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And just like that, it’s the day after Christmas!

Million-Dollar Spaghetti | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I can’t believe it has come and gone, but I’m excited to have a laid back week ahead of us! I hope you guys all had an amazing Christmas. I want to hear all about it, and tell you all about what the Gerard family has been up to the last few days, but first, I need to tell you all about this incredible pasta dish. So much to share!!

This Million Dollar Spaghetti, is one of my favorite meals to make when feeding a lot of people. Especially when a lot of those people are hungry brothers and friends. For everyone who loves, cheesy, meaty, pasta, this is your dish. It’s SO easy to prepare, full of spaghetti, spicy Italian sausage and cheese. Better known as a major winner food combo!

I actually served this dish up last week, but I am posting it today in hopes that it will be a great easy dinner for you guys to make for your family and friends this week.

Million-Dollar Spaghetti | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Million-Dollar Spaghetti | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

We had a great week, but sadly some of my family members are headed out today (Abby is headed all the way to India!). But with some leaving, more will be coming, so large amounts of food will still be in high demand. To quickly recap the last few days around here, we started the Christmas fun a little early on Thursday and did a family snowmobile trip up on Vail Pass over to the little town of Red Cliff. It was pretty spur of the moment, but I am so glad that we ALL got to go. Every single immediate Gerard family member was in tow (meaning all nine of us including mom and dad) plus my two cousins, Maggie and Abby, Brendan and Malachi’s girlfriends, Lyndsie and Caitlin, and Kai’s friend Kyle who, one made the trip happen thanks to his four snowmobiles, and two, is basically just another family member at this point. So a grand total of fourteen people…on five snowmobiles. Don’t even ask how we made that happen (think snowboarders literally in tow), but we did… and it was awesome!

We finished the night off with family bowling. Yeah, family bowling, because that’s what you do at night in a ski town…

Friday was pretty mellow, Christmas Eve had a few last minute shopping trips in the morning with gingerbread house making in the afternoon. Christmas Day was spent opening gifts, lounging around, a family hike, making a few Bloody Marys and of course, cooking! Nothing fancy, but pretty perfect in my mind. So how was everyone else’s Christmas?

Million-Dollar Spaghetti | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Now that my cousins have left, the next group is headed our way, which should be interesting, as some of them have never seen snow before. Bren’s girlfriend Lyndsie has her entire family coming in tomorrow and staying through New Years until the third, so my parents are going to have a very full house.

I have no idea what I am cooking up this week, still trying to recover from the weekend of mad cooking and cocktail making, but I’m sure there will be lots. Since Lyn’s family has yet to try this pasta dish, odds are that I will be making it sometime this week.

I like to think of this dish as a very easy, deconstructed lasagna. It has all the same flavors of a classic lasagna, but minus all the cooking steps, layers, and time, YES! I guess that’s why we call it million dollar spaghetti, huh? Tastes like a million bucks, but it really is easy, and also pretty cheap to make…but don’t tell your guest that, DUH. 🙂

The one major way this dish varies from lasagna however, is that the spaghetti on the bottom of this dish is treated like spaghetti carbonara. Before you bake it, you toss it with eggs to create a rich and creamy sauce. It’s fantastic and sets the dish apart from just another spaghetti casserole.

Trust me, this is not your grandma’s spaghetti bake!

Million-Dollar Spaghetti | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Million Dollar Spaghetti.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories Per Serving: 561 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk cottage cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 pound ground spicy Italian sausage
  • 3 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and boil the pasta until al dente according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, parsley and Parmesan. Drain the spaghetti, and add it right back to the hot pot. Add the butter and the egg mixture to the spaghetti, and quickly toss until evenly coated and the eggs have formed a sauce. Add the cottage cheese and cream cheese and toss until combined. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and brown all over, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the marinara sauce. Spread mixture over the spaghetti. Add the mozzarella cheese in an even layer over top.
  • Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake 30 to 45 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is lightly browned on top. Cool 5 minutes before serving. Serve with parmesan and basil, if desired.

Million-Dollar Spaghetti | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Everyone’s gonna eat it all up.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’m a little surprised at the number of people who want a substitute for the cottage cheese. Trust me, no one will ever know it’s in there! I love that the pasta layer is made like Carbonara. Although I added a little more seasoning to the marinara sauce I made it exactly as written. This is yet another keeper recipe from Tieghan! She’s the best!

