Looking for a great comfort food EASY spaghetti dish? This Cheese and Pesto Italian Spaghetti Bake is an oldie but a goodie and one we turn to frequently. Plus, I adore Paula Deen, and well, this is an adaption of one of her great recipes!

Cheese and Pesto Italian Baked Spaghetti Recipe

I love cookbooks. I have a ridiculous amount of cookbooks.

I almost never follow a recipe fully and I’m always substituting or adding my own twist to every meal we make from a recipe.

However, my over flowing bookshelf of cookbooks needed a little dusting off and when Tina made This Week’s Cravings a recipe from our favorite cookbook, I knew it was time.

Cheese and Pesto Italian Baked Spaghetti Recipe

The problem is, which cookbook.

It took me days to decide which cookbook I wanted to use, and then another week to decide which recipe.

I’m WAY too addicted to Taste of Home, but I might also equally be addicted to Paula Deen. I went with Mrs. Paula Deen because she cooks like me.

Well, okay without all the butter… I probably don’t use as much. ANYWAY.

Cheese and Pesto Italian Baked Spaghetti Recipe

I finally settled on this awesome Cheese and Pesto Italian Spaghetti Bake from Paula Deen’s The Deen Family Cookbook.

We had never made it before and it really turned out good. (update: We’ve made this dozens of times and honestly, it’s one of those dishes you can add vegetables too, flavors, seasonings, different proteins, etc. to make it what you want, which I LOVE!)

I think that next time I will probably nix the goat cheese (only because it was expensive) and add some low fat cottage cheese, simply to add a little more moisture to the recipe.  (we’ve done this too now and it’s DELICIOUS!)

But honestly the flavor was amazing as it’s written below and it is definitely hearty and rich.

Cheese and Pesto Italian Baked Spaghetti Recipe

Printable Recipe

Cheese and Pesto Italian Baked Spaghetti Recipe

Cheese and Pesto Italian Spaghetti Bake

Nicole Cook
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 -10


  • 1 pounds uncooked spaghetti noodles
  • 1 pounds ricotta cheese
  • 2 6-7 oz jars of prepared pesto
  • 2 ½ cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 13×9 dish.
  • Cook the spaghetti for 2 minutes less than the pkg directions say to cook it. Drain the spaghetti well and transfer it to a bowl. Stir in the ricotta, pesto, 1 cup of the mozzarella, 1/2 cu. of the Parmesan and the goat cheese.
  • Toss the mixture well and transfer it to the baking dish.
  • Sprinkle it with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
  • Bake until the cheese is melted, about 15-20 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and broil for 1 minute or until golden (we skipped the broil setting.)
  • Serve hot!
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    1. Definitely great comfort food, but also really flavorful and almost elegant enough to serve at a dinner party. Most people rave about it if they like pesto, and the good news is, my kids all loved it, so even picky eaters will like it. 😉

    1. lo, I wish I had garden fresh pesto, I am working on a little herb garden at the moment, so who knows what will come of that, but I can’t imagine how much more delicious this would be with fresh pesto. Yes, please. Enjoy!

    1. Happy face, makes my day to see you. I hope all is well in your world, I miss you. I’m glad you followed me over to my new account 😉 I cannot believe you’ve never had pesto – you are seriously missing out! 🙂 Delicious flavor!

  1. Looks yummy! Soon enough I will be back on track to link up with some of the weekly themes. They seem so fun!

    PS…where on earth is your stumble button on your post, girl??? I want to stumble when I am here reading!!!! 🙂

    1. Hey Karen, thakn you so much for the comments and I do hope you plan to join in at some point!
      The stumble upon button should be in two places – it should be at the top of each post just before the content starts (I think below the title) and then on the left side of the post as you scroll down it will appear in a bar with other buttons on the side. I wonder if it didn’t load? Thanks for letting me know, I’ll check it out.

    1. So glad I wasn’t alone – I am such a fan of cookbooks and while I use them occasionally I don’t use them often enough but then deciding which to use…
      Interesting challenge. haha I cannot WAIT for next week’s theme 😉

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