Wednesday, March 7, 2012

3 Cheese Baked Spaghetti

John's dear, sweet grandma - my grandma at heart as well - passed away a few weeks ago.
She is reunited with grandpa, whom she has missed dearly since his passing nearly six years ago. John's parents have been her caregivers for the last few years. So after grandma's celebration of life we invited them to join us down in Rockport for a few days. They accepted and joined us for four nights at Goose Island State Park.

I knew they would be exhausted after the nearly six hour drive, so I had a meal planned for their arrival. They typically eat out but I didn't think they would want to hassle with finding a place to eat after such a long drive. It seemed the perfect opportunity for this yummy recipe I had picked for the next Crazy Cooking Challenge.
This is my third month to participate in the Crazy Cooking Challenge. It is hosted by Tina over at Mom's Crazy Cooking. The challenge is to search other blogs to find the perfect recipe for that month's challenge, credit the blog you found it at and then the recipe with the most votes (clicks) is named the ultimate recipe for the month. For more information you can check it out here:
This month's challenge is spaghetti with red sauce. I'll be featuring two different blogs this month. First I found Quick Spaghetti Sauce at Finding Joy in My Kitchen. I normally use jarred sauces but the addition of cinnamon to this sauce caught my attention and I knew I had to try it. Then I came across this wonderfully cheesy recipe for 3 Cheese Baked Spaghetti at Beyer Beware. It called for my standard jarred sauce but I thought I would mix things up a bit and make it with the quick, yummy sounding, homemade sauce. I had to pare down the sauce to make close to the 28 ozs required for the baked spaghetti but with company coming I didn't need to make any adjustments to the baked spaghetti recipe as far as quantities which was really kind of nice, I like cooking for more than two occasionally.

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup diced onion
14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
12 oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon

Brown ground beef and onions.
 Drain off grease if necessary. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and garlic powder; stirring well.
 Add in the sugar and simmer till warmed. Stir in the cinnamon then set aside.

Quick Spaghetti Sauce
8 oz Angel hair pasta, cooked
1/4 cup liquid eggs or 1 whole large egg
1 cup cottage cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cooked pasta in large bowl. Mix in egg, cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.
Add sauce and mix well. I used my my eight cup measurere/mixing bowl from Pampered Chef - it was not big enough, I actually finished mixing it in the casserole dish. Spray a large casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour spaghetti mixture into casserole dish.
Top with remaining 1 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup parmesan, I ran out of shredded parmesan and substituted grated parmesan instead.
Bake until cheese is melted and sauce is nice and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.

Make sure to check out more recipes from this month's Crazy Cooking Challenge below.


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss, but was happy to read about your grandmother's "celebration of life". :)

  2. Looks like you all had a great time at the park! The sauces sound delish!

  3. Hi Terry,
    I am so sorry about the loss of your loved one, it is hard to let them go. Your 3 Cheese Baked Spaghetti looks awesome, we would really enjoy it. It is great cooking with you in The CCC.
    Miz Helen

  4. Sorry for your loss.

    Your baked spaghetti looks wonderful, great recipe.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my CCC entry: Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  5. I've never had red sauce with cinnamon in it before, it sounds good. Stopping by from CCC#61.

    1. The cinnamon is what caught my attention and really makes this an amazingly different sauce.

  6. This looks great! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment :) Happy Crazy Cooking Challenge Day!

  7. I love to add cinnamon to meat dishes, so I'm definitely going to try this one! So sorry about your loss. It's always hard to say good-bye. So glad you're in the Challenge. Would love to do what you guys are doing. I'm #28. Come visit when you can.

    1. First time I had tried cinnamon in a meat dish - wont be the last. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. I'm so sorry for your loss, sending prayers your way to you and your family.
    Love your recipe and the great memories you created while sharing it.

    1. Thank you for the prayers and for stopping by.

  9. Sorry for your loss. I think sharing a meal together and creating these kinds of memories is a great way to honor a loved one. Great recipe! Cinnamon is something I wouldn't have thought of in spaghetti sauce. Love it!

  10. You had me at "3 cheese"! I like how you use cottage cheese; my mom always made lasagna with it when I was growing up. How nice that you got to make your dish for company. It's always fun to cook for more than the "usual crowd." :)

  11. I am so flattered that you used my recipe!! I am also so sorry to hear about your loss. My grandpa passed away two weeks ago, so I completely feel your pain. Spaghetti is a great comfort food though!! I made a tasty Easy Spasgna for this month's challenge. Check it out at #70.

  12. Aww, sorry about grandma =( She'd be proud of your delicious spaghetti dish I'm sure. I use cinnamon in my sauce too. And turmeric is also nice.

    Jen #19

  13. My condolences on your loss. It's hard to lose a loved one, but like you said, there is peace in knowing she is reunited with her husband.

    Your spaghetti sounds lovely. I hadn't thought to put cinnamon in the sauce. Sounds exotic and delicious!

  14. Sorry to hear about your loss.

    I love all the cheese in this recipe, sound yummy!

  15. So sorry for your loss, Terry. My prayers are with you and your family.

    This dish sounds (and looks) amazing. I think even my picky 4-year old would go for this, so I'm going to have to give it a try! YUM.

    1. Thanks Ashley.

      The recipe for the baked spaghetti came from a mom with two little ones so I bet your little guy will love it.

  16. You can't go wrong with spaghetti after a long drive. I'm sorry for your loss.

    - Gay


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