baked spaghetti with sausage

$9.20 recipe / $1.15 serving

I never really understood the point of baking spaghetti… it just seemed like an extra step that stood between me and eating it. But, there’s something about a hot, cheesy casserole straight out of the oven that is extra comforting.

Now that I’ve baked my spaghetti, I totally get it. Baking it in the oven not only lets the cheese get all gooey, but it lets the spaghetti soak up some flavor from the sauce and get all deeeelicious. It’s worth the extra 30 minutes.

I made a quick meat sauce using Italian sausage, which is heavily seasoned and provided all of the herbs and spices that were needed to flavor the sauce. If you want to make a vegetarian version of this (with say, mushrooms and green peppers) be sure to add a good tablespoon or so of Italian seasoning blend to make up for the missing spices in the sausage.

This recipe is perfect for freezing, so pack up half of it and save it for a rainy day when you want something warm and comforting!

Baked Spaghetti with Sausage

Baked Spaghetti with Sausage

5.0 from 9 reviews
baked spaghetti with sausage
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $9.20
Cost Per Serving: $1.15
Serves: 8
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.12
  • 1 small yellow onion $0.63
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • ½ lb. Italian Sausage $2.75
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste $0.53
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced or crushed tomatoes $1.75
  • ½ tsp salt $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp sugar $0.05
  • 12 oz. spaghetti $0.97
  • 2 oz. feta cheese $0.87
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan $0.42
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella $0.93
  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cook both in a large pot with one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat until soft and transparent (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add the Italian sausage to the pot and cook through (breaking it up into pieces as you cook). Add the tomato paste, stir and cook for about 2-3 minutes more or until the tomato paste takes on a slightly darker color. Add the diced or crushed tomatoes, salt, and sugar. Stir and heat through.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (this can be done while you’re preparing the sauce in step 2). Cook the pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes). Drain the cooked past and then stir into the meat sauce.
  4. Prepare an 8×8 inch casserole dish by coating with non-stick spray. Add half of the spaghetti mixture to the dish. Sprinkle withe feta cheese. Add the rest of the spaghetti, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and then top with mozzarella.
  5. Bake the spaghetti for 30 minutes in the 350 degree oven. Let rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into eight pieces and serving.

Baked Spaghetti with SausageI garnished with fresh chopped parsley to add color.

Step By Step Photos

saute onion and garlicBegin the sauce by dicing the onion and mincing the garlic. Cook both of them over medium-low heat in a large pot with olive oil. Cook until soft and transparent – about 5 minutes.

Italian SausageI used hot Italian sausage, but you could certainly use sweet or mild Italian sausage if you prefer it. I used half of this package, which is just slightly more than half a pound and then froze the rest. If you want the spaghetti extra meaty and you can afford it, use the whole package. Italian sausage can also be purchased without casings (in a package like ground beef), which is even easier.

cook sausageSqueeze the sausage out of the casing and into the pot. Cook the sausage (breaking it up into pieces as you go) until cooked through.

cook tomato pasteOnce the sausage is cooked through, add the tomato paste. Stir and cook the tomato paste for about 2-3 minutes or until the tomato paste takes on a slightly darker hue. The color change is due to the tomato paste caramelizing, which deepens the flavor.

diced tomatoesLastly, add the diced (or crushed) tomatoes, salt, and sugar. Stir to combine and heat through. If you want a smoother sauce, use crushed tomatoes instead of diced. Taste the sauce and add more salt, sugar, or spices if desired.

cook pastaWhile you’re making the sauce, you can bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once it reaches a full boil, add the pasta and cook until tender (7-10 minutes). I also began preheating the oven at this point.

add spaghettiOnce the spaghetti is cooked, drain it briefly, and then stir it into the sauce.

layer onePrepare a casserole dish with non-stick spray. Add half of the spaghetti mixture and then top with the feta. My dish is oblong and maybe one inch longer than an 8×8 inch, but an 8×8 should work fine. If you want to use a 9×13 inch pan, you can do it all in one layer with all three cheeses on top.

layer 2Add the rest of the spaghetti and then top with the parmesan cheese.

mozzarellaLastly, add the mozzarella cheese over top. Place in th 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Baked Spaghetti with SausageAllow the spaghetti to sit for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Baked Spaghetti with SausageOhhhhh yum.


  1. Natasha says:

    This was our first recipe to try, and kids adored this dish (spaghetti with sauce was actually devoured… must be the flavors and the cheese, not to mention Sausage!)

    So definitely a keeper, we’ll be making this again and possibly freezing it in portion sizes.

