15 Recipes That Start with a Box of Spaghetti
When faced with a box of spaghetti, it’s hard for many of us to think beyond tomato sauce and meatballs. But the lengthy, slender noodles are surprisingly versatile. Not only can they be topped with just about anything — from bright, herbaceous pesto to eggy carbonara and all manner of veggies in a springtime primavera — it can be cooked, shaped, and served in a variety of ways.
Take bite-sized bits and stir them into soup. Twist the twiggy strands into edible bowls, holding everything from stew to sauce to yes, meatballs. Bake the pasta into hearty casseroles, bound together with eggs, cream, and lots and lots of cheese.
Basically, spaghetti is a scrumptious blank canvas, ready to be prepared and enjoyed any way you please! Here, we pulled together 15 of our best recipes that start with a box of spaghetti.
Spindly spaghetti takes the place of floppy lasagna noodles, in this indulgent layered casserole. Noodles get tossed in a creamy bath of butter, eggs and Parmesan cheese, before being baked with toppings of cottage cheese, mozzarella, and meat sauce.
Swap out rich red sauces for this suitably springy version, featuring ribbons of zucchini and carrots and fronds of fresh dill. "This is a great side dish that goes really well with barbecue," said creator CAK0609.
No need to choose between Taco Tuesday and Spaghetti Sunday! These quirky spaghetti tacos will make a fun and welcome dinner any day of the week. And we bet your kids will have a blast nudging noodles inside of crisp tortilla shells, and topping them with "salsa" sauce.
Spaghetti Salad II
You won't miss the lettuce in this zesty salad of chilled spaghetti. It's tossed with chopped cucumbers, black olives, broccoli, and cauliflower, in an Italian Ranch dressing. "The proportions can be halved and stays well in the fridge for up to 5 days," recommends recipe writer DHERDEBU.
This Pinoy favorite owes its intriguing sweetness to the condiment, banana ketchup, mixed right into the tomato sauce. But perhaps the most signature element is the addition of cut up hot dogs scattered over the top; a delightfully quirky alternative to ground beef-based bolognese.
Spaghetti and Meatballs Muffin Bites
Traditional spaghetti and meatballs get a bite-sized makeover. Break out the muffin cups for these crunchy baked nests — perfect for cradling a juicy, Parmesan-dusted meatball.
Spaghetti a la Carbonara
If you’re not a fan of Italian American-style carbonara, this recipe is the real deal. "This dish was created in the Lazio region (the area around Rome) in the middle of the 20th century, after World War Two," said contributor Ivan Zeta. "We don't use cream, milk, garlic, onions or other strange ingredients; we use only guanciale, eggs, pecorino cheese, and lots of black pepper (carbonaro is the Italian for coal miner)."
Spaghetti Pizza I
And we're not merely talking about a pasta topping. Baked, egg, and cheese-bound spaghetti actually serves as a delectable, chewy crust, and is surprisingly good at supporting rounds of spicy pepperoni.
Why should Italians have all the fun? Here's a spaghetti dish with real southwest flair, thanks to a toss with sausage flavored with green peppers, chili powder and cumin, and plenty of melty cheddar and Monterey jack cheese.
Broken Spaghetti Risotto
"This pasta dish is not really risotto; it only refers to the similar technique used in that famous Italian dish," said Chef John. "Like the grains of Arborio rice, pieces of broken pasta are tossed in hot butter or oil before the liquid is added, but here we're going even further, and toasting it to a gorgeous nut-brown. This gives the dish its signature look, as well as adds a subtle nutty flavor."
Chicken Noodle Soup I
What could be more comforting than a steamy, fragrant bowl of chicken soup? What about if that soup was swimming with bits of broken, slippery spaghetti, perfect for sucking up every last drop of the aromatic, garlic-spiked broth.
Delicious Spaghetti Bread
Who said there was such a thing as too many carbs? While it's common to eat bread with pasta, we're digging the idea of putting pasta in bread; namely, a loaf of braided pizza dough, stuffed with a full-on spaghetti dinner!
Ham and Butternut Squash Spaghetti
Instead of defaulting to tomato sauce, try this one-of-a-kind idea from Chef John. "Despite the rich and decadent mascarpone, the sauce for this spaghetti is actually pretty light; much of the sauce is chicken broth and squash."
Left Over Spaghetti Lasagna
What to do with day-old spaghetti? How about reimagining it into a whole other pasta dinner? In this case, luscious lasagna, featuring stacks of spaghetti in a cottage cheese and sour cream-based sauce.
Green Goodness Spaghetti
"Spaghetti with pesto taken to a new level!" proclaims the Buckwheat Queen. "Adding spiralized zucchini and fresh green beans adds nutrition and fun to this vegetarian dinner." Green goodness indeed!