Saturday, April 17, 2010

Baked Spaghetti from Trisha Yearwood

A perfect potluck casserole, this one feeds a crowd! Using a basic tomato based spaghetti meat sauce as a base with layer of spaghetti noodles & cheese, finished with a cream soup topping.

Baked Spaghetti

Baked Spaghetti is a fantastic meal for any day, but most especially for feeding a crowd, making it perfect for potlucks, church suppers and socials.  This one has been a favorite around my house ever since the first time I made it. It comes from the cookbook Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood, another favorite, and it is simply delicious. Check out the Hot Corn Dip I made from the new cookbook and the Warm Feta and Artichoke Dip I made from her first cookbook. For my review of her latest cookbook, click right here.


This baked spaghetti starts pretty much the same as with any spaghetti - boiling the noodles and putting together a meat sauce.  When I make spaghetti, I like to break up the noodles to make them more bite manageable, so I usually break them in half.  If you have little ones, you can break them down into another half. It just makes it much easier to eat, especially when it's in a casserole like this.

Trisha Yearwood adds 1 small (2.25 ounce) can of sliced black olives drained, which I omit, along with 3 (14.5) cans of diced tomatoes with the liquid, part of which I exchange for Rotel tomatoes. The olives are added with the tomatoes and combined with all of the other sauce ingredients. I happen to love olives but generally omit, since The Cajun doesn't like them and often, this dish is traveling for other people to eat. I like the added punch of Rotel tomatoes, and often substitute them for at least part of the tomatoes, when a recipe calls for plain diced tomatoes. There are several varieties of Rotel available these days, depending on the heat level you prefer. Use a little additional beef broth if you need to loosen the sauce up more to make up the difference in the juices. From there it's just layering and then baking.

Here's how to do it.

Spread half of the spaghetti noodles in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking pan.  Top that with half of the meat sauce. I love this meat sauce, which includes bacon. When I use bacon in a meal like this, I usually use my kitchen shears to cut it directly into the pan. It makes an easy job of "slicing" bacon. I also substituted Italian seasoning for the dried oregano, and use substantially less than what the original recipe called for, which I felt would be a bit too strong for my tastes.


Sprinkle half of the cheese on top of that and repeat with another layer of noodles, sauce and cheese.  I used Cheddar cheese, but Mozzarella or other cheeses would work well - just use your favorite kind. Mix the cream of mushroom soup with water and spread on top. I've also used my homemade cream of mushroom soup in place of the canned variety and it worked beautifully! Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top of that and bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until bubbly.


I'm a big fan of baked spaghetti and this one is fantastic. Great for a family meal with plenty of leftovers, and perfect for a potluck or church social. I know it'll become a favorite of yours too.


Recipe: Baked Spaghetti


©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 30 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 12 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 3/4 pound of spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans Italian style diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 2 (10 ounce) cans Rotel tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar or Mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 (10-3/4 ounce) can original cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray a 9 × 13 x 2 inch baking dish with non stick spray.

Break the spaghetti noodles in half once or twice to make them more bite sized and drop them into a large stockpot filled with boiling, well salted water. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet; remove, drain and set aside. Cut the bacon in half lengthwise, stack a few slices together and cut into small pieces, dropping it directly into that same skillet. Cook until only slightly crispy; remove and let drain on a paper towel, reserving the bacon fat in the skillet.

Add the onion and green bell pepper to the bacon fat and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes. To that, add the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and the cooked beef and bacon. Bring up to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Layer half of the spaghetti noodles into the prepared baking dish. Spoon over half of the meat sauce. Add half of the cheddar and then repeat all three layers. Combine the cream of mushroom soup with the water and blend well. Drop over the top layer of cheese and carefully spread across the top. Sprinkle the top with the Parmesan cheese and bake at 350 degrees F, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly around the edges.

Cook's Notes: Use a mix of sweet or hot Italian sausage with the ground beef. I use the original cream soup in most of my casseroles. I find that the lower fat and sodium products tend to be watery in casseroles. I use mild Rotel, but it is also okay to omit it and substitute plain diced tomatoes; can also drain the Rotel to tone it down and just loosen the sauce a bit with some beef broth.