  2. SweetJanetoo says:

    He just said, “the ultimate compliment you can pay to the chef is “thirds””. Yay! Made this recipe vegetarian style, using your wonderful suggested addition of 1 Tablespoon of Italian Seasoning, along with adding 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper at the end (to the cheese) and also adding a container of fresh sliced mushrooms and stirring in 1/2 a bag of fresh spinach to the sautee pan (without overcooking either). Truly scrumptious on a wintry Midwest evening. Thank you!

  3. Yummy!!!

  4. Debra says:

    I love this recipie!! I’m wanting to make a meal for my sister when she has her baby. Will this work good for a freezer meal? If so, do I put everything together and freeze it before I bake it? Also, how long would I cook it for and at what tempature? Thanks!!

    • Yes, I would suggest assembling it and then freezing before baking. As far as how long and what temperature to bake, I’m not sure because I’ve never tried it :( I wouldn’t suggest heat any higher than 350, though, because you’ll want to cook it slow to allow the center to heat up without overcooking the outer edges.

    • Sharon says:

      Making this tonight.. I was just browsing recipes as I am pretty bored with the traditional spagetti dinner. I will let you know how it turns out. Yours looks delicious.

  5. Richard Fox says:


    I cooked this last night, I have left overs for like half the week and it is amazing.

  6. I did this with a package of veggie crumble instead of the meat, and added a good douse of basil, oregano, and parsley. Good stuff!

  7. Kathy says:

    I’ve made this a couple of times now and the whole family loves it. Made a couple small changes: I got the onions pretty golden before adding the sausage and made sure to get a nice brown bit of goodness on the bottom of the pan. Then I added about 1/4 cup of wine, cooked that down for a couple of minutes, then went on with the recipe. I left out the sugar since the onion became nice and sweet on it’s own.

  8. kate says:

    i would like to make this but i don’t have the canned tomatoes or paste, would a jar of my favorite pasta sauce work?

  9. I make a baked spaghetti. Mine is slightly different. I make a sauce using 1 lb or ground round and 1 lb. italian sausage. I cook the pasta and stir the two together. Put 1/3 in the lasagna pan, add ricotta cheese, a layer of pepperoni and repeat. The 3rd and final layer is the remaining 1/3 of the spaghetti, then pepperoni and top with mozzarella cheese.

  10. Sarah says:

    I tried this recipe a while ago and I absolutely loved it!! Another winner :)

    Quick question for you. I’d like to make this again soon, and I also have a container of cream cheese in my fridge that needs to get used up. Do you think it would taste okay if I mixed cream cheese into the sausage/tomato-y sauce before adding the noodles, and then baked as normal? I’d omit the feta and maybe also the mozzarella depending on how cheesy it looks once I’ve stirred it all in.

    (By the way, I just got your book and I have about 50 different recipes bookmarked to try. Thanks for all your work!!)

    • Yes, I think that would be absolutely amazing! You could also try adding little dollops of the cream cheese in the middle layer and it will kind of melt in as it bakes!

  11. Dave R. says:

    If you are using canned tomatoes that require sugar to counter the acidity of the tomatoes try using a diced carrot, it will counter the acidity without sugar and add color to the dish.

  12. Kiava says:

    My first time making Italian sausage and this dish was amazing!!!!

  13. Kyle says:

    Just made this and I used ricotta cheese. It was amazing! Thanks

  14. Esther says:

    Update, I made the Italian wonder pot and was afraid stuff would stick to the bottom but it didn’t. I made the sausage spaghetti bake for the poker game and everyone loved it. Sorry for the confusion, I just got the two recipes mixed up.

  15. Esther says:

    Omg, Beth this was awesome! Took it to the weekly neighborhood poker game…seven old men and a lady…and they wanted seconds. I did, however, increase the Italian sausage to 1pound and used 16 oz of penne. At certain times I thought it would end up sticking to the bottom because of the extra meat pasta but I just kept stirring it and everything came out fine. This week I will add mushrooms. Maybe. Great recipe! I would give ten stars if I could.

  16. Kelly says:

    We made this in a 9×13 glass dish (in 2 layers) and with a full pound of italian sausage. It was super sausagy but delicious! I will try ricotta next time in the middle to mix it up… A cheaper (and easier) alternative to lasagna!

  17. Chloe B says:

    I’m not a big fan of feta cheese is there any other cheeses i could swap in? I’m thinking of using cottage cheese with some Italian spices blended in ( I could probably use ricotta but cottage cheese works as the poor college student’s ricotta).

    • Yes, you could use either ricotta or cottage cheese, although it contains a lot more moisture so the end product won’t be as solid. You can try whisking the cheese with an egg before adding it to the spaghetti to help it solidify as it bakes (a lot of lasagna recipes use that trick).

