Turn simple ingredients into a comfort food masterpiece with this easy recipe for Spaghetti Pie! It’s made in a casserole dish so that there is plenty to go around, and everyone loves it.
Spaghetti Pie is a simple and tasty pasta casserole that you’ll be very glad you learned how to make!
This easy-to-make, Italian-inspired dish is a comfort food favorite, made with layers of simple and inexpensive ingredients like spaghetti, ground beef, and pasta sauce.
In Southern Italy, baked pasta is a staple, with a dish similar to this one served often in Naples, called “frittata di spaghetti”. While this dish can be served in a variety of different ways, this casserole version of spaghetti pie has all of my favorite layers!
It starts with a crust made from cooked pasta, butter, and eggs. Then spaghetti pie is filled with seasoned ricotta cheese, a simple tomato sauce with ground beef, and topped with a generous amount of mozzarella too, so it’s deliciously melty and rich.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- An Easy Dinner that Everyone Loves – Spaghetti pie is much like traditional lasagne, but it’s way easier to make. Casseroles like this one are filling, and comforting, and will quickly become a favorite at your house.
- Baked in a Casserole Dish – Many home cooks make this recipe in an actual pie plate, but I prefer doing it this way. Using a casserole dish with straight sides keeps more moisture in the recipe, and lets the spaghetti noodles keep most of their soft texture, rather than drying out and turning crispy.
- Make-Ahead Recipe – Detailed instructions are included so that you can make this recipe a day ahead. And just like my ravioli lasagna recipe, you can also freeze spaghetti pie for longer storage and convenience.
Ingredients In Spaghetti Pie
Here’s what you need to make this tasty and easy baked spaghetti pie that has four layers:
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- For the Spaghetti: Cook spaghetti noodles until al-dente, then mix them with beaten egg, melted butter, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese.
- For the Meat Sauce: use your favorite marinara or pasta sauce, diced onion, and a pound of ground meat. Use ground beef, or bulk ground Italian sausage for more flavor.
- For the Cheese Filling: Blend together ricotta cheese, grated parmesan cheese, and dried herbs. Use oregano, basil, and parsley, or make it a bit easier by using Italian seasoning that you’ve already prepared. I don’t suggest using low-fat cheese in this recipe, it’s just not as tasty!
- For the Topping: Plenty of shredded mozzarella cheese creates a melty, cheesy finish! Garnish with parsley if desired.
How To Make Spaghetti Pie
- Make the meat sauce: Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C while you heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the ground meat with the onions, breaking it apart with a spatula and cooking until it is no longer pink. Drain the fat from the pan and stir in the pasta sauce. Set aside.
- Prepare the spaghetti: Cook the spaghetti noodles according to the package instructions, being sure not to overcook them. (check out my how to cook pasta post if you need tips and tricks!) Drain and place in a large bowl. Fold in 1 beaten egg, 3 tablespoons of melted butter, garlic powder, and half of the shredded parmesan cheese. Stir until combined.
- Make a spaghetti pie crust: Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9×11-inch casserole dish. Place the noodle mixture in the dish, and gently press the noodles into the sides and corners of the pan to form a crust shape, leaving a slight cavity for the filling layers to fill.
- Blend the cheese filling: In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, the remaining parmesan cheese, and dried herbs.
- Fill: Scoop the ricotta mixture over the spaghetti and spread in an even layer.
- Layer: Next, add the tomato sauce meat mixture, and use the back of a spoon to evenly cover the ricotta.
- Cover: Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the meat, leaving the spaghetti “crust” edges uncovered.
- Bake: Cover lightly with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted.
Serve spaghetti pie after baking it, or pop it back in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese a bit. It’s up to you!
- Don’t scramble the eggs! Let the cooked spaghetti cool for a minute so that the beaten egg won’t cook when you add it. This is also why I use a mixing bowl rather than the pasta pot to hold the pasta after it’s cooked.
- Instead of plain ground beef, use Italian sausage, vegetarian ground meat substitutes like Beyond Meat, or any leftover cooked meat you have in the fridge.
- Shred your own cheese. Whenever possible, shred cheese from a block using a handheld box grater or your food processor. It tastes much better this way!
