Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole

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Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole is an easy hearty casserole that is both budget-friendly and easy to make. This casserole is simple and a delicious way to feed a family or a crowd!

Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole is an easy hearty casserole that is both budget-friendly and easy to make. This casserole is simple and a great way to feed a family or a crowd!


When I have a hungry family to feed, I break out an old fashioned casserole. Hearty casseroles are designed for that kind of work! Potlucks, large family gatherings… whatever your need, a casserole will be there for you. This recipe for Million Dollar Spaghetti is one of my all time favorite casseroles. It’s basically an easy combination of baked spaghetti and lasagna. (I know, it sounds delicious doesn’t it?)

As only the best family recipes are, this million dollar spaghetti is budget-friendly. It yields a ton of food, and the ingredients aren’t complicated or expensive. In that way, this casserole is a fantastic part of your weeknight meal routine.

Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole is an easy hearty casserole that is both budget-friendly and easy to make. This casserole is simple and a great way to feed a family or a crowd!

I like using Italian sausage for the extra flavor, but in a pinch you can substitute regular ground beef.

The leftovers for this dish are tremendous. The pasta softens up a little bit when reheating, but the flavor is just as good as when it was fresh out of the oven.

Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole is an easy hearty casserole that is both budget-friendly and easy to make. This casserole is simple and a great way to feed a family or a crowd!

Million dollar spaghetti casserole is an ooey-gooey, hearty, rich comfort food. You’ll enjoy every bite, and—if you’re like me—you’ll start looking for the next time you can make it. Enjoy.

Recipe Notes:

Cheese: You can use either cottage cheese or ricotta cheese for this recipe. Whichever sounds better to you! I’m partial to the cottage cheese because I think it lends the final recipe a great creaminess.

Pasta: Spaghetti noodles are just one of the many different kinds of pasta that will work in this dish. I love using ziti or rigatoni noodles on occasion.

Serving: My advice is to serve this recipe with garlic bread and salad. They make an awesome first course while the casserole is cooling.

Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole is an easy hearty casserole that is both budget-friendly and easy to make. This casserole is simple and a great way to feed a family or a crowd!

Baking: Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time.  Ensure you cover & refrigerate the pan.  Once baked, allow the casserole sit out and cool for a good 10-15 minutes before serving.

Freezing: To freeze the casserole, wrap it in plastic wrap first, and then aluminum foil. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before baking.

This incredilbe Million Dollar Spaghetti is an easy to make, family friendly casserole that has 2 layers of spaghetti, an ooey gooey cheese layer, all topped off with a rich sausage tomato sauce. We're talking Serious Deliciousness!
4.66 from 49 votes
Review Recipe

Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Kathleen
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole is an easy hearty casserole that is both budget-friendly and easy to make. This casserole is simple and a delicious way to feed a family or a crowd!


  • 16 Ounces Dried Spaghetti Noodles
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion , Chopped
  • 4-6 Cloves Garlic , Minced
  • 1 1/2 Pounds Sweet Italian Sausage , Casing Removed
  • 3 teaspoons Dried Italian Seasoning , divided
  • 2--24 Ounce Jars Spaghetti Sauce-Divided
  • 8 Ounces Cottage Cheese or Ricotta Cheese
  • 8 Ounces Cream Cheese , At Room Temperature
  • 1/4 Cup Sour Cream
  • 3 Cups Mozzarella , Shredded-Divided
  • 1/2 Cup Butter , Cut Into Slices-Divided

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package, drain well and return pasta to original pot. Add 1 jar of prepared spaghetti sauce and combine. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add sausage and 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning to skillet, and cook until no pink remains. Drain well. Add 1 jar of spaghetti sauce to skillet. Set aside.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine Cottage cheese or ricotta cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, 1 cup mozzarella, and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Set aside.
  5. Place half the slices of butter in a 9x13 baking dish. Spread half the spaghetti in dish, then spread cheese mixture evenly over spaghetti. Spread remaining spaghetti over cheese mixture. Top with the remaining butter slices.Pour tomato meat sauce evenly over top layer of spaghetti.
  6. Top with remaining mozzarella and bake in preheated oven until casserole is heated through, about 35-45 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 583, Fat: 39g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Cholesterol: 109mg, Sodium: 826mg, Potassium: 337mg, Carbohydrates: 32g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 23g, Vitamin A: 14.9%, Vitamin C: 3%, Calcium: 20.9%, Iron: 9.2%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword million dollar spaghetti casserole

How ’bout some more yummy casseroles?

