Spaghetti is one of those comfort foods for me but unfortunately it doesn’t quite have the same effect on my husband. He will eat it when I make it but its defiantly doesn’t even make his top 100 favorite meals. He says growing up they ate it at least once a week since it was cheap so over time he got sick of it.
I can relate to that. One summer I spent a month in Panama on a mission trip and every day for lunch we had peanut butter and jelly. Every. Single. Day. No joke, it took me 3 years to eat another peanut butter and jelly sandwich after we got back. Needless to say, I get growing sick of something.
Since spaghetti isn’t my husband’s favorite, but it is mine, I decided to play around with it and try to come up with a recipe he doesn’t just eat it because I cooked it, but he will actually enjoy it and possibly even crave it. I had always wanted to try a spaghetti casserole but so many recipes weren’t appealing to me.
Some called for eggs but the thought of putting an egg in my spaghetti just made me cringe. Others called for ricotta cheese but to me that’s just a lasagna in a slightly different form. Then I saw some recipes call for cream cheese. Now we are talking. Cream Cheese id an ingredient I defiantly can get on board with.
After seeing many recipes, I decided to experiment and make one of my own. Boy did it turn out AMAZING! It was like spaghetti got a huge makeover and now it just exploded with flavor. I made it for one of my friends who had just had twins and after she ate it she was demanding the recipe. I couldn’t blame her because it was so good I ate it for lunch 4 days in a row. No joke.
So, I won’t make you wait any longer.
Creamy Spaghetti Casserole
- 14 oz Spaghetti Noodles
- 2 28oz Jars Spaghetti Sauce
- 1/2 lb Ground Beef
- 1/2 lb Ground Turkey
- 3/4 Cup Yellow Onion (Diced)
- 3/4 Cup Green & Red Bell Pepper (Diced)
- 1/2 Cup Grated Carrots
- 2 tsp Italian Seasoning (Divided)
- 1 tsp salt (Divided)
- 1 tsp pepper (Divided)
- 2-3 Cloves of Garlic (Minced)
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1.5 Tbsp Butter (Divided)
- 12 oz Cream Cheese (Softened)
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese Powder (What you put on pizza.)
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese Shredded
- 1 1/2 Cup Mozzarella Cheese Shredded
- Cook your noodles per package directions. Make sure and save 2 Tablespoons of the water from the cooked noodles before you drain them.
- While the noodles are cooking prepare your bell peppers, onion, carrots, and garlic. On Medium heat sauté the bell peppers and onions with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. For about 5-10 minutes. After they soften just a little bit add in the grated carrots and continue sautéing for 5 more minutes. Last add in the minced garlic and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
- After your vegetables are cooked add in your spaghetti sauce, 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, 1 Tablespoon butter, 2 Tablespoons of reserved water from the cooked noodles, ½ a teaspoon of salt, and ½ a teaspoon of pepper then let simmer on low heat. Continue stirring so the bottom doesn’t scorch.
- While the sauce is simmering cook your ½ a pound of ground beef and ½ a pound of ground turkey. You can substitute and use all ground turkey or all ground beef but trust me the mix is great! Halfway through cooking your meat add in your reaming seasonings. (1/2 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning.) Once the meat is cooked all the way through add it to the sauce and continue to let it simmer.
- Take your cream cheese and place it in a pot over low heat. Continue stirring until it’s soft, but don’t let it boil.
- Drain your cooked noodles and place in a bowl. Then add in the softened cream cheese and mix thoroughly.
- Spray a large pan (13×9 or larger) with non-stick cooking spray or coat in oil. Then start with a layer of your sauce/meat mixture. Make sure you fully coat the bottom. Then place your noodles coated in cream cheese on top of the layer of sauce. Then you will want to top the noodles with your remaining sauce/meat mixture. Make sure you lightly shake the pan, that way the sauce can sink in-between the noodles. Lastly you will top the casserole with your 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. If you like you can sprinkle some salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning on top.
- Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Enjoy and share the recipe with your friends and family!
If you try this recipe out please let me know what you think in the comments below.
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