06 Sep Easy Baked Spaghetti for a Crowd #SundaySupper
Want to take the labor out of Labor Day food? This week’s #SundaySupper family is sharing recipes that will allow you to fully enjoy the holiday with family and friends, by eliminating some of the time spent preparing yummy foods. We are serving up slow-cooker ideas, no fuss dishes, and beverages that will not only please your guests, but you’ll get to enjoy the moments and fun because most of the work involved is down right simple!
My dish today is one that I recently made for a birthday gathering. My friend, Tami, loves Italian — particularly spaghetti. She orders it whenever we dine out for Italian. And since I wanted this night to be all about socializing, I wanted something that I could make ahead and that involved little fuss, but would compete with the flavors of a really good Italian restaurant or home-cooked meal. Baked spaghetti just seemed to speak to me, and so I’m sharing this easy recipe today in the hopes that you’ll be just as pleased if you make it, as my guests were when we celebrated Tami’s birthday!
Simplifying meals is one of my favorite things to do. Whenever I can get something thrown together that tastes like a million bucks, but neither costs very much nor involves tons of labor and prep, I’m a happy girl. Hence, a terrific jarred marinara sauce can really be your friend! Packaged high protein pasta is not only convenient, but very nutritious and a wonderful way to spread a meal out for a gathering. A little light cream cheese or (American) neufchatel cheese is a secret ingredient to making that red gravy super creamy in texture with a bit of tang added in taste. Follow up with a good part skim mozzarella and some Parmesan and you’ve practically got the entire dish made. (If you want to keep it vegetarian, you really do have it made; however, in lieu of meatballs and traditional spaghetti, I made a meat sauce using lean ground beef in which I added the jarred sauce.)
I’ll get to it, but before I list the ingredients and amounts, be sure to read to the bottom of my post to explore all the fabulous recipes presented in our #SundaySupper No Labor Labor Day meals! There’s something for everyone here!
2.5 lbs lean ground beef
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
2 t sea salt
1 T red pepper flakes
1 T oregano
2 t basil
2 jars (24 oz) good quality marinara (I had some Rao’s Homemade Marinara that was a gift.) YUM!
1/2 jar of water or chicken stock
1 8 oz package light cream cheese or neufchatel cheese (American, no French)
2 pkgs high protein spaghetti, cooked according to directions for al dente (just before done)
16 oz part skim mozzarella, shredded cheese
8 oz shredded Parmesan
4 oz shredded Fontina (optional)
fresh basil to garnish
Start by heating oil in a very large skillet. Saute onion and garlic until just tender.
Add in the beef and break up as you brown it. Get it evenly crumbled as it cooks. Drain excess grease.
Add the seasonings and stir. Add in the jars of sauce. Stir.
Bring to a low boil and turn heat down to low.
Add the cream cheese and let it melt completely. Add the water, cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Stir and check for evaporation. If you need a little more water, that’s fine. Cover and simmer another 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and keep covered.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Lightly spray 2 9×13 baking dishes. When the pasta is done, layer a thin bed of pasta in each. Top with meat sauce and then mozzarella. Repeat layers in both dishes 3 times.
Top each with half the Parmesan and half the Fontina, if using. Cover with foil and bake in preheat oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
- 2.5 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 t sea salt
- 1 T red pepper flakes
- 1 T oregano
- 2 t basil
- 2 jars (24 oz) good quality marinara (I had some Rao's Homemade Marinara that was a gift.) YUM!
- ½ jar of water or chicken stock
- 1 8 oz package light cream cheese or neufchatel cheese (American, no French)
- 2 pkgs high protein spaghetti, cooked according to directions for al dente (just before done)
- 16 oz part skim mozzarella, shredded cheese
- 8 oz shredded Parmesan
- 4 oz shredded Fontina (optional)
- fresh basil to garnish
- Start by heating oil in a very large skillet. Saute onion and garlic until just tender.
- Add in the beef and break up as you brown it. Get it evenly crumbled as it cooks. Drain excess grease.
- Add the seasonings and stir. Add in the jars of sauce. Stir.
- Bring to a low boil and turn heat down to low.
- Add the cream cheese and let it melt completely. Add the water, cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Stir and check for evaporation. If you need a little more water, that's fine. Cover and simmer another 15 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Prepare pasta.
- Lightly spray 2 9x13 baking dishes. When the pasta is done, layer a thin bed of pasta in each. Top with meat sauce and then mozzarella. Repeat layers in both dishes 3 times.
- Top each with half the Parmesan and half the Fontina, if using. Cover with foil and bake in preheat oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Here’s what #SundaySupper has cooked up for your easy Labor Day food fun!
Savory Snacks and Sides:
- Acorn Squash, Black Bean and Spinach Quesadillas by Our Good Life
- Copy Cat: Momma’s Nachos by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Cream Cheese and Peach Chutney Pastry Cups by Soni’s Food
- Easy Peasy Cole Slaw by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Fruit & Cheese Platter by The Freshman Cook
- Olive Tapenade by Whole Food | Real Families
- Semi-Homemade Baked Beans by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Smoked Salmon Spread with Sourdough Baguette by A Gouda Life
Labor Free Main Dishes:
- Ace of Clubs by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Easy and Tasty Filet Mignon on the Grill by Family Foodie
- Easy Baked Spaghetti for a Crowd by Lifestyle Food Artistry
- Greek Salad Endive Boats by Casa de Crews
- Grilled Butternut Squash, Zucchini and Steak with Chimichurri Sauce by Caroline’s Cooking
- Pesto Chicken with Fennel & Tomato Couscous by Books n’ Cooks
- Simple Cheese Enchiladas by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Simple Grilled Rosemary Shrimp by Nosh My Way
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Mustard Barbecue Sauce by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes by Food Done Light
- Spicy Thai Noodles by Momma’s Meals
Sweet Treats and Drinks:
- Apple Spice Dump Cake by Palatable Pastime
- Blender Chocolate Mousse by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles by What Smells So Good?
- Coconut Martini by Desserts Required
- Creamy Coconut Popsicles by Food Lust People Love
- Eiskaffee by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Healthy Grab’n’Go Breakfast Muffins by Happy Baking Days
- Mango Salad with Crystallized Ginger by MealDiva
- Mini Pavlovas by Curious Cuisiniere
- One Step Vanilla Sauce by Magnolia Days
- White Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Bars by Pies and Plots
Labor Free Labor Day:
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