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Million-Dollar Spaghetti Casserole

The epitome of crowd-sized comfort, this delicious make-ahead casserole could be your ticket to sanity this holiday season.
By Tieghan Gerard
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Drawing inspiration from my grandma’s crowd-pleasing casserole recipe with traits of what some people call “Million Dollar Spaghetti,” I give you this dish…that truly tastes like a million bucks. The best part, even though it may taste like a million bucks, the ingredients are inexpensive as can be. Dish this up to friends at a football gathering, serve it to family on a Sunday night or freeze a pan ahead of the busy holiday season to serve during a jam-packed week—it serves a crowd and pleases everyone!

To start, gather your ingredients. (Consult the recipe below for an exact list of ingredients and measurements.)

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Step one is easy…just boil up some pasta, spaghetti preferably. Then whisk together the eggs, parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Drain the pasta and add it right back to the hot pot. Add the butter and egg mixture, quickly tossing the pasta in the butter-egg mixture until it’s evenly coated and the eggs have formed a sauce.

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Add the coated pasta to the bottom of a prepared 9x13-inch oven-proof baking dish.

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Back in the pot you tossed the pasta in, add the cream cheese and cottage cheese stirring until combined. Pour the cheese mixture directly over the noodles, spreading it out in an even layer.

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Heat a large skillet (or use the pot you cooked the pasta in) over medium heat and brown the beef, about 5 to 8 minutes.

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Bake in a preheated, 350°F oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned on top. (This dish can be fully assembled ahead of time, covered and refrigerated, then baked just before dinner. Remove dish from the fridge and leave out on the counter while heating the oven. You can also freeze it for up to three months. Just wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil before freezing. When ready to use, thaw in the fridge overnight, remove plastic wrap, and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

As hard as it may be, let the casserole cool a few minutes once it's out of the oven so the sauces and cheese can coalesce. (Cut into it too soon and it may be a bit runny!) Serve with fresh basil and grated Parmesan if you like, along with garlic bread and fresh green salad. Any way you serve it, this casserole is destined to become a beloved recipe in your repertoire!

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