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 665 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 665 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
plated Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole with a title
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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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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. i thought it was horrible way too much cheese and no sour cream for me. my family did not like either.1 star

    1. I’m sorry to hear your family didn’t love this as much as we do Cheryl. Thank you for trying it!

  2. You can save 800 calories and 91 grams of fat if u eliminate the butter and just use a little cooking spray

  3. Love this recipe! Planning on making a few and freezing them to feed a crowd in about a week. Will allow it to thaw in the fridge the night before. How long should I bake it from cold (not frozen)?5 stars

    1. I would suggest leaving it at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking and then cook as directed in the recipe. I hope this helps Anna!

  4. Too much cheese sauce. it almost seemed “milky”. I was the only one that liked it (but only a little) out of three of us.
    I thought it would be like lasagna.
    I definitely WILL NOT make it again1 star

  5. Delicious! I made this twice over the last few months and it is always enjoyed no matter who is at my dinner table. This time I did a double batch because we had several friends over for the evening. It took a bit longer in the oven but we’ll worth the wait.5 stars

  6. Holly, this is a delicious casserole! I made it according to directions this first time. I do love butter, but I’m not sure a cube is necessary. Next time I’ll use half, and then maybe leave it out all together. But other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing. This would be great for a crowd, or perfect for leftovers. The pieces hold together well. I used a 13″x9″ Pyrex pan and ended up with a bit extra of the sauce. But that’s OK! I just froze it and will use it later. Love your home-cookin’, Holly! That how I like to cook, too.5 stars

  7. I believe I found your content on MSN food. I made this casserole and added veggies — peppers & zucchini. It was wonderful! Thank you so much! I’m filling out my shopping list so that I can make this on repeat!5 stars

  8. Followed and made according to recipe and directions. OMG we loved it. I’ve never been a spaghetti fan but this casserole was amazing.5 stars

  9. This was really delicious and made a TON of food. I opted for ricotta, since I’m on a low sodium diet, and ricotta is much lower in sodium than cottage cheese. Also, I used ground beef, since that’s what I had on hand. There’s just two of us, so I shared some with several of our elderly neighbors who live off of social security. They were so thankful and raved about how great it was! There’s still plenty leftover for us to eat for another two meals!!5 stars

  10. I took this to a Bible study and everybody loved it! One comment I received was how clever it was to serve spaghetti this way for a crowd. Served it with bread sticks and butter and a vegetable platter to round things out. Nothing left to bring home….5 stars

  11. love baked speg. Just a question, Would leaving out cream cheese make a huge difference. Not a fan of it in anything but desserts and on a bagel.5 stars

    1. Hi Sharon, you could replace it with additional cottage or ricotta cheese. It will change the flavor but I think it will still taste delicious!

  12. Great Easy & Tasty Recipe! My family has spaghetti every Sunday for dinner, Spaghetti Sunday! I wanted to change things up a little so tried this. I definitely agree with the preference of cottage cheese, that’s what I use in my lasagna as well. I wasn’t able to fit all of the sauce on top. I may use a little less spaghetti next time as it was definitely overflowing my 9×13 dish (standard clear pyrex), or maybe I should’ve squished everything down a little more. So happy to have this new go-to in my recipes!5 stars

  13. This looked pretty but it is too rich- every single person who ate it got terrible heart burn- followed exactly- I don’t think it needed the extra butter and the cream cheese didn’t work for us either. If I did it again I’d just use cottage cheese or ricotta and herbs but hubby said don’t make it again so- Sorry- I usually love your recipes but this was a def miss2 stars

  14. I doubled the recipe and gave one pan to a friend who wasn’t feeling well for her family. They liked it and she asked for the recipe. We liked it and I especially enjoyed the leftovers. I followed the recipe fairly closely. The only adjustments I made were I used angel hair pasta, cottage cheese, and for the meat I used half sausage and half ground beef (because that’s what I had on hand). I liked these changes so much I’ll continue to make it this way.5 stars

  15. Absolutely fantastic! only change I made was I used even amounts of sweet and hot sausage. Definitely will be making this again!4 stars

  16. I made this dish with leftover spaghetti sauce from the night before and chose to freeze it for later. It is delicious! Thank you for another great recipe for my family!5 stars

  17. My husband loves it. I had tried to get him to try it before. This time I just made and told him “dinner is ready ”
    Just eat no questions! Boom it’s a keeper recipe.5 stars

  18. Cooked this last night. It was very good. I used mild and spicy Italian sausage and Ricotta instead of Cottage cheese. It was so good, there were NO leftovers.5 stars