Million-Dollar Spaghetti

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Growing up in a bustling neighborhood, our home was always filled with laughter and the rich aroma of food. Every weekend, our home transformed into a haven for friends, neighbors, and relatives. I fondly remember Aunt Mabel, a next-door neighbor who loved surprising us with her culinary experiments. One such evening, she walked in with a mysterious casserole dish, its contents concealed under a thick layer of molten cheese. When we took our first bite, the room went silent. It was the most decadent spaghetti we had ever tasted. Aunt Mabel winked and called it her “Million-Dollar Spaghetti.”

That dish became an instant classic in our family repertoire. Today, I wish to share this cherished recipe with all of you, tweaked slightly to match our family’s palate. It’s not just about the flavors, but the memories it evokes of gatherings, laughter, and the irreplaceable Aunt Mabel.

How to Prepare Million-Dollar Spaghetti

Ingredient for Million-Dollar Spaghetti

  • 8 ounces of spaghetti noodles
  • 1 pound of lean minced meat
  • 16 ounces of marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup of butter, cut into chunks
  • 8 ounces of cottage cheese
  • 8 ounces of soft cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup of tangy sour cream
  • 8 ounces of grated sharp Cheddar

Directions for Million-Dollar Spaghetti

  1. Start by setting your oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large pot, boil salted water and cook the spaghetti until al dente, which should take about 12 minutes. Once done, drain the water.
  3. In a skillet, cook the minced meat over medium heat until it’s browned. Drain any excess grease and mix in the marinara sauce.
  4. Take a 9×13-inch baking dish and layer it with half of the butter chunks. Spread out half of the cooked spaghetti over it.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the cottage cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream. Spread this mixture over the spaghetti layer.
  6. Place the remaining spaghetti over the creamy layer and top with the remaining butter chunks.
  7. Evenly pour the meat and sauce mixture over the top.
  8. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Can I use a different type of meat?

Yes, you can switch out the beef for ground turkey, chicken, or even a plant-based meat alternative if you prefer.

Can I freeze this dish for later?

Absolutely! Just make sure to cool it down completely before freezing. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw and bake until hot and bubbly.

What sides go well with this spaghetti?

I personally love serving it with garlic bread and a crisp green salad. The combination is simply divine!

Is there a vegetarian version of this dish?

You can easily skip the meat and add vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini for a vegetarian twist.

How can I make it spicier?

Add some red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the meat mixture for an added kick!

What can I substitute for cottage cheese?

If you’re not a fan of cottage cheese, ricotta is a great alternative that works well with this recipe.

Million-Dollar Spaghetti

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 1 8 ounce package spaghetti
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 16 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 cup butter sliced - divided
  • 1 8 ounce container cottage cheese
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 8 ounce package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in boiling water until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes; drain and discard grease. Transfer to a bowl and mix in spaghetti sauce.
  • Place 1/2 of the butter slices into the bottom of a 9x13-inch casserole dish. Spread 1/2 of the spaghetti into the dish.
  • Mix cottage cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream together in a bowl; spread mixture over spaghetti. Cover with remaining spaghetti and top with remaining slices of butter.
  • Pour ground beef mixture over spaghetti and spread in an even layer.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Spread Cheddar cheese on top and continue baking until cheese has melted and is lightly browned, about 15 minutes more.
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