Baked spaghetti and meatball casserole is a fun twist on that classic favorite dinner. It is easier to make than lasagna and more fun too!
On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese. I lost my poor meatball, when somebody sneezed…. Of course spaghetti and meatballs is one of those foods that makes you feel like a kid again.
There is something so fun about long noodles covered in sauce and cheese. Plus there is a satisfaction that comes with taking a bite out of a meatball.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret. (Shhhhh!) As a parent to a toddler, spaghetti and meatballs are not quite as much fun.
Don’t get me wrong, it is fun to watch the little guy enjoy himself with a big plate of ‘sketti. But as he’s slurping the noodles, it is hard not to notice the specks of sauce flying.
Then there’s the meatballs. The glorious meatballs. They are unlikely to actually go rolling away because of a sneeze, but the chances of one hitting the floor don’t seem so astronomical.
Add to that the fact that we have light colored carpet on our dining room floor. Don’t ever put light colored carpets on a dining room floor!
It was there when we moved in, but we didn’t have a little one yet so we didn’t think much of it. We always had a drop cloth under his highchair, so it still wasn’t a huge deal when he was younger either.
But now he is a big boy and eats at the big table. Really, he does a pretty good job for the most part. There are likely to be almost as many splatters and crumbs around my husband’s spot as Little Dude’s.
BUUUT, it still makes me nervous. We keep saying we are going to replace the carpet, but it seems a shame to rip it up when it’s in pretty good shape.
Plus there’s the whole contractor’s wife thing. Actually Matt is pretty good about stopping to do a project at the house when I ask him to.
I just need to tell him what the project is, pick out the materials and design and then we sync our calendars to find a block of time that will work. We both mark it in and it gets done.
But it is really hard to ask him to block of time where he could be doing paying jobs to replace flooring that isn’t bad. So one of these days a glass of red wine…. or a meatball will end up on the floor. In the meantime we just try our best not to let that happen!
All of that was the long way of saying I wanted to recreate spaghetti and meatballs so that there wouldn’t be as much slurping. And with any luck there wouldn’t be any meatball covered in tomato sauce hitting the floor.
So, I made spaghetti and meatballs in casserole form. It’s easier to serve and fun to eat. Plus there is just something about baked pasta (and all of the accompanying cheese!) that makes it that much better.
It’s a new twist on one of my childhood favorites and is sure to be one of Jax’s childhood favorites! What are you favorite foods from childhood?
I originally wrote this post in July of 2016. I made it again the other night and thought I would snap a few updated pictures to share with you.
It turns out, all of these years later I still have carpet in the dining room. No meatball ever hit the floor and the area around Little Dude’s seat is still no worse that my husband’s spot! 😉
I originally made this recipe with ricotta cheese, but have since made it with cottage cheese quite a few times too. Both work great, so use whatever you have on hand or whichever you prefer in lasagna.
If you are a fan of spaghetti and meatballs, you may want to try creamy spaghetti and meatballs in the instant pot too. It is a quick and easy way to whip up dinner!
- 1 pound of your favorite meatballs
- 16 oz box of spaghetti
- 24 ounce container of cottage cheese*
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- 24 oz jar marinara sauce
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- Make your meatball recipe into small, bite sized meatballs and bake according to your recipe. Set aside until ready to use.
- Cook your spaghetti to al dente. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.
- Preheat your oven to 350° F.
- Once your spaghetti is cool enough to handle, stir together the ricotta, garlic, eggs and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss the noodles in this mixture and press into a well greased 9x13" pan.
- Place meatballs on top of spaghetti and distribute sauce over the casserole.
- Cover and bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Remove cover and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Return to oven for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned to your liking.
- Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then cut and serve.
*Feel free to use a tub of ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese if that is your preference, it is good either way.
Frozen meatballs work great in this recipe and make getting dinner on the table fast and easy.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 334Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 913mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 21g
All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.