Get ready to join the craze because our viral oven-baked spaghetti that garnered over 100 million views across social media is definitely a keeper! Not only is it just as delicious as the traditional version, but it’s a huge time-saver in terms of both prep and cleanup. Just toss your ingredients in one dish and bake — no standing over the stove with this super easy recipe!

While we acknowledge that traditional Italian purists might raise an eyebrow at this method, we’re confident that anyone who values a hassle-free and speedy meal will fall head over heels for it! And if you’re not already sold on this super simple recipe, let’s just say that Food Network’s queen of Italian cuisine, Giada de Laurentiis, was enough of a fan that she posted her Food Dolls-inspired version on TikTok!

An oval baking dish of oven baked spaghetti.

We do love to make classic spaghetti on the stovetop. However, that is not the goal of this recipe.

The beauty of oven-baked spaghetti lies in its simplicity: toss your ingredients into a single baking dish and let the oven work its magic. It may not be the traditional way to make spaghetti, but it’s a tried and true method that lots of home cooks appreciate for its convenience, not to mention its delicious results!

Want to learn the history of a real oven baked spaghetti? Keep reading!

Oven-baked spaghetti is a dish that has been around for centuries. A simple and hearty meal, oven-baked spaghetti combines the best of two worlds: pasta and sauce!

This dish has many variations across the globe, with some styles using more tomatoes than others. In this blog post, we explore oven-baked spaghetti in-depth. Discover types of oven-baked spaghetti (including sauces!), the history of the dish, and our own complete recipe!

Oven-Baking Spaghetti: The History

Neapolitan chefs created the recipe in Naples in the 1700s. However, it quickly spread throughout Europe and America during WWII largely as a result of limited food supplies.

In the early 19th century, Italian immigrants from Sicily arrived in New York City. They brought with them many types of traditional dishes; including, oven baked spaghetti.

Many iterations of the recipe became popular. For instance, a popular option features bread crumbs in place of pasta dough. However, this dish became particularly popular among Italians living abroad. It served as a great way to keep their culture alive even from across the globe!

Ingredients You Need

Below is an overview of the ingredients and instructions for this recipe. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the complete details and nutrition information! 

  • Spaghetti – Use your favorite spaghetti noodles, and opt for gluten-free varieties to keep this recipe gluten-free-friendly. 
  • Pasta Sauce – You’ll need a high-quality red pasta sauce. For the best results, we highly recommend creating a homemade marinara sauce
  • Seasonings – Incorporate dried oregano or Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper for added flavor. Feel free to add a dash of red pepper flakes for a bit of heat, too!
  • Aromatics – Freshly minced garlic and white or yellow onion add elements of savory, slightly sweet flavor to the dish. 
  • Oil – We recommend using a high-quality olive oil, but avocado oil would also work. 
  • Cheese – Freshly grated parmesan cheese adds extra depth with a layer of nutty, savory flavor.
Ingredients to make oven baked spaghetti.

Different Ways of Making It

The most basic oven-baked spaghetti recipe includes cooked pasta tossed in a tomato sauce. It features flavor enhancers like onion, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, or basil. Cheese is also a common addition but you can leave it out depending on preference.

For example, some oven-baked spaghetti recipes include parmesan cheese. Meanwhile, others top the dish off with mozzarella after cooking!

You can also make oven-baked spaghetti using different variations of sauces. For example, pesto (oven-baked pesto), alfredo, or even oven-baked spaghetti with meatballs are all great options!

Different countries across Europe have their own signature style of oven-baked spaghetti. They typically reflect that country’s cuisine. Italian spaghetti tends to use more tomato sauce than other countries. However, French spaghetti features a creamy sauce.

You can even mix in protein! Try cooking lean ground beef, Italian sausage, ground turkey, or ground chicken in a large skillet. Then, use it to create a savory meat sauce to make this meal even more filling. 

What About Making Sauce From Scratch?

Making your sauce from scratch can add a nice touch to oven-baked spaghetti and also adds extra flavor!

For example, you could make an onion or garlic base for your sauce before adding any other ingredients. Just be sure to let the sauce cook for a good amount of time so that all the flavors have time to combine!

