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. Stacey says:

    Amazing! Loved it. I’m totally on board with Mel — this is a good choice for a take-in meal.

  2. nancy says:

    Great recipe. Made it pretty close to directions, but only had half the amount of beef, but had 3 links of sweet Italian sausage. Also had a couple of carrots and half a red pepper so chopped those up and threw in with the onions – it was great! Even the picky 12 year old went in for seconds.

  3. Carrie says:

    This one was a huge hit at my house!! Definitely going into the rotation. Even my picky 6 year old devoured it! Thanks!! 🙂

  4. Becky says:

    Do you think a springform pan would work?

  5. Hank says:

    Thanks so much for this. I made this tonight for my 92 year old parents and my very difficult to please 23 year old niece. I followed to the recipe to the “t”, except that I used a can of diced tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes (no difference really, I would think), and it was really awesome. Everyone loved it. My niece even asked to take some of what was left-over! I really appreciated how easy this recipe was to follow. Well done.

  6. Viktoriya says:

    So would the results be any different if the pie was to be made in an 8×8 inch square pan?

    • Mel says:

      Viktoriya – I am not sure. I have never tried it but it should work OK – the only thing is that it might be too much pasta for that type of pan so you will have to experiment.

  7. viktoriya says:

    How big would you suggest a square or rectangular pan to use if a pie pan is unavailable?

  8. Viktoriya says:

    Hi. Could I possibly use Monterey cheese instead of Mozzerella? I don’t have Mozzerella on hand. Would the taste be too different?

  9. viktoriya says:

    Can you use regular cream cheese instead of light?

  10. Viktoriya says:

    This is amazing!! I am the teenage baker in my family, and let me tell you, this spaghetti pie is one of the best things I’ve ever made! After deep consideration, I caved and bought a deep 9-inch pie plate just for this dish, and am so glad I did! It was gone in a matter of hours and satisfied many stomachs, so I will be making it again in the future for sure!!:)) Such a creative idea!

  11. Shellice M says:

    Let me start off by saying your blog rocks! I found it by doing a Google search for sweet and sour chicken. I chose your recipe from the search and it was amazing. Now I am hooked and you have a new fan.
    I make baked spaghetti all of the time.
    I adore pasta. And it makes THE BEST LEFTOVERS! Tried your recipe last night and it was a hit. I usually go with ricotta in my recipes, but when I try a new one, I like to use the ingredients suggested by the cook. And it was amazing. The only thing I did different was that I covered it with foil for the first 20 minutes. Only because I found that when make baked spaghetti, it keeps it from drying out the top layer of cheese and pasta.

  12. Shellice M says:

    Covered with foil for the first 10 minutes.

  13. Judy says:

    I thought I was in big trouble tonight when I went to make this. Somehow I was out of cream cheese and mozzerella! Have no fear. Subbed greek yogurt for the cream cheese and some leftover queso fresco ( left from your corn salad recipe) for the mozzerella. My husband did say it seemed less cream cheesy, but was still good enough for him to have seconds!

  14. I made this for dinner last night and it was a hit! All I had to say was it’s from Mel’s Kitchen when asked what we were having and they were on board. When they found out it was spaghetti, I was reveled as Queen again. 😀 Delicious last night as well as again today for my lunch. Extra sauce did it for me too. Numm numm nummm….

  15. Shonda says:

    Love your dish! And your blog! Thank you so much for sharing your tips, recipes and favorites.

  16. Susan says:

    How deep is the pie dish supposed to be? Thanks!

  17. ScampsGirl says:

    Hello! This is listed under your “Freezable” section. At what point to you freeze and how to you cook/reheat? Thanks!!

    • Mel says:

      ScampsGirl – I assemble it completely, let cool, cover with tin foil and freeze like that (without baking first) and freeze the extra sauce separately in a freezer bag. I bake it from frozen, covered, for about an hour and 15 minutes then uncover and bake until heated through (about another 30 minutes or so) and just reheat the sauce in a saucepan on the stove. Hope that helps!

  18. Jen says:

    Yummy! I tried it in the springform pan and it worked great.

    • [email protected] says:

      Hey Jen! This is Emily. I do some admin stuff for Mel. I wanted to make sure this was your e-mail before I acted like I knew you! I am impressed you are cooking with a new baby. She is adorable by the way. I am glad you liked this recipe. This is one of our families favorites as well.


    “Accidently” came across your website while searching for a recipe that I used to make for my grandkids when they were little (now 16 & 14) but had lost along the way in 1 of our moves.

