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Easy Baked Spaghetti with Ricotta

A wedge slice of baked spaghetti with crusty melted mozzarella cheese on top.
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Like a spaghetti lasagna, this recipe has the pasta, sauce, cheese and sausage baked in one dish. Baked spaghetti is a classic dish reinvented that will quickly become a family favorite dinner.

Everything you need to know to make Spaghetti Bake with Ricotta

Casandra’s Tips and Recommendations for Making the Recipe

You know those days when you just crave that classic, hearty, and oh-so-satisfying comfort food that warms your soul and takes you back to childhood? Well, I’ve got a recipe that’s like a big, cozy hug in a casserole dish. Baked Spaghetti with Ricotta. It’s the ultimate crowd-pleaser, and I’m about to show you how insanely easy it is to whip up.

Tender pasta and sweet Italian sausage, tossed in flavorful tomato sauce, and generously topped with melty cheese that’s perfectly golden and bubbly. It’s a dish that spans generations, bringing back fond memories of family gatherings, Sunday dinners, or just those lazy, stay-in-your-pajamas kind of days. And the best part? You don’t have to be a culinary wizard to make it. This baked spaghetti recipe is for everyone, from kitchen novices to seasoned cooks looking for a quick and delicious meal.

But what makes baked spaghetti recipe such an easy go-to dinner is its ability to satisfy a wide range of taste buds. The sweet and tangy notes of the tomato sauce, the creamy cheese, and the al dente pasta combine to deliver a dish that even the pickiest eaters can’t resist. It’s a perfect weeknight dinner that kids adore and adults secretly (or not so secretly) look forward to too. And while it’s a beloved classic, there’s always room to add your own personal touch, whether it’s extra herbs, a touch of spice, or a creative twist on the toppings.

Let’s dig into this dish that’s as easy to make as it is nostalgic. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd, your family, or just yourself, this timeless favorite will have you reaching for seconds and smiling all the way through cleanup.

Springform pan filled with baked spaghetti and topped with shredded mozzarella cheese and Italian herbs.

About the Ingredients

Spaghetti – I use a whole box (1 pound) but it’s a lot. We always have leftovers for lunchboxes the next day. You can cut it back to 3/4 of a pound without altering anything else in the recipe.

Italian Sausage – Removed from the casings and crumbled while cooking.

Onion – Diced and cooked before adding to the spaghetti casserole.

Tomato Sauce – There’s no shame in jarred sauce, especially for a pasta bake casserole like this that is loaded with cheese. The sauce isn’t going to be a star of the meal so jarred is just as good as the homemade stuff this time. I like to use Classico Organic.

Cheese – Ricotta and shredded cheddar are mixed into the spaghetti before baking. Then top off the spaghetti casserole with shredded mozzarella and a sprinkle of parmesan.

Eggs – 3 eggs beaten and mixed into the casserole filling will bind the baked spaghetti together and keep it from falling apart when serving.

Seasonings – Italian seasoning, salt and pepper

Jarred tomato sauce, an onion, Polly-o ricotta cheese, 3 eggs, a box of spaghetti, bowl of shredded cheddar cheese and package of Italian sausage meat.

How to Make Baked Spaghetti with Ricotta

Cook the Sausage, Onion and Pasta

The first step is to cook the sausage and onion together in on the stovetop. Stir the sausage to a crumble while it browns all the way through and diced onion softens and turns translucent.

While the sausage and onion are cooking, it’s the perfect time to boil the pasta water and get the spaghetti cooking. Cook the spaghetti according to directions on the box and then drain it and set aside.

Make the Filling

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs so the yolks are broken and the whites and yolks are scrambled. Add the tomato sauce, ricotta, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper to the beaten eggs. Fold in the cooked spaghetti and the sausage and onion and continue to toss until the pasta is evenly coated in the sauce and cheese mixture.

Cooked spaghetti tossed with crumbled sausage, cooked onions, tomato sauce and ricotta cheese in a baking pan.