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Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole is an easy hearty casserole that is both budget-friendly and easy to make. This casserole is simple and a great way to feed a family or a crowd!

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About the author


Kathleen is a recipe developer, passionate home cook and the author of the blog Gonna Want Seconds. She has been married to her best friend for 32 years and has two great kids, two Bernese Mountain Dogs, a Quarter Horse and a little green parrot. She is obsessed with cookbooks, cowboy boots, red wine and vintage costume jewelry. Kathleen’s recipes are all tried and true, tested and tweaked and, most importantly, family and friend approved!

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  1. Family favorite! Today is my sons 12th Birthday and I had asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner, he blurted out, “million dollar spaghetti!”- :-)

  2. Very tasty recipe. If you have the time, it’s even better if you make your own sauce (e.g. crushed/diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, cook the beef/pork in it, let it simmer for awhile).

  3. Alright, pressure is on, I am making this tonight for a covered dish supper! Looking forward to bringing a dish that disappears! I shall update you on the gamble of bringing a new dish!

  4. Very good. It was a little too much Italian seasoning taste for me so next time I’ll use ground beef. It’s creamy and tasty and has many possibilites for changing it up for personal tastes. Thanks for a keeper recipe!

  5. Made this for the whole family 12/31/18. Was a big hit. Sort of a cross between spaghetti and lasagna. Will definitely make it again!

  6. Hi. I made your spaghetti recipe times twelve and fed 155 people at the homeless mission. Many people raved on and on about it. I’m sure they get spaghetti a lot so that must be saying something. Thanks for the good recipe.

    1. You’re welcome Jill. It warms my heart to hear that you’ve shared this spaghetti with those in need. Thank YOU!

  7. I am not a fan of cream cheese or cottage cheese. But, I have made this with a homemade bechamel and added mozzarella and it was very good. I know, I know – I changed the recipe a little to accommodate my tastes. But it is such a crazy delicious recipe that I wasn’t going to let a little cream/cottage cheeses get in the way.

  8. This was fabulous! I used full fat ricotta. I used a 10×14” pan. It was so delicious and I shared it with friends who want me to make it again already!  Having such success, it will be my go-to when I need a baked dish. Absolutely loved it!

  9. This recipe looks amazing! I made a large batch of spaghetti sauce yesterday and have leftovers I would like to use for this recipe. About how much sauce do you think you mixed with the pasta? Thanks in advance!

    1. This recipe calls for a total of 48 oz of pasta sauce, if your sauce has meat in it you might add a bit more! You want to mix until the spaghetti is fairly “saucy” as the pasta will soak up a lot of the sauce as it bakes too.

  10. So I have a question, before I try this out. Those nutritional facts at the bottom, is that for like one serving or is that for the whole thing? I ask because I was thinking about making this for my meal prep for a weeks lunch or so.

  11. Linda — why comment on this recipe if you are going to change it completely? It is always nice to see tips and ideas but you plan to change everything except using pasta. Perhaps you have your own site where we could look, if so inclined, for alternative versions.

        1. Covering is not necessary, but you can cover if you prefer and take the cover off during the last part of baking. Enjoy, Jen!

    1. That should work fine Leslie. Another reader cut the recipe in half and used a spring form pan, and cut it like a pie. She said, “You see all the beautiful layers.” Let us know if you try it!

      1. I have made something similar to this for years but I put it a deep dish pie pan. You can layer it any way you like. Not only is it is delicious it makes for a very pretty presentation.. I always use cottage cheese in the layers and as you said it makes it creamy and delicious. Have tried it several different ways. One delicious way is to add butter, a beaten egg, and shredded parmesan to the drained spaghetti noodles then layer the sauce or the cottage mixture over the noodles. Ending with mozzarella cheese. It really gets better the next day too.

  12. I have made this recipe a few times now and each time it’s a hit! Family loves it and guests loved it! I have had people ask me to make it for them if they buy the ingredients. Which would be fine but I am lucky to have the time to make it for family and guests so I just give them the recipe. 5 star for sure!

    1. It’s great to hear how much your family and friends love this casserole Brenda! Thank you for sharing the recipe with them :)


    1. I’m so glad that you love the casserole recipe Paula! Thanks for stopping by Spend With Pennies :)

    2. I agree with you 100% Paula, Great post !!!              
      I have also made this recipe just as it states and it is absolutely delicious !!
      Thank you for providing us with such wonderful recipes !

