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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Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

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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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. In regards to your Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole, in the ingredient section you state 48 ounces spaghetti sauce 2 jars. Does this mean you want a total of 48 ounces of sauce, or do you want two 48 ounce jars of sauce?

    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.

  2. Love this!!!! I put ingredients of the middle layer in my food processor and added Parmesan cheese and a teaspoon of dried basil. Then, I sprinkled Parmesan on top after adding Mozzarella! Serving it again tonight to guests with a salad and crusty bread! Already can’t wait for the leftovers! Thanks so much for sharing this with us.5 stars

  3. Great flavors, easy to prepare. BUT, I couldn’t get it all in a 9×13 dish, and yes, I measured everything. Not a bad thing as I ended up with spaghetti and meat sauce left over alone for a lunch during the week.4 stars

  4. I was looking for a baked spaghetti recipe and this one popped up and I had to try it. The 2 layers of sauce worked with my intention of using half white (spaghetti), and red meat sauce on top. Hubs is sensitive to tomato sauces, so I always need to adjust. Wow! This came out sublime! I subbed one jar of the tomato sauce for a quickly whipped up parmesan cream sauce. Because of that I used only about half the butter called for. And I used hot Italian sausage rather than the sweet.
    This one is going into my permanent file! Thank you for sharing it! Delicious.5 stars

    1. The butter on the bottom keeps it from sticking as well as adding flavor throughout. Enjoy Jennifer!

  5. Does anyone know if I can use mild Italian sausage as I can’t find sweet italian? would it make a huge difference?5 stars

  6. The dish is VERY rich and VERY heavy. We couldn’t eat it, and had to toss it all down the garbage disposal. If you have a big family, especially young children, perhaps this recipe makes sense. But for just the two of us oldies, not so much. At our age, we just don’t eat much anymore, and especially no heavy foods. To start with, I should have cut the ingredients in half. Then I should have cut out all the cheese except the mozzarella, and maybe substituted fresh chopped spinach. What was the point of all the butter? Why was cottage cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream included? None of it was necessary. I also think two jars of sauce is overkill. Sorry. It’s a “no” for us.1 star

    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.

  7. Made this for the family last night and it was a slam dunk! This will definitely go into our regular dinner rotation.5 stars

  8. Great recipe all the family enjoy especially my granddaughter !
    Only thing I find is 16oz of spaghetti noodles is WAY too much. Made a 9×13 pan and 9 inch pan and still threw out some noodles!
    I did use 1/2 mild Italian sausage meat and 1/2 extra lean hamburger as my grandson loves the taste of the sausage!!

  9. ALWAYS TAKES ME LONGER TO PREPARE!! I have no doubt about the taste of this. I have 2 foreign exchange students, both 16 year old boys at the YMCA while I cook.
    They haven’t complained yet about my cooking!!!
    Bad thing is, I have way less left overs for my work lunches!! Oh well, I’ve raised 7 kids already so I know what it’s about.5 stars

  10. I love this recipe….I have made it several times and it is always a big hit. The leftovers are just as good as the first time. I highly recommend trying this if you haven’t already.5 stars

  11. This is so delicious! My hubs doesn’t care for sour cream so I just increased the cottage cheese. Oh my goodness!!
    It does make a huge amount of foot as you stated. We enjoyed it through the week and froze some too. Great for football nights or leftovers! Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  12. It was OK. I don’t think I liked the taste of the cream cheese in this recipe so I won’t make this again. I made as is but substituted ground beef for the sausage. I don’t think that the sausage would have helped hide the cream cheese taste. Don’t get me wrong I love cream cheese but it just didn’t work in this dish for me.3 stars

  13. Great recipe. Not sure why so many question using butter. It’s a very common ingredient added at yhe end ofmany high end chef made a spaghetti sauces. Usually added just be f ore serving. Considered a secret ingredient.5 stars

  14. This is by far the best spaghetti casserole I have tried thus far. The only thing I did different was I added a pound of ground beef and reduced the sausage to a pound of ground sweet Italian. It was delicious!5 stars