Easy Baked Spaghetti
Hearty baked spaghetti with meat sauce and a creamy layer of ricotta cheese.
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt (divided)
- 1 pound 85% lean ground beef
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper (divided)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 4 cups marinara sauce
- 16 ounces low-moisture ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (2 oz per 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt. Once boiling, add the spaghetti to the water. Cook for 9-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta in a large colander, and rinse thoroughly with cold water. While the pasta cooks, prepare the meat sauce.
Spray an extra-large skillet generously with nonstick cooking spray, then set over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning to the skillet. Cook the beef for 5-6 minutes, breaking it up with a spatula, until thoroughly browned.
Drain the fat from the skillet. Return the skillet to the stove, and turn down the heat to medium-low. Pour the marinara sauce over the meat and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes. While the sauce simmers, prepare the cheese mixture.
Place the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning, the mozzarella cheese in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a rubber spatula to thoroughly combine.
Return the drained spaghetti to the large pot. Add the meat sauce and stir to thoroughly coat the noodles.
Transfer half of the sauced pasta to the prepared baking dish. Drop the ricotta mixture by spoonfuls over the spaghetti, and gently spread it into an even layer. Sprinkle half the mozzarella over the top. Cover with the remaining noodles. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese in an even layer over the top of the dish.
Cover the baking dish with a sheet of aluminum foil.
Bake the spaghetti for 40 minutes on the middle rack of oven.
Remove the aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes longer, until the cheese on top is golden-brown.
Check to see that ziti is done. Remove from oven or add time as needed.
Remove the baking dish from the oven. Allow the spaghetti to rest for 20 minutes before serving.
Amount Per Serving Calories 530Total Fat 24gSodium 1200mgCarbohydrates 51gFiber 5gProtein 27g