November 6, 2011

Zero to Hero


If you have ever felt like there is nothing to eat in the refrigerator and everyone is starving, this is the recipe that will take you from zero to hero any night of the week.

This Baked Spaghetti is a quick, no fail recipe that is easy enough to always have on hand so that there’s never need to call for take-out.  This recipe can also be altered to fit any taste buds. 

This version is meatless, but easily can be made for meat lovers. The addition of  cream cheese helps to keep the sauce thick and delicious.  

Try it today!


Baked Spaghetti (serves 4-6)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 box spaghetti noodles

2 jars spaghetti sauce

1 sweet onion

1 garlic clove

1 bag sliced frozen mushrooms (fresh are also wonderful if you have them on hand)

2 T reduced fat cream cheese


Sauté onion and mushrooms over medium-high heat with 1 T of olive oil.  Add garlic and season with salt and pepper.


Boil water and add noodles. Cook for 10 minutes.


After the onions, mushrooms and garlic have sautéed to a golden brown color, add about 2 T of cream cheese and mix. 

At this point you can add any other ingredients you would like.  Some suggestions might be:  ground sirloin, frozen broccoli, green peppers, or even pepperoni (turkey pep is a great low-fat alternative).


Once cream cheese is incorporated, add two jars of spaghetti sauce and simmer over low heat. 

Two jars may sound like a lot, but it makes all the difference in the world.  The noodles will absorb some of the sauce and it will become thick when baking.  Runny sauce is not my favorite!

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Drain pasta and assemble the dish as follows:

  • Put a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Add noodles.  Ladle 3/4 of the sauce on top of the noodles and mix together.
  • Pour the remaining sauce on top of the mixture to cover.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
  • Add mozzarella cheese on top (if desired) and bake for 5 more minutes, or until melted.




  • This meal is entirely freezer/pantry friendly.  You can easily have this on hand for any last minute dinner needs.  It also serves a lot and is great left over.
  • Frozen sliced mushrooms help to make this recipe quick and delicious.  I have just discovered frozen mushrooms and prefer to use them, rather than jarred, in a pinch if I am out of the fresh variety. 
  • The cream cheese works well in any pasta recipe to help thicken and help it to bind to the pasta.  It also adds a bit of richness without the fat.
  • Another great tip when talking pasta sauces is to use fat free half and half for the same affect of a lighter colored pink sauce such as a Vodka Sauce where heavy cream is recommended.  This way is much more figure friendly!


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