Baked Spaghetti

Baked spaghetti is one of my all-time favorite recipes to cook; it’s incredibly simple to make and comforting to eat. I even love to change it up from time to time by using ground turkey for a healthier meal option. Serve with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and sliced basil, and you have an instant weeknight favorite.

Bake Spaghetti
Serves: 6 to 8; makes a 9×13-inch casserole

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1 pound spaghetti
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1, 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
Fresh sliced basil and grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F and butter a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or butter.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente according to package instructions. Drain and reserve.

3. Melt the butter in a large saute pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and few grinds of black pepper, and continue to cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until crumbly and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and 1/4 cup of water, then simmer until the sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes more. Add the spaghetti to the meat sauce and toss to evenly coat.

4. Transfer the spaghetti and meat sauce to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly over the top. Bake until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling on the sides, about 20 minutes. Serve with freshly sliced basil and a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese.