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

4.66 from 60 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!

4.66 from 60 votes (22 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




181 Comments

  1. 2 stars
    Sadly this turned out kinda bland and dry. Not too bad, but next time I’d just use less spaghetti, or add more sauce.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this last night and we all loved it. I did bake it a bit longer before I uncovered it and added the cheese (yes I did stir it a couple times). I did more mozzarella and did 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese as well. It did not develop the crust but the cheese melted just great and it was a great success. I served it with my homemade pork meatballs (I am Italian) and thought it was a very fun dinner and so easy!!!!! Thank you!

    1. Yes, however, fettuccine can sometimes stick together since it is a thicker pasta. You can also try this with a shorter pasta shape!

  3. Uncovered after the stir at mid-point of 45 minutes or only after the addition of the cheese? And is the additional 8-10 minutes to melt the cheese AFTER the 45 minutes of cooking or before the 45 minutes is over?

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for making at least one night a week a bit less chaotic! Kids loved it! Success

  5. 5 stars
    Made this tonight I have had the recipe saved and always thought I didn’t have time but I got so much done while waiting for it to cook! Delicious and easy. Also the perfect balance of sauce and noodles which is next to impossible

  6. 5 stars
    Love this one! So simple and has such good flavor!. Will definitely be my go to for spaghetti!.

  7. I am gluten free. You stated you could use gluten free pasta but would have to change liquid amount. I am using rice pasta. Do I use more or less liquid? Longer or shorter baking time? I am new to this gluten-free way of life so can’t afford for it to go wrong. I have had this with regular pasta and love it.

  8. I haven’t tried this yet but I am always looking for easy, no fuss recipes to make while camping. I can cook this in my counter top oven. Can’t wait to try it out. Thank you.

  9. 5 stars
    Wowza! This makes an amazing spaghetti dish and so easy! I love lots of veggies & chicken in my spaghetti so I chopped boneless skinless chicken thighs into chunks, sliced onions, bell peppers, zucchini & mushrooms and laid it all in on top of the spaghetti. Rather than water I used chicken broth because.. just because. haha
    It was spectacular! I’d never tried baked spaghetti before & now it will be a staple. Thank you!!

  10. 3 stars
    I don’t know what I did wrong because unfortunately it came out super bland. The onions were crunchy and the pasta was overcooked. I followed the recipe to the letter, except I added 1 cup of chicken broth for more flavor. Won’t be making this again, family just shrugged.