Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole is a budget-friendly casserole that’s easy to make.

Layers of spaghetti and cheese are smothered in a savory beefy sauce and baked until brown and bubbly.

piece of Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole on a plate

Casseroles are an easy way to feed a hungry family!

  • Million Dollar Spaghetti is a combination of baked spaghetti and lasagna.
  • It’s is a large and hearty casserole that reheats and freezes well for future meals.
  • While the ingredients are simple this meal is delicious, everyone raves about it.
Steps for making Million Dollar Spaghetti

Ingredients in Million Dollar Spaghetti

Meat: I like using Italian sausage as it has lots of flavor, but in a pinch, you can substitute ground beef or ground turkey. If substituting the sausage, I would recommend adding extra seasoning to the sauce.

Sauce: This recipe uses pasta sauce as the base to keep it quick and easy. You can use homemade marinara sauce or your favorite jar of sauce. Feel free to stir in fresh herbs if you’d like!

Cheese: The cheese layer is made with either cottage cheese or ricotta cheese. I prefer cottage cheese because I think it adds so much creaminess to the recipe.

Pasta: We most often make this with spaghetti but other types of pasta can be used. Try ziti or rigatoni noodles.

Million Dollar Spaghetti in a pan and being served with a spoon

Serving Suggestions

Million dollar spaghetti is a hearty casserole that is a complete meal on its own. You can pair it with garlic bread and a fresh salad if you’d like.

Million Dollar Spaghetti in a pan with cheese and parsley

Leftovers and Prep Ahead

The leftovers of this casserole reheat well! The pasta softens up a bit when reheating, but the flavor is just as good as when it was fresh out of the oven.

Prep Ahead: Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time. Remove it from the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking and add an additional 15 minutes to the baking time.

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

More Favorite Spaghetti Recipes

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Million Dollar Spaghetti on a plate with parsley
4.94 from 667 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole

Loaded with layers of spaghetti, cheese, zesty sauce, and Italian sausage, this is an easy hearty casserole that's budget-friendly and perfect for a crowd.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Kathleen
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  • 16 ounces dried spaghetti noodles
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ pounds sweet Italian sausage casing removed
  • 3 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning divided
  • 48 ounces spaghetti sauce or marinara sauce 2 jars, divided
  • 8 ounces cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
  • ½ cup butter cut into slices, divided, optional
  • fresh parsley and parmesan cheese for garnish optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain well and return the pasta to the original pot. Add 24 oz of prepared spaghetti sauce and toss to combine. Set aside.
  • 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 excess fat. Add the remaining 24 oz of spaghetti sauce to skillet. Set aside.
  • 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.
  • Place half the slices of butter (if using) in a 9×13 baking dish. Spread half of the spaghetti in the dish, then top with the cheese mixture. Spread the remaining spaghetti over the cheese mixture. Top with the remaining butter slices (if using). Pour tomato meat sauce evenly over top.
  • Top with remaining mozzarella and bake uncovered in the preheated oven until the casserole is heated through, about 35-45 minutes.
  • Rest 15 minutes before serving.


If replacing the sausage for ground beef or turkey, add additional seasoning to the sauce. For a little kick, add ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes.
This casserole can be prepared 24 hours in advance. If made ahead of time, let set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before baking. Add 15 minutes to the baking time. 
Store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 days. 
4.94 from 667 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 583 | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 826mg | Potassium: 337mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 745IU | Vitamin C: 2.5mg | Calcium: 209mg | Iron: 1.7mg

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

Course Casserole, Dinner, Pasta
Cuisine American
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slice of Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole on a plate with a title
taking a piece of Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole out of the dish and a slice plated with a title


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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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4.94 from 667 votes (516 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Done this recipe multiple times with little variation and guests have always raved. It’s uncomplicated and quick to assemble. I recommend this dish if you are having multiple guests. Freezes well too!5 stars

  2. This was literally so delicious. I cannot believe how good it was! My whole family totally loved it! We used ricotta, so rich and so tasty! Definitely going on the dinner rotation for this household!5 stars

  3. Is the butter necessary? Just curious as to why its added when you add the layer of cheese. (Hoping to make this week!)

    1. The butter on the bottom keeps it from sticking as well as adding flavor throughout. Other readers have left it out with good results. Enjoy, Jane!

  4. This recipe looks amazing! I’m going to be splitting it into two 8×8 dishes so I can have one and give the other to a family member. Any thoughts on whether the time int he oven would be the same?

    1. I have never tried so I can’t say for sure. But the cook time should be similar if not slightly less than what is listed in the recipe.

  5. Got rave reviews from husband and company! I couldn’t decide whether to use ricotta or cottage cheese so just used half and half of both! Amazingly good! Thank you Holly5 stars

  6. Made this tonight. It’s definitely a keeper on speed dial. We’ve taken a few bites, I say to my husband “so make it again one no” without hesitating he says a definitive YES! it’s rare he answers with such enthusiasm. Thanks5 stars

  7. I’ve been making this recipe for a few years and have received many compliments on it. Only changes I’ve made is adding a little chopped bell pepper to the sauce and I use linguine instead of spaghetti. It’s delicious and is so good leftover. I’ve made the recipe into two 8×8 pans, eat one and give the other away or freeze for later. One of my favorites!5 stars

  8. This one was a little too rich for me, but two out of three of my boys were crazy for it. It was worth making if for no other reason but the two who went berserk. ;)4 stars

  9. We have a large family who likes things on the spicy side. I used Arrabiatta sauce and spicy Italian sausage and everyone loved it! Excellent dish for large family gatherings!5 stars

  10. I have made this dish several times. I use half ground beef and half Italian sausage. I add green peppers. Everywhere I took this, everyone raved about it, many have asked for the recipe. Great for a large group and pot luck.5 stars

  11. The best!!! Hands down the best ! Love this casserole. Thank you so much and my family thanks you for absolutely the best on this planet.

    1. We use 2 jars of pasta sauce to equal 48 ounces in total. We say divided because 24 ounces is added in step 2 and the additional 24 ounces is added in step 3.