Air Fryer Baked Spaghetti is a family favorite that is full of flavor and uses ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen!
Looking for more easy air fryer recipes to try? Give these Air Fryer Garlic Knots a try!
Air Fryer Baked Spaghetti Recipe
This comforting dinner dish is made with homemade Italian meat sauce, perfectly cooked spaghetti and melty mozzarella cheese. This quick recipe is great for a busy weeknight or for Sunday dinner.
One of my favorite things about making this easy recipe is that you can use leftover spaghetti and add in your favorite pasta sauce or marinara sauce to cut back on cooking time which is perfect for a busy day or night.
Keep in mind, since the spaghetti noodles are already cooked, you won’t need to cook it as long so keep an eye out on the internal temperature.
This is also a great main dish for bringing to a potluck or family get together. Place your spaghetti casserole in an airtight container or cover your baking dish with plastic wrap and it’s ready to go! Don’t forget to bring a large spoon or spatula to serve.
What do I need to make Homemade Air Fryer Baked Spaghetti?
Olive Oil: this will keep the onions from sticking to the pan while creating the perfect base for your meat sauce.
Onion: I like to use a yellow onion because it brings a mild onion and sweet flavor that pairs well with the tomato sauce.
Ground Beef: I like to use ground beef for my baked spaghetti, you’re welcome to use ground chicken or ground turkey as well.
Salt: adding fine salt to this recipe is great because it enhances the flavor and mixes in well with the tomato sauce. I don’t recommend using coarse salt for this recipe.
Spices: using garlic powder, onion powder, ground black pepper and Italian seasoning in your tomato sauce brings earthy and savory flavors to the mix.
Tomato Sauce: the sauce is one of the main ingredients for this recipe. You can use any canned or jarred tomato sauce that you’d like but be sure not to grab one with seasonings already in it since we are adding our own seasonings to the recipe.
Dry Spaghetti: you can use any dry classic spaghetti that you’d like. I don’t recommend using chickpea pasta or lentil pasta for this recipe because of texture and cooking time.
Mozzarella: the cheese is the binder to keeps everything together. It also brings a tangy flavor to the bake that goes great with the tomato sauce. And it’s cheese, which is 100% necessary for any pasta recipe.
Fresh Basil: I like to add basil leaves on top of the bake when it comes out because the green color adds to the presentation and basil brings a great sweet, yet savory, flavor.
How to Make Air Fryer Baked Spaghetti
- Sauté the onion. Add the olive oil to a large, deep skillet or saucepan on medium-high heat. After a few minutes, add the onions and cook until tender, frequently stirring with a spatula.
- Cook the ground beef. Add the meat to the large skillet along with salt and ground pepper. Brown the ground beef and make sure to break up meat lumps with a spatula.
- Season the beef and onions. Add in the tomato sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning. Stir until well combined.
- Cook the spaghetti. Carefully add the spaghetti noodles and stir until the pasta is covered and well incorporated. Cook for 5 minutes more. Move the cooked pasta to a baking dish.
- Preheat the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer while the spaghetti is cooking.
- Air fry the spaghetti. Move the pasta to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Cover the pasta with shredded mozzarella and place the baking dish inside the air fryer basket. Air fry the spaghetti for 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
- Serve. Remove the baked spaghetti from the air fryer and place the baking dish on a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes. Serve with basil leaves on top and garlic bread!
Kitchen Tools & Equipment
For this recipe, most of the kitchen tools that you will need are very commonly used in the kitchen.
You will also need a cooling rack to put your baking dish on to cool after it comes out of the air fryer.
If you don’t have a cooling rack, ball up a few pieces of aluminum foil and place the baking dish on top. The purpose of the cooling rack is to raise the baking dish enough that there is room underneath to promote cooling.
Can I boil pasta in an air fryer?
Yes and no. Can you boil pasta in the air fryer alone? No. This is because you need some kind of liquid for the pasta to absorb to cook. So in this recipe, the pasta absorbs the liquid from the tomato sauce, allowing the pasta to cook.
What is the difference between baked spaghetti and regular spaghetti?
The key difference is how the noodles are cooked. In regular spaghetti, you boil the noodles until they’re cooked thoroughly and ready to top with sauce.
When it comes to baked spaghetti, you will only cook your pasta about half way because when you put it in the oven, it continues to cook.
Can you overcook baked spaghetti?
You can but there is an easy fix. Be sure to check on your pasta while it is baking every once in a while until the internal temperature becomes 165°F.
Once it hits that temperature, your pasta is fully baked. If you wait too long to take it out or bake it for longer, it may become mushy.
Can you substitute ground beef?
Yes, absolutely. Instead of using ground beef, you could also try using ground turkey or chicken.
If you’re looking for more of a spicy variation, you can use ground Italian sausage. If you’re looking for a vegetarian or meatless option, you can always use beyond beef as a plant based meat source.
Recipe Tips and Variations
Changing pastas. Changing out the pasta can get a little tricky but if you only have angel hair, that is fine, just cut back on the cooking time, a lot.
If you have linguine, add to the cooking time because it is thicker than regular spaghetti pasta.
Buccatini works well as a substitute! I love that it holds the sauce in the center of the noodle.
Adding veggies. You can add in veggies, like raw spinach or zucchini, to make this recipe more nutritious.
If you’re wanting to add in some veggies but want to mask the flavor and texture, put your veggies in the blender or food processor and then add it with the sauce. Hidden veggies is a great way to get veggie haters to eat them!
Changing meats. Instead of using ground beef, you can use ground turkey, ground chicken, ground italian sausage or even ground plant-based meat.
How to reheat
I’ve never had leftover air fryer spaghetti to take home, but the best way to reheat, is to place it your microwave covered for 30 second increments until fork tender. I like to wet a paper towel and cover to keep moisture in.
What to Serve with Baked Spaghetti
There are many different things you can serve with your baked spaghetti. One of my favorite ways being with garlic bread, which you can easily make at home with a french loaf and garlic butter sauce.
If you’re not a fan of garlic bread, but still want bread as an appetizer or side, you can always pair it with bread and olive oil dip.
You can also add a side salad to your baked spaghetti for a nice crunch. You can also top your baked spaghetti with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
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Air Fryer Baked Spaghetti
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- ½ cup onion, diced
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ tsp fine salt
- ⅛ tsp ground pepper
- 28 oz tomato sauce
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 12 oz dry spaghetti cooked
- 8 oz mozzarella shredded
- fresh basil, for serving
- Add the olive oil to a large, deep skillet or saucepan on medium-high heat. After 3 minutes, add the onions and cook for 5-7 minutes or until tender, frequently stirring with a spatula.
- Add the meat to the large skillet along with salt and ground pepper. Brown the ground beef and make sure to break up meat lumps with a spatula.
- Add in the tomato sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning. Stir until well combined.
- Carefully add the spaghetti and stir until the pasta is covered and well incorporated. Cook for 5 minutes more. Move the cooked pasta to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.
- While the spaghetti is cooking, preheat the air fryer to 250° F.
- Move the pasta to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Cover the pasta with shredded mozzarella and place the baking dish inside the air fryer basket. Air fry the spaghetti for 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
- Remove the baked spaghetti from the air fryer and place the baking dish on a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes. Serve with basil leaves on top and garlic bread!
Nutrition information is approximate and was calculated using a recipe nutrition label generator.
- If your air fryer doesn’t go below 300 F, that’s ok, just cook it for a few minutes less.