Our Best Spaghetti Recipes
Nothing beats the comfort of a warm bowl of spaghetti. Whether it's served in a classic Italian marinara sauce with meatballs, adorned with succulent seafood, or flavored simply with pesto and Parmesan, spaghetti always hits the spot. To honor this toothsome noodle, we've rounded up 25 of our best spaghetti recipes. These highly-reviewed and generously-starred dishes will not disappoint.
Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs
You can't go wrong with a classic. Ground-beef meatballs cook while simmering in this simple yet tasty marinara, allowing the unctuous meaty flavor to seep into this sauce. It's no wonder this crowd-pleaser has 2,400+ five-star ratings!
Spaghetti Carbonara II
Carbonara is a decadent Italian pasta dish made with egg, Pecorino Romano, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, cured pork, and black pepper. The egg is added in at the end, lending this dish its heavenly creaminess, while the bacon and cheese give the dish its savory kick. "A super rich, classic 'bacon and egg' spaghetti dish [that's] great to serve for company," says SABRINATEE. "This recipe also makes an unusual brunch offering."
"Puttanesca is a hearty tomato sauce with a rich texture and a spicy kick," says recipe creator Julie Filips. "Pair it with hot pasta, and a fresh-tasting, wholesome dinner will be on the table in no time." Olives, anchovy fillets, and capers deliver a briny punch to this bright tomato sauce. Julie adds, "You can leave out the anchovies if you like, but for best flavor, leave them in! They melt right into the sauce and add authentic Italian flavor."
This mashup of spaghetti and melty cheese in casserole form is a surefire crowd-pleaser. Layers of cottage cheese and mozzarella form a creamy complement to the meat-and-tomato laden spaghetti noodles. "A comforting baked spaghetti casserole with plenty of melted cheese is the perfect dish for potlucks, family gatherings, or a week-night dinner," says CALLIKO.
The Best and Easiest Spaghetti
If the name is any indication, you're in for a wonderful plate of spaghetti with this recipe. "I have tried a many of recipes and this is by far the best tasting of [them] all," writes community member Arty. The sauce simmers and thickens while the noodles are cooked. You can have the whole meal on the table in just about an hour.
California Chicken Spaghetti
Spicy blackened chicken gets a cooling bite from freshly diced roma tomatoes, and the addition of crumbled feta adds a lovely salt-forward finish. Plus, this simple yet flavorful dish is on the table in just 30 minutes!
Creamy Bay Scallop Spaghetti
"This scallop-and-spaghetti dinner with a creamy sauce is fast and easy," says Chef John of this beautiful dish. "I cook the scallops a bit longer than many chefs, but that's what gives the dish more flavor, and they're still tender and moist. I think you'll agree, the sherry sauce benefits significantly from the longer cook time." Lemony cream sauce creates a rich pasta backdrop for these pillowy bay scallops seared in butter.
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
Simple, economical, and delicious, this spaghetti dish combines "aglio e olio," or garlic and oil, into a perfectly sauteed marriage of garlicky goodness and mixes it into a pasta tossed with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, Italian parsley, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. "No two spaghetti aglio e olio recipes are alike, but this one is pretty true to the classic method," says Chef John. "The key is slowly toasting the garlic slices to a perfect golden-brown in the olive oil. If it's too light, you don't get the full flavor, and if it's too dark it gets bitter. My advice? Do it perfectly."
Authentic Cincinnati Chili
We know what you're thinking: Chili? But this moniker is misleading. This is an iconic spaghetti dish in its native Cincinnati, where it's topped with a Mediterranean-inspired ground beef sauce consisting of onions, tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, chocolate, chili powder, salt, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cloves, allspice berries, and bay leaf. It's often served with additional toppings, or "ways," of your choice, which can include beans, grated cheddar, raw chopped onions, oyster crackers, and hot sauce. In 2013, Smithsonian named it one of the "20 Most Iconic Foods in America." If you're a spaghetti fan, this should be on your noodle-dish bucket list.
Easy Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce
If it's the bright, tart flavor of tomatoes you love about marinara, you'll find it in this easy spaghetti sauce. Though it has a pound of ground beef in the recipe, the freshly chopped tomatoes and tomato paste provide the real flavor (along with the spices, too, of course). Mushrooms are added for a bit more meatiness, but you could use all mushrooms if you wanted to keep this vegetarian.
Chef John's Spaghetti with Red Clam Sauce
"This is one of my 'go to' recipes, and it takes only about 15 minutes from start to finish," says Chef John. "The only prep work really is mashing the garlic. The sauce is great on any pasta, but I prefer angel hair or spaghetti." The clam juice and crisp white wine add complexity while capers and anchovy paste give the sauce its killer depth. Topped with fresh basil leaves and parsley, this clam-and-spaghetti dish earns its five-star ratings.
Mama Corleone's Sausage and Peppers
"This dish was inspired by a description in the novel, 'The Godfather.' It is also a favorite with my 'family'," says SURFWRENCH of this spaghetti dish that combines Italian sausage, bell peppers, garlic, oregano, and basil over spaghetti, topped with Parmesan and parsley. "Serve with a crusty bread, a green salad, and a robust dry red wine for a very satisfying meal. The amount of oil and garlic can be adjusted to your taste."
Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe
"This is a recipe that we have made in our family for many years — everyone loves it," says Jennifer Torrey. "It's a very basic and easy variation on mac 'n' cheese." Olive oil, garlic, grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and freshly ground black pepper create this elevated twist on mac 'n' cheese. For a richer taste, substitute butter for the olive oil and vary the garlic and cheese according to your palate. Jennifer encourages creativity, saying, "I have added other ingredients depending on my main dish to enhance flavors (like pancetta)." Have fun!
If you prefer ultra-creamy casseroles that call for cream cheese and the like to bring the mouthwatering decadence, then this recipe is for you. Butter, cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and shredded sharp cheddar unite, complementing spaghetti noodles and a simple meat sauce in this casserole-style dish.
Pesto is the gorgeous green Italian sauce that traditionally consists of crushed garlic, pine nuts, coarse salt, basil leaves, and Parmesan — all are blended together with olive oil. There are variations, of course, and if you're too busy to make your own pesto, you can buy pre-made pesto at the store, which makes for delightfully easy and tasty pasta dinners. This delicious recipe takes a mere 5 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to cook. And if you want some protein, toss in chicken or shrimp as in this Pesto Shrimp Pasta recipe. Or add more flavor with zesty lemons as in this Light Lemon Pesto Pasta.
This spicy calamari marinara with serrano peppers and crushed red pepper flakes brings the heat in an oh-so-lovely way. Especially when tender morsels of fresh squid are served atop striking black squid-ink spaghetti noodles for and 'oomph' of visual artistry. (We eat with our eyes first, after all!) Recipe creator Chef John adds, "Calamari has an unfair reputation for being tricky to work with and rubbery when cooked. Here's the secret: Cook it in 45 seconds or 45 minutes—very quickly or a long slow simmer. For this marinara dish, I use the long simmer method."
Mozzarella-Stuffed Pesto Turkey Meatballs
This healthy spin on classic spaghetti and meatballs takes an indulgent turn with pockets of mozzarella stuffed into them. And the addition of pesto lends a fresh, herbaceous quality to these turkey meatballs. "I came up with this recipe for a recipe contest, and it's been a family favorite ever since," says foodie77. "For a lighter version, omit stuffing the meatballs with mozzarella cheese." Simply boil your spaghetti and top with these fabulous meatballs in sauce — bon appetit!
Mom's Spaghetti Bolognese
Bacon gives this bolognese its rich to-die-for flavor, and a classic mirepoix — carrots, celery, and onion — gives the sauce a nice texture while giving you added veggie nutrients. "[This] recipe was passed on from my Italian grandfather—[it's] the ultimate comfort food," says stefychefy. "To make this recipe more authentic, you can use a mixture of ground veal, pork, and beef. You can also substitute the balsamic vinegar for a half cup of red wine."
Win's Shrimp and Spaghetti
Teriyaki sauce and Creole seasoning are the outside-of-the-box ingredients that give this mushroom-and-shrimp spaghetti dish it's unique and much-loved flavor. And butter, an entire cup of it, might admittedly be the real secret sauce to this rich comfort-food original.
Salmon Pasta Pomodoro
"This is an easy, light yet filling pasta pomodoro dish with salmon," says marynlc. "Goes great with colorful steamed mixed veggies." Fresh Atlantic salmon fillets, chopped roma tomatoes, and fresh basil are the stars of this pasta, which gets the classic sauteed garlic and onion base with a savory sprinkling of Parmesan. Add in some additional veggies, if you like, and you're in business.
"This is a Cajun spicy sauce with shrimp that tastes great over a plate of spaghetti," says Maurice Tate, Jr. "Add as much or as little heat as you can stand!" Crushed red pepper flakes, bell peppers, shrimp, and garlic meet spaghetti in a cornstarch-thickened sauce that delivers on flavor.
Spaghetti Sauce with Ground Beef
This spaghetti recipe lets you create your own sauce by blending diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and a plethora of warm spices for a classic sauce that rivals any Italian restaurant. "This recipe has been handed down from my mother," says recipe creator Hank's Mom. "It is a family favorite and will not be replaced!"
Spaghetti alla Gricia
"One of the 4 quintessential 'primi' from the Lazio region in Italy, this pasta is beautiful in its simplicity with soft guanciale and tangy Pecorino cheese," writes recipe creator Buckwheat Queen. "No onion, no garlic, no oil - this flavorful dish gets its character from slowly sautéing the guanciale and then creating a creamy sauce with the pasta water and a bit of Pecorino Romano before tossing with thick spaghetti. With only 4 ingredients, this is also a quick meal when you're in a rush."
This one-pot spaghetti recipe will keep you from doubling your dirty dishes. The pasta cooks in the sauce as it simmers to meld all the spices into the tomato sauce. "I am picky about my spaghetti, and this was pretty darn good for how easy it was," writes community member yorkie.
Red Bowl Spaghetti
"No changes here on this one, and perfect for the kids to heat up with [leftovers]," writes recipe reviewer shanemelty. "Great alternative to sauce from a jar, easy and you have control over the sugar content!"