Million Dollar Spaghetti


  • ▢ 8 tablespoons butter, sliced
  • ▢ 2 pounds ground beef, lean
  • ▢ ½ cup cottage cheese (or Ricotta)
  • ▢ 8 ounces cream cheese
  • ▢ 3 cups Mozzarella, grated
  • ▢ 1 cup onions, diced
  • ▢ ¼ cup sour cream
  • ▢ 1 pound spaghetti, broken into thirds
  • ▢ 3 cloves garlic
  • ▢ 48 ounces marinara sauce
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ▢ ½ teaspoon cayenne


  • Preheat the oven to 350°
  • Cook spaghetti in salted, boiling water – don’t overcook!
  • Drain. Add 12 ounces (½ a jar) of marinara sauce to the spaghetti and set aside.
  • Add onion and ground beef to pan.
  • Saute until beef is cooked and onion is almost translucent.
  • Add garlic, smoked paprika, and 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning; cook for a minute or two more.
  • Drain excess fat from pan.
  • Add half the sauce to the meat mixture and stir well. Set aside.
  • Heat the cream cheese in the microwave until soft.
  • Mix ½ cup of the Mozzarella, sour cream, cottage cheese, and cream cheese with 1 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning.
  • Blend until smooth and well mixed.
  • Place 8 squares of butter in the bottom of the 13×9-inch pan.
  • Cover with half the spaghetti.
  • Spoon the cheese mixture over the spaghetti and gently smooth into a layer.
  • Sprinkle with 1-½ cups of Mozzarella.
  • Cover with the remaining spaghetti.
  • Add the meat sauce in a smooth layer.
  • Add the remaining sauce over the meat.
  • Cover with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  • Check and if the cheese is getting too brown cover with aluminum foil and bake 10-15 more minutes – or until the center registers 165° on an insta-read thermometer.
  • Remove from the oven and let stand 5-10 minutes.


Expert Tip: I like to break the spaghetti up into thirds before cooking. The smaller sized noodles make it easier to cut and serve.

  • This is a good dish for sneaking in vegetables if you have veggie-haters at your house. Chop them and add in with the meat and sauce mixture.
  • Let the million dollar spaghetti casserole sit for about 5-10 minutes after you remove it from the oven. This gives it a chance to solidify a little and it won’t fall apart (much) when you cut into it to serve.
  • Use a lean ground beef. I like the 90/10 mix.
  • This is amazing for potlucks! It doesn’t have to be steaming hot to be good AND it’s easy to take with you. Plus it makes a ton. I’ve never brought any leftovers home – the dish is always clean.

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