I was going to change the name of this dish to just ‘spaghetti casserole’ because (before I made it) I thought that calling it Million Dollar Spaghetti was a bit pretentious. Well, as you can tell, I didn’t change the name. That’s because, yeah, Million Dollar Spaghetti is the perfect name for it.
If you close your eyes and take a bite of this spaghetti you’ll almost think you are eating lasagna. Actually, it’s very close in flavor to my mom’s easy lasagna, a recipe I make and devour regularly. Spaghetti sauce, Italian sausage, pasta, a little Italian seasoning and plenty of cheese. What’s not to love?
You can easily change this recipe up to meet your own tastes. Maybe add some fresh mushrooms in when you cook the sausage. Or a few bell peppers. For me, a pinch or two of red pepper flake is always a good idea too. You don’t have to use an expensive jarred spaghetti sauce, either. Good ole Prego (I used Italian Sausage and Garlic) works just great!
To really amp up this dish, use my smoked spaghetti sauce instead of jarred.
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
- Kosher salt
- 2 (24 ounce) jars your favorite spaghetti sauce, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (if using links remove the casings)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup Ricotta cheese
- 1 (8 ounce) stick cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 3 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
- 1 stick butter, cut into 16 thin pats, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and return the spaghetti to the pot you cooked it in and stir in one bottle of the spaghetti sauce. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.
- Crumble in the raw sausage and stir, cooking until the sausage is cooked through. I used a wooden spoon to help break up the sausage while it cooked.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Remove from heat and stir in the remaining jar of spaghetti sauce.
- In a bowl, combine the Ricotta, cream cheese, sour cream, Italian seasoning and 1 cup of the Mozzarella.
- Place 8 of the pieces of butter in the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish.
- Place half of the spaghetti mix into the bottom of the dish. Use a spatula to spread it out evenly.
- Add the cheese mixture and spread out evenly.
- Add the remaining butter and then add the rest of the of the spaghetti mixture. Spread out evenly.
- Add all of the tomato sauce mixture and spread out evenly.
- Add the remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until hot.
- Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.