Raise of hands, who loves spaghetti? Now raise BOTH hands if you remember “Spaghetti Casserole”!! Many years ago, I nicknamed myself the “Casserole Queen” when working too many jobs and needed to be able to just pop something into the oven that I had time to prepare earlier, to have supper on the table at a decent hour with little to nothing left to prepare after working all day! And casseroles quickly became my best friend! And it had been WAY too long since I’ve made this bestie, my own version of the classic retro, “Best Spaghetti Casserole”!
But …a hot casserole….in the summertime? Oh HELLZ yes!! Make one up in the morning, when it’s cool, then after work or a long day, they’re ready to go whenever you are! And the BEST part? The leftovers!! Which is the main reason that I like to make them in the summer! A nice big ol’ pan will last us for several days! Cook once, and you’re good to go!!
And most, including this one, can even be made a day or two ahead of time.
A fun Pinterest-friendly photo for you to save!
(Or add any that you like to remind yourself to make this soon! )
What’s not to love about that, right? Heat a few servings in the microwave, maybe broil some garlic bread and whip up a garden salad, and you’re set for half of the week!
Take the time to make this one. It’s not hard, no expertise involved at all, just plan ahead and you’ll have all those incredibly delicious layers done in no time.
Trust me, the little bit of effort is definitely worth it.
And this one is so good, that yea, it’s most certainly company-friendly, too!!
I mean, seriously, if you went to someone’s house, wouldn’t you appreciate this, too? I know I would!! Recipes like this are always a crowd-pleaser for young and old alike!
So don’t think that casseroles are just “winter comfort food”! They can also be VERY comforting in the summertime, too! And they yield a ton of leftovers that leaves you freed up from having to fix anything for quite a few days!
So be sure to save this one to keep it handy! You’ll be wanting to make this one year round! I so hope that you enjoy my version, and I hope that this comforting casserole helps you out! Have a wonderful week!
- For Meat Mixture:
- 1 lb. lean ground beef or italian sausage
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. fennel seed
- ½ tsp. each salt and regular ground black pepper
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms
- 5 cloves garlic, finely minced, divided
- For Spaghetti Mixture:
- 16 oz. thick or thin spaghetti
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 5 Tbl. Minerva Dairy Garlic & Herb Butter melted
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- For Cheesy Ricotta Layer:
- 1 (15 -16 oz.) container ricotta cheese
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ½ tsp. salt
- Rest of Ingredients:
- 1 (24 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella-provolone blend cheese, divided (or as you like)
- a little garlic salt, pepper, and italian seasoning to sprinkle on top
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain. Whisk together eggs, parmesan cheese and melted butter. Toss with pasta. Pour into prepared pan.
- Mix together the spaghetti sauce and diced tomatoes, and spoon 2 cups over the spaghetti.
- Combine Italian seasoning, garlic, ricotta, cream cheese, sour cream and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Spread over sauce.
- Combined cooked sausage or hamburger and mushrooms, and rest of spaghetti sauce mixture. Spread over cream cheese mixture. Top with 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese. Season top with a sprinkling of a little garlic salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
- Bake for 35 - 45 minutes, or until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly. Let rest, then serve with a side salad and garlic bread.