    1. Hey Sarah,
      Ricotta cheese would work well in place of the cottage cheese. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    I love this recipe, and my husband especially loves it! It’s perfect for company and comes together quickly!

    1. Hi Mallory,
      Happy Friday!! I am delighted that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    Wow this was soooooo good!!!! perfect and easy to make for company, we paired it with a salad and toasted pita triangles. 🙂 Thank you for always saving me when I need to figure out what to make to share with others!!

    1. Hey Heather,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad that it was enjoyed! Have a great week:) xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    I have been making this for years now, but just now getting around to letting you know how much we love this recipe. My husband requests it for his birthday every year and we have enjoyed it more than once during Covid lockdown. It’s pure comfort for us and I can’t thank you enough for sharing it. I have also developed a pretty amazing baked Mac and cheese using the same hot pasta, eggs and cheese method.
    Thanks again and wishing health and happiness to you and the fam!

    1. Hey Jennie,
      I am delighted that you have been enjoying this recipe, thanks a lot for making it for so long! Happy Friday! xTieghan

    1. Hey Erin,
      I just broke them up:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Tanya,
      Yes, that would work! I also think mascarpone would be great! Please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy New Year! xTieghan

    1. Hey Bob,
      I would just skip the meat in this recipe. I hope you love the dish, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

    1. Hey Felicia,
      Yes, that would be fine to do. I would bake from frozen at 350 for about 60 minutes. I hope you enjoy the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  5. An absolutely phenomenal dish. I did use ricotta in place of the cottage cheese. My first time around assembled and cooked as directed except used ricotta instead of cottage cheese. I thought the bottom noodle layer needed a flavor boost. The next time I served it I ladled a scoop of marinara sauce onto the plate then placed the main dish serving on top of the sauce. Perfect!

    1. Hey Tracey,
      Any noodle will work here!I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hi Jane,
      While I haven’t tried this, it sounds like a great idea! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  6. I saw a friend make this on Instagram and I was overwhelmed with curiosity. GIRL STOP IT WAS SO DELICIOUS. I was salivating as I was halfway done. So creamy and oozing with cheese. 10 stars!

  7. 5 stars
    I knew I would love this recipe the minute I saw it. I was not wrong. Plus, my whole family enjoyed it. That alone is worth 5 stars. Thank you so much for all of your delicious ideas. Consider me obsessed.

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve just discovered your site and am having the most amazing time trying out your recipes. I made the MDS just as the recipe says and it was amazing! Thank you!!I’ve since made another and frozen it. Can I cook it straight from frozen? If so, how long would I cook it for?

  9. 5 stars
    I made this for my cousin’s graduation party, EVERYONE loved it. My uncle asked for leftovers, my mom and aunt asked for the recipe. My cousins are STILL talking about this dish one year later. I’m about to print it again because I’m having them over for a game night. Great crowd pleaser!

  10. 5 stars
    I love cooking and nothing makes me more giddy than finding a new food blog. I just added this to next weeks menu and will be back soon to try more recipes.

    Giving 5 stars before even trying because, come on, how can this NOT be delicious? 🙂

      1. 3 stars
        So I tried this recipe and I’m not sure why, but it didn’t turn out very well. Since the recipe called for spaghetti and canned sauce, I just substituted 4 cans of Chef Boy R-D beef-a-roni and added a pound of Velveeta cheese in place of the motzarela. I didn’t have any fresh eggs but I did have 2 servings of caramel flan in the fridge so I added that to the Chef-Boy-R-D and baked the dish for 45 minutes. It didn’t taste like a million bucks. Maybe I need to add the parsley next time.

        1. HI Fred, I don’t recommend using Chef Boy R-D or Velveeta. I would follow the recipe if possible. Please let me know if you have other questions. Thanks!

    1. I have not, but I am sure that would be delicious! Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope you love this recipe! 🙂

  11. I would love love love to make this but my husband and kids don’t like cottage cheese or ricotta cheese. Is there anything I can substitute for it or can I just leave it out? Thank you so much this looks amazing!!!!

    1. Hi Lindsay! Try leaving it out and maybe doubling up on the mozzarella. I think that would be great. Let me know if you have questions. Hope this recipe is a hit!

  12. It’s July & we’ve got the AC going. I need some comfort food so I’m making this for dinner.

  13. Tieghan, I made this last night and it was really good! We loved it!
    Mine turned out a tish dry so next time I’ll add some cream or pasta water or a combo of both! Thank you for sharing!

