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.)
RANCH MOZZARELLA MIXTURE
- 1 cup Homemade (or storebought!) Ranch Dressing
- 8 ounces Fresh Mozzarella, torn into small pieces
- 1/2 cup of Sour Cream
- 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
- 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!)
- Add diced onions in with meat, and sauté until translucent.
- Grate garlic over onion/meat mixture with a micro plane.
- Add dry spices in. Stir to cook for a few seconds.
- Add tomato paste and allow to cook for a couple minutes.
- Pour in wine and stir.
- 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.))
- Cook your pasta according to the package.
- In a small bowl mix together the ranch dressing, fresh mozzarella, and sour cream.
- Prepare the cheese by shredding by hand while the pasta cooks.
Assembling the Baked Spaghetti:
- Spray your casserole dish with nonstick spray.
- Drain your noodles, and add to the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- Ladle half of the meat sauce into the pasta. Stir around to coat the pasta.
- Spoon the Ranch Mozzarella Mixture over the pasta, and spread out evenly. (as best you can!)
- Pour the remaining meat sauce over the pasta, covering up as much of the noodles as possible.
- Cover in the shredded cheddar and mozzarella.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes of until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
- 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.
Keywords: southern baked spaghetti