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Spaghetti noodles different ways

Geoffreyrabbit, Wikimedia Commons

The popularity for spaghetti never fades, and the pasta can be used many different ways.


Most of us like regular spaghetti, with or without meatballs.

The last time I went digging around in my recipe collection I kept seeing recipes that called for spaghetti noodles. Now I realize that spiralized vegetables, such as zucchini, are all the rage right now, but sometimes a person just wants regular pasta.

If you sometimes get a craving for different ways to serve real pasta, let’s check out some recipes that I have tried and enjoyed, as I love to share.

Grandmother’s spaghetti salad

I got this recipe from my mother-in-law decades ago.

1 package (1 pound) spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained

4 peeled and diced cucumbers

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into halves

1 bottle (16-oz.) Kraft Italian dressing (or even just half a bottle)

1/2 jar of Salad Supreme seasoning, or to taste

1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. Marinate overnight in refrigerator, tossing a few times. Serve cold.

Crock pot Monterey spaghetti

4 ounces dry spaghetti noodles, broken into pieces

1 egg

1 cup sour cream

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/8 teaspoon minced or crushed garlic (or more if you like)

3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

1/2 can (about 6 ounces) french-fried onions, divided

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti until al dente; drain.

2. In a large bowl, mix together sour cream, grated Parmesan cheese and minced garlic. After beating the egg in a small bowl, transfer to the large bowl and blend together. Transfer to a greased crock pot.

3. Mix cooked and drained spaghetti, 2 cups of the shredded Monterey Jack cheese, thawed spinach and half of the french-fried onions and add to the crock pot. Stir contents of crock pot until just blended.

4. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.

5. In the last 30 minutes of cooking, turn to HIGH (if cooking on LOW) and add remaining Monterey Jack cheese and french-fried onions to top of casserole. Serve when cheese is melted. Makes 8 servings.

Florentine spaghetti bake

8 ounces uncooked spaghetti

1 pound bulk Italian sausage

1 large onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced (or more, to taste)

1 jar (24 ounces) pasta sauce

1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 cups cottage cheese (I have only used 4 percent, but don’t see why you couldn’t use the leaner kinds)

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage and onion, crumbling meat, until sausage is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain, then stir in pasta sauce and mushrooms. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook until heated through, about 15 minutes.

2. Drain pasta. Combine the egg with the next 5 ingredients. Spread 1 cup sausage mixture in a greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Top with spaghetti and remaining sausage mixture. Layer with egg mixture and mozzarella cheese.

3. Cover and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Uncover; bake until lightly browned and heated through, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

Ham and pasta toss

12 ounces uncooked plain or whole wheat spaghetti

3 tablespoons butter

2 cups shredded or cubed fully cooked ham

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups frozen peas (about 12 ounces), thawed

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add ham; cook and stir 2 to 4 minutes or until browned. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

2. Stir in spaghetti, peas and parsley; heat through. Sprinkle with cheese; toss to combine. Makes 6 servings.

Spaghetti grilled cheese sandwich

Yes, I know it sounds weird, but it’s good. I find it much easier to just use some leftover regular spaghetti from a previous dinner. I also like to make Spanish rice sandwiches.

2 slices soft Italian Bread

1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon basil (a little more if using fresh)

2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Bolognese sauce (or your favorite red pasta sauce)

1 cup dry, angel hair spaghetti

1. In a small bowl, mix the butter, basil and garlic together. Then spread this on one side of each slice of the soft Italian bread. Next spread 1/2 tablespoon of the finely grated Parmesan on buttered side of each slice of bread, lightly pressing it into the butter.

2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the angel hair pasta, and cook until al dente; drain. Stir the cooked angel hair into 1/2 cup of the Bolognese sauce.

3. Lay a piece of the buttered garlic bread down, buttered side facing down (Either use waxed paper or plastic wrap, or just lay the buttered bread right onto the unheated skillet). Top with 3 slices of the fresh mozzarella, arranging it so it covers the bread. Spread the Bolognese covered angel hair over the mozzarella, and top with another layer of mozzarella. Add the second slice of bread on top, buttered side facing up.

4. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat, add the sandwich and cover the skillet. There is no need to grease the pan. The key here is to go low and slow with heat, and not to move the sandwich. After 5 to 6 minutes the first side of the sandwich should be golden brown, carefully flip the sandwich, and cover the pan again. Toast the second side of the sandwich and serve immediately. Makes 1 sandwich.

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