Honestly, this spaghetti pie meal can’t be beat. It’s easy enough for a weeknight frenzy but delicious and satisfying enough for company.
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.
What To Serve With This:
Divine Breadsticks or Cheesy Garlic Bread
Steamed vegetable like broccoli or peas
Simple green salad (or something more fancy like this Gourmet Green Salad)
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- 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
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (16-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 ounces light cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup lowfat cottage cheese
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, divided
- ¾ 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.
Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
208 Comments on “Spaghetti Pie”
Quick question: when the recipe calls for mozzarella, do you use the soft, fresh kind? Or the slightly harder/less watery kind? Does that make sense?
I use part-skim mozzarella from the block (and grate it on a box grater) – I don’t use fresh, soft mozzarella, but you could experiment and try if that is your preference!
Raises spaghetti dinner to the next level for sure. Thanks!!
I’ve been looking at this recipe for almost ten years and tonight was the night. So glad I finally made it. Just the right amount of sauce in the pie for those who aren’t wild about sauce, and plenty of sauce to spoon over the servings for those who want more. The pie is filling and the perfect meal with a green salad and cheese bread. Mel, you never disappoint!
This was delicious! Thanks for sharing your talents.
Thanks for highlighting this recipe in your “Recipes the World Forgot” post. I discovered it for the first time and it was such a nice change of pace for Pasta night. I only had a shallow pie pan, so we split it between two pans (using some mild italian sausage instead of ground beef for extra flavor) and it was great for our family. Thanks for the winner!
I learned to make this slightly different but I will have to try your way too! What I do is mix the spaghetti with an egg, some butter and parmesan. And then I put that in the casserole dish and then layer the cottage cheese, jar of pasta sauce and mozzarella on top.
I don’t usually add sausage because 1) I don’t like to cook it 2) it hurts my stomach and 3) I cook what I like first. 🙂
It’s more of the bargain discount way but the kids still like it and it’s so easy!
Just made this again at the request of my son, we love this recipe! It’s always a winner.
This is one of our favorites and very make ahead/freezer friendly! I usually use an entire 16oz box of barilla spaghetti and add in a little extra sauce and cheese mixture. Stretches it farther. Then bake in 9×13 pan for crowd/potluck or split in 9×9 pans to freeze or deliver for take in meals. The sauce is so easy to make and has become my go-to sauce for other dishes too! Thanks for another keeper!
Ok. In an effort to save hands on time, do you think your IP spaghetti recipe could be the base for this? I have that one memorized. And I was just thinking, add the cream cheese, etc after the sauce thickens a bit, transfer to pie plate sprinkle and bake….?
Thanks for the many delicious years. You have been my go-to food blogger for a while now.
Certainly worth a try, Vanessa!
I made this for a mini Pi Day party. I doubled it and put it in 2 9” cake rounds and it worked great. It was delicious and the leftovers have held up great, too. Kids and adults thought it was yummy. I’ll make it again!! Thanks!
how does this work for freezing? I want to use it as a freezer meal. Do i just combine everything, then freeze. Thaw and then cook? or cook then freeze…then rewarm? I don’t want to dry it out or have the cottage cheese do strange things in the freezer.
I would suggest assembling, freezing, and then baking from frozen (add time) or thawing and then baking.
My family loves this meal! It’s so easy and tastes so good. My kids always beg for me to make this. We make it all the time!
This was a mega hit tonight! I made a few lazy changes: I just used your Home canned Spaghetti Sauce instead of making the red sauce and omitted the meat because: didn’t want to thaw meat. I can’t believe how good it was and so simple too. Whoa! So happy about this.
I may or may not have had this recipe in my to try folder for…. Um… (Cough) at least 4 years? Uh, ya. What was I thinking? It’s really great. Thanks again!
Yay! Glad you loved it, Natalie!
Mel, you’ve done it again!
instant family favorite over here! I have been eyeing this recipe on your blog for years and finally decided to try it.
So much creamy flavor and love going on those noodles! We will be adding this to our list of favorites STAT around here!
I love this recipe. Its so delish
This is one of my absolute favorite meals. However, my kids are not fans of red sauce. Any chance you have a white spaghetti pie version? I tried to google search one and did not find anything.
Darn, I don’t have a version like that! Sounds yummy though.
This recipe is AMAZING! My 7 year old bean pole had 4 helpings. I had to cut him off when he started complaining his tummy hurt but “I still want more.” This will definitely be entering the family favorite rotation! Thank you!
Looks perfect for a company meal! Can I use the full-fat versions of the cheeses? Thanks!
When you say Parmesan cheese do you mean freshly grated, or the stuff that comes in the jar? Generally speaking for your recipes to you always use Parmesan cheese or do you occasionally use stuff from a jar?
Whenever I call for Parmesan cheese, it’s the freshly grated stuff (not the kind in the can). I’m all for whatever works, though, so feel free to experiment. The Parmesan cheese in a can has a much stronger/saltier flavor than freshly grated so keep that in mind. 🙂
If you halved this recipe would it work in a regular pie dish rather than a deep one?
Yes, I think so.
Hi Mel, this looks absolutely delicious. I’m from Australia and I am not really sure on what you mean by tomato sauce? What we here call tomato sauce is actually ketchup. So I was wondering if you know whether the tomato sauce is the equivalent to what we call passata?
Hi Mim – I don’t know what passata is but tomato sauce here is basically pureed tomatoes. Does that help?
