Classic spaghetti pie is the epitome of home-cooked comfort food. It’s got all of your Italian favorites–spaghetti, cheese (sooooo much cheese), and a zippy Italian sausage and tomato sauce–all layered into a pie dish and baked until golden brown and bubbly. Think like lasagna, but way easier.

Sure, you’ll dirty a few dishes along the way, but that’s what dishwashers and kids are for, says the childless man. And it’s simple to prepare. Actually, the hardest part is cooling your heels while it sets up to cut clean slices.

NOTE: This can also be prepared ahead–and even frozen–so go crazy and double the recipe and stash an extra pie in your freezer for yet another crazy-busy weeknight.

david caricature

Why Our Testers Loved This

Between forkfuls of this classic baked pasta pie, the testers raved about the rich flavors in each layer and the simplicity of preparation. Joanna B. calls it “pasta goodness” and was delighted that it reminded her of lasagna but was “so much easier to put together and a manageable size.”

What You’ll Need to Make This

Ingredients for spaghetti pie--marinara, ricotta, sausage, butter, cheese, basil, spaghetti, and an egg.
  • Spaghetti–If you have leftover spaghetti, skip the pasta cooking step and use it instead. You’ll need about 1 pound of cooked spaghetti to replace the 8 ounces of dried.
  • Egg–Don’t be tempted to skip the egg. It’s the binder for your pasta “crust,” and it holds the bottom of your pie together.
  • Italian sausage–Depending on your preference, you can use good-quality sweet, mild, or hot Italian sausage. If your sausage comes in links, remove the casing before using it.
  • Marinara sauce–Use your favorite store-bought or homemade pasta sauce (this is one of my favorites), but make sure it’s thick enough to create a layer on top of the pasta. My testers found that Rao’s sauce delivered excellent results.
  • Mozzarella cheese–Avoid using pre-shredded cheese as it doesn’t melt well. Grate it yourself and use full-fat for the best flavor. (You know me: Full fat = full flavor.)

How to Make This Recipe

Pasta cooking in a pot and a bowl of Parmesan cheese and egg.
  1. Cook the spaghetti until just al dente. Drain in a colander.
  2. Mix the beaten egg, Parmesan cheese, and butter in a large bowl.
Spaghetti noodles being transferred to a bowl and a separate bowl with ricotta and basil.
  1. Add the noodles and toss until they are coated in the butter sauce.
  2. Mix the ricotta and 3 tablespoons of chopped basil in a small bowl. Season with salt.
Sausage being browned in a skillet and then tomato sauce added to the sausage.
  1. Cook the sausage in a skillet until browned and cooked through.
  2. Pour the marinara sauce into the skillet and mix with the sausage.
Spaghetti noodles in a glass pie dish topped with ricotta and basil, then topped with tomato sauce and shredded cheese.
  1. Assemble the pie by pressing the noodles into an even layer in a 9-inch baking dish. Spread the ricotta mixture over the top.
  2. Top with the sausage sauce, and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.
  3. Bake until golden brown and bubbly. Top with the remaining basil. Cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
A whole spaghetti pie in a glass pie plate.

Common Questions

What should I serve with this?

A simple Italian salad or a side of roasted broccoli works well alongside this baked spaghetti pie. And for dessert (because who can forget dessert), think tiramisu.

Can I make Spaghetti Pie in Advance?

Yes, you can! Cook the spaghetti and assemble the pie as directed. Store it, covered, in the fridge for up to 1 day or in the freezer for up to 3 months before baking.

If freezing, a disposable foil pie plate works well. No need to thaw before baking, just add an extra 30 minutes to the cooking time.

Can I make This in a different type of pan?

Although spaghetti pie is typically made in a round pie plate, this will also fit nicely into an 8-inch square baking dish. When serving, cut it into squares.

Helpful Tips

  • Use a large pizza cutter to get clean, even slices when cutting your spaghetti pie.
  • Let the pie cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting. This is critical for having the slices hold their shape.
  • Leftover spaghetti pie casserole can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat leftovers in a 300°F oven or in the microwave until warmed through.
A wedge of spaghetti pie on a plate with a fork.

More Terrific Baked Pasta Recipes

Write a Review

If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

A wedge of spaghetti pie on a plate with a fork.