Assemble and Bake

Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray. Pour in the spaghetti mixture. Top off the tray of spaghetti with shredded mozzarella, a little grated parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning.

Bake the spaghetti with ricotta casserole at 350°F for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Storage Recommendations

Even though this baked spaghetti recipe is so good we always have leftovers. Intentionally making a bigger portion than we can eat in one sitting guarantees leftovers for lunch during the week.

Slice the baked spaghetti into individual portions and store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The spaghetti will dry out a little so if you have some extra tomato sauce, save that in the refrigerator too but store it separately.

Reheat the individual portions of baked spaghetti either in a covered dish in the oven or in the microwave but before heating pour on a few tablespoons of the reserved tomato sauce.

Baking dish of baked spaghetti being topped with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Freezing Baked Spaghetti with Ricotta

Freezing a tray of baked spaghetti is a great make ahead meal. It also makes a terrific casserole dinner to deliver to a friend, especially since it appeals to so many tastes.

To freeze baked spaghetti simply assemble the casserole all the way through but don’t bake it. Let it cool to room temperature and then cover it foil and plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 2 months.

When you’re ready to defrost your casserole, move it to the refrigerator overnight. Then let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before baking it at 350°F covered with foil (be sure to remove the plastic wrap!) for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

A fork lifts a bite of baked spaghetti from a serving on a plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is baked spaghetti the same as lasagna?

Baked spaghetti has the same flavors as lasagna but it uses spaghetti pasta instead of sheets of lasagna noodles. It also isn’t layered but rather all of the ingredients are evenly combined throughout.

How do you keep baked spaghetti from drying out?

The ricotta has a high moisture content so by adding the right amount of sauce and ricotta cheese your spaghetti bake should stay moist. Also be careful to not over-bake the casserole. You just want to heat it enough to cook the eggs and melt the cheese. Everything else is already cooked so don’t over do it on the time in the oven.

Should you bake pasta covered or uncovered?

The pasta is already cooked when it goes in the oven so it doesn’t need to cook long; only long enough to combine with the other ingredients. Cooking it uncovered will prevent condensation and moisture building up and get you that night crunchy golden crust on the top of your pasta bake.

The Recipe For Baked Spaghetti with Ricotta

The recipe is attached below for easy downloading and printing.  If you test it out be sure to leave a note in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you thought. Enjoy!

A wedge slice of baked spaghetti with crusty melted mozzarella cheese on top.

Easy Baked Spaghetti with Ricotta

Bake this spaghetti dinner in a casserole or springform pan and top it with lots of gooey mozzarella cheese. It will not only be a family favorite but it's easy to make too. Add some variety by switching up the protein or sneaking in some cooked vegetables like sautéed spinach or broccoli.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 people
Calories 552 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • lb crumbled sausage
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cups jarred tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Boil 1 lb spaghetti according to the package directions but decrease the cooking time by 1 minute. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and set it aside.
  • While the pasta cooks, sauté 1½ lb crumbled sausage and 1 onion diced together in a large skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook until the meat is no longer pink.
  • Meanwhile add 2 cups jarred tomato sauce, 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 3 eggs beaten to a large mixing bowl. Stir everything to combine.
  • Add the cooked spaghetti and sausage mixture to the mixing bowl and toss to coat the pasta.
  • Transfer the spaghetti mixture to a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Top it off with 1 cup shredded mozzarella, 2 tbsp grated parmesan and 2 tsp Italian seasoning.
  • Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Notes

To Make Ahead: Assemble the spaghetti casserole through topping it with cheese and seasonings. Don’t bake it yet. Let it cool to room temperature and then cover with foil and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, let the casserole come to room temperature on the counter for 1 hour. Then bake at 375°F for 20 minutes covered with foil and an additional 20 minutes uncovered or until hot and bubbly. 
Keyword pasta, sausage

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