Spaghetti Pie

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.

Spaghetti Pie

What To ServeDivine Breadsticks or Cheesy Garlic Bread
Steamed vegetable like broccoli or peas
Simple green salad (or something more fancy like this Gourmet Green Salad)

One Year Ago: Save Recipes to Your Own Personal Recipe Box!
Two Years Ago: Orange Sweet Rolls
Three Years Ago: Steak Hoagies with Mushrooms, Onions and Peppers

Spaghetti Pie

Yield: Serves 6

Spaghetti Pie

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


  1. Lightly coat a deep 9 or 10-inch pie plate with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

176 Responses to Spaghetti Pie

  1. Kim in MD says:

    Spaghetti pie, where have you been all of my life? I have made lasagna, baked ziti and a million other baked pastas, but can you believe I have never made spaghetti pie? Perhaps that’s because I was waiting for you to perfect it, Mel? Anyway, I am going to rectify the lack of spaghetti pie in my life immediately!

  2. Wow! Since your family’s favorite meals are also our family’s favorite, I trust you on this one! This recipe is going on the schedule for next week–thanks! 🙂

  3. StephenC says:

    A hearty “bravo” to you, Mel. We’ve made variants on this idea over the years and it is easy peasy and frankly a great way to use up the last of the pasta in those partly used boxes in the cupboard.

  4. kandi victorino says:

    Spaghetti pie: it’s what’s for dinner tonight! Thank Mel!

  5. Olivia says:

    Hi Mel,

    I’ve just found your blog and I love every recipe I’ve tried! Couple questions about the spaghetti pie recipe… do you ever pre-make it, refrigerate, and bake a few days later; and does it freeze well? Thanks!!

  6. Celeste B. says:

    This sounds tasty. I have some leftover turkey pepperoni in the fridge that I might add to this to make for a tasty dinner.

  7. I eat spaghetti with sour cream bolognese all the time. So this recipe is a must-try soon! I bet it makes the best leftovers!

  8. Mel says:

    Hi Olivia, I’ve never made this in advance. It probably would work, although it might be just a touch more dry from sitting longer before baking. It freezes like a lasagna, pretty well. I’ve only tried it once or twice and it was a while ago but I baked it from frozen and remember it turning out fine (I froze the remaining red sauce separately and warmed on the stove). When I freeze this next time, I’ll update the recipe with more specifics.

  9. jill says:

    Question please…….I would like to make this to take to a friend’s family who just lost a loved one. Do you think it reheats well, or should I assemble and include baking directions? Just trying to avoid a dried out dinner! Thanks so much….LOVE your recipes! 🙂

  10. Rebecca says:

    I must say… YOU ROCK!!!!! I’m a northerner and grew up eating baked ziti. Married myself a southerner and he started asking for baked spaghetti. I can’t make it like his nana, but I”m thinking this is going to win him (and the kids) over!! Thanks so much!! I found your blog two weeks ago and haven’t looked back! 🙂

  11. Renee says:

    This looks delicious!! My kids could live on pasta. They would if I let them. We will definitely have to try this. Thanks for posting and keeping up with all your hard work. 🙂

  12. Becca says:

    How much sauce do you think this makes? I would like to just use my homemade sauce that I bottle. A quart of that is probably enough, right?

    • Mel says:

      Jill – I would probably give baking directions and let the family bake the spaghetti pie. It reheats fine as leftovers (in individual portions) but I’m not sure about the whole pan (unless you are bringing it to them piping hot).

      Becca – yes, 4 cups would be plenty of sauce for this.

  13. Bex says:

    I was planning on putting together a lasagna tonight and got all the ingredients but I’ve changed the menu to SPAGHETTI PIE A LA MEL’S! Thank you for this timely recipe entry. The only thing I don’t have is the cream cheese but I have a tiny bit of half & half leftover that I plan to throw in in place of the cream cheese. I will use ricotta and a little cottage cheese as well. Again, thanks. I am a big fan of your recipes. Just made the COCONUT WASHBOARD COOKIES yesterday!

