Baked Spaghetti
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This is one of those recipes that I always have the ingredients on hand.  If I think ahead I will take out some ground beef from the freezer and plan to make this family favorite for dinner.  It’s adapted from Paula Deen’s cookbook “The Lady & Sons, Too!”


1 – 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes (I like petite)

2 – 8 oz. cans tomato sauce

1 cup water

1/2 cup diced onions

1/2 cup diced green bell pepper (I use whatever I have on hand – red, yellow, orange, green)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

12 oz. uncooked spaghetti (I like rigati)

2 cups grated Colby Jack cheese


To make the sauce, in a stock pot combine the first 14 ingredients (thru bay leaves).  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour.  In a large saute pan, crumble the ground beef and cook until no pink remains, drain the fat.  Add the ground beef to the sauce.  Simmer for another 20 minutes.  While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Cover the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 in pan with sauce (I use a glass pan).  Add a layer of pasta, then half of the cheese, repeat the layers, ending with the sauce (save the other half of the cheese).  You will have some pasta leftover (great to saute with butter, salt and pepper and parm. on another day).  Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.  Top with the remaining cheese, return to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  Let rest 5 minutes before cutting into squares.

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