National Spaghetti Day | Spaghetti Casserole – The Foodie Patootie

National Spaghetti Day | Spaghetti Casserole


When I first decided to take on this project, which is of a magnitude I didn’t fully comprehend until I spent countless hours in the kitchen, obtaining blisters and swollen feet, I knew that I had to enlist my friends and family for help.

My friend Jessica, one of my most avid supporters, jumped at the chance to share this recipe with me. Popular in her own home, she knew that it would be perfect for this challenge. Her husband Kevin is a long time friend of mine (we are talking almost 13 years!) and they frequently have this dish for dinner. Spaghetti Casserole has everything that I look for in a meal: pasta, cheese, meat, ease of cooking, fast to prepare and have on the table for the hungry significant others and children in our lives. But it has something more too. It has a story.


The greatest dishes are passed down from our loved ones. They are family meals that everyone enjoys and that many memorize the steps to create. They have heart and evoke memories that ignite the soul. They are dishes that honor those we have lost.

This dish is in honor of Kevin’s mom, Donna.

I was not one of the fortunate ones to have known her, but what I do know is that she was loved. I know that she enjoyed cooking, that she was good at it, and that she loved to share her recipes. Sounds like someone I would have really loved to talk to.

When we lose someone, we don’t really lose them. They remain by us in many ways, their favorite and time-honored dishes being one of them. I’m thankful to Kevin and Jessica for allowing me to share this recipe with all of you.



National Spaghetti Day | Spaghetti Casserole
Recipe Type: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: A Family 🙂
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 14oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 oz Parmesan shredded cheese
  • Butter
  • 1/2 lb spaghetti
  1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Saute onion and green pepper until translucent.
  2. Brown ground beef in onion mixture. Drain and salt to taste.
  3. Add diced tomatoes to beef and onion mixture. Stir in sugar and simmer.
  4. Cook spaghetti in salted water. Drain and add to simmered mixture.
  5. Pour all combined ingredients into a large casserole dish.
  6. Add the Parmesan cheese on top.
  7. Dot butter over the cheese.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.


Tomorrow: National Whipped Cream Day

20 Responses to “National Spaghetti Day | Spaghetti Casserole”

  1. Sarah Fuller — January 4, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Looks delicious. Have pinned to my Food and Drink to Make board. Thanks so much for being an integral part of Daily Blog Boost.

    • Jennifer — January 4th, 2014 @ 9:43 pm

      Thank you, Sarah! I hope you enjoy!

  2. Tracy Guida — January 4, 2014 at 10:33 am

    This looks so good and is perfect for a family meal. I need to try this. Great photos!

    • Jennifer — January 4th, 2014 @ 9:42 pm

      Thanks, Tracy! It was fantastic eating dinner with you tonight! xoxo

  3. Aubrey — January 4, 2014 at 11:09 am

    You know, recipes really are way to remember those loved ones that aren’t with us anymore. I feel this every time I make my grandma’s potato soup or baked chocolate pudding.

    And now, I must pick a spaghetti recipe to make tonight. Thanks for taking care of dinner decisions for me. =)

    • Jennifer — January 4th, 2014 @ 9:42 pm

      I’m happy to help. 😉

  4. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche — January 4, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Great recipe and it’s so nice that you made it in honour of your friends’ mum 🙂

    • Jennifer — January 4th, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

      Thank you, Becca! I am honored that my friend shared his family recipe with me.

  5. lydiaf — January 4, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    When the kids were small we’d make a similar casserole. I need to revisit it 🙂

    • Jennifer — January 4th, 2014 @ 9:40 pm

      …and I would encourage it. 🙂

  6. Krystal — January 4, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    This is actually really unique (to me!). I’ve never considered making a casserole like this before. Thanks for sharing Jess!

    • Jennifer — January 4th, 2014 @ 9:40 pm

      Do it, do it! It would be such an easy weeknight meal.

  7. Joanna Sormunen — January 5, 2014 at 12:09 am

    The food looks absolutely delicious. And you are right, the best food is the one with history. The one that was passed to us with love. And that love never dies. The people we love are in a better place, happier now, and they just wait for us to arrive also. The sadness is for us, not for them.

    • Jennifer — January 5th, 2014 @ 9:19 am

      Thank you, Joanna. It was lovely to hear of everyone who feels the same way about food. 🙂

  8. Jennifer Treichel — January 5, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Thank you for writing such nice things about my Aunt Donna. Miss her dearly. I have never tried the spaghetti casserole, but it does look delicious and since it’s a family recipe I will have to make it some time.

    • Jennifer — January 6th, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

      Definitely! I enjoyed making it. 🙂

  9. Meaghan Mulligan — January 5, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Looking forward to trying this one! I know my Aunt was an excellent cook! I’m really looking forward to trying it! YUM 🙂

    • Jennifer — January 6th, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

      So I’ve heard! I loved this Spaghetti Casserole!

  10. Leslie — January 6, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    YUM! I love any baked pasta and this one looks divine. I love that it’s in honor of someone special too. You are so right about the best kind of recipes being passed down to us from loved ones. I swear my mom is looking over my shoulder every time I make her recipe for Arroz con pollo. Really sweet and delicious post!

    • Jennifer — January 6th, 2014 @ 7:13 pm

      I remember reading your post about your mom’s Arroz con Pollo! I just went back and looked and now I remember that the recipe is a secret. Keep that one safe. 😉

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