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 on a plate with parsley


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.

Steps for making Million Dollar Spaghetti

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 in a pan and being served with a spoon

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 in a pan with cheese and parsley

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.

Million Dollar Spaghetti on a plate with parsley
4.95 from 399 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole

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!
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Kathleen


  • 16 ounces dried spaghetti noodles
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ pounds sweet Italian sausage casing removed
  • 3 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning divided
  • 48 ounces spaghetti sauce 2 jars, divided
  • 8 ounces cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 3 cups mozzarella shredded, divided
  • ½ cup butter cut into slices, divided


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Top with remaining mozzarella and bake in preheated oven until casserole is heated through, about 35-45 minutes.
4.95 from 399 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

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 Dinner
Cuisine American

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Million Dollar Spaghetti in a pan and being served shown with a title


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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!
See more posts by Kathleen

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Recipe Rating


  1. I see lots of your recipes that sound wonderful but I can’t get them to print. Has anyone else had this problem?

    1. I haven’t heard this issue before and it seems to be working for me. Are you using the print button just above the recipe?

  2. Amazing! Love the richness with the butter!!!! Droool. I even added more cheese and mixed cheddar and Mozzarella! Amazing recipe thank you so much.5 stars

  3. AWESOME!! I call it “Poor man’s Lasagna “, only because I used my Grandmother’s recipe in the past using just sauce,pasta and cheddar cheese. This blows hers outta the park!! (Sorry Grandma) Doubled the cheese filling,and used homemade sauce. Cudos to the chef. Thank you!5 stars

  4. I too was skeptical about the butter and some of the other dairy ingredients, but I made it as written and it was so good! Just trust the process, people! I will probably try it without the stick of butter and just spray the pan like others have suggested just because the whole stick of butter is kind of a lot. Also to note: this makes a metric ton of food. Cut the recipe if you don’t have a big family or like a billion leftovers.5 stars

  5. I’ve made “baked spaghetti” (hubby’s grandmother’s recipe) for my hubby for 25 yrs. Only used cheddar. He loved it. Made this one for his birthday (doubled it) and he said it’s the best food I’ve ever made. Doesn’t ever want me to make his grandma’s recipe again. He’s eaten it 4 days in a row. And wants me to make it again for Father’s Day. (One week after I made it last time.) I used Rao’s sauce.5 stars

    1. Well that’s definitely love!! Happy Father’s Day with this dish! I may just follow suit with you and make it myself!

  6. I am a very amateur home chef. I mean pasta is really all I have the confidence to make. I made this tonight and my husband (who is an amazing cook) gave me the highest compliment you could receive from him. He said “the last time I smelled cooking this good it was coming from my grandmother’s kitchen”. His grandmother was his everything and to hear that from him made me realize this recipe deserves way more than 5 stars. Obviously it tastes amazing as well!! The only thing I did different was use ground beef instead of sausage. But everything else was used exact. Thanks so much!5 stars

  7. I actually make this for Easter and double the recipe. The whole family LOVES it, and looks forward to eating this instead of a traditional ham dinner. I love it because I can make it the day before and actually enjoy the holiday.5 stars

  8. This sounds delicious. I will be making this weekend. Does it freeze well after baked? I work 2 jobs so on my one day off I make 2 or 3 different things and freeze in portions so I will have lunch and dinner when at work.

    1. Hi Susan, The butter on the bottom keeps it from sticking as well as adding flavor throughout. Some readers have used non-stick spray instead with good results as well.

  9. Delicious !!! The only change I made was using ground beef instead of italian sausage as it is just our personal preference. I halved the recipe, baked in a 2 qt casserole dish and it still made quite a bit. Will be adding it to my recipe files to make again.5 stars

  10. This is so company special. I made this last nite for company and EVERYONE LOVED IT. This will good in my file and I’m sure I will make it again. I play bunco once a month and I’m sure when it’s my turn to host this will be on table.5 stars

  11. Million Dollar Spag. we love it but I have aproblem now…I need to serve it on Wed. night but I can only prep it on Monday should I bake it Mon & then refrig & reheat or just keep in fridge and bake Wed. I hope you see this soon. Thank You Kathleen

    1. Yes Valerie, you can assemble and then refrigerate. When ready to bake, remove the casserole from the fridge to warm up while the oven is preheating.

  12. Excellent recipe! I also mixed Italian sausage and hamburger, added grated fresh Parmesan with the other cheeses. Turned out AWESOME!!!5 stars

  13. Does it matter whether you use salted or unsalted butter? I forgot to buy salted and all I have is unsalted.

    1. Great questions, Isabella. 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.

  14. This is easy to make and is absolutely delicious! I used ricotta. I will share this recipe with friends. Love it!5 stars

  15. The concept of Million Dollar Spaghetti just can’t be beat.
    It’s a better version of Spaghetti and a better version of Lasagna but put into 1. This is a family favorite.

    I like to do different combos of meat. 1/2 Sausage, 1/2 ground beef… or 1/3 Sausage, 1/3 Veal, 1/3 Beef.

    Other tip – I make my three mixes in the morning or the night before (Noodles + Sauce, Meat Sauce, Cheese Blend) and put them in separate Tupperware. Then assemble when ready to bake. The assembly takes no time.

    In my honest opinion – It is better when you make it ahead of time and assemble when ready to bake. It lets the flavors kind of meld together… think like how soup is often better the 2nd day.5 stars