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Underdogs, you know that I level with you about things, so you understand that I am poor! I try to make every single dollar stretch because I am a caregiver to two people, and every single day is unpredictable. It’s hard to make a dollar when all ya want to do is holler! I am also one of the leaders for a youth group called Job Daughters International. To be specific, this particular group of girls is in Indiana, but they are all over the world like Girl Scouts. Kids get hungry, so we make sure they have dinner before any meeting or activities start. Sometimes, it’s hard to guess how many can make it and you end up getting a lot more food than mouths to feed, and you have leftovers. That’s when I go home with food I already made, but want to re-purpose it into something new the next day. Today, I am trying baked spaghetti!
This is what I had in leftovers, and I added a few things to get my baked spaghetti. Here is my list of what you will need to make this version. Of course, you can use whatever leftovers that you have to help this process along and make a great lunch or dinner!
*Left over cooked Spaghetti. (The amount is your preference, but I would suggest to have at least half a box or more.)
* Left over pasta sauce. (The choice of variety is yours, I had Hunts garlic and onion.)
*Left over meatballs. (Either pre-made or homemade, but make they will need to be cooked before you start this dish.)
*Grated or Shredded Cheese: (Your choice on the kind, and if you rather do it yourself or buy it in the store.)
*Pan: (I have smaller one that I got from Goodwill, and I am not sure on the size. It would fit a small cake very well.)
*Foil (Line the pan with foil to avoid harder clean up!)
*Garlic Powder, Italian Seasoning, Salt, and Pepper. (This is your choice and can mix this up a bit for your own taste.)
*Spoon, Knife, and Mixing Bowl
I really like flavor and I know that I cooked for kids the night before. That means I didn’t use much seasoning. My baked spaghetti would be kind of bland if I didn’t take a lot of care to make it better. I mixed up small amounts of the pasta, sauce, meatballs and seasoning, one at a time and added it to the pan. After smoothing it out to make it even, I would repeat the mixing step until the pan was pretty full. It held a lot! I also want to point out that in order to attempt to stretch my dollar, I cut up the meatballs into small slivers and some chunks. I mixed those in with the mixture in an attempt to get as much meat coverage as possible in my baked spaghetti.
After I made my small batches and placed the spaghetti in the pan, I took 3 meatballs and sliced them up very thin. I put them all over the top like they were mini pepperonis. I then placed the bake spaghetti in an oven that was pre-heated to 450 degrees and set the timer for 20 minutes. After the timer went, I opened up the oven and took the pasta out. I sprinkled the shredded cheese all over the top of the pasta and placed back into the over for another 10 minutes. I also put in my homemade garlic bread on the bottom rack and let both cook.
The end result was pretty good. The contents were very hot, the cheese was melted perfectly, and the ratio of meat per bit was perfect. It was a great idea to make small batches, and to cut up the meatballs into small chunks. While I didn’t have a lot of meat to begin with, the small pieces made it seem as though I had a lot. I really liked how this turned out, and it was so simple! I am sure there are several variations that you could make with this being the base, but I am glad that I could make something so simple, yet different than what i ate the night before! I think you could mix in more cheese inside the bake itself, or you could add different kinds of meat or veggies as well. I give this a 4 out of 5 stars for my try it Tuesday Baked Spaghetti. I think I could have gotten more flavor with a few more seasoning, and I think some more cheese would have made it go from good to great.
What do you think? What is your favorite leftover meals? Leave your comments below!