I enjoy cooking and making messes in the kitchen and I especially love it when my boys want to help. What I don’t like is cleaning up ten thousand dishes, pots, bowls and spoons that made our delicious meal. Half the time, I have a baby on my hip while trying to manage a 3 year-old’s cooking skills, so I make only meals that are fast, simple and somewhat healthy. And this spaghetti casserole is just that.
With only six main ingredients, this family-size meal requires little cleanup and not too much prep time. Note: If you’re just cooking for two, you can halve this recipe and use a 9×9 pan instead.
– 16 oz. spaghetti
– 32 oz. jar of your favorite marinara sauce
– 1 lb. ground beef
– 8 oz. cream cheese
– 1 Tbs. Italian seasoning
– 2 cups of shredded mozzarella
– Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit then spray a 13×9 pan with cooking spray and set aside. Bring a nice big pot of water to boil and cook your spaghetti until al dente (still slightly firm). While the spaghetti is cooking, brown the ground beef in a separate skillet then add the marinara sauce, simmering until nice and bubbly.
Next drain the spaghetti – I love this old-fashioned colander! In a large bowl, place the cream cheese and soften in the microwave for about a minute, stirring every 15 seconds or so. You don’t want it to totally melt! Then stir in the Italian seasoning with the cream cheese.
Add the spaghetti into the bowl and coat with the cream cheese mixture. Taking large spoonfuls, begin to fill up the 13×9 pan with the spaghetti. Pour the sauce evenly over the spaghetti in the pan. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the top and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
I pass off the baby to the hubs to clean up the dishes while the casserole is baking, then there’s less overall cleanup afterwards. That makes my whole evening go smoother and gives me more time to focus on homework, play and cuddles at bedtime. This spaghetti casserole is one of my go-to’s for the weeknight. Do you have a simple and somewhat healthy favorite? Let’s swap recipes!