Making sauce for oven-baked spaghetti can help you reduce the amount of preservatives and sodium in your meal. Try making sauces from scratch using ingredients like whole tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, or even tomato paste!

How to Make Viral Baked Spaghetti Casserole

Before you begin, set your oven to preheat. 

  1. Combine. Add all the ingredients except for the cheese to a large baking dish, and stir to combine and coat. 
  2. Bake. Cover and bake until the noodles are al dente. 
  3. Rest. Uncover the dish, and allow the dish to rest. Then, stir the ingredients. 
  4. Bake again. Top the spaghetti with the mozzarella cheese and bake again until the cheese melts and is bubbly. Enjoy! 
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Can Oven-Baked Spaghetti Be Healthy?

Spaghetti is fairly healthy when prepared with simple ingredients and cooking methods! As always, the ingredients included affect the nutritional makeup of the dish.

For example, oven-baked pasta with a lot of vegetables and lean meats is a fairly healthy dish. Meanwhile, oven-baked pasta with processed foods like cheese or meat products is substantially less nutritious. That being said, this type of meal is better for you than a pizza! 

Is It an Easy Dish To Make?

This recipe is relatively easy to make. You just need to follow some key steps to ensure the best results.

For example, mixing in enough sauce can be difficult without making a mess. So, it may require using more than one bowl or plate throughout the cooking process.

We also recommend lining your baking pan with aluminum foil before putting down any of the ingredients. This allows for easier clean-up afterward.

Cheesy baked spaghetti in an oval baking dish.

How to Store

Cover the cooked spaghetti dish with plastic wrap. Or, transfer leftovers to an airtight container. Store it in the fridge for up to three to four days

Reheat in the oven or microwave just until heated through. Add a splash of broth to freshen the dish back up if it becomes too dry!

Is It an Easy Dish To Make?

It is a dish that is relatively easy to make. However, if you want the best oven-baked pasta possible it is important to follow some key steps.

First, use multiple bowls or a very large bowl to mix everything to make sure you have enough room to mix in the sauce. Also, try lining your baking pan with aluminum foil so that cleanup is a breeze.

A fork lifting a bite of oven baked spaghetti on a plate.

Let Us Know How It Goes and Enjoy Your Spaghetti!

We’ve given you a glimpse into the backstory and variations of oven-baked spaghetti, and we’re thrilled to share our own recipe with you! It’s got that Italian flair while embracing the convenience of oven baking. We hope you savor every bite!

Be sure to hit us up with any questions or comments in the comment section below!

More Spaghetti Recipes To Try

If you’re as in love with easy pasta dishes as we are, you’re going to adore these mouthwatering recipes!

An oval baking dish full of oven baked spaghetti.

Oven Baked Spaghetti

4.65 from 59 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour
No boiling required with this oven baked spaghetti! Easy weeknight dinner!

Ingredients  

  • 16 ounces spaghetti uncooked
  • 16 ounces jar pasta sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon oregano or italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper more or less to taste
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 onion sliced thin
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add all the ingredients except for the mozzarella cheese to a large baking dish. Stir well.
    16 ounces spaghetti, 16 ounces jar pasta sauce, 3 cups water, 1 teaspoon oregano or italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 5 cloves garlic, 1 onion, 2 Tablespoons olive oil
    Ingredients for oven baked spaghetti in an oval baking dish.
  • Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven about 20-25 minutes in and give it a stir. *Be sure not to skip this step.
    Baked spaghetti in an oval baking dish.
  • Top with mozzarella cheese and bake uncovered for an additional 8-10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly!
    1 cup mozzarella cheese
    Oven baked spaghetti topped with cheese.

