Growing up in a home where warmth came from the kitchen, I have a special connection to my grandma’s Basic Baked Spaghetti. It’s not just another dish for us; it’s a tapestry of family stories, laughter, and cherished memories. On cold winter evenings, when the snow would silently blanket our small town, grandma would invite the neighbors over, transforming our cozy home into a bustling haven of joy.
How to Prepare Basic Baked Spaghetti
Ingredients for Basic Baked Spaghetti
- About 3/4 pound of lean minced meat
- 1 container (roughly 16 ounces) of marinara sauce
- 1 package (around 1 pound) of spaghetti pasta
- 1 cup of mild Cheddar cheese, grated
Directions for Basic Baked Spaghetti
- Warm up your oven to 350 degrees F (approximately 175 degrees C).
- In a spacious skillet, sauté the minced meat on medium-high heat till it’s nicely browned and fragmented, usually around 8-10 minutes. Mix in the marinara sauce with the meat. Allow it to simmer on a low flame.
- In parallel, get a large pot and fill it with water and a pinch of salt. Once it reaches boiling point, introduce the spaghetti and cook until it’s perfectly al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Drain the water once done.
- Combine the spaghetti with the meat and sauce mixture. Blend well. Pour this mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish and garnish with the grated Cheddar cheese on top.
- Place the dish in your preheated oven and let it bake until the cheese turns bubbly and the dish is heated throughout. This should take about 30 minutes.
Can I use a different type of meat?
Of course! While this recipe uses lean ground beef, you can experiment with ground turkey, chicken, or even a meat substitute for a vegetarian version.
What other cheeses can I use?
You can replace the Cheddar with mozzarella, provolone, or even a mix of your favorite cheeses.
How do I store leftovers?
Store any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate. It should be consumed within 3-4 days for the best taste.
Can I freeze baked spaghetti?
Absolutely! Just ensure it cools down first, then store in a freezer-safe container. It can be frozen for up to a month.
How can I spice up the flavor?
Feel free to add in some red pepper flakes, sautéed vegetables, or fresh herbs like basil or oregano to elevate the flavors.
Can I prepare this dish ahead of time?
Yes, you can assemble the dish, cover, and refrigerate for a day before baking. Just add about 10 minutes to the baking time if it’s straight from the fridge.
Basic Baked Spaghetti
- 3/4 pound lean ground beef
- 1 16 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 cup shredded mild Cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Cook beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crumbly and brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir spaghetti sauce into beef. Reduce heat and simmer.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Stir in spaghetti; cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.
- Add spaghetti to meat mixture; mix well. Transfer to a 9x13-inch dish. Top with Cheddar cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven until heated through and cheese is bubbly, about 30 minutes.