This will be the best Baked Spaghetti Recipe you will ever make. Why Southern? Unlike the traditional Italian versions, there is no Mozzarella in the Baked Spaghetti Recipe. Instead, I add in layers of Monterey Jack Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, and Pepperoni. The trio combination along with my HOMEMADE meat sauce creates an incredibly wicked good, cheesy spaghetti dish. Once you have tried my Southern Baked Spaghetti Recipe once, it will be a favorite choice to make again and again!
They say, “It’s all about the sauce.” I say, “It is all about the sauce and the cheese!” I have been making Baked Spaghetti for years, each time playing with the recipe until it has become absolutely PERFECT! I have made it for my girls night-in. I have made it for teacher’s luncheons. I have made it for family gatherings. I have made it for get-well drop off dinners. It has become a requested meal for me to make because EVERYONE has loved it. Everyone also asks for the recipe. And guess what? Because I love my readers so much, you are in luck, because I am sharing my recipe with you also! You are welcome!
When I make my Southern Baked Spaghetti, I add a layer of my homemade sauce to the bottom of the 13×9 baking pan. This keeps the pasta from sticking. Don’t cut corners and buy premade jar sauce. It isn’t the same and it won’t be as good. I promise it is worth the effort to make your own sauce.
I use brown rice gluten-free spaghetti noodles because I try to stay away from gluten. Pasta is a treat for me and gluten typically makes me sick. The brown rice gluten-free noodles keep me feeling good. I just have to work extra hard in the gym to burn off those carbs :). My husband loves this recipe with angel hair pasta. I like the hardy texture of the spaghetti noodles. Both are great in this recipe, so use the pasta type you like.
After adding the meat sauce to the bottom of the pan, I add half of my noodles. I then cover it with half of my sauce. Then I add in a layer of Monterey Jack Cheese.
Next I add in the remaining sauce, the remaining noodles, and then a layer of cheddar cheese!
I finish with a layer of Pepperoni, because why not? Pepperoni really makes this dish WICKED GOOD! It comes out of the oven looking like this.
I mean seriously… How could you not want a plate of this?
Just cut out a chunk and put it on a plate.
You are going to love it! I promise.
*Cooking Tip: Whenever possible, use freshly grated cheese. It has more flavor and I swear it melts better.
This is home cooking at its best. You are going to love this recipe. And when you do, please share it with your friends. After all “cooking good food is love made visible.” So share the love.
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- 28oz can diced tomatoes
- 28oz can tomato sauce
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- ½ tsp basil
- ½ tsp italian seasoning
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp celery salt
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- ½ cup water
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 8oz cheddar cheese
- 8oz monterey jack cheese
- 8 oz sliced pepperoni
- 12 oz box of spaghetti or angel hair pasta- I use gluten free noodles.
- In a large stock pot, cook tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion, bell pepper, garlic, basil, Italian seasoning, oregano, celery salt, salt, pepper, and brown sugar at medium heat and bring to a boil.
- Cover, then reduce heat and simmer for one hour.
- Crumble and cook ground beef.
- Add ground beef and water to stock pot and cook an additional 20 minutes.
- Cook pasta noodles according to directions.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In large 13x9 in pan lightly cover pan with meat sauce. About a ½ cup.
- Add ½ pasta noodles. Layer half of meat sauce.
- Layer Monterey Jack cheese.
- Layer remaining pasta noodles.
- Layer remaining meat sauce.
- Layer Cheddar Cheese.
- Cover cheese with pepperoni slices.
- Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly and pepperoni is crispy.
- Let it rest for 5 minutes, then serve in squares.