  14. Heather says:

    I have GOT to stop checking your site right before lunch! I adore spaghetti, and even baked spaghetti, but haven’t come up with a favorite “pie” yet. I expect you’ve done it for me 🙂

  15. Nancy M says:

    My in-laws are coming to visit for 2.5 weeks. They’re not overly adventurous with new recipes/ingredients but I don’t like serving them the same thing over and over again. This looks perfect! Can’t wait to try it.

    BTW, I’m having issues with saving this recipe to ZipList. It says that I’ve saved the recipe but when I go to add tags to it in my recipe box, the recipe is not there. Any suggestions? Thanks!!

  16. Clarissa says:

    This is exactly what I need in spaghetti. My husband loves mushy-noodle-jarred-sauce spaghetti and I just can’t get on board. I think spaghetti pie represents a meeting of the minds for us.

  17. My mom used to make something like this all the time for my family when I was growing up. This definitely brought me back!

  18. Christine says:

    I imagine greek yogurt would work as well, if sour cream is a good swap. I love this one…and I think my gluten free pasta would even work in it. I’ll be trying this one out this weekend! Thanks again, Mel! Inspired!!

  19. Thanks for sharing! This spaghetti pie sure looks like a winner! A good change from regular pasta night.

  20. Caitlin says:

    How did you know?! I just sampled a spaghetti pie at my local grocery store and it was alright, but I thought I could find better, and that then it would be awesome. And then, voila! Here you come with the perfect recipe! I can’t wait to try this. 🙂

  21. Marna says:

    I’ve been eating spaghetti pie since I was a child and now cook it for my children, it is a great way to use leftover pasta (any shape)

  22. Tara says:

    Made this for dinner tonight as written and it turned out fabulous! We all loved it and went back for seconds. Next time I am going to try making the sauce with spicy italian sausage because we’re big spice lovers 😉

  23. Diane says:

    We are a pasta loving family!
    My hubby is Italian and could eat pasta every night I can’t wait to make this for him !
    Thanks so much!

  24. Rachel says:

    Okay so I have to admit at first this sounded a little odd but I was intrigued. So I decided to make this for dinner tonight and let me just say this – YUM! This is definitely going to be a regular for us. Thanks!

  25. Rachel says:

    I had baked pasta on the agenda for tomorrow but I think I will make this instead! Thank you for a new version of what I was used to making!

  26. Tanya says:

    Made this for dinner last night… yummy! I used Italian sausage for the beef, and a jar of spaghetti sauce plus a pint of homemade spicy marinara sauce (not big chunky tomato people here). It was delish! My 13 yr old son said this is better than lasagna! Oh, I didn’t have ricotta or cottage, so I was a bit skeptical using sour cream.. but it tasted great. Thanks for all your hard work! 🙂

  27. Such a cute post! You need to make this spaghetti pie one more time soon and have someone on standby with a video camera. Make the big announcement and get it on video. It’s precious and you’ll love it one day when they’re all grown up!
    Your pie sounds delicious, thanks for perfecting for the masses. 🙂

  28. Teresa R. says:

    Made this last night and everyone loved it! Thanks again for another great recipe.

  29. Renay says:

    This is delicious! Everybody loved it, even my son who usually doesn’t like spaghetti. I used sour cream and it worked great. I also added 1/8 teaspoon of ground fennel seed to the sauce to give it a “sausage” flavor and I loved it! Thanks for an easy, economical, and extremely tasty dinner!

  30. Natalie Wilkins says:

    I love love spaghetti! My kiddos, after 8 years of trying, are FINALLY starting to come around to the fact that it may just be yummy enough to eat. I’m absolutely making this tonight and here’s to hoping my kids will love this more than normal spaghetti (and seriously, isn’t all food better when it’s shaped like a pie?!)

  31. cara says:

    I have never had spaghetti pie! I grew up with a mom that didn’t like spaghetti so we didn’t have it that often! This makes me want to try it though!

