Easy Baked Spaghetti Recipe with Creamy Pesto

Easy Baked Spaghetti Recipe with Creamy Pesto

This easy baked spaghetti recipe is pure comfort. It’s everything we love about simple spaghetti and meat sauce. Plus, we add a dreamy layer of creamy pesto in the middle, cheese on top and we bake until bubbly. It’s easy to make and really easy to serve.

One of Our Favorites. How we Make Our Easy Baked Pasta Recipe.

Our baked pasta recipe comes together really quickly. We love pasta and red sauce, but we love it even more when we add sweet cooked onions and ground beef. So, to start things out, we cook the onions and the beef until the onions are soft and the beef has browned. Then, we add two jars of our favorite store-bought marinara sauce (you could add homemade, too). After everything is warm and bubbling, we toss in cooked spaghetti.

Easy Baked Spaghetti Recipe with Creamy Pesto

Now, you could stop there, but if you’re up for it, try adding a thin layer of sour cream mixed with some store-bought pesto. We just smear it over about half of the pasta then cover with the rest of the pasta. So delicious!

Easy Baked Spaghetti Recipe with Creamy Pesto

Once the pan is full, we cover the spaghetti with some cheese and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Easy Baked Spaghetti Recipe with Creamy PestoDid you enjoy our easy baked spaghetti recipe? If so, you might also like these:

4.0 from 1 reviews
Easy Baked Spaghetti Recipe with Creamy Pesto
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A delicious and easy baked spaghetti recipe with ground beef, marinara sauce and a middle layer of creamy pesto. If you are like us, this will become your new favorite meal! To make this meatless, just remove the beef – the spaghetti will still be delicious.
Created By:
Yield: 8
You Will Need
  • 1 pound (453 grams) dry spaghetti pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound (453 grams) lean ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Two 26-ounce jars (1474 grams) marinara sauce
  • 3/4 cup (175 grams) sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) basil pesto
  • 1/2 cup (40 grams) shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Spray a 3-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or lightly grease with butter. (A 13-inch by 9-inch pan works well for this).
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil then add spaghetti and cook according to the package directions (this usually takes about 10 minutes). Then, drain pasta.
  3. In a small bowl, stir the basil pesto and sour cream together, and then set aside.
  4. While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan with sides. Then, add onions then cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent.
  5. Now, add the beef to the onions. Scatter a 1/2 teaspoon of salt over the beef then use a spoon or fork to break the beef apart. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef has browned. This takes about 6 minutes.
  6. Drain extra fat from the beef then add tomato sauce and cook, while stirring until heated through. Easy Baked Spaghetti Step 1
  7. Remove beef from the heat, add the cooked and drained spaghetti and toss. Transfer about half of the spaghetti to the baking dish. Spread the sour cream and pesto mixture on top then cover with the rest of the spaghetti. Top with mozzarella cheese. Easy Baked Spaghetti Step 2
  8. Place the baking dish onto an aluminum-lined baking sheet (just in case any sauce drips over the sides of the baking dish). Then, bake for about 30 minutes or until cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling.

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21 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Carl Dunn December 29, 2013, 3:05 pm

    Love the added twist of cream cheese and pesto topping. I substituted mushrooms for the meat to give the dish a healthier basis. Will definitely keep this recipe in my collection.

    • Joanne December 30, 2013, 11:09 am

      Love your changes!

  • Cynthia September 30, 2013, 4:39 pm

    I tried it with beef and sausage,topped it off with swiss, mozarella and cheddar jcak cheese…divine

  • Michele August 28, 2013, 7:42 pm

    Had it for dinner tonight and it was AWESOME. I used ricotta cheese instead of sour cream. Yum-o. Thank you for the recipie.

    • Joanne August 29, 2013, 2:20 pm

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  • Cynthia Greenwood August 15, 2013, 11:21 am

    I’m trying this tonight, Joanne. Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Joanne August 15, 2013, 4:27 pm

      Of course, hope you love it 🙂

  • Jackie August 12, 2013, 4:15 pm


    What brand of marinara sauce did you use in this recipe.

  • Nicole April 22, 2013, 7:39 pm

    Do you think I could assemble the night before and then bake when I get home for the day? Or do you think the pasta would absorb too much of the sauce?

    • Joanne April 23, 2013, 4:57 pm

      You should be fine. The spaghetti will absorb some of the sauce, but it should be fine. if you are worried, though, you could undercook the pasta a little before assembling. Then, it will soften up overnight and while baking.

  • Roy March 26, 2013, 4:30 pm

    I want to make this baked spaghetti recipe but am not too fond of sour cream. Do you think I could substitute ricotta cheese?


    • Adam March 27, 2013, 12:29 pm

      Hi Roy, Ricotta cheese or even cottage cheese would work well.

  • angela January 16, 2013, 7:33 pm

    My family & I loved this!

  • Grace December 15, 2012, 12:51 pm

    Going to make this for my girls get together tonight!!! YUM~

  • JulieD November 19, 2012, 8:49 pm

    Woah, this looks amazing you guys!! Adding this to my list to try soon!

  • Tessa November 18, 2012, 7:19 pm

    This is my quick fix meal. i usually use regular cheeses and add a tin of baked beans. will try the pesto and basil next time.

  • Chung=Ah | Damn Delicious November 13, 2012, 5:25 pm

    Amazing! I’ve always wanted to try baked spaghetti! And that middle layer of pesto sounds to die for!

  • Bev @ Bev Cooks November 13, 2012, 9:53 am


  • Joanne November 13, 2012, 7:09 am

    I can’t believe I’ve never made baked SPAGHETTI before! It sounds like so much fun, as does the layer of pesto in the middle!

  • Lana @ Never Enough Thyme November 12, 2012, 7:35 pm

    Love your baked spaghetti recipe. Thanks for including a link to mine!


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