Almost homemade and budget friendly baked spaghetti is one of my family’s favorite recipes. For many years having 4 kids in the house meant spaghetti night once a week because spaghetti sauce and noodles are cheap and easy to make. Versions of spaghetti meant changing up the noodles and sometimes baking it with lots of cheese on top. What is even better is when you can serve a family of 6 dinner for less than $2 a person and have a dish for leftovers for hubby’s lunch.
- 2 cans spaghetti sauce (I use Hunt’s because it is usually $1 a can)
- 3-5 cloves of garlic (minced/diced)
- Package of smoked sausage (Heritage Farm @Kroger is around $2 a package)
- Package of spaghetti noodles (or any noodle of your choice) cooked but not quite done (al dente)
- Tablespoon or 2 of cooking oil
- 2 cup (8 oz package of Italian (or choice) shredded cheese
- Parmesan Cheese (couple tablespoons)
- 9’x 13′ baking pan coated with cooking spray
- Oven at 375 degrees
There are no special directions for almost baked spaghetti or fancy ingredients. Preheat oven to 375. Put the pot of water on for the noodles to boil and then start the oil in another large fry pan for the finely chopped/minced garlic and meat/mushrooms. You will cook the noodles al dente (or just about done) and cook the meat/mushrooms until is is warm or the smoked sausage gets a bit crispy and the garlic is a golden brown. I then add the 2 cans of spaghetti sauce and let sit until the noodles are cooked and drained. Then add the sauce to the noodles (and mix together) and pour the mixture into the sprayed 9×13 cooking pan. Top with the package of cheese and Parmesan and put it in the oven for 25 minutes.
I use Hunt’s plain spaghetti sauce because it is usually $1 a can and have switched to healthier noodles which I will stock up on when they are on sale for 50 cents a box. My family never liked the garlic and herb spaghetti sauce and prefers the fresh garlic version hands down. I try to always have a pantry stocked with different kinds of noodles and a couple cans of spaghetti sauce for the nights I do not feel like making anything special. I suggest the Heritage Farms from Kroger because it is not bad for the price but Hillshire Farms smoked sausage is better but sometimes budget friendly options are used.
While the spaghetti is baking I prepare buttered bread with garlic and herb seasoning (no salt added since I use real salted butter) and get the frozen vegetables ready in a glass bowl to be microwaved while the bread is toasting (after the spaghetti is baked). I toast the bread on a cookie sheet in the oven after I take out the spaghetti for 5 minutes which is also the timing of the frozen vegetables.
In my world, this pan of baked spaghetti serves 8. I have been baking spaghetti for 20 years now and my family prefers it to spaghetti because of the crispy gooey brown cheese on top. The leftovers are easily microwaved for my hungry teenager or hubby.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out my budget friendly version of baked spaghetti. Next time you cook spaghetti and the family does not seam too thrilled- bake it with some cheese on top and watch them devour it.
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2016 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller @The Garden Frog Boutique