  14. T. Every time I took a bite of the first MDS (on to the second batch right now), I would groan and say yuuuum! My sister, and probably a lot of others have made baked spaghetti, but you have taken it to a whole new level. This is going to be my Christmas Eve meal from now on. Just honing my skill at it now, it might take a few more times before Christmas Eve to get it just right. Heh heh.

    1. I prob won’t make it exactly the same every time. This time I am going to make the meat sauce per instructions and then encase mozz-bits with seasoned hamburger to make big balls to go on top of spaghetti, then sprinkle with cheese, bake as directed. Don’t know how it will taste yet.

      1. Yuk! Your part of the recipe was the bomb – as usual, my hamburger mozz balls were awful – after the first one I didn’t eat anymore, but we gobbled up MDS just the same 🙂

  15. I made this spaghetti last night and it was delicious! I’m excited to eat the leftovers! I used store bought sauce because honestly you can buy really good sauce these days. And for a busy weeknight meal using the jar sauce makes it a lot easier. I used about a jar and a half. My only change was using ricotta instead of the cottage cheese because that is what I happened to have in the fridge. I will definitely make this again!

  16. Tiegan, I literally just came back to say tonight is the third time I’ve made this since you posted it ! And it gets better every time. I use penne, because I’m gluten free and I feel like the GF penne holds up better than GF spaghetti. I also sub ricotta for the cottage cheese because I always have ricotta chillin in my fridge (hellooo ricotta breakfast toast). Can’t wait for your cookbook !

  17. Absolutely excellent. I will definitely make again. Easy for week day night meal. Next time I would add extra sauce, other than that perfect.

  18. This looks delicious, but I have a quick question. The recipe mentions a 9×13 pan, but the pictures show a rounded baking dish. I think I’d prefer a deeper more narrow baking dish vs the 9×13 like you’ve done, but did you have to adjust the baking times, or was it as listed above?

    1. Hi! So I just used my large staub pot that I boiled my pasta in. No need to adjust the baking time for a deeper pot. It should be about the same. Let me know if you have questions. Hope you love this recipe. Thank you! 🙂

  19. Can I substitute ground beef for the Italian sausage? What seasonings should I put in it? This looks so mouthwatering! Who cares if it’s not “traditional” spaghetti? Food is for deliciousness (like this) not for rules (though some rules make it more delicious). I’m referring to Fabio, the comment above . Your meals always taste great and the pictures are incredible. Thank you for recipes like this!

    1. Hey Kayla!! Yes, you can use ground beef, that will be great. I would add some crushed red peppers, basil and maybe fennel seeds, but you don’t need to add anything if you’d rather not. The ground beef will be just fine. Let me know if you have questions. Hope you love this!

  20. I made this for New Year’s day! We had some friends over and they loved it as much as we did. My spaghetti went sort of dry, do you think I just overcooked it? I will be making this again. Thank you!!

    1. Hey Kelly! It’s possible you over cooked the spaghetti, but it’s shouldn’t have been dry. Did you use 2 or 3 cups of sauce? So glad you loved this. Happy New Year!

    2. Kelly, I make more than enough sauce since I like mine a little bit saucier and juicy. So, I mean, I make extra.

  21. I know it’s supposed to be a detox week, but this spaghetti looks too good to miss… Monday = all the pasta cravings!

  22. Do you have to add the eggs? Is there a substitute? I really want to try this recipe but I have a child with an egg allergy.

    1. Hi Emily! I think omitting the eggs should be just fine. If the pasta seems a little dry, add a splash of water or olive oil. Let me know if you have questions. Hope you love this!

  23. Looks like a good meal…but how come so many “home Cooks” can’t describe a dish they made proper?
    Million dollar spaghetti, come on…seriously, you don’t have the words to describe it accurately.

    1. Hello! I personally choose to name my recipes in a fun style, if that does not appeal to you, just ignore the name. (:

  24. Wow… These photos are just drool worthy! Pregnancy hormones are telling me I need these carbs and cheese in my life asap – thanks for the foodie inspo!!

    1. Thank you, I am so glad you are loving my recipes and photos Becky! I hope everything is going awesome with the baby!! That is so exciting!

  25. I made this tonight. It was good, but not quite what I was expecting from the photos. Reviewing the post again, and reading through the comments, I have a couple of clarification questions.