  14. Fantastic recipe.  The best spaghetti recipe I’ve ever eaten.  The blends of 3 cheeses, baked in the oven makes a delicious crusty topping.  The entire family had plenty with some left over. Makes a very large pan.   I used ground beef and only 3 large garlic cloves.  This recipe is a keeper!

  15. This sounds really good, however, all the fat!  It says one serving is over 1,000 calories!  Yikes!  Enough fat and calories for the full day.  Of course, with the servings listed as 6, that’s a huge serving and someone commented 10-12 was more realistic.  A big salad would fill you up so you didn’t need to eat so much.I see no reason for the butter, and instead would use a cooking spray on the pan.  There is no need for the additional butter in the middle, and I would leave out the cream cheese to omit additional fat.  Also, substitute whole grain spaghetti noodles; there are whole wheat, quoina, spinach, brown rice noodles that provide some fiber and nutrition rather than white flour noodles.  When I was a kid, I made spaghetti for the family a lot, and I added chopped carrots and bell peppers for extra nutrition.  Anyway, I’ll try this with my healthier substitutions soon.  I love to make dishes that I can eat all week.

  16. This recipe is amazing! I will be making this frequently- hopefully freeze some for those nights when the children have driven me crazy

  17. I didn’t use any butter & instead used non-stick on the bottom of the pan. I think the cream cheese is a TERRIBLE idea – my family hated it, so I had to give away an entire pan of it. Not sure why it calls for cream cheese since this is basically a lazy person’s lasagna & lasagna does NOT call for cream cheese. So, the next time I make it, I’ll just use 1/2 ricotta & 1/2 cottage cheese. I also only used about 3 oz of sour cream, which I don’t think is necessary either. Just layer ricotta/cottage cheese with mozzarella & maybe Parmesan. Voila. I also added mushrooms, spinach & a bell pepper to increase the veggie portions. 

    1. Then find a recipe for a traditional lasagna, no need to bash this recipe. It boggles my mind when people do that. And, your family hated it…move on and find sonething else.

  18. This is an awesome twist to the usual spaghetti! I made it for the first time about 6 weeks ago, and have made it 4 times since then! It’s very filling, we always have leftovers…and that’s after my husband, my teenage son, my uncle (all 3 are hard working big eaters), and myself have ate! A definite keeper in my family!

    1. I am so glad this recipe is a hit with your family! I love to make this when the whole family comes over. It is such a great way to fill everyone up with something yummy!

  19. Wow!!! This dish is amazing! Only thing I changed is I decreased the Italian seasoning to 1 1/2 tsp. as I find it is a rather strong spice for me and my family. 
    Truly is the ‘best spaghetti pie’ recipe I have found. Thanks!

  20. I made this today. It is yummy! I forgot to pick up the cream cheese so I doubled the ricotta (cottage cheese is too thin and watery). I halved the recipe since it’s just me and the hubster at home these days.

    One question – Nowhere in the recipe does it state to mix together the pasta and the sausage. So I did since that’s what the photo appears to show. I drove myself crazy looking for what to do with the sausage thinking I surely missed it when reading the recipe.

    Also, we only use Mezzetta pasta sauces. No sugar all natural ingredients and really taste homemade. They have several varieties including a spicy one.

    1. In step #2 a jar of sauce is added to the spaghetti. In step #5 the meat sauce is poured overtop of all. I’m sure mixing it would be just fine too though!

      A spicy sauce would be great in this recipe.

  21. I’m gong to make this for my baby shower in 3wks. I would like to make it the day before. What is the make ahead recipe? How long should I bake it after its been refrigerated?

    1. In the written information, it says Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time. Ensure you cover & refrigerate the pan. Once baked, allow the casserole sit out and cool for a good 10-15 minutes before serving. Enjoy, Kayla!

        1. You can make this ahead of time if you’d like. I would suggest leaving it at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking and then cook as directed in the recipe.

      1. Looks like my post was deleted. To make ahead do I cook it entirely? How long should I bake it after refridgerating? I’m thinking the noodles will be mushy if i overcook it.

        1. Your comment is above, you can make this ahead of time if you’d like. The noodles do come out perfectly, you’ll want to cook them al dente when you boil them.

  22. I used half ground beef/half sausage and added shredded veggies (carrots, red bell pepper, garlic, mushrooms, onion, zucchini, summer squash) to the meat sauce.  
    I had family over for dinner and my daughter (she’s 7) as well as my mom (she’s 67) both declared this was their favorite meal from now on. :)
    Terrible amount of calories – definitely an indulgence – but worth it!  So good!! 

