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Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti Recipe

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Elevate Your Pasta Game with Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti: A Comforting Classic

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Get ready to experience the ultimate comfort food with Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti – a delightful twist on traditional spaghetti that combines savory ground beef, rich cream cheese, and flavorful pasta sauce, all baked to perfection. This hearty and satisfying dish is perfect for family dinners, potlucks, or any occasion that calls for a comforting meal. Join us as we explore how to make this mouthwatering recipe and discover why it’s become a beloved favorite for pasta lovers everywhere.

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Ingredients:

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  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 16 ounces spaghetti pasta
  • 28 ounces pasta sauce
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 pinch garlic salt
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

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  1. Preheat Oven and Cook Pasta:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
    • Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Brown Ground Beef:
    • In a large skillet, cook the lean ground beef over medium heat until browned and no longer pink. Drain any excess grease.
  3. Prepare Cream Cheese Mixture:
    • In a mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and garlic salt until well blended.
  4. Assemble the Dish:
    • In a separate large mixing bowl, mix together the cooked spaghetti, browned ground beef, pasta sauce, and half of the grated Parmesan cheese.
    • Spread half of the spaghetti mixture evenly into the bottom of a greased 9×13-inch baking dish.
    • Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the spaghetti layer.
    • Top with the remaining spaghetti mixture, spreading it out evenly.
  5. Bake the Casserole:
    • Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese and the remaining grated Parmesan cheese over the top of the spaghetti mixture.
    • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Uncover and Finish Baking:
    • Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Let the Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti cool for a few minutes before serving.
    • Garnish with fresh basil or parsley, if desired, and serve hot.

Cook Notes and Variations:

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  • Vegetarian Option: Substitute the ground beef with plant-based ground meat or chopped vegetables such as mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini for a vegetarian version.
  • Spice It Up: Add a kick of heat by incorporating crushed red pepper flakes or diced jalapenos into the spaghetti sauce.
  • Cheese Variations: Experiment with different types of cheese such as cheddar, provolone, or fontina to customize the flavor of the dish.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto Option: Replace the spaghetti pasta with cooked spaghetti squash or shirataki noodles to reduce the carb content. Use a low-carb pasta sauce and choose full-fat cream cheese to keep it keto-friendly. Adjust the portion sizes to fit your macros.
  • Low-Carb Variation: Opt for a low-carb pasta alternative such as zucchini noodles or konjac pasta. Use a sugar-free marinara sauce and reduce the amount of cream cheese to lower the carb count.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef? A: Absolutely! Ground turkey is a great alternative to ground beef and will work well in this recipe.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A: Yes, you can assemble the Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti ahead of time and refrigerate it, covered, for up to 24 hours before baking. Alternatively, you can freeze the assembled dish for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking as directed.

Q: Can I add vegetables to this recipe? A: Of course! Feel free to add diced onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach to the ground beef mixture for added flavor and nutrition.

In conclusion, Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti is a comforting and delicious dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With its layers of savory ground beef, creamy cream cheese, and flavorful pasta sauce, this casserole is sure to become a family favorite. Whether you’re craving a cozy weeknight dinner or planning a gathering with friends, this recipe is guaranteed to please even the pickiest eaters. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to enjoy the warm and comforting flavors of Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti!

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