I went through a comfort food phase last month where, despite the heat, all I wanted were piping hot casseroles and soups. Plain Chicken to the rescue, yet again! This is one of the things which satisfied my craving for comfort food. I resisted every temptation to change the recipe, except for using reduced fat cream cheese in place of regular, and while I will say there are some things I’d do different next time (as noted below), this was just so stinkin’ good. Creamy pasta, topped with an easy meat sauce and Parmesan cheese. Just. so. good.
Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti Casserole
12 oz spaghetti
1 (28 oz) jar prepared spaghetti sauce
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
In a skillet, brown the ground beef until cooked through; drain fat and stir in spaghetti sauce. Set aside.
Cook spaghetti according to directions on packet. Drain and place cooked spaghetti in bowl. Add cream cheese, Italian Seasoning and minced garlic. Stir until cream cheese is melted and the spaghetti is thoroughly coated.
Lightly grease a 9×13″ pan. Spread a small amount of meat sauce in the bottom of the dish. Put spaghetti on top of sauce and top with remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.
*Veronica’s note: I would suggest covering your dish with foil while baking to prevent the cheese and spaghetti drying out like mine did. Also, you might reserve some pasta water to add in when you mix in the cream cheese – it is quite thick and dry and I think some extra moisture would make it creamier. I also plan to use more sauce next time – maybe up to even two jars. What can I say, I like the sauce. :)
Recipe source: Plain Chicken