Video

Equipment

Notes

This is made in an approximately 11×7 baking dish, similar to this baking dish found here.
If you want to add ground beef, you can add cooked ground beef before baking it in the oven.
We have seen so many use vegan cheese for a non-dairy version, and everyone that has tried it, raves about it!
We slice the onions are sliced pretty big, but you can always chop them, or keep them out. They get cooked down and end up being really tender. It doesn’t end up being crunchy and chunky onions.
For a flavor booster, substitute broth for water.
Can you use gluten-free pasta for this recipe? Yes, you can use gluten-free pasta. However, you will have to adjust the liquid. For chickpea pasta it tends to be more delicate so careful not to add too much liquid or it will get mushy.
Reheating leftovers: To reheat you want to add a splash of water, milk, or broth. Give it a little stir and microwave. The starch from the pasta really thickens it up, so you want to add a liquid in order to loosen it up a bit.
Here is another version of this baked spaghetti Baked Spaghetti Bolognese! 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 656mg | Potassium: 340mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 346IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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Recipe Rating




177 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wow! So easy and delicious!! I added 1/2 lb sweet Italian chicken sausage and used whole wheat pasta. I thought 16 oz of spaghetti was a lot, for my needs, so cut back by 1/3, and scaled back some of the water. Otherwise, other than adding a couple pinches of sugar (which all tomato based pasta commands, in my opinion 😉), I loved it! Cleanup so much easier without the big pot and strainer to deal with! Thanks Food Dolls❣️

  2. In the instructions under step 3 or step 4 you should add something like keep covered and return to oven. Bake another 15 minutes then add the cheese. Maybe I am the only one who misunderstood and added the cheese after stirring when it was very soupy. I baked it the 10 minutes to melt the cheese but the spaghetti wasn’t cooked. I then realized that it had only cooked 35 minutes!! Dumb me! I covered it again and continued bakeing it. It did taste good but next time I will bake 20-25 min., stir, bake 15 min., put cheese on, uncover and bake 10 min. more. When I printed off the receipe I only printed off the ingrediants & instructions and not the top part where it says cook time is 50 min. Next time I will print off the whole recipe. I will be making this recipe again using some of the suggestions mentioned in the other comments.

  3. Such a complete waste of food. The noodles were not cooked all the way. I followed the directions exactly.

    1. We’re sorry it didn’t turn out well for you, Madison! It might’ve needed to bake a little longer, depending on your oven and noodles used.

      Xo,
      Alia & Radwa

  4. I used ingredients per recipe. I used Rao’s Bolegnese for the sauce. I stirred after 25 minutes and had to add about half cup water. Cooked for another 5 minutes than put on the cheese and cooked for 10. I had to add some more sauce when I took it out of the oven. Have to really watch it to not dry out. But I do like it.

  5. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. it’s very easy to make and the options are endless, follow the directions and you’ll have everyone wanting seconds. I added in mushrooms. yummy dish thank you.

    1. Loved this! Super easy for busy families with potential to add different things for variety. Thanks so much!

  6. 5 stars
    This is the third time I’ve made this recipe! This time I added hamburger last time I added sausage. My boys love this dish and it’s so easy to make and clean up! Thank you ladies for making such a wonderful dish for a hard-working mom like me. ❤️

  7. 1 star
    Horrible recipe. Followed everything as it was written. Wound up with tomatoe soup with spaghetti noodles. 3 cups of water is far too much water. It made quite a mess in the oven. Not very happy with this at all. Wasted a box of pasta and a jar of sauce.

  8. 4 stars
    I used veggie spaghetti noodles, chopped broccoli, onion, minced garlic, jar of pumpkin, butternut squash sauce, followed your ingredients but time was different. Electric oven @375° covered, first 25 minutes, stirred but lowered rack then added frozen Italian meatballs and covered 25 minutes. tasted noodle not done so I did 15 minutes more covered. Mixed good then added mozzarella cheese on top back in 20 minutes. yummy I posted a picture on my page.

  9. Not sure what I did wrong, but the spaghetti and sauce just turned into paste. Like, it looked like spaghetti, but when I stuck a fork in it, the noodles didn’t come apart all…noodley. It was just mush.

  10. 5 stars
    Our family absolutely loves this dish! We use chicken broth instead of water and add ground Italian sausage before barking. Sometimes I’ll use an extra 12-16 oz of sauce and mix it up by using half Alfredo. So delish! Thanks food dolls!