A delicious one skillet meal.  Baked spaghetti - it's meaty and cheesy with the perfect amount of spicy sauce. You can sub in whole wheat spaghetti, I do it all the time and you cannot tell the difference.  It's a forgiving meal that can easily take other substitutions as well like, ground chicken, ground pork or ground turkey.  Serve it with a tangy romaine salad and a delicious dinner's on the table in 30 minutes!


You will need 2 links of Italian sausage for this recipe. If using hot Italian sausage, use just 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.  (adapted from cooks illustrated recipe)


  • 12 ounces 90-percent lean ground beef
  • ounces Italian sausage (see note), casings removed
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • ounces spaghetti, broken into rough 2-inch pieces
  • cups water
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (this can be omitted, if you choose)
  • tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil 
  • cup shredded Italian cheese blend, or melting cheese of your choice


1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat broiler. Cook beef and sausage in large oven safe nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain meat on paper towel-lined plate and pour off fat from skillet. Return meat to skillet. Add garlic, pepper flakes, and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Stir in tomatoes, spaghetti, water, and salt. Cover and cook, stirring often, until spaghetti begins to soften, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, covered, until spaghetti is al dente, about 7 minutes.

3. Stir in cream, basil, and 1/3 cup cheese. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and broil until surface is spotty brown, about 3 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. Serve.



1. Place spaghetti in large zipper-lock bag (I use a freezer bag) and, holding both ends of pasta, press spaghetti firmly against edge of countertop. Break the spaghetti in half, then break each half in half. You will be left with 2.5" or so, pieces.



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