Spaghetti Pie or String Pie isn’t something that I think a ton of people have heard of, however people who have heard of it, seem to universally enjoy it. The premise is using cheesy spaghetti as your “pie crust” and then filling that crust with something, generally ground beef or sausage for a different presentation of a spaghetti and meatballs sort of thing, topping it all with cheese and baking.
I’ve made spaghetti pie a few times with okay kid reviews. While baking it together encourages one to eat it bite by bite as you would a piece of pie, you can also separate and pull apart the piece easily if kids like only parts of it.
It is a pretty easy recipe to make substitutions. Angel hair pasta. Whole wheat or other types of pasta. Any preference of cheese. Beef, sausage, ground turkey or chicken, shredded chicken, cut up meatballs, vegetarian replacements. You can ramp up the healthy parts or the gluttonous as you desire.
Today I went for the healthier side. I’m still working my way through the side of grass fed beef we bought (I can almost see the bottom of the chest freezer!), so I stuck with ground beef. I used whole wheat spaghetti. Most recipes add in a layer of cottage cheese or ricotta between the pasta and meat layers, but I left that out too. Green pepper is also a common ingredient in most spaghetti pie recipes, but a deal breaker in our house for the kid I thought might otherwise like this the best, so I left that out. I added in chopped vegetables to the beef that my kids didn’t even comment on. Today I finely chopped zucchini and broccoli. Spinach (or other not to bitter green), carrots, corn, celery, squash, fresh tomato, garlic, cauliflower, any color bell pepper, eggplant and probably lots of other vegetables would all go in well. You could also use a medley of veggies to replace the meat. Heck, you can just turn the whole thing into pasta primavera pie, actually, I might try that some time.
This meal is good as cold leftovers and can be frozen well.
I assembled everything and went to grab the cheese, only to find out we didn’t have the staple brick of mozzarella in the deli drawer, so I chopped up the last two two string cheeses, two slices of provolone and sprinkled on some parmesan.
It worked out fine. A piece of cake. Err… pie.
Spaghetti Pie with Vegetables
- ~1 lb. of meat or some substitute
- 1 small onion, chopped
- about half of a box of uncooked spaghetti (most recipes call for 6 oz.)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
- about 2 cups of spaghetti sauce (jarred or homemade)
- 1 cup or more of vegetables of your choice (see list above for suggestions) finely chopped
- seasoning to taste (salt, pepper, basil, parsley, oregano, hot chili flakes, whatever your pleasure)
- 1 cup of mozzarella (or other) cheese for melting on top
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease/spray a 9″ pie pan (you can use a square baking dish, but you lose the novelty of the pie slice).
- Cook the spaghetti as directed on the box and drain.
- Lightly beat the two eggs together and combine with the 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Stir this into the cooked spaghetti. Press this mixture into your prepared pie pan. Do the best you can to press it down and spread it up the sides so there will be a pie crust. I like to pretend it’s a bird’s nest.
- Brown or cook your meat with the onion and drain. Depending on your vegetable choice, lightly cook the vegetables (steam or saute).
- Combine the meat, vegetables, tomato sauce and any seasonings. Pour into the center of the prepared spaghetti crust.
- Top the pie with cheese.
- Bake for about 25 minutes.