We had a great time and the road trip was actually a breeze. The kiddos were GREAT and there were no problems. The only meltdowns/temper-tantrums were from me, lol!
During this time of the year, I firmly believe it is of the utmost importance to keep some sense of normalcy. It is too easy to get swept up in the craziness. For me, keeping up with family dinners is vital. Not only does it ground you and remind you of what is really important, but it nourishes your body and soul for this stress-laden season.
This recipe has turned into a family favorite for sure. The unique combination of ingredients gives is an almost lasagna-type quality. Ohhh, the French Fried Onions really bump it up a notch and give such a great flavor and texture. It is a cinch to make and would be a great dish to put together in the morning (sans French Fried Onions) and simply bake when you are ready. We all really, really loved it!
Scooter's Baked Spaghetti
Recipe adapted from: Salad in a Jar
- 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (26.5 ounces)
- 1 TBSP butter
- 1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup chopped green peppers
- 1/3 cup chopped onions
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 TBSP milk
- 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- French Fried Onions (small can)
In a bowl, combine cream cheese and milk. If your cream cheese is not soft enough, you can stick it in the microwave for a few seconds. It should be able to spread easily. Set aside.
In a skillet, saute the onions and peppers until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, but do not let it burn. Combine vegetables to cream cheese mixture. Add 1 cup of Mozzarella Cheese and 1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese to the cream cheese/veggie mixture and stir to incorporate.
In same skillet (less dishes) brown ground beef. Drain excess grease. Add spaghetti sauce to skillet and heat.
Using a 10 x 6 dish (I used a 9x13 and was ok), assemble in the following order:
Thin layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.
Cream cheese/vegetable/cheese mixture
Spaghetti Meat sauce
Remaining cup of Mozzarella Cheese and remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese (or more taste of course)
French Fried Onions (added during last 5 minutes of cooking)
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Top with French Fried onion and continue baking 5 more minutes. (This is the secret ingredient–don’t let them burn.)
Make this ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze without the French Fried onions. Don’t forget to add them 5 minutes before casserole is finished cooking.
This recipe has been linked up to:
The Counrty Cook
Simply Sweet Home
This Chick Cooks