Tip: If you'd ever had the occasion to end up with watery spaghetti on your plate, the culprit is likely the wet pasta. Don't rinse the pasta, make sure you give it time to drain really well, and don't build the casserole until it is dry and stops steaming. That steam can create condensation and thus water in the finished dish. Also, you can transfer the pasta back to the hot, but empty, cooking pot and place it back over the turned off burner. The residual heat from the burner and the pot will help to dry the water out of the pasta.

The casserole came right up to the very top of my baking dish by the time that I got through the layering, so for insurance, I placed a pan on the lower rack and the casserole on the top rack to bake, just in case there was any spillover. There wasn't, thankfully, but you may want to take that precaution also, just in case!

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
Adapted from Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood
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Posted by on April 17, 2010

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70 comments:

  1. We have family coming tomorrow for dinner and I think this will be the perfect thing to serve. Thanks much!

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    1. I made it for your family gathering yesterday. They all LOVED IT! I have been requested to share the recipe with all, and it's honestly a very picky / hard to please group!

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  2. No wonder Garth married her! haha :) Looks scrumptious.

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  3. It sounds wonderful. I must try this one. Thank you.

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  4. I love the looks of this casserole Mary! I also like your addition of
    Rotel tomatoes. They make any dish better in my opinion!

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  5. Good lord I love baked spaghetti and like you, I also love Rotel. It's amazing stuff.

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  6. This one is going on my list of recipes I need to try. It looks yummy!

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  7. Hi Mary

    I've noticed that you used 4 cans of diced tomatoes instead of 3 cans as per the original recipe. Does the extra can make it more moister. Also, what form of Rotel Tomatoes did you use Original, spicy etc. What kind of cheddar cheese did you use mild, sharp or extra sharp.

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  8. Jackie, I used 4 cans because the Rotel cans are smaller than regular diced tomatoes. It only ends up being a few ounces more than the original recipe. I mostly use regular Rotel (the milder version) anytime but you can use the others depending on your heat level - they have quite a few available these days. I usually use the original one. On the cheese, same thing. I used mild cheddar, but could certainly use sharp! I tend to stick with mild most times. Hope that helps!

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  9. You are selling me on this Trisha Yearwood book! Looks fabulous:D

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  10. Hi Mary

    I was wondering if this dish could be frozen, if so, how would I go about it. As far as thawing and reheating it.

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  11. Jackie you sure could. Assemble and seal up well - thaw overnight and all the next day in the fridge until dinner time, bring to room temp for about 30 minutes and bake as usual. You could also bake it frozen, but it'll probably be twice the length of time.

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  12. Made a modified version of this tonight. I didn't have diced tomatoes of any kind so I used a jar of homemade sauce i had on hand, and then just omitted the seasonings. I also used 1 cup Mozzarella and one cup cheddar. It is so good! We all loved it. I loved the tomato-i-ness with the creaminess together.

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  13. Sounds like a winner Robin! Thanks so much for coming back to share the variation - it's a pretty darned good baked spaghetti isn't it?

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  14. Sorry, but this recipe was not a winner for me or my family. I didn't care for the sauce, or the bacon, or the cream of mushroom topping. I also made the mistake of just using mozzarella cheese. I will try making this again, but using my own spahgetti sauce, no bacon, and lots of cheddar cheese. I thank you though for the inspiration.

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  15. Really? We love it! But of course, I do realize that tastes differ. There are lots of recipes across the net for baked spaghetti though, so I'm sure you'll find one that is more suited to your taste. Thanks for taking the time to stop by back and comment though.

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  16. How does the cream of mushroom soup marry with the sauce? Is there a milky taste? I have never heard of using that as a spaghetti bake topping. Thanks for anyone who made this.

