Easy Bacon Spaghetti Casserole
Hey everyone! With so many of us staying home and looking through the pantry for tonight’s low-cost dinner idea, I wanted to share one of my favorite and most requested recipes. What I love about this is there are an unlimited number of substitutions, add ins, and variations available. The basic recipe only requires FIVE ingredients, most of which are probably already in your pantry and fridge. The cheese is optional, but I almost always include it to help everything hold together.
It takes a little time since you bake it after assembly, but that is one thing we have a little more of these days! Great to make with kids, they can add in their favorite things and feel like they are a part of your family’s own unique recipe. So go through your cabinets, pull out some of your staples and let’s get cooking!
You Will Need –
- 1 lb Bacon (or ground beef, sausage, turkey, or shredded chicken)
- 1 yellow or white onion (or frozen chopped onions)
- Handful or about 16 oz of spaghetti (or rotini, spiral, or bowtie pasta)
- 1 large jar of spaghetti sauce, any brand or flavor (alfredo sauce works also, with jack cheese).
- Cheddar cheese, about 1 ½ – 2 cups shredded. (Optional and you can adjust for your tastes)
Popular Add Ins –
- Black Olives
- Canned Fire Roasted Chilis or Jalapenos
- Mushrooms (canned or sautéed)
- Diced Tomatoes
- 1 can corn, or 1 cup frozen corn
ONE – First, add your bacon or thawed ground meat to a big hot skillet. I like to use one big enough so I can add all sauce ingredients and only was one pan. Render until it starts to brown, then drain off 2/3 of the grease.
TWO – Meanwhile, start a pot of water boiling, boil the spaghetti as directed, but just a little under. It will absorb the sauce better if it’s a little al dente.
THREE – Dice onion into medium sized pieces and add to bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Now is the time to add in other optional small add ins such as mushrooms, corn, canned chilis, etc. Turn heat down a bit and simmer on medium low until onions are starting to caramelize, and bacon is crisp (5-10 mins.)
FOUR – Drain pasta and set aside to cool a bit.
FIVE – Pour the jar of sauce into the skillet. Don’t forget to rinse the jar with about an 1/8 cup of hot water, and pour that in also to get all of it in the pan. Let this simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the sauce starts to simmer. If you are using diced tomatoes as an optional add in, add them now.
SIX – Grease a 9X13 baking dish and set oven to 370 degrees.
SEVEN – Start layering! First layer, about 1cup of the sauce, spread out all over the bottom of the dish. Next add half of the pasta and pull apart the noodles so they lay as flat as possible. Kids love this part!
EIGHT – Next, add half of your sauce mix to the top of the noodles. You will need to use a spatula to spread it out evenly over the noodles.
NINE – Sprinkle half the cheese over the sauce layer.
TEN – Next, layer the rest of the noodles, followed by the rest of the sauce.
ELEVEN – Lastly, sprinkle with the remainder of the cheese. This would be the time to add in your sliced black olives if you are using them, I like them on the top since they add a nice visual element to the dish.
TWELVE – The casserole goes in the oven, covered with foil, for 35-40 minutes. It’s done when the noodles look just slightly crispy around the edges.
This meal can be prepped and refrigerated or frozen before the final bake and holds up very well in the fridge and freezer after it’s baked. Should feed a family of 4, or two people for two days. I’ve made this dish many times, and most of the time the total for ingredients is less than $10. The bacon or sausage and the cheese are the most expensive elements. You can substitute almost any kind of pasta, but the spaghetti gives it a really nice texture. I have also made this with turkey, but because of the low fat content you need to add a tablespoon of cooking oil before starting the turkey in the skillet.
I hope you like it, and if you would like to see more you can follow my stories on Instagram at @hockingallison . I welcome your feedback and suggestions on future videos also!
Happy Home Cooking friends!
– Allison Hocking – LKCM Radio Group AE