Sunday, March 2, 2014

Baked Spaghetti

This was such a super easy meal to make I almost feel guilty.  I like it, it was a creamy, rich and cheesy take on spaghetti.  I thought my kids would like it but those picky eaters are hard to please.  Each of them found one ingredient they did not want to eat in it, so none of them would eat it.  Brats.  It is also easily adaptable you can change it to your like and your kids.  On the plus side if you have kids you have everything you need to make it in your cupboards.  Good for potlucks also.

1 16 oz package cooked  spaghetti
1 (28 ounce) jars prepared spaghetti sauce
1 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces cream cheese
5 ounces shredded mozzarella 
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Cook spaghetti al dente and pick out a pan you want to use that is oven safe to bake in.  I chose a pampered chef stoneware mini baker which is 8 inches so I actually took the recipe above down sized it a little and changed it to my own (the ingredients that are listed are mine in this dish) from the inspiration recipe I used, except for the cheese I kept that the same.  We love cheese.  The more the better and I figured if I smothered it in cheese my oldest would not realize we are eating spaghetti, again.  Dump spaghetti, rinse and drain.

Brown ground beef and drain the fat.

In the pot used for spaghetti add the cream cheese on a lower temp in order for it to really soften.  And the Italian seasoning plus the garlic.  Cook stirring it until it become a nice consistent creamy mixture thicker than a sauce.  Add in your desired amount of spaghetti sauce, mine was about 3/4 of the jar.  Save the rest and you can use it for a dipping sauce for garlic bread to accompany the meal.  Add in the ground beef or you could use sausage too.  Whatever fits your fancy.  Now return the noodles to the pot.  Mix until all noodles are evenly coated.

Dump the noodle mixture in to your pan but not filling it to the top, leave space.  I left about a third of space.  2/3 spaghetti mixture and 1/3 left over for cheese.  Yes add the mozzarella as generously as you like.  Top the mozzarella with the Parmesan.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until it has a nice crisp bubbly look.  And enjoy.  It also freezes well for a make ahead meal or meal to hand out to someone home from the hospital.  Or in my case if it does not fool your kid that it is spaghetti and you now have a bunch that you will be eating for a while.  I froze mine in easy single portions.  Simply put what you have left over in the freezer long enough for it to firm but not freeze the cut into portions you can take with you for lunch, bag those or box them whatever freezer method you use and now you have take along yumminess that would cost you a lot more and taste terrible if you bought it in a boxed freezer premade meal.

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1 comment:

Angie said...

I haven't made baked spaghetti in years and I don't know why, my family loves it. I might just have to put it on my menu this week!!!

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