A comforting baked spaghetti recipe (made just a bit lighter) with an easy, flavor-packed homemade spaghetti sauce!
I’ve shared with you before how, when it comes to dinner, my family follows a bit of a 80-20 rule–80% healthy, and 20% indulgent on the healthy(ish) side. This baked spaghetti recipe falls in the latter category of indulgent-but-healthy(ish).
With all sorts of fancy pastas out there, it is easy to forget the humble spaghetti. But it’s something most pantries have; versatile and easy to use! I love to make a simple olive oil spaghetti–sometimes, only tossing it in quality EVOO, garlic, and fresh herbs.
But when we’re craving something more hearty, I opt for this vegetarian baked spaghetti. It doesn’t have as much cheese as other recipes out there, and I do use part-skim cheese when possible; still this baked spaghetti will satisfy a comfort-food craving.
The kicker is really in my homemade spaghetti sauce (which, I’m realizing it needs its own post here on the blog.) A simple and relatively quick pasta sauce with just a few ingredients that offer the perfect balance of flavors. The secret ingredient? Finely grated carrots. They add texture, earthy sweetness, and a welcomed depth of flavor.
What to serve with this baked spaghetti?
This baked spaghetti casserole can be the perfect addition to a large special dinner. But, because it’s hearty enough, if you’re serving a small family, this can stand in as the main course. I usually make a large bowl of fattoush or this 3-ingredient Mediterranean salad to start.
BEST baked spaghetti recipe! A comforting pasta casserole that is on the healthy-ish side using less cheese (part-skim, when possible). The kicker is in the easy, flavor-packed homemade spaghetti sauce. The perfect texture and balance of flavors!
- 1 lb thin spaghetti (whole grain spaghetti, if you like)
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta (I used this one)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 to 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (non-fat, if possible), more to your liking
For Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- 1/4 cup Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, grated
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely grated (I used this box grater)
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- Salt and Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
- 1/4 cup each fresh torn basil and chopped parsley leaves
- Crushed red pepper, optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Make the sauce. In a large oven-proof pan or braiser like this one, heat the olive oil over medium until just shimmering. Add the onions. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the garlic and carrots and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Now add the crushed tomatoes, water, a generous pinch of salt and pepper, oregano, and paprika.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring regularly. Turn heat down to low, cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes (occasionally check and give the sauce a stir).
- While sauce is simmering, cook the pasta to al dente according to package. Drain and rinse.
- When sauce is ready, uncover and add the cooked pasta. Stir until pasta is well-coated.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta and grated Parmesan. Add the mixture to the spaghetti. Stir until well-combined.
- Top the pasta with shredded mozzarella. Transfer to oven, uncovered.
- Bake in 375 degrees F heated-oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is melty and bubbly. If you like to give the top of the baked spaghetti some color and crunch, simply switch to broil briefly (watch carefully).
- Remove from oven and garnish with fresh basil and parsley. Add crushed peppers, if you like. Enjoy!
- Recommended for This Recipe: Our Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives). And from our all-natural spice collection: Sweet Spanish Paprika.
- SAVE! Try our olive oil bundle or our Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle! Create your own 6-pack from our all-natural or organic spice collections!
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