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  17. Hi! Well, I'd say it probably depends on how you feel about cream of mushroom soup in casseroles overall. I had not ever seen this done with a baked spaghetti either, but I personally thought that it was very good. I had a similar reaction with this beef and mushroom lasagna http://www.deepsouthdish.com/2009/11/pantry-meals-super-easy-beef-andouille.html until I tasted it. Think of it in terms of a bechamel sauce - if you don't think you'd like that on the baked spaghetti then you probably would not like this. Now that said, you could probably just top this with more sauce or a jarred spaghetti sauce and then cheese and skip the cream of mushroom altogether if you're not sure about it.

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  18. I love this recipe from Trisha. She actually made this when a friend helped decorated her house last year for Christmas. I got to hear all about it without the tasting...somehow not fair...LOL Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Totally not fair. I revised it slightly, but we love it!

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  20. It looks tasty,I do a version with sweet italian sausages and 4 blends of italian cheeses on top.

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    1. Sounds wonderful Jim! What cheeses do you use?

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  21. I plan on making this tonight, but it seems like it would make a LOT -- probably way too much for my family of 4. I was thinking of dividing this into two smaller pans and freezing one. do you think it would freeze and re-heat well?

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    1. Hey Jennifer! You know, I've only made this when there was a crowd to feed & there really weren't leftovers, so I haven't frozen this recipe. That said, I'm pretty sure that it would freeze nicely.

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    2. I can attest to the fact that it freezes beautifully! I never make a 9x13 pan...it's just way too much for the 4 of us. We have enough leftovers if I cut the recipe and cook in a 9x9. At any rate, when I make it, I make two 9x9 pans at the same time. The only thing I don't add to the one I'm freezing is the soup topping. I do everything else, but save the soup topping for when I'm ready to bake it. It comes out beautifully. My husband doesn't "do" leftovers, and he can't tell the difference between the one frozen and made fresh.

      I also don't use cream of mushroom...ever. I use (usually) cheddar cheese soup, or sometimes cream of onion. Never mushroom. We don't "do mushroom." I've also found that my family prefers more of the soup topping, so I use a full can of the soup with the water for each 9x9 pan I make.

      Other things I do: I prefer the butcher cut (thick cut) bacon, and I also undercook the noodles by 1-2 minutes. I find that cooked to package directions makes the recipe a bit more "soupy." I prefer a drier casserole, so I undercook the noodles just a smidge and then they soak up some of the excess fluid.

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    3. Thank you so much Cathie for sharing these tips!!

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  22. I just made this dish for my family and we ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! This dish is amazingly good! I did make my own meat sauce and I did add EVOO to sautée the onions and garlic. It made all the flavors robust. I will be making this again!

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    1. I'm so glad that you enjoyed it Rachael - thanks for popping back by to let me know!

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  23. I have made this for years after seeing a recipe for it in a cooking magazine- it is absolute family favorite & a great potluck dish crowd pleaser. It is a fantastic frozen dish too! I always buy enough to make 2 batches and do 1 of 2 things: I either bake 2 complete pans and eat one & freeze one. Or, I cook up a whole batch of sauce with the meat & sauteed veggies (I add squash & zucchini to the pepper & onion sauteed in the pan to sneak in some extra nutrition) then divide it into 2 freezer bags & label it "baked spaghetti sauce" then when I want to make it, I just cook some noodles, thaw the sauce & assemble for the oven or make regular spaghetti if I am in a hurry! So much easier after a long day & less cleanup!

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    1. I love it Michelle! It does make a huge batch which is perfect for a potluck, so I think dividing it at home to freeze is a great idea!

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  24. I found this on pinterest and made it for my family at the beach while on vacation. It is a new family favorite. My husband calls it hoy and spicy spaghetti.

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    1. Yeah, that Rotel will certainly jazz it up won't it? You can use the mild version or just sub in plain diced tomatoes if you really want to tone it down. Thanks for pinning & for stopping by to comment - glad everybody enjoyed the baked spaghetti!

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  25. I made this tonight and it was delicious! The only thing I didn't care for was the excess liquid. Suggestions?

