Looking for a delicious and easy weeknight dinner idea? Try making this Baked Spaghetti and Ground Beef Casserole. Made with simple ingredients like ground beef, spaghetti, fresh mozzarella and baked for 30 minutes - this hearty casserole is a great way to enjoy a satisfying meal with little effort in the kitchen!
Casseroles are like a Southern chef's secret way of putting a delicious dinner on the table with minimal effort. Anything goes within this category OR can be turned into a casserole.
Toss together cooked spaghetti with a blend of ground beef, sautéed with onions and garlic, tossed in a rich tomato sauce in a 9x13 baking dish. Top it with fresh mozzarella slices and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle on some fresh parmesan to finish and whalaa- dinner is served!
Ground beef spaghetti casserole is a breeze to whip up with minimal prep. It's perfect for family dinners when you crave comfort food, ideal for potlucks, and it makes great leftovers. It pairs beautifully with a side salad or some Cast Iron Buttermilk Biscuits, making it a complete meal that's hearty, satisfying, and ready to shine on any dining table!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Ground Beef - you will just need 1 pound of ground beef.
- Onion and Garlic - chop and mince while the ground beef is cooking.
- Crushed Tomatoes
- Spices - salt, pepper, fresh basil and Italian seasoning
- Spaghetti - a 1-pound box of spaghetti is what you will need. Alternatively, you could use linguine, penne, rotini, or any shaped pasta if you have that on hand or desire.
- Fresh Mozzarella Cheese - sliced fresh mozzarella from a brand like Bel Gioioso, or anything from your local supermarket is great. Shredded mozzarella can also be used but I prefer the sliced fresh kind.
- Parmesan Cheese - I find the taste and texture to be better when you grate the parmesan from a block yourself instead of using pre-grated parmesan.
Step by Step of How To Make & Assemble
Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Cook the ground beef: Add the ground beef to a large pot. Turn the heat to medium. Using a wooden spoon or meat chopper, break up the beef and start to brown for 5-7 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients: To the beef mixture, add the onion and garlic and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until the ground beef is fully browned and the garlic and onions have softened. Then, add the tomatoes and seasoning. Stir the mixture and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
Cook the spaghetti: Add water to a large pot and add salt. Bring the water to a boil and cook the pasta for 6-7 minutes only, as the pasta will continue to cook in the oven.
PRO TIP - Be sure to salt the pasta cooking water heavily – this is your only chance to season the pasta itself. Cooking the spaghetti for 6-7 minutes is key; it will continue cooking in the oven, preventing it from becoming mushy.
Assemble and bake: Drain the pasta, then add it to the ground beef and sauce, and toss until fully combined. Pour it into the prepared baking dish and top evenly with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly on the sides.
Garnish and serve: Remove from the oven and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Let the casserole sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: To store leftover baked spaghetti, let it cool to room temperature, then cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. When reheating, sprinkle a little water on top to prevent it from drying out.
Freezing: Allow the casserole to cool completely, then transfer portions to airtight containers or freezer-safe bags. Seal well and freeze for up to 2-3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the oven until heated through for a quick and delicious meal.Print