    1. So glad you enjoyed it Margie! I have only tried the recipe as written, but your additions sound delicious. It is my favorite too!

    2. What a great idea. I was thinking about what I could use, gluten free spaghetti, lactose free dairy products, but how to replace the sausage was hurting my brain. Thanks for posting!

  23. Overall, this was good. If I make it again I would cut the butter in half, at least. Also, I added mushrooms to the spaghetti and sauce and black olives to the sausage and sauce. The other thing I might do is cut the cream cheese down and increase the cottage cheese. It all just was a little too rich for me.

  24. Very tasty meal, the only thing I would do different was not fully cook the spaghetti, to prevent the casserole from being to mushy. Served this with a tossed salad. Froze the left overs for a second meal.

  25. I have made this meal once. It was SO GOOD. Very rich and savory. We ate it for leftovers for a few days also and it was super delicious each time. I am planning to make it again this evening. Its one of my favorite meals now!

  26. Good recipe. A few tweaks according to my taste. Instead of all mozzarella I used half mozzarella and half cheddar. Also added salt, pepper, and creole seasoning to both the spaghetti and meat mixtures. Came out very good.

  27. Very tasty! My family loved it! There were four of us, and we didn’t even eat half the first night, so I would say it feeds 8 or more people, easily. Looking forward to the leftovers!

  28. My team mate made this for our pot luck and it was such a hit! She made it in the crock pot! She sprayed the crock pot with pam then followed the recipe. She plugged it in at the office and by lunch it was perfectly cooked and so yummy.
    I’m making it tonight

  29. This should be renamed BILLION dollar spaghetti!!!!! It made waaaaay more than 6 servings so I had to give away lots of it…everyone that I shared it with said it was AWESOME. I followed the recipe exactly, I may use spicy sausage next time or add red pepper flakes just as matter of personal preference. I recommend using a deep dish casserole dish, a normal baking dish might be to shallow.

  30. I made this a few nights ago and being so good we had no problem eating it each night till gone. My husband said this is a restaurant dish!! His highest praise for a dish. So good! I looked at my 9 by 13 pans and thought I better get out the Pyrex Khaki 9 by 13 one which is about 4 1/2 inches deep and so glad I did. It was filled to the top. I used cottage cheese when I made it. Reheating- I put it in my double boiler pan with the insert that has holes and lined it with foil. Steaming the portions was perfect. This recipe is not heavy to the stomach, really light considering all the goodies in it. Just the 2 of us and we ate it till every bite was gone and loved it!! I would serve this to dinner guest with no reservations at all.

  31. This is our go to meal now! I use the veggie noodles since trying to get a 5 year old to eat veggies is difficult and we love it! Everyone who tries it is amazed by it! Thank you for such an awesome recipe!

  32. I made this last night for the first time and it came out great . My hunnybun is a picky eater and he loved. Thank You for sharing

  33. I made this and it made a ton! I fed 5 adults and two children… And there were leftovers! It was good the first night that I made it, but the leftovers were amazing the next day! Definitely a new favorite.

  34. I made this and my family loved it! It’s very filling and it makes a huge dish, so we will be having left overs for a while. My husband is a farmer and even chose to take it on the tractor today.

  35. This was very good, my husband & I really liked it!! I wish I would’ve cut the recipe in half, since there’s only the 2 of us, but it’ll be great leftovers for days
    I don’t care for Italian sausage so I used Andouille sausage….yum!! I did use Cottage cheese instead of ricotta, because I already had it. 
    Would recommend this recipe for sure, I’m trying to share it on Facebook too

  36. I love cream cheese, but the cheese layer was so thick and overpowering that nobody would eat it until I scraped it off. The second time I made it I used Ricotta, one egg, Italian seasoning, parsley flakes, mozzarella and parmesan. It was MUCH better. This doesn’t need an inch thick layer of dairy!

  37. This was pretty tasty, however we found it to be too creamy and I even forgot to add the cottage cheese. Great base recipe that I feel I can modify with some healthier things and we can still enjoy.

  38. Made this tonight as it sounded soooo good! I thought the ricotta/cream cheese/sour cream mixture was extremely overpowering. You couldn’t even taste the tomato sauce over the cream cheese. I double checked the ingredients to see if I put too much but no, I did it as listed. I would advise cutting that part in half. I think then it would be delicious. 

