Scooter’s Baked Spaghetti with French-Fried Onions is a one-dish masterpiece. French-fried onions sprinkled over layers of spaghetti, cream cheese,
Expanded and updated on January 14, 2020.
What kind of recipe makes your all-star list?
If you are like me, it must be:
- Made from ingredients you are likely to have in your pantry
- Something most people (including kids and picky eaters) will like
Recipes you can make ahead of time get bonus points.
Scooter’s Baked Spaghetti Casserole fulfills all these requirements. The first time or two seems like a bit of trouble. But with a little experience, you won’t need the recipe.
Who or what is “Scooter?”
Scooter is one of my favorite people from way back. She is an excellent cook. I’m so happy she is willing to share her recipes.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes. But don’t add the French Fried Onions.
Assemble all layers except the onions and cover with plastic wrap, then foil. (Spaghetti sauce will cause small holes in the foil where it touches.) Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
Can I freeze this recipe?
Yes–before you bake it. Cover assembled but unbaked spaghetti casserole (without onion rings) with plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil.
When you get ready to bake it, remove the plastic wrap and cover it with foil until the casserole is heated through. Remove foil halfway through baking to allow the cheese to brown.
Whether you refrigerate or freeze, don’t forget about the French Fried Onions. Sprinkle them evenly over the top of the casserole 5 minutes before baking is completed.
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Ingredients and Substitutions:
Substitute breakfast sausage or Italian sausage for a portion or all of the ground beef. I like to use 50% beef and 50% hot breakfast sausage.
Leave out the meat for a vegetarian meal.
Squeeze as much moisture out of the zucchini as you can before assembling the casserole.
My favorite sauce is Victoria White Linen Marinara Sauce. It contains less sugar than most. It’s available at Costco as of this writing. Also seen on Amazon.
Have a favorite spaghetti sauce recipe? Go ahead and use it in this recipe. You will need about 3 to 3-1/2 cups of sauce.
Neufchâtel is a good replacement for cream cheese if you’re trying to cut the fat. Read more about Neufchâtel on this informative post.
You could leave out the cream cheese, but please don’t. It won’t be the same. Even if you think you don’t like cream cheese, it’s magic in this recipe.
|French-Fried Onion Rings
Don’t be tempted to leave these out! It would be like ordering a cheeseburger without cheese. What’s the point?
The onion rings and cream cheese layer make this recipe extra special and unique.
If you need gluten-free and/or grain-free, check out these onion rings available at Asian supermarkets and Amazon. They are fried but without a batter coating.
Substitute pan-fried shallots for the onion rings. (See picture below). You will need at least 4-5 shallots for this recipe. Sautè sliced shallots in a frying pan with a little bit of oil. Fry at med-low temperature until brown, stirring frequently.
How to assemble Scooter’s Baked Spaghetti Casserole:
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How to layer Scooter’s Spaghetti:
Put the casserole back into the oven until onions are toasty. Keep your eyes on it. The onions can burn faster than you can answer the door.
Pin the picture below to save for later.
If you make this recipe and enjoy it, consider helping other readers and me by returning to this post. Leave a rating on the recipe card itself underneath the picture. Although always appreciated, comments aren’t required. Thank you for visiting! Paula
- 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 large can spaghetti sauce (26.5 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup chopped green peppers (I usually omit or substitute red peppers)
- 1/3 cup chopped onions
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- French-fried onions (small can)
- Cook spaghetti according to directions on the package. Cook to al dente, drain and set aside.
- Brown ground beef, then drain excess grease.
- Add spaghetti sauce to ground beef and heat.
- Combine onions, peppers and butter in small glass bowl. Cover and microwave 4 minutes on HIGH until soft.
- Add cream cheese and milk to vegetables and stir well. (If cream cheese is not soft, nuke it for 20-30 seconds to make it easy to spread.)
- Using a 12 x 8-inch baking dish (or something close), assemble in the following order: thin layer of spaghetti sauce, cooked spaghetti, cream cheese/vegetable mixture, remaining spaghetti sauce, parmesan cheese (amount subject to your own taste)
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
- Top with french-fried onions and continue baking 5 more minutes. (This is the secret ingredient--don't let them burn.)
Make this ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze without the French Fried onions. Don't forget to add them 5 minutes before casserole is finished cooking.
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- Spiralizer 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer, Strongest-and-Heaviest Spiral Slicer, Best Veggie Pasta Spaghetti Maker for Keto/Paleo/Gluten-Free, Comes with 4 Recipe Ebooks
- Barilla Pasta, Spaghetti, 16 Ounce (Pack of 8)
- JHC Fried Onion, Large, 8-Ounce
- French's Original Crispy French Fried Onions 26.5 oz
- Victoria White Linen Marinara Sauce Twin pack ( 2- 40oz bottles )
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 317 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 67mg Sodium: 200mg Carbohydrates: 21g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 3g Protein: 17g