Mel, We’ve made with spaghetti squash and its been a huge hit, with request to make again and again!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
The can that says tomato sauce. 🙂
I’ve made this a handful of times and what I’ve done was made with leftover sauce after spaghetti night. And imo, it’s even yummier. I’ve used with cottage cheese and also replaced with ricotta and it’s delicious either way. Big hit in my house. Thanks Mel.
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 🙂
Could I assemble everything then refrigerate overnight and bake the next day?
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.
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!
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 🙂
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!!
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.
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.
If it has been refrigerated for just a few hours, I think adding 10-15 minutes to the baking time should be plenty.
Made this for Easter. They loved it!
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 allrecipes.com. 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?
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!
So happy to hear this, Kirsten. Thank you!
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 🙂
Hi Mel! Do you break up the spaghetti before cooking? In the photo it looks like it’s not long strands.
To be honest, I can’t remember but I think I may have broken it in half but most likely I left it whole.
I made this tonight. It was awesome! Thanks for the great recipe!
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.:)
Could I use a round casserole dish?
As long as the dish size is similar to the one called for in the recipe, it should work just fine.
“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!
Yummy! I tried it in the springform pan and it worked great.
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.
Hello! This is listed under your “Freezable” section. At what point to you freeze and how to you cook/reheat? Thanks!!
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!
How deep is the pie dish supposed to be? Thanks!
Susan – About 2 inches.
Love your dish! And your blog! Thank you so much for sharing your tips, recipes and favorites.
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….
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!
Covered with foil for the first 10 minutes.
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.
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!
Can you use regular cream cheese instead of light?
Hi. Could I possibly use Monterey cheese instead of Mozzerella? I don’t have Mozzerella on hand. Would the taste be too different?
Viktoriya – It is worth experimenting. Monterey has a different flavor and melts differently though.
How big would you suggest a square or rectangular pan to use if a pie pan is unavailable?
Viktoriya – Probably a 9-inch circle pan.
So would the results be any different if the pie was to be made in an 8×8 inch square pan?
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.
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.
Do you think a springform pan would work?
Becky – Definitely worth a try. You might want to line the bottom and sides of the pan with foil to prevent leakage.
This one was a huge hit at my house!! Definitely going into the rotation. Even my picky 6 year old devoured it! Thanks!! 🙂
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.
Amazing! Loved it. I’m totally on board with Mel — this is a good choice for a take-in meal.
This has quickly become one of my favorites!
My friend makes this, minus the cream cheese, baked in a casserole dish with the sauce MIXED IN. It is a favorite of mine.
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!
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.
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.
Mel you ain’t kiddin’….this is phenominal!!! I made it two weeks ago…everyone loved it in my house.
Mel you ain’t kiddin’….this is phenominal!!!
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!
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).
Do you think that plain yogurt would be an okay substitute for the cream cheese?
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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?
Cody – yes, I think this could make a great freezer meal.
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!
Hi Mel – that’s awesome, thanks heaps for the info!
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!
Hi Dan – by tomato sauce, I mean close to pureed tomatoes (without any texture – just a smooth sauce). Does that help?
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?
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!
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!
Lyndy – I always use Parmesan grated from a block.
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.
Do you think this would work meatless without changing any other proportions?
Ava – yes, I think it would work meatless without any changes.
A true winner, I made this for a church potluck and did not bring any of it home….. Thanks Mel
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!
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.
Awesome! Thank you so much!
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.
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?
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! 🙂
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 🙂
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!
Going into my family favorites! This was AMAZING!
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!
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.
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!
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!!
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.
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!
this was a huge hit–thank you! i also gave the recipe to a coworker and she’s a fan. love your website!
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!
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!
I made this last night, and it was absolutely delicious! We’ll be eating it again soon 🙂
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
Is it possible to substitute the ricotta chees, my family does not enjoy.
Hi Kim – I included some possible substitutions in the note under the recipe title.
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…
Hi Jenny – as long as the sides of your cake pan are higher than 2 inches, I think that should work just fine.
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?
I just made this tonight and my family loved it. Thanks for all the great recipes!
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!!
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!
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!
This was delish! I made it with the ground beef and ricotta (not cottage cheese). Will be making this one again!
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!
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.
what is it about boys and spaghetti? my brother eats it 3-4 times a week and has since he was a kid!
My plans for boring spaghetti got a lot more fun, thanks to you! Used thin, whole wheat spaghetti and added lentils to the sauce.
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!
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).
How many cups of sauce? I have some frozen from yr spaghetti recipe and wanted to use tht instead of making new.
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!
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!
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!
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. 😉
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!
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?!)
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!
Made this last night and everyone loved it! Thanks again for another great recipe.
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. 🙂
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! 🙂
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!
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!
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!
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 😉
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)
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. 🙂
Thanks for sharing! This spaghetti pie sure looks like a winner! A good change from regular pasta night.
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!!
My mom used to make something like this all the time for my family when I was growing up. This definitely brought me back!
I LOVE spaghetti pie! And I keep losing my recipes for it. So I think I’ll bookmark yours and be Very Happy Indeed. 😉
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.
Spaghetti pie has been a family favorite for lo these many years. Your post brought to mind an amusing memory from the time when my neighbor first introduced it to me. 🙂 http://www.fransfavs.com/2011/08/spaghetti-pie/
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!!
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 🙂
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!
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?
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.
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. 🙂
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! 🙂
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! 🙂
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.
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!
This sounds tasty. I have some leftover turkey pepperoni in the fridge that I might add to this to make for a tasty dinner.
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!!
Spaghetti pie: it’s what’s for dinner tonight! Thank Mel!
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.
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! 🙂
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!