If you often find yourself watching TikTok cooking videos, you may have come across Million Dollar Spaghetti. The dish itself resembles a lasagna in terms of its appearance and how it tastes, though its assembly is a little easier — making it a great choice for a quick weeknight dinner.
While a classic lasagna recipe calls for layers of sauce, cheese, and long, flat noodles to be arranged neatly, Million Dollar Spaghetti can be put together a little more loosely. Its three elements — cooked spaghetti noodles, marinara sauce, and a creamy, cheesy sauce — do need to be layered on top of one another, but they can simply be scooped into the casserole dish.
So, where does the name come from? It doesn't actually have anything to do with how much those ingredients will cost you; everything that goes into the dish is pretty easily available at the grocery store. Instead, the name is a play on how the dish might make you feel. It may be budget-friendly, but the rich flavor will leave you feeling — as the name suggests — like it's worth much more.
Both Sauces Are Essential For The Dish
One essential part of the dish is the cream sauce, which is used to counteract the acidity from the tomato or marinara sauce. Depending on which recipe you're following, this can include a few different ingredients. Some of the most common include cream cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, shredded cheese, and even Alfredo sauce.
To add some protein into the dish, you can use a meat sauce in place of the marinara. Or, to make your own, simply cook up some ground beef or Italian sausage in a separate pan with some seasonings. Then, pour the marinara sauce in and mix it around. If you prefer white meat over red, ground turkey or even rotisserie chicken can also be used. For the latter, simply shred the poultry and mix it in with the sauce.
Or, if you follow a vegetarian diet, you can also bulk up the dish with non-meat options. A plant-based meat alternative can make for a simple swap. But if you'd rather mix in some veggies, you can add some diced bell peppers, onions, or mushrooms into the marinara sauce, too. Once it's all assembled, it's cooked in the oven like conventional lasagna.
TikTokers Seem To Love The Dish
With over 21 million views in the #milliondollarspaghetti tag on TikTok, it's clear that this recipe is popular amongst social media users. Plenty of amateur chefs have shared videos of their own cooking processes. One user said in the caption of their video, "it just gets better each time I make it. It's a favorite in this house for sure."
Another TikToker was a little skeptical of the recipe at first glance, but decided to try making it in a video after followers insisted that they should try it. They were concerned that they would be wasting groceries on a dish they didn't like, citing food price increases as a concern. Ultimately, though, they were happy with the outcome. "It was a 10 out of 10," said the content creator. "It did not disappoint."
If you find yourself craving lasagna but you don't feel up to spending the time needed to arrange it, Million Dollar Spaghetti may just be the dish you need. The savory, creamy pasta can mimic the flavor of your favorite Italian dish, with minimal effort involved to make a delicious dinner.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.