  32. carrian says:

    Plllleeeeaaaassee hope my sis doesn’t see this. This is also her favorite meal, but her recipe is kinda caca. :/Cannot wait to subtly suggest yours. 😉

  33. Tracee says:

    I was happy to see the cottage cheese! My momma taught me to sub cottage cheese in lots of different dishes and no one would be the wiser! I use it in my lasagna (which we had last night) and any dip mixes that call for sour cream, I use cottage cheese and put it in the blender with the dip mix. The blender smooths it out…sometimes it may need a little milk to thin it out. It’s not as rich as using sour cream, but hey, if you’re going to eat your weight in chips and dip why not save a “few” fat grams!!

    I think Lilly will love this spaghetti pie and since we have spaghetti every week, I’m going to change things up and try this next week! Thanks!

  34. Teresa says:

    So, I made it the night you posted it for dinner, and everyone loved it! It tastes fabulous for adults, too. I really love the creaminess of it!

  35. Rebecca Hale says:

    I made this for dinner last night (with the help of my hubby, who got home from work a half hour early (woohoo!)). We almost followed the directions, except we were out of oregano and thin spaghetti, so we used a little more basil and regular spaghetti.

    Aside from my 3 year old, who refuses to even try anything except hot dogs these days, we loved it. I am sure the 3 year old would have, too, had he deigned to take a bite. My eldest cleaned her plate, and my middle child complained only briefly about the fact that it has meat in it, which is a huge win these days. She said it smelled good the whole time it was cooking, and kept asking when it was done.

    But the real win was with my husband, who spent a couple of years in Italy and is very down on “American” pasta. I convinced him to try this, and he agreed that while not authentic Italian, it is the perfect comfort food and represents that which is best in American pasta.

    And I am off to heat up some leftovers for lunch. Thanks for the recipe!

  36. Lorrie says:

    How many cups of sauce? I have some frozen from yr spaghetti recipe and wanted to use tht instead of making new.

  37. Mel says:

    Lorrie – I haven’t measured the sauce exactly, but I responded to one commenter above that a quart of sauce (four cups) would be enough. When I add up the liquid ounces in the sauce, it comes out to more like 5-6 cups sauce. So somewhere in between that amount (really only 2 cups goes in the noodles and the rest is for serving alongside so it can be a flexible amount).

  38. Julia says:

    I made this tonight & it was really good. I would suggest covering it with foil the first bit in the oven, then take the foil off to let the cheese brown. Uncovered, the cheese was already mostly brown after 19 minutes or so. Still very good, though!

    I doubled the recipe, too, to make a pan for a friend. Definitely a workout for the arms when you’re stirring it all together!

  39. Lila says:

    My plans for boring spaghetti got a lot more fun, thanks to you! Used thin, whole wheat spaghetti and added lentils to the sauce.

  40. grace says:

    what is it about boys and spaghetti? my brother eats it 3-4 times a week and has since he was a kid!

  41. Terry Bridges says:

    I’m going to make this for a big family get-together. I probably will make 2 to 3 of them.I hate people who make changes to a recipe before trying the original first but I’m going to make one. I am a vegetarian and so are several members of the family. You can substitute mushrooms for the ground beef. Slice and saute the mushrooms, pulse in a food processor. Presto! Looks like ground beef, has the texture of ground beef, and truth be told – no-one can tell the difference. Yay!

    I have made the little quinoa patties more than several times and am obsessed with them. They are good hot or cold. They are good for breakfast topped with a poached egg, good for a snack, good out of the pan….. You are my kind of gal! Everything I have tried has been put on my list of something to cook every week. The list is getting kind of crowded.

  42. teresa says:

    mel, i adore your blog. we made this last night, and i’m pretty sure i singlehandedly ate half the pan. you always post the BEST stuff!

  43. Christie says:

    This was delish! I made it with the ground beef and ricotta (not cottage cheese). Will be making this one again!

  44. julie spady says:

    Had this the other night for the first time for my family. We don’t want to have traditional spagetti ever again! This was SO good!! (and I forgot to put the cottage cheese in. I added it the second night since we had leftovers and it was yummy!) I love your website and everything that is on it! Thanks!

  45. Staci Gehlbach says:

    I made a batch of this for a friend that just had a baby and a batch for home. Everyone loved it! (Saying a lot for the 4 and 2 year old). I have made many of your recipes and they always turn out great. I trust you! You have been a blessing to me and my family. Thanks so much for what you do!