    1. You call for a pound of regular spaghetti, but it looks like you used broken noodles (or broke the noodles) when you made it. I found tossing the ingredients with the full length noodles was a little difficult.

    2. Mine came out a little dry for the noodles. The recipe calls for 2 cups of sauce, but you made a comment about having used 3 cups instead. I’d like to know which is correct because I think more sauce would help to combat the slight dryness of the dish.

    Other than that, we really enjoyed the flavors.

    1. HI KACIE! So my noodles broke as I was tossing them. I undercooked my noodles, so they snapped as I tossed it with the eggs. I dud use 3 cups of sauce. I am SO SORRY I will fix the recipe now. Very happy you enjoyed this. Thank you! 🙂

  26. Totally in love with all of this! Cheese and noodles and more cheese… how could you go wrong!? Gotta try this soon!

  27. I mean. I literally have no words, because I’m too busy drooling over all that cheesy pasta!!!

  28. I’ve been reading your blog and its recipes with drool running down my chin all year. Thank you for your wonderful creations and warm homey writings. I don’t always cook’em but they are always inspiring.

  29. Wow Tieghan! This one looks crazy good! Absolutely the perfect comfort food dish for a cold night!

  30. This is like all I ever wanted as a child. I love how you toss eggs with the pasta before you bake it. So rich. Hey, what’s your favorite store bought pasta sauce? I am so over cooking at the moment. At least until New Years. And then it’s bacon wrapped scallops and ricotta stuffed crepes.

  31. It looks as though I may be the first to actually cook this. You are so talented!!! My local butcher didn’t have his usual hand-made picante sausage, so I used a brand-name normal sausage. While still excellent, the extra flavor was missing. Next time, we’ll enjoy it even more. Btw, I cut the recipe in half and it was plenty for three people.

    P.S. Thanks for the cream cheese instead of mascarpone! Less fat. Didn’t feel stuffed.
    P.S.S. Fabio is Italian? And misspelled mascarpone?

    1. I’ve been making this for many years – basically lasagna with spaghetti noodles. I was too lazy to do a full lasagna one day so I did the next best (EASIER) thing. I also add garlic powder, onion powder & basil to the cottage cheese mix. If using beef or turkey instead of sausage, I also add some crushed red pepper to the cheese mix. (I also omit the butter and only use 2 eggs usually and it still sets nicely)

  32. Good morning T. Looking good.
    I should have read this before i went to the city.. Of course now not all the ingredients in the Fridge. Drove to town in -7 deg weather and made it back before the next big snow fall..hit..
    Oh well we shall eat it in early days of 2017.
    I would think Zita might be good also..
    Thank you for the past year of Yummy, intriguing recipes,.
    Your page is about the first web page i visit every morning..( except yesterday..) as i headed to the cities at 7 AM.
    Thank you again.. Have a great Tuesday.

    1. Hey Leslie! Thank you so much, I am so glad you have been enjoying my recipes! Also, I am really glad you made it back home before the snow!! Have a great day and an awesome New Year!!

  33. I’ve been thinking about noodles because it’s supposed to be good luck to eat them for New Years’. I can’t decide between Italian or Thai…. Seriously, your family is so lucky to have you!! Your positivity is delightful and your photos are fantastic.

  34. There is a reason Italians hate it when non-Italians try to cook this stuff. You have ingredient fails.

    1. Marscapone, not cream cheese. Not a big deal but still.
    2. Ricotta, not cottage cheese. This is serious
    3. Jar of sauce. No, No, No, NOOOOO. Make your own or go to McDonalds.

    You have design fails. You admit that this is a rip on lasagna but fail to see that any casserole style dish needs a short noodle or sheet noodle. Spaghetti is meant to compliment lighter flavors like EVOO and some parm. The noodle will struggle to stand up to a pound of cheese and sausage flavors. It is also never to be broken.

    You have technique fails. This spaghetti is mush (offensive to italians) by the time you pull it. Use a very hearty rigatoni cook it halfway and then bake it. Drain the sasuage as well since the grease can ruin the delicate cheese flavors.

    Sorry to be so harsh but it is just so easy to do it the right way. Your blog is very well run and you take fantastic photos.