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    1. Thanks Millisa! I don't find it to have excess liquid though. Can you be more specific and let me know what you used and if you made any adaptations at all? Two things that come to mind - if you didn't use the original cream of mushroom soup and subbed in a healthy request or other reduced soup, those do tend to be watery. Generally I don't care for them in casseroles, although some people do use them. Also, be sure you give your pasta plenty of time to drain so that it's good and dry and doesn't add any liquid to the dish. You could also drain the tomatoes, but reserve the juice and mix in only enough of the juice as needed to the casserole. Hope that helps!

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  26. made this today. It not a high fiver but it is actually pretty darn good.It took 45 minutes in my oven.Kids said it needs more bacon. we used mozerella cheese and the liquid part was perfect. We will make this again to try it with cheddar cheese. It still deserves a thumbs up.

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    1. Glad it was enjoyed - thanks for coming back to share!

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  27. Love this casserole. I use Hot italian sausage in stead of ground beef, usually double this for a pot luck. Hope each if us has a happy time cooking.

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    1. Yes, hot sausage is always an excellent substitute, or even half & half is delicious!

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  28. Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it - we sure do! Thanks so much for stopping back by to let me know.

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  29. Has anyone used a substitute for cream of mushroom? We are not mushroom fans...thanks!

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    1. A homemade white sauce will substitute nicely in this recipe - I'd say start with 3 tablespoons each of butter and flour, melt the butter & stir in the flour a little at a time to make a roux. Cook and stir about 3 minutes, until blended. Then stir in either chicken broth or milk, a little at a time until it's well incorporated and you have a fairly thick sauce - about like the soup in the can looks. You could also skip the white sauce altogether and just top with additional spaghetti sauce. Hope that helps!

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  30. My family all agreed this is the best spaghetti ever! It was very delish! I did pulse the tomatoes & rotel in the food processor since my hubby doesn't like the texture of "Chunky tomatoes" and it turned out wonderful! It doesn't make a ton, so unless you have a large crowd to feed be prepared to freeze or eat leftovers for a few days! :)

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    1. I'm so glad y'all enjoyed it & thanks so much for stopping back by to let us know!! My husband would rather I processed the tomatoes too so that's a fantastic tip!!

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  31. Mary, I am planning on serving this at a b'day dinner for my mom [12 adults] & making up my grocery list. Recipe calls for 3/4 lb spaghetti.. would that be a 12 oz package?? Sorry for the dumb question but I'm not sure how to gauge that as I don't have kitchen scales or such.... Also, I was wondering about preparing it a day ahead & after reading comments, I know that will work. Thanks!!

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    1. Yes that 12 ounce should work fine! I only had a full pound of pasta on hand & left about 1/4 of the package.

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  32. I made this for my family last night & they loved it!! I made 2 pans so today we are having left overs!! This is a great recipe one to surely pass on!! Thank you!! :-)

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    1. You're welcome! I'm so glad it was enjoyed & thank you so much for taking the time to come back and let me know - appreciate that!!

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  33. This looks delicious. I will definitely cook this the next time I have to feed a crowd. Thank you so much for the recipe and your description!

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    1. You're welcome. It's a great dish for a church supper or potluck!

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  34. Ive made this 3 or 4 times now and love it. I cut out one of the cans of rotel, because if I use two, its too spicy. I sub a can of diced tomato's. Its great for left overs. I usually take some to work if there's any left. Between my husband and my adult son, sometimes theres no leftovers after supper and then they eat it again as a late nite snack.

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    1. I don't know if it's my taste buds or the product, but I've pretty much stopped using Rotel original and buy the mild version mostly now. The original just got too spicy even for my taste. I've mixed it up with the regular diced tomatoes too - works well I think that way, a little spicy but not too much. Glad y'all have been enjoying this one & thanks for stopping back by to leave your comments - I really do appreciate that!