  46. Amanda says:

    I tried this last night. It was delicious, and I prefer it to plain spaghetti, but not an instant favorite around here. I’m glad to add it into the rotation. Thanks!!

  47. Katie says:

    I just made this tonight and my family loved it. Thanks for all the great recipes!

  48. Jenny says:

    Sounds prefect for my family too! I do not have a deep dish pie plate though, do you think a 9″ cake pan would work?

  49. Mel says:

    Hi Jenny – as long as the sides of your cake pan are higher than 2 inches, I think that should work just fine.

  50. Hi there! I made this last weekend and it was AWESOME! I used Sour Cream instead of cottage cheese and used shaved parmesan on top and baked in a 13×9 oblong pan and it filled the whole thing. I will make this again and again…

  51. Kim says:

    Is it possible to substitute the ricotta chees, my family does not enjoy.

  52. Allie says:

    This looks like the perfect week night meal. I am always searching for recipes that the whole family will enjoy. I will have to try this out on my 3 picky eaters 🙂

  53. Janelle says:

    Spaghetti Pie was one of the first “real” meals I ever learned to cook (like besides grilled cheese). I’ve been making it for something like 13 years now. My four-year-old requested it for her birthday dinner earlier this year, along with green beans. I’ve also had success with freezing it.

  54. Holly says:

    I made this a couple of nights ago, and a friend who is often ambivalent when I try new recipes declared she would even it is a leftovers – and from her that is high praise indeed! My niece and I both really liked it and would eat is again happily. Next time I will either try it with some Italian sausage or maybe add some of Penzey’s Italian Sausage seasoning.

  55. JoAnn says:

    Made it last night using Italian sausage and 8oz of cream cheese, but otherwise just the same as the recipe. Soooooo good! This one will be joining the usual rotation.

  56. Katie says:

    This was soooo delicious!! I used ground turkey breast and had about a half cup of cream in the fridge I wanted to use up so I added it to the remaining sauce that was spooned over the spaghetti. Definitely making this again and again! Thanks!

  57. TaraO says:

    I made this last night, and it was absolutely delicious! We’ll be eating it again soon 🙂

  58. Deb says:

    Made this for dinner last night, super yum 🙂 I doubled the recipe because we had company and it fit in a 13×9 pan. I also used turkey Italian sausage in place of the ground beef/turkey for a little extra flavor. Everybody loved it. Thanks Mel!

  59. Wendy says:

    Made this for dinner for last night and it was AWESOME. Followed the recipe just as it was written and we all loved it, even my 1.5 year old. He immediately stopped fooling around with his fork and started shoveling it into his mouth. None of it ended up on the floor… a real win at this stage!! Thank you, Mel!

  60. Mina says:

    this was a huge hit–thank you! i also gave the recipe to a coworker and she’s a fan. love your website!

  61. Rachel Russell says:

    Was very. . .nervous about this recipe as we are not spaghetti lovers and .. .in a pie form? Hmmm. Not sure. But- it kept calling me as I flipped by it b/c of your ‘family favourite’ note so we tried it and LOVED IT. Majorly loved it! We made it with WW noodles and sour cream and husband even loved a reheated frozen piece in his lunch later in the week. Enough to request it again the next week- hurrah!

  62. Jennifer G. says:

    I’d never made this because I was convinced it would be kind of dry. Decided to trust you and give it a try. Delicious. Only change I made was to use Italian sausage. I will make this again.

  63. Sheriece says:

    This. Was. Awesome.

    Thank you for this great recipe! I made it as directed except for using whole wheat noodles and an extra garlic clove. YUM!

    Added bonus: the fact that the sauce is separate meant that I could serve it to my “I do it!” 17 month old without the extra red sauce! Less mess to clean up! Woo hoo!!

  64. Sanjana says:

    I was recently introduced to your blog and I am getting hooked! I am a spaghetti lover and as soon I saw ‘family favorite’ I was convinced.
    We are vegetarian so I skipped the meat part but I like the idea of using mushrooms. I used cream cheese, ricotta and Parmesan cheese. Realized I didn’t gave mozzarella so skipped it. It turned out yummy, rich and creamy. But for some reason, it did not set firm like a pie. When I tried to slice it, it was all just mushy. What could have gone wrong?