    1. Hi Fabio,

      No where in this post did I try to claim this as traditional Italian food. I just made something for my family that they loved and shared here on MY blog. We love this recipe and really don’t care that it’s not traditional. This is a food blog and I share recipes that I have created, not recipes that have already been created. Also, as you can see I gave the option to use store bought or homemade marinara sauce. I live by the rule that my mom always taught me, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. Hope up you had a Merry Christmas.

    2. “I live by the rule that my mom always taught me, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. Hope up you had a Merry Christmas.”

      Sorry if you had an Unhappy Christmas, why should you blast someone for their own preferences. Taste is subjective, I didn’t notice you being criticized for how sad your grilled cheese sandwich was or that you only cut the crust off of one side of your PBJ!!

      Lighten up and enjoy this recipe, I am sure others would be happy to judge any of your “Family Creations” in a heartbeat. As for me, I am getting the ingredients together tomorrow to try this, and I may tweak this a little and use Ricotta instead if that is okay with you???? If you have no other need for us, then please post one of your favorite recipes and get it hacked apart by those whom should know better!
      I hope you have a splendid New Year’s and maybe I should work on a resolution or three??

      1. Good advice scott. Yes, I am going to bite my tongue and instead say, this is the BEST MillionDollarSpaghetti I have EVER tasted! Everyone puts their own spin on Italian, Mexican, Chinese etc… Tieghan puts the best spin on everything on her site. Just love her cooking and her photograghs.

  35. Cottage cheese and jar marinara , million dollar….. doubt it. Might try riotta and a little home made saucd…. maybe.

  36. Was craving some cheesy, warm pasta today, came onto your blog and it’s the first recipe I see ! Kismet ?? Making this today! We’re just going to chill and decompress after a busy holiday, and this is absolutely perfect.

    1. Awesome!! SO glad the recipe was perfect for you today!! Hope you love it and hope you and your family had a Merry Christmas!

  37. This sounds amazing, Tieghan! I’m so glad you had a great Christmas with your family and I love hearing about it! Thanks for this recipe and it’s definitely something I want to try!

  38. You know, I have had so many spaghetti during my younger days at home. It was a weekly recurrence. Now I’m so fed up on it that every time I see a spa recipe I just scroll down. But something in yours made me stop, and actually open this recipe. It looks good, it looks different. It looks like something that could make me love again spaghetti.
    I’ll try it for sure ! I actually, I can’t wait to have spaghetti again now…. ! wow

  39. I love your recipes and beautiful photos! Christmas in South Texas was a balmy, humid 80°! Yuck! Being Latina, we celebrate with tamales, Spanish rice and charro beans. Lots of netflix, lounging and a late night burger run made for a great day ?. I’ll be making this recipe to share with family for sure!!! Happy New Year!

  40. What a lovely Christmas you had! One of our favorite family things to do is have a game night. Lots of silly fun playing board games. This Million Dollar Spaghetti would be great for such an occasion.
    By the way did you break up the spaghetti stands before boiling them?

    1. Hey Carmen! I love playing games with my family, it’s so much fun! I did not break the spaghetti, but it broke up as I tossed it. Let me know if you have questions. Thank you and I hope you and your family had a Merry Christmas!

  41. This looks fabulous and I am going to give it a go for New Year’s. I don’t usually like to comment on a recipe until I have actually made it, but wanted to comment on your story above. My daughter’s name is Lyndsie also. I don’t usually see it spelled that way. When I named her, i made up the spelling because my middle name, Lyn. I am finding a few more Lyndsie’s out there now. Happy New Year! Can’t wait to try your recipe!

  42. I swear, you must be the best cook in the world! I love looking at all the gorgeous pictures of your recipe dishes; and all of the ones I’ve made have been astoundingly good! Please, don’t ever go away!
    By the way, I’ve been looking for a good baked spaghetti recipe, and this looks superb! I do believe this will be my next endeavor. Thanks!

      1. Wondering if I can assemble this the day before and bake the next day! Is the 8 hearty serving? Trying to decide how many to make for around 20 folks

        1. Yes, that will work great!! I’d say this serves 6 hearty portions. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  43. This is really a winner recipe for a hungry crowd of people. ANYTHING with cheese is always good. I would love to see pictures of your backyard with the snow:).

  44. I would gladly substitute the pasta for my breakfast right now. It looks simply delicious!! Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas. We hate to see it end.

  45. sounds family-filled but fun and hopefully a good break from all your cookbook and etc craziness! and spaghetti with four cheeses? sounds perfect for post-christmas happiness.