Our spaghetti casserole recipe will live up to your expectation of a health-friendly and tasty baked dish.
After forming a spaghetti base, we spread on a mixture of beef, onion, and tomatoes, then top it with a creamy sauce and cheese. Bake until the cheese melts and the edges are slightly charred, and your spaghetti casserole is ready for the taste test.
Shall we learn how to make it?
Is Spaghetti Casserole Healthy?
Our healthy version of spaghetti casserole will satisfy your pasta cravings without stressing you out with the calorie count.
Our chefs have kept a strict eye on this recipe so that each serving has around 489 calories, 9.3 g saturated fat, and 594 mg sodium.
This Midwestern-inspired dish only requires a few pantry ingredients: a bag of spaghetti, ground beef, cheddar cheese, spices, and aromatics.
Shall we take a closer look at some main items?
Spaghetti: Opting for long-shaped pasta like spaghetti adds an intriguing twist to the texture of your casserole’s saucier and chunkier bites.
Ground beef: Our top pick option for any recipe that calls for ground meat is the 85% lean type, since it remains succulent and moist once cooked perfectly.
Onion: The subtle sweetness of sautéed onions is preferred as a base for many savory dishes.
Cheddar cheese: This melted goodness, made from goat’s milk, gives our baked casserole a golden-brown hue and a sharp flavor.
Homemade tomato sauce: Homemade sauce possesses a superior taste and nutrition profile than store-bought options. By preparing your own sauce, you can also reduce added sugar, sodium, and preservatives included in those commercial options.
Whole milk: When combining whole milk with cheese, keep in mind to stir the mixture occasionally to attain a silky-smooth consistency.
Garlic: We use fresh and powdered garlic to impart a more pronounced flavor to the dish.
Different Variations and Add-ins
Our spaghetti casserole recipe has so much room for creativity, as you can combine other adds-in to the layers to mix up the dish.
If you fancy some chicken or still have some leftover turkey from Thanksgiving night, replace ground beef with them. Also, some plump shrimp as an alternative is an ideal choice.
Try adding some vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, or spinach to introduce more fiber into your dish.
And still, no one can resist the combination of stringy mozzarella and cheddar, so why not use both in your recipe?
How to Store and Reheat
1. How to Store
Freezing is not advisable for dairy-rich casseroles as it will ruin the cheese texture and turn your spaghetti soggy when defrosted.
To properly store your leftovers, divide them into smaller portions, store them in airtight containers, and label with the date. Your spaghetti casserole will last from three to four days in the fridge.
2. How to Reheat
When it’s time to serve, transfer your leftovers to a casserole tray and bake at 350°F for a few minutes until hot.
What to Serve With Spaghetti Casserole
A simple, yet refreshing green salad is all you will need to help cleanse your palate, allowing for more tempting bites. Here are some great suggestions from our chefs:
Today’s spaghetti casserole introduces an addictive combination of al dente pasta, savory ground beef, and cheddar cheese. Pair it with a light salad or stir-fried vegetables for a crowd-pleasing weeknight dinner.
cook TIME 33 mins
prep TIME 12 mins
total TIME 45 mins
COURSE Main Course
CALORIES 489 kcal
14 ozcooked spaghetti from 7 oz uncooked
6 oz85% lean ground beef
2 ozcheddar cheese shredded
2 ozonion diced
0.8 cuphomemade tomato sauce
3 tbspall-purpose flour
1 cupwhole milk
1 tbspunsalted butter
1 tbspolive oil
1 tbspgarlic minced
0.5 tspgarlic powder
2 tbspparsley chopped
Heat a pot of water until it boils, then add 14 oz spaghetti. Cook until al dente, following the packaging instructions. Quickly rinse the pasta with cool water to prevent overcooking and clumping.
Trim off the stem of the onion, then peel away the skin. Split the onion in half lengthwise. Make thin vertical cuts into each half while leaving the root intact. Next, cut horizontal slices from the bottom to the top of the onion. Finally, slice downwards to dice the onion into smaller chunks.
Finely mince the garlic.
Finely chop the parsley.
Sauté the garlic: Place a shallow pan over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp unsalted butter and 1/2 tbsp minced garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Make the cream sauce: In the same pan, add 2 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour, stir to make a roux. Slowly stir in 1 cup whole milk and 1/4 tsp salt. Lower heat setting to low, and stir frequently for five minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat.
Cook the beef: Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in another frying pan over medium heat. Stir in 1/2 tbsp garlic and 2 oz diced onion, then sauté for 1 minute. Add 6 oz 85% lean ground beef and stir to cook for another 3 minutes.
Incorporate the tomato sauce and the seasonings: To the beef, add 3/4 cup homemade tomato sauce, 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Stir continuously for 3 minutes.
Assemble all the ingredients: In a baking casserole dish, layer 14 oz cooked spaghetti, pour in the beef mixture and top it with the cream sauce. Make sure each layer is evenly spread.
Bake the spaghetti casserole: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the baking dish in the middle rack of the oven and bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Take it out and sprinkle on 2 oz shredded cheddar cheese. Switch oven to broil and place dish on top rack for approximately three minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove from the oven.
Garnish and serve: Transfer your desired portion onto a platter. Garnish with 2 tbsp chopped parsley. Enjoy.
How to Make Spaghetti Casserole
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 489Calories from FDA
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 9g
Trans Fat 25g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Vitamin A 1131IU
Vitamin C 15mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
A writer and entrepreneur, Luna’s day doesn’t start at the computer keyboard, but in the kitchen.
Half of her working hours are spent on mixing ingredients for her recipes. The other half involve working with the tech team to research and test the tools and appliances that promise to make kitchen work effortless and mess-free. From a kitchen knife or water filter to the Instant Pot, if it can help save time and effort for the home cook, Luna and her team are on it.
Luna’s extracurricular pastimes include camping, travel, and photography.