    Either way it was yummy but I want to perfect it for next time. Thanks!

  65. Kylene says:

    Made this for dinner this week, my family LOVED it. We usually have leftovers, but there were none!! Making again this weekend for company. Thank you for all of the great recipes.

  66. Mel says:

    Hi Sanjana – do you think the noodles might have been overcooked? If so, they might not have absorbed enough of the liquid to keep it holding together. Just a thought…glad you liked it despite that issue!

  67. Misti says:

    Going into my family favorites! This was AMAZING!

  68. Crystalyn says:

    I just want to tell you thank you. I get so frustrated at dinner time trying to figure out what to cook. Your web site has blessed me and my family 100s of times for many year. Thank you!

  69. Michelle says:

    My girls ask for this on an almost daily basis since the first time I made it a couple weeks ago. I was a bit worried because my oldest hates tomatoes and won’t eat anything with tomatoes in it ( unless of course she has no idea they are there and then she will eat it ) the first time I was way nervous but she didn’t noticed and gobbled it up super fast, second time same outcome!!!! So glad she loves it just how it is and I don’t need to convince her it is good 🙂

  70. Cyndi says:

    Made this tonight and I gotta tell you it was amazing!! I actually am gluten free and made this dish gluten free and it was still awesome!! I just started a blog and I’m gonna put this on my blog and of course link it back to you! I also just made your Carmel apple bundt cake (last week) and that was fabulous also… If you have any free time please visit my blog and I would love your input. I love your blog and 75% of my recipes are from here. Thank you soo soo much and my husband/kids thanks you too! 🙂

  71. Caryn says:

    My family loves your recipe, so I am planning on making it for a party with about 60 people. I usually make it in a 9×13 and serve it like lasagna, but I am wondering how you think it will turn out if I make it in a large tin tray. Any tips on making it for such a large crowd?

  72. Mel says:

    Hi Caryn – for 60 people, I’d double the recipe four times (five time if it’s all adults) and put each doubled recipe in a large, deeper aluminum pan. You’ll probably have to add 8-10 minutes onto the baking time to account for the increased depth but overall, I think it would work great.

  73. Caryn says:

    Awesome! Thank you so much!

  74. Lori Tolbert says:

    I made the spaghetti pie tonight for dinner, and my kids went to be CRYING because they liked it so much they wanted more. No. Seriously. My husband said he thinks this recipe should be one of the food groups. Thanks for another winner.

  75. Kelly says:

    We’ve gotten over a foot of snow today, so we’re officially snowed in. Hubby has been working his tail off to clear snow today, so spaghetti pie sounded fabulous for dinner! I skipped the cottage/ricotta cheese option because there isn’t any in the house, but it still turned out delicious! Great meal for a cold snowy day. Thanks again, Mel!

  76. Davina says:

    A true winner, I made this for a church potluck and did not bring any of it home….. Thanks Mel

  77. Ava says:

    Do you think this would work meatless without changing any other proportions?

  78. Vanessa says:

    Made this today. My kids weren’t jumping up and down crazy about it like yours but we liked it. I will probably make it again.

  79. Lyndy says:

    I’m going to make this tonight! What kind of parmesan am I supposed to use? All I currently have is the kraft powdered parmesan (even though I normally have a block of parmesan I can grate). And, I don’t have mozzarella so i’ll be subbing with monterey jack cheese. Hopefully it works out!

  80. Amanda says:

    I loved this recipe! It came out cheesy, creamy, and delicious. It worked just fine using my gluten free pasta, and will definitely be a repeat dish!

  81. Cody Gray says:

    Mel I’m trying to plan for girls camp. If made this before and froze it do u think it would be a good freezer meal?


  82. Dan says:

    Dear Mel,
    I’m from New Zealand and am unsure what the recipe means by “16-ounces tomato sauce” – does it mean tomato sauce as in ‘ketchup’, or a supermarket pasta sauce type-thing?
    Thanks heaps for your time – your recipes are brill!
    Kind regards,

    • Mel says:

      Hi Dan – by tomato sauce, I mean close to pureed tomatoes (without any texture – just a smooth sauce). Does that help?

