off with a creamy fruit salad… or some tiramisu for a full-on Italian-inspired feast!
More Comforting Recipes To Try
Thanks so much for reading! Let me know what you think about my million dollar spaghetti recipe!
Million Dollar Spaghetti Recipe
- 1 pound (455g) dry pasta
- 1 pound (500g) ground beef or Italian sausage
- 1 small onion, diced
- ½ large bell pepper, diced
- 8 ounces (230g) sliced mushrooms
- 1 (2.25oz) (63g) can sliced olives, drained
- 2 (24oz) (680g) jars pasta sauce
- 1¼ cups (140g) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 (15oz) (425g) container ricotta cheese
- 1 (8oz) (226g) package cream cheese, soft
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups (340g) shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×13 or larger baking dish; set aside.
- Start by cooking your pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking in a large skillet cook the ground beef or sausage, onion, bell pepper, and sliced mushrooms until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are softened. Stir in the olives and pasta sauce. Stir in the drained pasta.
- In a large bowl combine 1 cup Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, cream cheese, and eggs. Place ½ of the pasta mixture in prepared pan. Top with cheese mixture. Top with remaining pasta mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
- MAKE AHEAD: You can assemble this casserole the day before. Pull it from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking. May need to bake longer.
- FREEZER FRIENDLY: You can freeze the assembled casserole or baked and cooled casserole for up to 3 months. Cover well with plastic wrap and foil before freezing. Thaw completely before baking or reheating.
- SUBSTITUTIONS: Use any kind of pasta you like. Replace the ricotta cheese with cottage cheese if you prefer. Use any vegetable you have on hand. Use ground chicken or turkey if you prefer.
- SERVING SUGGESTIONS: