Sweet and meaty spaghetti baked with a creamy and milky layer of cheese on top, you will love this Filipino Baked Spaghetti for a comforting meal at home.
Hello Woman Scribbles friends! I hope you are all having a great start to your year. While the baking around here has started with a fresh batch of pandesal, I am posting a savory recipe as our first blog post of the year. This Filipino Baked Spaghetti is supposed to go live in time for Christmas last year, but things got busy, I baked and rested so much that I never got the chance to sit down and write this.
But I don’t think there is any specific time or holiday to make Baked spaghetti. I mean, I celebrate a simple Monday with Cinnamon Rolls, so I think it is perfectly safe to start the year with an indulgent meal.
Filipino Baked Spaghetti
- Filipino-style baked spaghetti is basically our variation of this pasta- sweet and creamy with a bit of heat.
- In this recipe though, we add a layer of indulgence by topping the spaghetti with a white, creamy sauce (much like a bechamel), top it with cheese and we bake the pasta until the cheese is melty.
- To finish, we broil the dish on high for a few minutes, until small dark spots emerge at the surface. This adds character and flavor.
How to Make Filipino Baked Spaghetti
- Cook the Pasta. Follow the package directions to cook your spaghetti pasta. Cover the drained, warm pasta to prevent it from drying out.
- Make the Meat Sauce. This process starts by sauteeing the garlic and onion in oil in a wide pan. Add the beef and cook just until browned. Add in the bell peppers, then the hotdogs. Cook until the bell peppers are tender and aromatic. Add the beef broth and tomato sauce. Bring the pan to a boil and lower heat and simmer until the beef is cooked through. Add the ketchup , and the sugar. Season with salt and pepper, as needed. You can also adjust the seasonings here.
- Make the White Sauce. Melt butter in a saucepan until it bubbles. Stir in the flour vigorously, and cook for 3-6 minutes, until the mixture is deeply golden. Slowly stir in evaporated, regular milk and beef broth, and whisk regularly until slightly thickened. Add 1/4 tp salt, 1 dash of pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Add more salt and pepper here as you prefer.
- Assemble the Spaghetti and Bake. In a large rimmed baking dish, gradually stir in the sauce to the cooked pasta. Top the pasta with the white sauce and evenly layer the top with shredded mozzarella. Bake the spaghetti at 375 F for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melty. Turn on the broiler on high, and broil the spaghetti for 3-5 minutes, or until some browned spots emerge at the surface (Watch closely during the broiling time to prevent from burning the top!).
Pointers and Tips for Making Filipino Bake Spaghetti
- You can adjust the seasoning of the meat sauce according to your preference. You can also add more sugar, if you want it sweeter.
- Similarly, you can about 1/2 cup of beef broth towards the end of cooking the meat sauce, and simmer it for a few minutes more, if you want to thin the sauce down a bit.
- Again for the white sauce, you can add more seasoning as you prefer. You can also omit the nutmeg if you don’t have/want it. I find that the nutmeg complements the creamy flavor of the sauce so I like the subtle flavor it imparts.
- Watch closely during the broiling process. All you need is 3-5 minutes to get those caramelized spots on top.
More Delicious Pasta
For the Spaghetti
- 1 lb spaghetti pasta
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 6 hotdogs, chopped into 1/2 inch rounds
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 cup beef broth , plus up to 1/2 cup
- 1 ½ cups banana catsup (tamis-anghang variety)
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt, or more according to preference
- 1/4 tsp pepper, or more according to preference
For the White Sauce
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1 cup regular milk
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- salt and pepper, to taste
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 1 ½ cup shredded mozzarella, for topping
Make the Spaghetti
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Cover the drained pasta to keep it warm and to prevent it from drying out.
- In a wide pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add the minced garlic and chopped onions and cook until soft. Add the ground beef. Cook, stirring regularly until browned.
- Add the bell pepper and hotdogs. Cook, tossing occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and beef broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and cover the pan. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the beef is tender and cooked through. Add the banana ketchup and sugar, stir it in and cook for 5-7 minutes more. If you want to thin the sauce down, add up to 1/2 cup of beef broth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
Make the White Sauce
In a saucepan, melt the butter. Once it is bubbly, whisk in the flour. Cook the mixture for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly until the color is deeply golden. Slowly whisk in both the milk and the beef broth. Continue to whisk the mixture until it thickens slightly. Add a pinch of nutmeg, Season the sauce with salt and pepper, and adjust accordingly to taste.
Assemble and Bake
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a large, rectangular baking dish, or a large aluminum foil lasagna pan, gradually add the meat sauce to the cooked pasta, tossing well upon each addition to coat the pasta and distribute the sauce.
- Pour and spread the white sauce on top of the pasta. Then, evenly layer the shredded mozzarella on top. Bake the spaghetti at 375 for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
- Turn on the broil function and broil for 3-5 minutes, or until brown spots start to emerge on the surface of the sauce. Immediately turn off the heat and remove the dish from the oven.
- Allow the white sauce to set for 5-8 minutes, before serving.
- The seasonings amount are guidelines. You can adjust accordingly to your preference.
- Use a large baking dish to bake the spaghetti. Anything smaller than a 9 x 13 inch may not be enough. Alternatively, you can divide the spaghetti and white sauce into two smaller dishes.
- Make-Ahead: You can assemble the spaghetti in the baking dish and store it in the fridge, then bake it the next day.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 518Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 901mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 3gSugar: 16gProtein: 26g