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 10 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. Yasue says:

    First, thanks for your site/recipes. I hate to cook, but you inspire me. Love your cookbook too – so much I just bought a another copy to gift.

    My substitutions for my sensitive stomach:
    -My Italian sausage was lean chicken
    -Fresh basil – chopped a few rounds, no clue how much total
    -No sugar
    -Red wine vinegar – a *tiny* amount to deglaze the pan
    -Pumpkin (unsweetened, plain) in place of tomato paste and most of the canned ‘matos, to avoid all the extra citric acid, no clue exactly how much. It’s a great sub for tomato for iffy stomachs!
    -4 fresh Roma ‘matoes, diced
    -A dash of tamarind sauce to make the pumpkin tart like ‘matos
    -A tiny dash of smoked paprika,mostly to darken the ‘mato
    -One small can of zucchini and ‘matoes in Italian seasoning
    -After a good round of sniffing, a little more garlic powder, onion powder, a dash of Kosher salt, a dash of pepper
    -Glace de Poulet Gold (a mega-reduced chicken stock) – maybe a tbs in the sauce, possibly less?
    -Whole wheat spaghetti, barley moistened/tossed with olive oil before baking
    -Ghee to prep the garlic and onions and grease the pan
    -Chihuahua cheese in place of the mozzarella
    -I let my sauce simmer for about an hour, give or take

    But ya’know, aside from that, I followed the recipe lol.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. Yummy!!!

  5. 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.

  6. Richard Fox says:


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

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. Kiava says:

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

  14. Kyle says:

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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).

  19. 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!

  20. Hope B. says:

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

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

  22. 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

  23. 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!

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