When I announce that spaghetti pie is for dinner, I wish you could witness the reaction on all five (yes, counting my husband) of my boy’s faces. They jump and spin around me like mini tornadoes, hugging and kissing me like there’s no tomorrow, all because I made them spaghetti pie. I’m kind of afraid they are going to find out just how simple this meal is and decide the hugs and kisses should be reserved for more time-intensive family favorites, but for now, I’ll take it.
If you aren’t familiar with spaghetti pie, please acquaint yourself immediately! We’ve been eating it for years and years and like the title of this post indicates, it truly is a family favorite. The reason I haven’t shared it with you yet (I know, I know, I feel a bit guilty) is because I’ve been spending the last five years on my life’s greatest work: perfecting spaghetti pie. And here it is! In all it’s perfected, spaghetti pie glory.
Honestly, this meal can’t be beat. It’s easy enough for a weeknight frenzy but delicious and satisfying enough for company. (And talk about the perfect take-in meal – this one’s a winner.) Think delicious, tender noodles suffused in a combination of creamy and red sauces and baked to perfection – saucy enough to eliminate tough, dried out noodles, and sturdy enough to hold it’s shape in delightful pie-shaped pieces. I’m telling you – it’s spaghetti pie perfection, people!
I can breathe a huge sigh of relief knowing I’ve finally posted this baby. Hope you love it as much as we do! It’s one of those meals I could serve all week and come the seventh night, my boys would still be cheering. However, I would be gagging. Not because I don’t love me some spaghetti pie but because I, for one, need a little diversity in dinner, no matter how glorious the meal is.
Note: If you aren't a cottage cheese fan, ricotta makes a great substitution and believe it or not, so does sour cream in this dish. A deep dish pie plate is necessary here. If you only have a standard, shallow pie plate, increase the size of the baking dish (even if it means using a square or rectangle dish).
- 12 ounces thin spaghetti or vermicelli noodles
- 1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
- 1 small white or yellow onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 16-ounces tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 ounces light cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
- 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
- Lightly coat a deep 9 or 10-inch pie plate with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the noodles until al dente according to package directions. While the noodles boil, heat a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add the ground beef or turkey, breaking it into pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and continuing to break up the meat, until the meat is cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and drain the excess grease, if any. Return the skillet to medium heat and stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, dried basil and oregano. Simmer the sauce over medium or medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- When the noodles are done cooking, drain and return to the pot. Immediately stir in the cream cheese and toss the noodles by lightly lifting them up and over with tongs until the cream cheese is mostly melted. Stir in the cottage cheese, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Toss until the noodles are evenly coated. Stir in 2 cups of the red sauce. Keep the remainder of the red sauce warm on the stove.
- Scrape the noodles into the prepared pie plate and using a flat spatula, press the noodles evenly into the dish so they are tightly pressed together and evenly flat across the top. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese across the top.
- Bake the spaghetti pie for 20-22 minutes, until it is hot and bubbly and the cheese is golden on top. Let the dish rest for 10 minutes. Cut into slices and serve with remaining red sauce.