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Southern Baked Spaghetti Recipe (Freezer-Friendly)

  • Author: Sweetpea


Southern Baked Spaghetti is a comforting dish the whole family will love! Filled with a hearty meat sauce, lots of cheese, and spaghetti noodles.




  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasonings
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1+ cup red wine (such as Pinot noir)
  • 1 jar marinara sauce (I prefer Rao’s brand. But, if you want to make your own, by all means.)


  • 1 cup Homemade (or storebought!) Ranch Dressing
  • 8 ounces Fresh Mozzarella, torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup of Sour Cream

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Spaghetti Pasta, cooked according to package directions, reduced by 2 minutes.
  • 6 ounces shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 6 ounces shredded Low-Moisture Mozzarella


Meat Sauce Instructions

  1. Brown meat in a large Dutch oven. (I purchase lean meat, so there is usually no extra grease to be drained. If so, drain/scoop out before adding onions!)
  2. Add diced onions in with meat, and sauté until translucent.
  3. Grate garlic over onion/meat mixture with a micro plane.
  4. Add dry spices in. Stir to cook for a few seconds.
  5. Add tomato paste and allow to cook for a couple minutes.
  6. Pour in wine and stir.
  7. Add marinara sauce and let simmer for 20 minutes. ((This is a GREAT bolognese sauce served over pasta. Better if you make a day ahead.))
  8. Cook your pasta according to the package.
  9. In a small bowl mix together the ranch dressing, fresh mozzarella, and sour cream.
  10. Prepare the cheese by shredding by hand while the pasta cooks.

Assembling the Baked Spaghetti:

  1. Spray your casserole dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Drain your noodles, and add to the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  3. Ladle half of the meat sauce into the pasta. Stir around to coat the pasta.
  4. Spoon the Ranch Mozzarella Mixture over the pasta, and spread out evenly. (as best you can!)
  5. Pour the remaining meat sauce over the pasta, covering up as much of the noodles as possible.
  6. Cover in the shredded cheddar and mozzarella.
  7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes of until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
  9. Allow the pasta bake to rest for 15 minutes before serving!


The meat sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. The entire dish can be frozen! Thaw overnight in the fridge before baking.

HEATING INSTRUCTIONS when you’ve frozen and THAWED your casserole:

Place in a COLD oven, and turn the oven to 350˚. Allow cooking for 40 minutes before checking to see the temperature in the center. You want the center to be 165˚ using an instant-read thermometer. Brown the top under the broiler for a few minutes.

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