Spaghetti Pie

5 from 1 vote
A quick, easy, inexpensive, and kid-friendly dinner? Yes, please! Made with pasta, spaghetti sauce, egg, and cheese, it's sure to be a hit.
David Leite
CourseMains
CuisineAmerican
Servings6 servings
Calories480 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients 

  • Cooking spray, for the baking dish
  • 8 ounces dried spaghetti, or 1 pound leftover cooked spaghetti
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz | 28 g) butter, softened
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, preferably full fat
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves, divided
  • 8 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 1/2 cups thick store-bought or homemade marinara sauce
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, preferably full-fat

Instructions 

  • Crank up the oven to 350°F (178°C). Lightly coat a 9-inch (23-cm) pie plate with cooking spray.
  • Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water, until just shy of al dente, according to package directions. Drain in a colander.
  • Beat the egg In a large bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and butter, then toss in the warm noodles and stir until the butter is melted and all the noodles are thoroughly coated. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Stir together the ricotta cheese and 3 tablespoons of chopped basil In a small bowl. Season with a pinch of salt.
  • Cook the sausage in a medium skillet over medium heat, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon until browned and cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the marinara sauce.
  • Press the cheesy noodles into the prepared baking dish and pat firmly to create an even layer.
  • Spread the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles. Top with the sausage-marinara sauce then sprinkle the shredded mozzarella on top.
  • Bake the spaghetti pie until the cheese is melted and the casserole is hot, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining chopped basil. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing.

Notes

  1. Cut it easily–Use a large pizza cutter to get clean, even slices when cutting your spaghetti pie.
  2. Don’t skip the cooling–Let the pie cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting. This is critical for having the slices hold their shape.
  3. Storage–Leftover spaghetti pie casserole can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  4. Reheating–Reheat leftovers in a 300°F oven or in the microwave until warmed through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 480 kcalCarbohydrates: 34 gProtein: 22 gFat: 28 gSaturated Fat: 14 gMonounsaturated Fat: 10 gTrans Fat: 0.2 gCholesterol: 109 mgSodium: 850 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 3 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2015 David Leite. Photos © 2015 Angie Zoobkoff. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

A whole spaghetti pie in a ceramic baking dish.

The ingredients for this spaghetti pie recipe are favorites, but I wondered: why the pie format?

Three reasons:

1.) The layer of creamy ricotta and basil kept the pasta fully separate from the sauce while baking, so the pasta and Parmesan were like a surprise layer of cacio e pepe.

2.) The hit of sauce and sausage on top had a tangy intensity of flavor they wouldn’t have had if mixed with the pasta.

3.) This is much easier to transport, like a lasagne, much faster to make, and far more interesting than a baked ziti.

I used a deeper ceramic pie plate, and the ingredients filled it. I will double this next time and try it in a casserole or two pie plates, as I wish there were more leftovers! A green salad was all this dish needed to make it dinner.

A slice of spaghetti pie on a white plate with some salad topped with shaved Parmesan in the background.

This pie is pasta goodness! It reminds me a bit of lasagna, but it’s much easier to put together and is way more manageable. The pasta layer stays together nicely and is deliciously rich with the butter and Parmesan.

I’m not usually a big sausage fan, but the Italian sausage mixed with the marinara gave the sauce a meaty, rich flavor. Put it all together with the ricotta basil in the middle for a bit of creaminess, and you have a delicious pasta meal.

The leftovers from this also store really well. We had it the first night and then again two nights later and it was just as good. It would be a good make ahead dish as well and may do that in the future for a potluck or make ahead meal for friends.

This is a super-easy baked pasta recipe that’ll please the whole family. From my perspective, I enjoyed proving to myself that sometimes less can be as good as more.

I have made spaghetti pie in the past and would typically have used the whole box of spaghetti noodles, the entire jar of sauce, and probably 2 pounds of meat. This recipe is perfectly delicious and proportioned correctly as written. A great weeknight dinner using pantry staples.

Talk about delicious! And fun to make. At first, I wasn’t sure if it would fit in a 9-inch pie tin, but everything stayed in one place and cut beautifully. Because my hubby likes spicy sauces, I sprinkled red pepper flakes over the cheese layer.

Everyone loved it! It tasted great, and they even asked for seconds. I will definitely make this again.

This spaghetti pie with ricotta is a great way to satisfy the whole family when planning the next meal for Italian night. All of the prep work, including the cooking of the pasta and the browning of the sausage, can be completed in the time that it takes for the oven to heat up, which is nice.

The appetizing smell in the kitchen makes it difficult to allow the pie to sit for the recommended fifteen-minute rest period, but this is necessary. Not only is it scalding hot when it comes out of the oven, but the pie benefits from having some time to set up.

The mouthfeel improved as the dish firmed up, and each ingredient became more pronounced. The enhanced flavors melded together beautifully, especially the cheese and butter mixture, which became well incorporated with the noodles, elevating the overall composition of the pie.

It almost goes without saying that should there be any leftovers, allowing some fridge magic to take place overnight will yield fantastic food the following day.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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