Million Dollar Spaghetti – The Recipe Critic
This Million Dollar Spaghetti casserole has the perfect name- it really tastes like a million bucks! It’s the perfect combination of lasagna and spaghetti, how can it get better than that?
I am always up for a great pasta dish! They are economical and super tasty, I mean, who is disappointed with pasta for dinner right? If you are in the market for some more delicious pasta recipes, you’ve got to try this Pasta Primavera, this yummy Creamy Tuscan Sausage Pasta, and this Spinach Artichoke Pasta.
Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole
This million dollar spaghetti is like the perfect mash up of spaghetti and lasagna. It’s layers of spaghetti noodles, yummy marinara sauce, a cheese blend (that of course includes cream cheese!) and, oh yeah, more cheese! I really can’t even express in words how dreamy this dish is! Just think of your favorite pasta dish (mine is Bacon Carbonara), and times that by 10. Ok maybe that’s a little overkill, but seriously, this casserole is a must try.
This recipe takes about as long as a lasagna recipe, so make sure you plan ahead. The hardest part is smelling it and knowing that it needs a while to cool off before you can cut into it. But while this delicious dish is in the oven, you can be making your wedge salad to go along with it! Let’s get on to the good stuff and make this yummy recipe.
Ingredients in Million Dollar Spaghetti
Don’t be intimidated by this list of ingredients. Million dollar spaghetti is actually really simple to put together and doesn’t require any more ingredients than lasagna! I prefer to use a variety of cheeses to really put this dish over the top, but I talk more about cheese substitutes below in the tip box. You can find the measurements below in the recipe card.
- Spaghetti: Spaghetti noodles cooked according to the package.
- Marinara Sauce: I like to make my own at home when I have time! If you don’t just grab your favorite brand from the store.
- Butter: I prefer unsalted so this dish doesn’t end up too salty.
- Olive Oil: The perfect flavor with pasta noodles.
- Ground Beef: This recipe calls for both meats, but you could just use one or the other if you prefer!
- Ground Sausage: I like Italian sausage because it already has great seasonings in it.
- Onion: Chopped onion gives texture and savory flavors.
- Garlic: A must when it comes to Italian inspired dishes.
- Marinara Sauce: Same sauce as mentioned above!
- Dried Italian Seasoning: I like to make my own blend because it tastes way better homemade! You can also use your favorite store-bought brand.
- Salt and Pepper: For extra flavor.
- Mozzarella Cheese: It’s a must!
Creamy Cheese Layer
- Cream Cheese: Tangy and creamy, you’re going to love it!
- Sour Cream: I like to add sour cream because it brings out all of the flavors in the meat in my opinion.
- Ricotta Cheese: You could use cottage cheese instead.
- Mozzarella Cheese: Shredded, or you can slice it from a log. If you choose the log just layer it on top of the cheese mixture instead of mixing it in a bowl together.
- Parmesan Cheese: Fresh is best!
Million Dollar Spaghetti Recipe
This million dollar spaghetti is way easy to assemble! You really just need one large pot for cooking the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, you can also be browning your meat in a large skillet. Make sure you don’t cook your noodles all the way or they will turn mushy in the oven. This dish spends a total of 40 minutes in the oven and needs time to cool before it is ready to serve, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time!
- Cook Spaghetti: Cook the spaghetti noodles in boiling water according to the package directions. Cook them a few minutes less than the instructions because they will also cook and soften in the oven. Then drain the noodles.
- Toss in Sauce: Once drained, then toss in 1 cup of marinara sauce to coat the noodles.
- Cook Meat: Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Then dd the ground beef and ground sausage and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Drain any excess oil.
- Add Seasonings: Add the onion and garlic and then cook for 3 minutes or until the onion is softened. Stir in Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Stir in Sauce: Turn off the heat and stir in 4 cups of marinara sauce.
Creamy Cheese Layer
- Mix Cheeses: In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, sour cream, and ricotta cheese. Mix to combine.
- Add Parmesan and Mozzarella: Stir in the parmesan cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Now it’s time to assemble our million dollar spaghetti.
Assemble Million Dollar Spaghetti
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add Pasta: Add the pasta mixture to the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Add Butter: Evenly distribute the pads of butter on top of the pasta.
- Layer Cheese Mixture: Spread the cream cheese mixture and top of the pasta mixture.
- Add Meat: Add the meat mixture on top of the cheese mixture.
- Add Mozzarella: Sprinkle evenly with 1 ½ cups of shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Cover and Bake: Cover with foil and then bake million dollar spaghetti for 30 minutes.
- Bake: Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly!
Tips for Making Million Dollar Spaghetti
This million dollar spaghetti is really straightforward once you read through the recipe. You are going to love how simple it is to put together. It’s definitely not one of my quickest recipes, but it’s worth every second. Here are some tips for making this recipe.
- Try A Different Meat: You don’t have to stick with the mixture I make. You can do all beef, or all sausage. You could also do other meats like ground chicken or ground pork. I tried this recipe with ground turkey and it was fantastic! Play around with the ingredients until this dish is perfect for you.
- Cheese Substitutes: I like to use a few different cheeses in this recipe! If you don’t have everything on hand, or are wondering if you can use different cheese, here is what I suggest. You can substitute the ricotta cheese for cottage cheese. It really doesn’t taste the same without sour cream, but I suppose you could get away with leaving it out if need be. I think cheddar cheese would be an ok substitute for the mozzarella and parmesan, or either one. As long as you have some kind of cheese on there it’s going to be great!
This million dollar spaghetti recipe makes enough for 12 servings. If you do have leftovers, here is how to store them!
- In the Refrigerator: Store leftovers in an airtight container or cover the dish you baked it in with plastic wrap for up to 5 days.
Cook the spaghetti noodles in boiling water according to the package directions. Cook them a few minutes less than the instructions because they will also cook and soften in the oven. Drain the noodles.
Once drained, toss in 1 cup of marinara sauce to coat the noodles.
Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and ground sausage and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Drain any excess oil.
Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until the onion is softened. Stir in Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Turn off the heat and stir in 4 cups of marinara sauce.
Creamy Cheese Layer
In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, sour cream, and ricotta cheese. Mix to combine.
Stir in the parmesan cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Add the pasta mixture to the bottom of the prepared pan.
Evenly distribute the pads of butter on top of the pasta.
Spread the cream cheese mixture and top of the pasta mixture.
Add the meat mixture on top of the cheese mixture.
Sprinkle evenly with 1 ½ cups of shredded mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly!
Serving1cupCalories493kcal (25%)Carbohydrates31g (10%)Protein26g (52%)Fat29g (45%)Saturated Fat15g (75%)Polyunsaturated Fat2gMonounsaturated Fat10gTrans Fat0.3gCholesterol102mg (34%)Sodium955mg (40%)Potassium647mg (18%)Fiber3g (12%)Sugar6g (7%)Vitamin A1152IU (23%)Vitamin C8mg (10%)Calcium273mg (27%)Iron3mg (17%)
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.