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  35. My family LOVES this recipe. It goes on our top ten dishes list and get rotated throughout the month; meaning it gets eaten up to two, sometimes three, times a month! However, I do have a question... I was hoping to make this for a friend that recently experienced a loss in the family. I will be in her area of town later this week in the morning and was hoping to drop the casserole off then... Will this dish be ok if I prepare it the night before and then just refrigerate it to be eaten by my friend's family the next night?

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    1. Did you want to just assemble it and then let her bake it? Or pre-bake it, let it cool & then refrigerate for reheating? If you want to assemble & let her bake, I'd wait to add the cream soup topping until you are ready to take it, just so it doesn't get watery. If you want to bake it where she can just heat it up, I would slightly undercook it. Hope that helps!

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  36. I'm so excited to try this recipe! I was wondering about using the black olives like in Trisha's original recipe. I always slice green olives & put them on top of my spaghetti so I would like to try it with the black olives & see if I like it-or also try it with green olives. How much olives & how/when should I put them in? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Mary! She used 1 small (2.25 ounce) can of sliced black olives drained, along with 3 (14.5) cans of diced tomatoes with the liquid. The olives are added with the tomatoes and combined with all of the other sauce ingredients. I love olives myself - the only reason I don't add them to be honest is my husband doesn't like them (silly man!) and I'm often carrying this to potlucks where I'm not sure others will like them either. I'm sure either black or green will work fine - just a matter of preference! I hope you like this one - we really do!!

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  37. I stopped back to review the recipe again as I'm going to make this tonight. I am a newbie cook and the boyfriend absolutely loves it! I have fun making it too. The leftovers are just as good - great for lunch!!

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  38. I made this last night and followed it exactly. It was one of the best recipes I've made in a very long time! It was perfectly seasoned, spaghetti was not overcooked and the mushroom soup on the top along with the Parm. cheese seemed to hold all the moisture in so it didn't dry out. 5-star recipe - thank you so much! Loved it!

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    1. You're so welcome Billye! The credit really needs to go to Trisha Yearwood though. I simply adapted her recipe to my own tastes but I do love it too. Thanks so much for coming back by to let me know you enjoyed it as much as we do!

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  39. I wonder if I could put this in two 8 inch square pans and freeze one before baking. Ava South

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    1. Hi Ava! I've only made this for a potluck & there weren't leftovers, so I haven't frozen this recipe. If you scroll up however, you'll see several instances of folks speaking about freezing half of it.

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  40. This is completely different from the way I've been making baked spaghetti for years.I was a little skeptical about some of the ingredients.But boy is this delicious! The only thing I changed was using half cheddar,half mozzarella.Love it!

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  41. This is completely different from the way I normally make baked spaghetti.I was skeptical of some of the ingredients but went for it anyway.Only thing I changed was using half mozzarella/half cheddar.It was delicious! My husband and I managed to eat the whole thing but next time I will bake in two smaller pans and freeze one for a quick meal another night.

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    1. I know! Like you, I was also skeptical. It's certainly different from most baked spaghetti dishes, but it works & it's delicious too!!

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  42. I don't eat spicy so could u give me another thing to put other then the rotell. Thank you holly santos

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    1. Hi Holly! The Rotel was my adaptation of Trisha's recipe & she uses regular diced tomatoes, so you may substitute those. Just use 3 (14.5 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes, undrained, and omit the Rotel all together. Hope that helps!

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  43. Years ago my mom used to make what we always called "goulash". When I grew up I asked for the recipe, but it never tasted the same since Mom never wrote down recipes, so I figured she had forgotten some ingredients. It had been years since she made it so I figured I'd give her a pass on it LOL.
    Well, I actually purchased Trisha's cookbook for the fried chicken recipe and made this recipe first since it looked rather good and it was a way to incorporate mushrooms into my hubby's diet slowly.
    What a fantastic dish. I couldn't believe how much it tasted like our original "goulash", and when I made it for my mom she agreed. I substitued crushed tomatoes and even a bit of spaghetti sauce for all the diced tomatoes since my hubby doesn't care for that much of it. I don't care for the cheddar personally, but love it with the mozzarella. It's a favorite dinner with a nice salad and warm bread or cornbread.

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