  83. Dan says:

    Hi Mel – that’s awesome, thanks heaps for the info!

  84. Claire says:

    Made this tonight and needless to say, my husband swears he will never eat regular spaghetti again 🙂 thanks so much for this and so many other awesome recipes! You’re always my go-to for dinner inspiration!

  85. Cody says:

    Mel I’m trying to plan for girls camp. If made this before and froze it do u think it would be a good freezer meal?


  86. Diane K says:

    We liked this a lot! The only problem I had was with the sauce – it seemed a little bland (possibly because my tomato sauce was salt free) and there was a TON. I wished I added 2 1/2 or even 3 cups to my spaghetti. Maybe I will next time. As it is, I’m thinking about ways to reuse it (and probably spice it up) because I really, really doubt we’ll eat the rest of it with what little pie we have left.

  87. Jessica says:

    Making this for my family and my brother’s (his wife just had a baby). Making individual “pies” in a muffin tin. I hope it turns out (also using my sun oven…112+ outside. Sorry I’m not turning on the oven). So excited! The sample I had before putting it out to bake was delish!

  88. Stacy W. says:

    Friday night dinner! Can’t wait for this one. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes. They are quick, easy and what I like best of all is I have most of the ingredients on hand already.

  89. Kelly says:

    I made this last night and it was yummy! 🙂 And just as you prophesied, my six-year-old daughter (who is often objectionable to sauce) ate her whole portion happily. My favorite was the red sauce – great flavor for just a few ingredients (the only thing I added was a little cayenne)! I used the ricotta in place of cottage cheese and found the result to be a little more rich than I would have liked, but overall we all loved it and are looking forward to the leftovers. If I make any changes next time, I think it will be a little less of all the creamy cheese. Great recipe and very easy to follow – thank you!

  90. Kelly says:


    Do you think that plain yogurt would be an okay substitute for the cream cheese?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Kelly – personally, I don’t think the yogurt would make a good substitution for the cream cheese (mostly due to the consistency) but I’m never one to talk someone out of experimenting so if you try it let me know!

  91. Leanne says:


    I’ve made this dish many times now for my house full of picky eaters and they love it! I was going to make it in advance and freeze it for my niece to make next week after her baby is born (she lives 2 hours from me). If she takes it out of the freezer and puts in straight into the oven how long should it bake for? Should the temp still be 400? Thanks so much!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Leanne – if I were baking this from frozen, I’d probably reduce the heat to 350 and bake covered for 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes (shorter or longer as needed to heat through).

  92. Melissa C says:

    Mel you ain’t kiddin’….this is phenominal!!!

  93. Melissa C says:

    Mel you ain’t kiddin’….this is phenominal!!! I made it two weeks ago…everyone loved it in my house.

  94. Sarah says:

    I’d like to make this for a friend who is recovering from surgery. When I bring it to her, do you recommend taking the extra sauce separately, or just adding it to the top before I bring it over? I’d like for her to have to do as little prep as possible before she eats it.

    • Mel says:

      Sarah – I’d probably just keep the extra sauce in a microwaveable dish and bring it like that – I think pouring it over the top might be a bit overkill on the sauce.

  95. Stephanie says:

    Hi Mel, I saw a question from someone about making this ahead of time and you replied that you had never tried it. I did make this a few hours ahead and wanted to share. This was the first time I had ever made this dish and I put it together while my little ones were napping so that at dinner time all I had to do was throw it in the oven. Based on your comment that it might be drier if made ahead, I increased the ricotta cheese to 3/4 cup and added 2 1/2 cups of the red sauce. I also made sure to only cook my spaghetti just to al dente and increased the bake time by about 5 or so minutes. Turned out beautifully – not at all dry but still firm enough to hold its shape. I will be making this again and again! Thanks for the great recipe!

  96. Jodie says:

    My friend makes this, minus the cream cheese, baked in a casserole dish with the sauce MIXED IN. It is a favorite of mine.

  97. Katie says:

    This has quickly become one of my favorites!

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