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Baked Beef Spaghetti

Baked Beef Spaghetti: A Crowd-Pleasing Comfort Classic

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Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with our mouthwatering Baked Beef Spaghetti recipe. This hearty and comforting dish combines tender pasta, savory ground beef, rich tomato sauce, and gooey melted cheese for a meal that’s sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Perfect for family dinners or potluck gatherings, this easy-to-make recipe will quickly become a staple in your meal rotation. Join us as we dive into the art of creating this delicious and satisfying dish.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1-lb box spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 28-oz can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)

Instructions:

Preparing Baked Beef Spaghetti:

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil.
  2. Cook Spaghetti: Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. Prepare Sauce: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Brown Ground Beef: Add ground beef to the skillet and season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add Tomatoes: Stir in San Marzano tomatoes (crushed by hand or blended) and chopped fresh basil. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  6. Combine Spaghetti and Sauce: In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked spaghetti and tomato sauce, tossing until the pasta is evenly coated.
  7. Assemble and Bake: Transfer the spaghetti mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan evenly over the top.
  8. Bake: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the edges are golden brown.
  9. Serve: Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley before serving. Serve hot and enjoy!

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Vegetarian Option: For a meat-free version, omit the ground beef and double the amount of chopped vegetables such as bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini for added flavor and texture.
  • Cheese Variations: Experiment with different types of cheese such as cheddar, provolone, or fontina for a unique twist on this classic dish.
  • Add More Vegetables: Boost the nutritional value of the dish by adding additional vegetables to the sauce, such as diced carrots, celery, or spinach.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto Option: To make a keto-friendly version of Baked Beef Spaghetti, replace the pasta with spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash. Use a low-carb tomato sauce or marinara sauce and top with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  • Low-Carb Variation: Reduce the amount of pasta used or opt for a low-carb pasta alternative such as shirataki noodles or konjac noodles. Increase the amount of ground beef and vegetables to make the dish more filling while keeping the carb count low.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef? A: Yes, ground turkey can be substituted for ground beef if preferred. Just be sure to adjust the seasoning to taste, as ground turkey tends to be milder in flavor than ground beef.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A: Absolutely! You can assemble the dish up to a day in advance and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Just be sure to allow for additional baking time if baking from chilled.

Q: How do I store leftovers? A: Store any leftover Baked Beef Spaghetti in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven until heated through before serving.

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With its irresistible combination of tender pasta, flavorful tomato sauce, and melted cheese, Baked Beef Spaghetti is the ultimate comfort food that never fails to please. Whether served as a cozy family dinner or a crowd-pleasing potluck dish, this recipe is sure to become a favorite in your household. So gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to enjoy a hearty and delicious meal that’s guaranteed to satisfy even the most discerning palates!

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