Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti

Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti is creamy and cheesy, topped with meat sauce and extra bubbly cheese, reminiscent of a delicious fusion between ziti and lasagna!

Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti

Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti

Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti is a beloved family favorite, and it’s easy to understand why. With its blend of melted cheese, cream cheese, flavorful meat, and homemade marinara sauce, this dish is a delightful combination of flavors. It’s also a great option for make-ahead meals that you can freeze for later. While it might seem like there’s a lot of meat and cheese in this 9×13 pan, you can easily get 12 portions out of it, or 9 if you’re serving a particularly hungry crowd. The rich flavors mean that a smaller portion is still incredibly satisfying.

Once it comes out of the oven, let the Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti cool for about 5-10 minutes. To make clean, even cuts, consider using a silicone spatula with a helpful shape. While neatly cut squares make for an attractive presentation, the taste will be delicious no matter how you serve it. Pair your Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti with some Garlic Bread and a homemade Olive Garden Salad for a complete Italian meal that your family will adore.

Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti

How to Make Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti

Here’s a simple recipe to create a delicious and satisfying Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti at home:

Step One: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and cook the spaghetti two minutes less than the package directions. Drain and set it aside.

Step Two: In a large skillet, brown the ground beef, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Drain the liquid, then mix in one cup of marinara sauce.

Step Three: Toss the cooked spaghetti with the remaining 5 cups of marinara sauce. Layer half of this mixture in a 9×13 baking dish. Spread a mixture of softened cream cheese and 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the layers of noodles, followed by the remaining pasta/sauce mixture.

Step Four: Add the meat sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Then, uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!

Important Components of Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti

This Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti recipe brings together simple, easy-to-find ingredients for a mouthwatering meal. The combination of pasta, cheese, and sauce creates a comforting, crowd-pleasing dish. You can easily get all the ingredients from your closest grocery store.

  • Spaghetti: The base of this dish, spaghetti noodles provide the perfect texture and shape to hold onto the rich sauce and cheese.
  • Ground Beef: Adding a savory, hearty element, lean ground beef can be found in most grocery stores or substituted or combined with ground turkey or ground chicken for a different meat mixture option.
  • Marinara Sauce: Homemade Marinara Sauce adds a tangy, slightly sweet flavor that complements creamy cheeses and hearty beef. You can also use a regular jar of spaghetti sauce in a pinch.
  • Cream Cheese: The star ingredient, cream cheese adds a rich, velvety texture and tangy flavor to the dish, making it truly indulgent.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: This mild, melty cheese brings the dish together, creating a gooey, stretchy layer on top of the baked spaghetti.

Is it possible to prepare baked million dollar spaghetti in advance?

Yes, Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking. Simply follow the recipe up until the baking step, then cover and refrigerate. When you’re ready to bake, add an additional 10-15 minutes of covered baking time to ensure the dish is heated through.

You can even make this Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti in a double quantity so you have one tray to serve and one to freeze. For making ahead, the only difference in the directions would be to follow all the steps until it says to put it in the oven. At that point, top with foil and freeze.

To serve, remove it from the freezer the day before you plan on serving so it can defrost in the fridge. If you don’t remember to remove it, you can expect your cook time to be about an hour long at least.

Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti Substitutions

  • Ground Beef Substitution: You can replace the ground beef with ground turkey or chicken for a leaner option.
  • Cream Cheese Substitution: For a lighter version, try using Neufchâtel cheese, which has a similar texture and flavor but fewer calories and fat.
  • Mozzarella Cheese Substitution: Feel free to swap the mozzarella cheese with another melty cheese like fontina or provolone for a different flavor profile.
Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti

Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti variations

This recipe is highly customizable, allowing you to add your favorite ingredients or cater to dietary preferences. Try adding sautéed mushrooms, spinach, or bell peppers for a veggie boost. You can also experiment with different types of pasta like penne, rigatoni, or even gluten-free pasta to suit your preferences.

  • Veggie-Packed Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti: Add your favorite vegetables, such as sautéed mushrooms, spinach, or bell peppers, for a more colorful and nutritious meal. Sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese on top for extra flavor!
  • Chicken Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti: Swap the ground beef with shredded rotisserie chicken or cooked, diced chicken breast for a lighter, poultry-based version.
  • Gluten-Free Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti: Use gluten-free spaghetti or another gluten-free pasta variety to make this dish suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.
  • Spicy Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti: Add some heat to the dish with crushed red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños for a spicy kick.
Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti


  • 1 pound spaghetti , cooked two minutes shy of directions and drained
  • ▢1 pound ground beef
  • ▢1 medium onion , chopped
  • ▢2 cloves garlic , minced
  • ▢1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ▢1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • ▢6 cups Quick and Easy Marinara Sauce
  • ▢8 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • ▢3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ▢parsley , chopped (optional as a garnish)


Here’s a condensed version of the Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti recipe:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, cook beef, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper until browned.
  3. Drain any excess liquid and mix in 1 cup of marinara sauce.
  4. Toss cooked spaghetti with the remaining 5 cups of marinara sauce.
  5. In a bowl, combine cream cheese and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
  6. In a 9×13 pan, layer half of the pasta/sauce mixture.
  7. Spread the cream cheese mixture on top, followed by the remaining pasta/sauce.
  8. Add the meat sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese.
  9. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Enjoy your Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti!


Calories: 513kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 351mg | Potassium: 311mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 590IU | Calcium: 233mg | Iron: 1.9mg

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