- Instead of ricotta cheese, try this recipe with small-curd, full-fat cottage cheese instead.
- Add veggies. Try adding a layer of spinach or baby kale to the spaghetti pie. Sauteed mushrooms would also be delicious.
Spaghetti casserole stores well both before and after baking, which makes it an excellent make-ahead recipe that you can store overnight in the fridge or in the freezer for longer storage.
To Make 1-2 Days Ahead: Cover the assembled but unbaked casserole and refrigerate until ready to bake. Follow the recipe instructions to finish the recipe, adding a few extra minutes of time as needed to heat the spaghetti casserole through.
To Make Further Ahead: Freeze the assembled but unbaked casserole for up to 3 months, wrapped well, in a freezer-safe container. Metal or foil casserole pans are best for this. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed in the recipe when it’s time to make dinner.
To Store Leftovers: Keep leftover spaghetti casserole refrigerated in an airtight container, and enjoy it within 3-4 days. I think the best way to reheat individual servings is in the microwave.
What To Serve With Spaghetti Pie
This Italian dinner doesn’t need much, but I suggest baking up some easy garlic bread to eat with it.
A simple side salad is a great accompaniment to spaghetti pie too.
Yes! Leftover cooked spaghetti can be used to make this recipe.
It takes about 30 minutes in the oven for the ricotta filling to heat through, and another 5 minutes to get the cheese on top of spaghetti pie perfectly melted. If you like your spaghetti to be very crunchy on the edges, you can add 5 minutes to the baking time.
Yes, this recipe freezes very well. I suggest freezing it before baking, and full instructions for how to do that are in the recipe card below.
There isn’t a great substitution for the egg in spaghetti pie, as it’s the ingredient that holds the noodles together. Without egg, this casserole would be messy and difficult to serve.
A classic, easy-to-make Spaghetti Pie recipe is exactly what you need when you need an easy dinner that everyone will love! Don’t forget to Pin it!
- 1 pound (450g) ground beef or italian sausage
- 1 cup chopped onion white or yellow
- 2 cups (450g) marinara sauce
- 6 ounces (170g) spaghetti noodles cooked
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (plus more for greasing)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 cup (3oz/85g) grated parmesan cheese divided in half
- 1 ½ cup (375g) ricotta cheese
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 cups (12oz/340g) shredded mozzarella cheese
- parsley fresh or dried, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
- In a large 12-inch skillet, cook and brown the ground beef/Italian sausage with the onions until no longer pink. Drain the fat, and stir in the pasta sauce. Set aside.
- Cook the spaghetti noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and place into a large bowl. Fold in 1 beaten egg, 3 tbsp melted butter, garlic powder and half of the shredded parmesan cheese with the noodles. Stir until combined.
- Lightly butter the inside of a large casserole dish. Gently place the noodle mixture in the bottom of the prepared dish. With the back of a spoon, lightly press the noodles into the sides of the dish to form a crust shape; leaving a slight cavity for the filling layers.
- In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, the last half of the parmesan cheese, dried oregano, basil and parsley.
- Scoop the ricotta cheese mixture into the top of the noodle crust and spread evenly.
- Next, add a layer of the meat and pasta sauce mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese.
- Cover lightly with a large piece of foil and bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.
- Carefully remove the spaghetti pie casserole from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.
- In place of the dried herbs listed here, use 3 teaspoons of homemade Italian seasoning.
- Small curd, full-fat cottage cheese can be used in place of ricotta cheese in this recipe.
- I don’t suggest using low-fat or fat-free cheese in this recipe, as they can be dry and lack flavor.
- When cooking the spaghetti, be sure to cook it only until it is al-dente so that it won’t overcook in the oven.
- Try adding a layer of spinach or baby kale to the spaghetti pie. Sauteed mushrooms would also be delicious.
- For a browned, crispy top, switch the oven to Broil, and heat for 5 minutes until the cheese starts to brown.
- To make ahead: Prepare the recipe as directed up to 2 days ahead of time, but cover and refrigerate instead of putting the casserole in the oven. Remove and bake as directed when it’s time to eat.
- To Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To Freeze: Wrap unbaked spaghetti pie well, and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw fully in the refrigerator overnight, then bake as directed in the recipe.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen