This Southern baked spaghetti recipe is unlike traditional Italian versions because there is no Mozzarella.
Instead, layers of Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, and pepperoni are added in.
The trio combination along with a 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!
It will be the best Baked Spaghetti Recipe you will ever make!
You will need the following ingredients to make this homemade baked spaghetti:
- canned diced tomatoes
- tomato sauce
- onion-white or yellow
- bell pepper
- basil- fresh or dried
- oregano-fresh or dried
- Italian seasoning
- celery salt- or celery seasoning
- salt to taste
- brown sugar
- ground beef-for a healthier recipe you can substitute ground turkey
- cheddar cheese-freshly grated
- Monterrey Jack cheese-freshly grated
- pepperoni- You can substitute with turkey pepperoni.
- spaghetti- You can substitute with angle hair pasta. My husband prefers the angle hair pasta, and I prefer the traditional spaghetti noodles.
How to make Baked Spaghetti Casserole
Follow easy steps on how to make baked spaghetti casserole:
- Make the homemade spaghetti meat sauce. You can do this ahead of time if you prefer.
- Add the meat sauce to the bottom of the pan.
- Add half of the pasta noodles.
- Cover it with half of the meat sauce.
- Next add a layer of Monterey Jack Cheese.
- Add in the remaining sauce.
- Top with the remaining pasta noodles.
- Add a layer of cheddar cheese.
- Finish with a layer of Pepperoni, because why not? Pepperoni really makes this dish WICKED GOOD!
- Bake until cheese is completely melted and pepperoni is crispy.
They say, "It's all about the sauce." I say, "It is all about the sauce and the cheese!" I
I have been making Baked Spaghetti Casserole for years, each time playing with the recipe until it has become absolutely PERFECT!
I also make a nice Italian salad to go with it. My homemade Copy Cat Olive Garden Salad dressing can be whipped up in less than five minutes.
Your family and friends will swear it is the BEST MEAL EVER!!
Can you freeze freeze spaghetti?
You can easily freeze spaghetti.
The best way to freeze this spaghetti casserole recipe is to follow the instructions until it is time to bake in the oven. From there, cover it tightly with saran wrap and then a layer of tinfoil.
This will protect it better from freezer burn. Thaw it out completely, then bake according to directions.
If you have already baked it, you can freeze the leftovers in a freezer container, thaw, and reheat it when you are ready to eat.
*Cooking Tip: Whenever possible, use freshly grated cheese. It has more flavor and I swear it melts better.
*Cooking Tip: My baked spaghetti recipe, adds layers of homemade sauce to the bottom of the 13x9 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.
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.
If you like this recipe, check out:
- Easy Chicken and Pastry
- Crockpot Chicken and Gravy
- Southern Cornbread Dressing
- Santillana’s Homemade Meatballs with Marinara
- Crock-Pot Pepperoncini Roast
- Shrimp Pasta Salad
- Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup
Please leave me a comment below if you make this baked spaghetti and tell me what you thought about it. I would love to hear back, and so would my readers.
Southern Baked Spaghetti Recipe- Spaghetti Casserole
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 28 oz 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
- 8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8 oz monterey jack cheese, shredded
- 8 oz sliced pepperoni
- 12 oz box of spaghetti or angel hair pasta
- 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.