A couple of years ago I tried Spaghetti a la Philly, and I didn’t like it. I know, isn’t that shocking? Something containing cream cheese that I didn’t like? Unheard of! But I didn’t enjoy the combination of cream cheese and spaghetti sauce in the recipe very much at all. So when I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest, I was somewhat skeptical. But the picture was so appealing and it looked so good that I knew I had to try it. Even if I didn’t like it, I knew it would get eaten, because Joe and the boys are spaghetti fiends.
Well, I loved it. I don’t know if my tastes have changed or if this recipe is just delicious, or a combination of those two things, but I couldn’t stop eating this. It’s similar to a lasagna in the manner that it’s assembled, but the taste is all its own. The French-fried onions are like the cherry on top of the sundae: the perfect thing to add texture and flavor to the entire dish. So if you make this, don’t skip them!
There are few meals that are as comforting as baked spaghetti, and this version is definitely delicious. If your family is anything like mine, they’ll love this dinner!
Creamy Baked Spaghetti
adapted from Salad in a Jar
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1 pound ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves minced garlic
1 jar of prepared spaghetti sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
1/3 cup chopped onions
8 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons milk
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
French-fried onions (small can)
1. Cook spaghetti according to directions on the package. Cook to al dente, drain and set aside.
2. Brown ground beef, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Drain excess grease. Return beef to pan and add garlic. Cook and stir for 30 seconds, then add spaghetti sauce to skillet and heat through.
3. Combine onions, peppers and butter in small glass bowl. Cover and microwave 4 minutes on high until soft.
4. Add cream cheese and milk to vegetables and stir well. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Using a 10 x 6-inch dish, add a thin layer of meat sauce to the bottom of the casserole dish. Top with spaghetti, then cream cheese and vegetable mixture, then the remaining meat sauce, then parmesan cheese.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Top with French-fried onions and continue baking 5 more minutes or until the onions are crispy and fragrant.