Friday, August 12, 2011

Easy Cheesy Spaghetti Bake-Frugal Meal

Today instead of posting a frugal tip, I am posting this frugal meal.  This is an easy dish to put together, which along with a green salad and some garlic bread made of French Bread or Texas Toast picked up at the bread outlet store for $1.00 will make a dinner that is less than $1.00 per person.  While it might not qualify for a $5.00 dinner, it is still very frugal.

This can be a “pantry dinner” if there is already browned up ground beef or Italian Sausage in the freezer.  I usually use the Italian Sausage.  Bulk Italian Sausage sells for $2.29 a pound at a local grocery store, so is much cheaper than what ground beef sells for here.  I use ready-made spaghetti sauce which I can often purchase for $1.00 a jar and preshredded Italian Blend Cheese which I can also buy an 8 oz. package for $1.00 from time to time.  I do love making my own DIY Groceries as much as possible, but sometime saving money trumps “homemade".

This recipe originally came from Carnation Instant Dry Milk back when it was a real bargain.  Dry milk isn’t much of a bargain any more so I have adapted the recipe to not use it.

This is layered like a lasagna.  It can be made ahead, covered and refrigerated.  Bake an extra 15 to 20 minute.

Easy Cheesy Spaghetti Bake
1 lb. ground beef or Italian sausage
1 (26 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
12 oz. spaghetti
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
3/4 c. milk
1 to 2 c. shredded cheese, mozzarella, Italian Blend, or Cheddar
1/3 c. grated Parmesan

Brown meat and drain.  Add spaghetti sauce.  Rinse jar with a little water and add to sauce.  Simmer 10 min., stirring often.  Bake spaghetti into thirds and cook as directed on package.  Drain.  Melt butter in a small saucepan.  Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring well.  Gradually add milk.  Cook until mixture begins to thicken.  Add 3/4 c. cheese.  Stir until cheese is melted.  Set aside.  Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.  Place a thin layer of meat sauce in the bottom  Layer 1/2 spaghetti, 1/2  remaining meat sauce, all of cheese sauce, 1/2 spaghetti, 1/2 sauce.  Top with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees 20-25 min.  Let stand 15 minutes before serving to firm up layers.  Makes 6-8 servings.

Linking to Ingredient Spotlight


  1. Sounds and looks YUUUUUM! Love these kinds of frugal meals. So glad you shared. I pinned this one! =)

  2. Whole Family loved this! Definitely will be making this again! Thanks for sharing the yummy recipe : )


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