    Love your style – love your recipes – and falling in love with your family. Big fan – and bookmarking this site!

  20. Chelsea says:

    Could I use a round casserole dish?

  21. Bearsmama says:

    Hi Mel-
    Just wanted to post a comment & let you know that we LOVED the spaghetti pie. Such a fun and delicious meal. My kids loved it. I used veggie crumbles instead of ground beef. Delish! I also want to tell you that I’ve been cooking and baking for 24+ years and I’ve had great success with your recipes-which is not always the case with some food blogs.
    Thanks & keep up the good work.:)

  22. Johanna says:

    I made this tonight. It was awesome! Thanks for the great recipe!

  23. EJR says:

    Hi Mel! Do you break up the spaghetti before cooking? In the photo it looks like it’s not long strands.

  24. Nicole C says:

    Mel You never disappoint! I made one for dinner and one to freeze last night and it was a huge hit! Leftovers for dinner tonight 🙂

  25. Kirsten says:

    It’s a tie between this, spaghetti pie, and creamy green enchiladas for our family’s favorite dinner. You are our go-to chef/baker. I used to make dinner maybe once a week because I hated cooking so much and every recipe I tried from the internet or cookbook took hours and was too much for our little family. Since a friend recommended your website a few months ago, I’ve been making dinner every-other night and I don’t hate it! 95% of the meals I make are Mels Kitchen Cafe. Thanks for all the amazing recipes and for making my life so much easier! You’re amazing!

  26. SARAH JENKINS says:

    I don’t have cream cheese on hand, but I do have sour cream and ricotta, would it work to use sour cream in place of the cream cheese?

    • Mel says:

      You could certainly try that substitution, Sarah – I haven’t tried it so I’m not sure how it will affect the overall texture but substitutions like that are worth a try, in my opinion.

      • Elle says:

        I have been watching your site for a while. Why do people think they can substitute the recipes ingredients all the time? I have been reading Amazing what people do with a recipe that someone posts. Ever hear of Village Hot Sauce. It is better than what is served in Mexican restaurants. You do a good job, Mel. Thanks for helping me make sense of food these days. I am a little food challenged. Nothing tastes good. Got any pesto recipes?

  27. Donna says:

    My husband would come home from work and praise this spaghetti pizza that he ate for lunch. Today I said that I have to go get a slice and he informed me that the new owners of the restaurant do not make the dish. I spent several hours reviewing recipes on-line and decided to try yours. My husband said it was 2 times better than the restaurants and it was one of the best things that he ever ate. Thank you Mel for a great website.

  28. Melanie says:

    Thanks for the great recipe! My whole family liked it, and I especially liked how each person could choose how much sauce they wanted on top (my daughter isn’t a huge fan of red sauce) versus a lasagna where it’s all inside. I didn’t have a deep dish pie pan, so I just used a round, deep pyrex that I had. It worked just fine. Next time, I am going to soften the cream cheese up in the microwave a little bit first, because I found that my pasta got very sticky by the time the cream cheese melted enough (I took it straight from the fridge). I’d never made a spaghetti pie before, and this won’t be the last time. Thanks again.

  29. Cathy says:

    I tested this out last week and it was a hit! Tonight I’m tripling the recipe and making it for my co-op cooking group! <3

  30. Stephanie says:

    My boyfriend loved this. I roasted a spaghetti squash (squeezed out any moisture with cheese cloth) and used that instead of noodles. Sauce is spot on. Thank you!

  31. Brooke says:

    Ok, I haven’t eaten this yet; I just assembled it and put it in the fridge to bake right before we eat, but I have to say, the sauce is AMAZING. I just kept tasting it over and over and to be honest, just wanted to eat a bowl full of the sauce like soup. It’s going to be my new go-to pasta sauce. So easy, too. We are US expats and move to a different country every few years and so far, no other countries have the great selection of good store-bought jarred pasta sauces (like Victoria’s, Rao’s, etc) and I am a pasta sauce snob. I did use cirio crushed tomatoes (fancy jarred italian brand, like san marzano) and I think that made it even more delishious. Thanks! Can’t wait to eat the whole dish.

  32. Linder says:

    Made this for Easter. They loved it!

  33. Kathy Kelly says:

    I plan on doubling and using a 9×13. If I put it together and refrigerate a few hours ahead of time, how long would you think it will take to bake? 50 minutes? Trying to coordinate a few different dishes that will need to be in the oven for this event.

