TikTok's Million Dollar Spaghetti

It's all the flavor and layers of lasagna, but without the effort.

Million Dollar Spaghetti

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 66 mins
Total: 81 mins
Servings: 12
Yield: 1 9-x 13-inch baking dish
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
493 Calories
35g Fat
23g Carbs
21g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 493
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 44%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 112mg 37%
Sodium 1118mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 14mg 72%
Calcium 336mg 26%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 629mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is the casserole dish to put all other casseroles to shame. Reaching culinary fame via our favorite social media outlet for cooking inspo, TikTok, it's simply a baked spaghetti dish layered with a robust meat or veggie sauce, spices, noodles, and all of the cheese. It's no surprise this all-in-one recipe took the internet by storm as it's a clear crowd-pleaser you can whip up in a pinch when you have far too many things on your to-do list. Did I mention it's also budget-friendly?

Between the noodles, flavors, and cheeses, there's a lot of room to swap out ingredients and make it your own. It's hearty enough on its own, but we recommend serving with a crisp side salad, roasted veggies, or garlic bread to mop up any sauce left behind.

Why Is It Called Million Dollar Spaghetti?

Plain and simple, this dish gets its name because it's rich, decadent, and makes you feel like a million bucks. It's all the flavor and layers of lasagna, but without the long, drawn-out process.

The significant differences between this noodle casserole and lasagna is the how fast the sauce comes together and the variation of layers. Moreover, the spaghetti is treated like a carbonara for extra creamy and cheesy moments. We use a vodka sauce and sun-dried tomatoes in this recipe instead of marinara because we like the way the sauce plays off the "carbonara" layer, making the dish even more decadent for a cozy meal in the winter months.

“This is such a fun variation on a lasagna, but with so much less effort. The sun-dried tomatoes add a bit of decadence to shop-bought pasta sauce, too. If you can resist digging in straight away, allowing the dish to cool slightly will help with slicing into portions.” —Julia Hartbeck

Million Dollar Spaghetti/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray

  • Kosher salt, as needed

  • 1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage

  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped

  • 48 ounces store-bought or homemade vodka sauce

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped sun dried tomatoes

  • 16 ounces dry spaghetti

  • 15 ounces ricotta

  • 8 ounces cream cheese

  • 2 large eggs

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella

  • 1 cup (4-ounces) freshly grated parmesan

  • Coarsely chopped parsley, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make million dollar spaghetti

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat (it should taste like the ocean).

    A pot of salted water and a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Remove the casings from the sausage. Cook the sausage in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat, breaking up the meat with a spatula or spoon until it is no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high. Add onion and continue to cook until the sausage is brown and onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.

    Italian sausage and onions cooking in a pan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Drain any excess fat from the skillet (tilt the skillet, allowing the fat to pool on one side and use a spoon to scoop it out). Add the vodka sauce and sun-dried tomatoes, stirring together until combined.

    Cook the spaghetti according to package directions to al dente (usually about 9 minutes).

    Vodka sauce added to the sausage mixture in a pan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir to combine the ricotta, cream cheese, eggs, and several grinds of pepper. Add the still hot spaghetti to the bowl and quickly toss until the pasta is evenly coated and the eggs have formed a sauce. Set aside.

    A bowl of spaghetti tossed in ricotta, cream cheese, eggs, and black pepper

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Mix together the mozzarella and parmesan in a medium bowl.

    Shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. To assemble, spread half of the meat sauce across the bottom of the baking dish. Spread half of the pasta mixture over the meat sauce. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella and parmesan over the pasta mixture.

    A baking dish with a layer of meat sauce, pasta mixture, and cheese

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Continue layering by spreading the remaining meat mixture over top, followed by the remaining pasta mixture, and the remaining mozzarella and parmesan.

    Layered pasta, meat sauce, and cheese in a baking dish

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Bake until the edges of the casserole are bubbling, and the cheese is fully melted and lightly browned, 35 to 40 minutes. If desired, broil on high until the cheese is browned all over, 1 to 2 minutes more.

    A baked pasta casserole topped with melted cheese

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Let cool for 5 minutes, then garnish with parsley and serve.

    Million dollar pasta topped with parsely

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Al Dente Pasta is Key

Don't cook the pasta past al dente because it will continue to cook in the oven later on.

Storage

  • You can store leftover million dollar spaghetti in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • You can store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw the frozen casserole overnight and reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F until warm throughout, about 20 minutes.

Recipe Variations

  • Swap the spaghetti noodles for any of your other favorite noodles.
  • Go veggie by cooking down mushrooms for the sauce in the place of the sausage.
  • You can use your favorite pasta sauce in place of the vodka sauce.
  • Top with pesto or chopped Calabrian chilis more even more depth of flavor.