  18. Jahyeon says:

    Made this last night. Doubled the sausage, used a Lb of spaghetti, added an 8oz can of tom sauce with the paste since it was all i had and put it in a 13x9x2 pan and it fit perfectly…delicious!

  19. Hope B. says:

    I made this last and it was delicious! Defiantly making this again!

  20. Yes, I measured out the 12 oz cuz mine came in a 16 oz box, but my boys aren’t complaining!

  21. Wifey – I think the dish that I used might actually be 8×9 (it’s slightly rectangular instead of square). Did you use a full pound of spaghetti? I only used 12 oz. Glad the extras got put to use, though ;D

  22. I’ve had this starred for awhile and finally tried it tonight. It’s in the oven right now. Did you use a 8×8 or a 9×9? I followed the measurements precisely and had a bunch left over that would not fit in the 8×8. Worked out though cuz my toddler wasn’t willing to wait and he’s eating the leftover!

  23. This looks absolutely wonderful. I haven’t made this recipe for such a long time I’ve forgotten how good it tastes. And your recipe is far impressive than what I used to make. Thanks!

  24. I made this tonight and my family loved it. It’s a keeper – many thanks!

  25. I made this tonight and my family loved it. It’s a keeper – many thanks!

  26. The dishes were really looking great and so yummy! Can’t resist to taste it.

  27. I made this the other night and our dinner guests immediately asked for the recipe. I prefer a spaghetti casserole that uses ground beef/turkey and has a more complicated sauce, but this was such an easy meal to put together and a great way to use Italian sausage. thanks!

  28. Anonymous says:

    I made this a few weekends ago for my family. My brother-in-law doesn’t do “spicy,” so I used mild sausage. It turned out great! We were eating the leftovers the rest of the week, and it tasted just as good.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  29. Made this for my boyfriend last week – HUGE hit :) we’re eating the leftovers tonight. Thanks for the great recipes!

  30. Yum, My mother makes this with cream of mushroom soup and black olives and mushrooms. So good!

  31. JakeL says:

    I made this last night and it was great. Everyone loved it. I was worried about it not being enough so I just used 1lb of sausage. It easily filled a 9×13 dish and came out wonderful.

  32. I find the shape of spaghetti, linguini, fettucini, etc. just doesn’t lend itself well to baked pasta dishes. Love the recipe, but am making it with penne, my go to for any baked pasta dish.

  33. I made this last night and it turned out great! If you can find the cut spaghetti (basically spaghetti cut into little pieces) I would highly recommend it.

  34. Kristy says:

    Oh how I love love love your blog. This looks delicious. I have similar items in the pantry/fridge right now and this sounds like a winner for dinner tonight.

  35. I can’t even explain the levels of desire I have for this spaghetti right now; they may even hinge on strange. But seriously this looks amazing and I agree, baking pasta takes it to a whole new level and I love how you brought out all the flavors of the Italian Sausage. Yum. :)

  36. Eeek, I have no idea! I think you might just have to test it in the center to see if it’s hot. Since everything is cooked prior to going in, you don’t have to worry so much about anything being raw.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Any guesses on what would be a good cook time if it was frozen before going into the oven?

  38. I never got the idea of baked spaghetti either, but this sounds wonderful. I need to try it with whole wheat spaghetti!

  39. WOW, looks amazing :) Love your blog

  40. My first job as a teenager was at Fazoli’s, and the baked spaghetti is still the only thing I will eat there on the rare occasion that I get a craving. It is ALL about that crazy layer of melted mozzarella. I am definitely going to have to give this one a try as it sounds more flavorful and costs less per serving.

  41. This looks so yummy!

  42. Ashlee – It would work, but you’ll need to add seasoning to the sauce to make up for what was in the Italian sausage. I bet it wlll be just like lasagna! :D

  43. Ooh, how would this work with ground beef instead of sausage and ricotta instead of feta? Just thinking of what I have in the fridge now. Though, it might be worth an extra trip for some Italian turkey sausage…love the flavor.

  44. i made one similar to this for the first time the other day. instead of feta i mixed in ricotta, no meat in the sauce, and mixed in fresh sliced tomato in sauce and on top of cheese. yum!

  45. That has “comfort food” written all over it! I’d probably add sliced mushrooms anyway because I like mushrooms. :D

  46. Meg – Spaghetti squash is an excellent idea! Or you could also try a low carb pasta… although I don’t know how good those are :P

    • Chloe B says:

      Dreamfields pasta is low carb and it’s delicious! it cooks for the same time as regular pasta and it even tastes better than whole grain pasta!

  47. This looks so yummy! I wonder if using spaghetti squash instead of the pasta would work OK? I’m diabetic, living a low carb lifestyle, but I’m so craving some comfort food!

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