Dougall’s Spaghetti Casserole

This hearty spaghetti casserole is the perfect comfort food. Filled with pasta, cheese, and plenty of tangy flavor, it’s sure to become a family favorite.

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Spaghetti casserole on a white plate

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There are a few foods that I specifically remember my dad making me when I was young. His peanut butter, mayo and raisin sandwiches, grilled chicken, and spaghetti casserole. He always said it was his dad’s recipe, which cracked me up because neither one of them ever measured anything or wrote it down. Finally I convinced my dad to walk me through the process so I could take notes and actually make it a real recipe.

This is not healthy. This is good ‘ole fashioned comfort food. It’s the cheat meal to end all cheat meals. It will likely clog your arteries and do bad things to your cholesterol but believe me it will be worth it.

This recipe will make at least 12-15 servings. It’s great for feeding a crowd at a potluck, but it also makes excellent leftovers if you’re feeding a small family! If need be, the recipe can be easily halved and made in a smaller casserole dish.

Ingredients for spaghetti casserole. Ground chuck, sharp cheddar cheese, spices, mushrooms, spaghetti noodles, onion, ketchup, ritz crackers, tomato sauce, cream of mushroom soup, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire

How Do I Make Spaghetti Casserole?

Begin by heating an oiled skillet over medium heat. Add the ground chuck, chopped mushrooms, and diced onion. We use 80% lean ground chuck. You can use a leaner meat but the fat adds so much to the flavor and tenderness of the meat, I personally feel that it’s worth it. As the meat cooks, use a spatula to break it up into small pieces. Cook until the meat begins to brown and the onions start to turn translucent.

Ground chuck, onion, and mushrooms partially cooked in a skillet

In a separate bowl whisk together the garlic powder, oregano, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, ketchup, and one can of tomato sauce. Pour this sauce into the pan with the meat mixture and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium to low heat and cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about 15 minutes.

ground chuck cooking in sauce

In a large mixing bowl (probably the biggest one you own), combine the cream of mushroom soup, remaining tomato sauce, cheese, noodles, and cooked meat with sauce.

Tomato sauce, cream of mushroom soup, noodles, sharp cheddar cheese, ground chuck in sauce, all in a bowl

Stir until everything is mixed well.

spaghetti casserole mixed in bowl

Pour the mixture into a 15 inch casserole dish and spread it out evenly. Cover the top of the casserole with crushed Ritz crackers. Use a knife to cut a few slits throughout the casserole and pour a small amount of milk over the top, make sure not to overflow the dish.

Spaghetti casserole with ritz crackers

Bake the casserole in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 45 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly and the crackers are nicely browned.

Baked spaghetti casserole

Let the spaghetti casserole rest for about 10 minutes before serving. We like to drizzle ketchup on top for a bit of extra flavor.

How Can I Make It Spicy?

If you have a family like ours, some like heat and others don’t. In that case, it’s best to offer crushed red pepper flakes as a condiment while serving. If your whole crowd loves spicy flavors, you can add heat to the whole recipe. Either double the chili powder for mild spice, or add a tablespoon of cayenne powder to the sauce to kick it up a notch.

What Should I Serve With Spaghetti Casserole?

Because this dish is so heavy, we like to eat it alongside a fresh salad and green beans. Garlic bread also is a great addition to this meal!

As far as drinks go, I think it’s probably pretty obvious that I’d suggest a bold red wine. Chianti or Cabernet would be the best fit for these flavors. Or if you’re not feeling in a boozy mood, I grew up enjoying a glass of ice cold milk alongside this dish, so that’s still a favorite pairing of mine.

Can I Freeze Spaghetti Casserole?

Spaghetti casserole will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. If you aren’t going to finish it all by then, or if you want to have an easy meal on hand for the future, freezing is an option. Cool the casserole in the refrigerator, then seal it well in a freezer safe container. You can freeze it for up to 3 to 4 months.

Dougall’s Spaghetti Casserole

This casserole's meaty, cheesy and tangy flavors will both feed and please a crowd.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 15 people
Calories 430 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb Spaghetti Noodles
  • 1 lb Ground Chuck (80% lean is best)
  • 1/2 Diced Onion
  • 8 oz Chopped Mushrooms
  • 1 T Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 T Oregano
  • 1/2 T Chili Powder
  • 2 T Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 T Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 T Ketchup
  • 2 15 oz Cans of Tomato Sauce
  • 2 10.5 oz Cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 lb Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 sleeves Ritz Crackers, crushed
  • 1/4 C milk

Instructions
 

  • Cook spaghetti noodles by boiling in 5 quarts water for 8-10 minutes, drain and set aside.
  • Heat an oiled skillet over medium heat and add ground chuck, onions, and mushrooms. Break up the meat into small pieces as it starts to cook.
  • Cook until meat begins to brown and onions start to turn translucent, drain excess liquid, leaving meat, onions, and mushrooms cooking in pan.
  • In a separate bowl mix garlic powder, oregano, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, ketchup, and one can of tomato sauce.
  • Add the mixed sauce to the meat and simmer on medium to low heat for 15 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the second can of tomato sauce, cream of mushroom soup, cooked meat sauce, shredded cheese, and noodles. Mix well.
  • Transfer the mixture into a 15" casserole dish and top evenly with the crushed Ritz crackers. Use a knife to cut a few slits throughout the casserole. Pour the milk over the top, making sure not to overfill the dish.
  • Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 45 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly and the crackers begin to brown.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

**Our family loves to top the cooked casserole with a drizzle of ketchup!
Keyword Casserole, Cheese, Pasta


2 thoughts on “Dougall’s Spaghetti Casserole”

  • 5 stars
    So filling, so tasty that even our nephew-a 7 yo picky eater and my 70 yo pops were delighted!
    When I am just going for a lighter angle hair pasta dinner I still turn here- this red sauce is so delicious- I am generous with the red pepper flakes!

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