  39. I made this once following the recipe as is and it was excellent, better than lasagna. I am making it again today can’t wait !!!!!!!!!

  40. I made this tonight and my whole family loved it! I used ricotta cheese not a cottage cheese fan but oh my it was delish, thanks for sharing will definitely make it again.

  41. I made this a couple of weeks ago and this dish is amazing!!! I’ve gotten so many compliments on this dish, my co-workers and friends were asking me to bring them a plate :) Will be making this again!

  42. Love this! I made it with macaroni noodles and used an Italian cheese blend with the mozzarella and used four cups. The next time, I will probably add a bit more seasoning and a bit of sugar. Thanks so much for the great recipe.

  43. This recpie look amazing !!! I like to make it but i dont eat meat at all, can i make it without the all part of the meat ?

    1. I have only made this recipe as written. If you decide to try it without meat, let me know how it turns out.

  44. Hi. My family despises both ricotta & cottage cheese is there anything that can be substituted, like maybe cream cheese? Thanks!

    1. I have made the recipe as written, however if you decide to try a substitution let me know how it turns out.

    2. Hi Gina,
      Just found this recipe, saw your comment, and wanted to recommend you try making a white sauce to replace the ricotta & cottage cheese. Just melt 3 Tbsp. butter, add 3 Tbsp. flour, and stir to combine. Then just add 1 cup milk and stir till thickened. It should do the trick for you.

  45. Thank you so much for the recipe! This is now my go to recipe for gatherings and meal trains. I’m taking it today to a friend whose hubby just had surgery. The casserole, salad, bread and a nice red will comfort everyone!

  46. This was so delicious! I made it exactly as the recipe stated and my whole family loved it, even my picky husband. Thanks so much!

  47. My husband and I really liked this recipe, reminiscent of baked ziti. My first recommendation is use something bigger (and deeper) than a 9 x 13 Pyrex plate. I had to bake this on top of a pan because I knew it would bubble over. My own tweaks were that I used a jarred sauce that had mushrooms in it, only used about 3 tbs. of butter in the bottom of the pan and omitted the rest of the butter since this is pretty rich already. I did not have sour cream so I simply thinned the cheese mixture with a little half and half. In addition to the mozzarella, I also added a small amount of grated parmesan to the cheese mixture and to the top. This would be a great dish to make for company with a good salad, good loaf of Italian bread or garlic bread and a good red wine. This will be a keeper.

      1. Sounds great! The spaghetti pie I’ve made in the past called for eggs to hold the noodles together. So the noodles hold its form when cutting without the eggs?
        Thank you

  48. Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole…made it today….used half Italian sausage and half ground beef, and used cottage cheese. It was loved by all of us. Served green salad and French bread..yummm. It is definitely a keeper, will make it again!

  49. Making this tonight. I had to improvise and add extra sour cream and mozzarella cheese because my ricotta cheese had expired. I pray it turns out right !

  50. I made this I did a few changes 1/2 ground turkey half Italian sausage. I also added crushed red peppers to my meat along with the Italian seasoning. Finally for an extra cheesy topping I mixed t mozzerlla and mild cheddar. My family loved it.

  51. Hello! This was delish!! Absolutely loved it but it made 2 13×9 casserole dishes, not one. I am going to half the recipe next time. I cook for 2 and had way more than 6 servings and I stuck to the recipe exactly.

  52. Made this tonight everyone loved it. I disagree with the amount of servings. I believe it should be 10-12 instead of six.

  53. have you baked it and then frozen the leftovers? i just made it and it is delicious! i just didn’t know if you’d experimented with that.

  54. I will definitely be making this dish. I imagine that I’ll use a pound of quality Chuck Beef and a half pound, or so, of bulk Italian Sausage. I may add some Mushrooms, and julienned pimientos. Have to wait until we can dig out of the snow though. Thanks, the recipe looks great!

  55. Outstanding! I used half ground turkey and half spicy italian turkey sausage because it was what I had on hand. I followed the rest of the recipe exactly. I can easily say this was the best dish I have tried in a very long time. Winner all the way! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  56. This recipe “Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole” sounds great. My question is the directions say to add the Italian seasoning in 2 different places, with the meat and also with the cheese mixture, however it does not say divided after the amount of Italian seasoning. So I’d like to know the right amounts. Thank you and I’ll be checking out your blog also. Thanks, Ginger

    1. Great question. I would add 2 teaspoons to the tomato mixture and 1 teaspoon to the cheese mixture. I have updated the recipe. Enjoy!!