  34. Kristen says:

    Can I bake this in a foil disposable pie dish to serve as a take in meal? Those seem pretty deep?
    I was just recommended to your website by my sister and am on my fourth recipe! THanks for everything!!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Kristen – yes, I definitely think the disposable dish is a good idea, it just depends on the exact size. This fills up my glass pie plate pretty full – I don’t want it overflowing in your oven or the person’s you take it too! So just make sure the size is large enough.

  35. Kris says:

    This is amazing! My husband would always mention spaghetti pie that he grew up with, but I never really liked it when I tried to make it. This recipe is so good, thank you Mel!

  36. Emily says:

    I made this yesterday and I must say that it was so easy and DELICIOUS!!! Both my husband and toddler really liked it and I love the fact that it uses cottage cheese to create a creamy sauce. Great recipe!

  37. Jessica Foy says:

    This recipe pulls up under the “Freezable” section. Do you prepare the entire dish and then freeze? Tips and suggestions on how to do this would be great!

    • Mel says:

      I assemble it completely, let cool, cover with tin foil and freeze like that (without baking first) and freeze the extra sauce separately in a freezer bag. I bake it from frozen, covered, for about an hour and 15 minutes then uncover and bake until heated through (about another 30 minutes or so) and just reheat the sauce in a saucepan on the stove. Hope that helps!

  38. Jessica says:

    I’m going to try this with spaghetti squash instead of noodles to cut back on the carbs! I’ll let you know how it goes. It looks tasty 🙂

  39. Barbara says:

    I tried the spaghetti pie tonight. I cook a lot, but I must say this recipe is fabulous! I’ll be making this often. Thanks so much!

  40. Brooke says:

    Just wanted to say that this recipe has become a family favorite and one I even make for company. Since my first comment back in March, I have made it at least once a month, often twice. Still say this is the best pasta sauce recipe. Thanks so much.

  41. Allison says:

    Could I assemble everything then refrigerate overnight and bake the next day?

  42. Annie says:

    Thank you so much for all your delicious meals! We had this tonight with all the leftover spaghetti noodles I accidentally cooked! It was so good! I had this when I was younger and didn’t like it, but when I saw it on your site, and with all the success from other meals I have made by you, I thought we’d give it a try. Fantastic! Thanks so much! We have been using your site for recipes VERY OFTEN!! And we most definitely will 🙂

  43. Laura says:

    What do you mean by “tomato sauce”? Do you mean any marinara or do you mean the can that says “tomato sauce”? Thank you so much for clarifying!

  44. Amy from TN says:

    I just discovered this recipe and I’m THRILLED to see that it doesn’t call for eggs (like the spaghetti pie recipe I’ve had for years). We have a 3 year-old son with an egg allergy…hoping he outgrows it but I’m having to adapt more and more to cooking without eggs as much as possible. I made your classic Italian lasagna recipe recently…also thrilled to have a recipe without eggs.
    Thanks, Mel! Can’t wait to try this.

  45. Alex T. says:

    I was a little apprehensive about this – I mean, I love the idea of spaghetti pie, but I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. Then again, the recipe was calling my name and I decided to make it and bring it to my work. Guess what? Everybody loved it and requested the recipe! I loved it too and was very pleasantly surprised when it turned out that not only it reheats beautifully, it tastes even better the next day! Needless to say, this one is a keeper 🙂

    I followed the recipe to a t, except I baked it first without the cheese on top as I knew I was going to reheat it, and added the cheese later.

  46. Linda Murray says:

    I love you Mel, where have you been all my life!!! I recently just stumbling across your web site and it has been a god send. I made your spaghetti pie tonight and OMG. Delish. This was so easy, followed your recipe true and it made me a rock star in my kitchen with 4 of my friends (all thumbs up!). Your recipes have brought the joy of cooking and baking back into my life. Your Swedish meatballs this past weekend (the best I have ever made). Your lasagna and stroganoff last week was also a winner. Lets not even mention the pressure cooker rice pudding (I ate the whole bowl – no sharing there). Tomorrow I am going to make the lemon blueberry cake. Thank you so much for giving and sharing so much of yourself.

    • Mel says:

      I’m so happy the recipes you’ve tried have been a success, Linda! Thanks so much for letting me know. I hope you love that lemon blueberry cake!

  47. Jackie says:

    Apparently the cottage cheese isn’t 100% necessary here. Made it Monday and we all devorered it. Today I found the unopened container of cottage cheese in my fridge and realized I had forgotten to add it. Oops! Still delicious.

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