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+ servings

School Cafeteria Spaghetti

This school cafeteria spaghetti recipe will have you recalling the flavor of childhood. This simple recipe tastes like lunch period!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 8


  • Ingredients:
  • ● 1 lb ground beef
  • ● ¼ cup minced yellow onions
  • ● 1 pkg dry spaghetti sauce mix
  • ● 2 - 28 oz cans whole tomatoes undrained
  • ● 6 oz can tomato paste
  • ● 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ● 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • ● 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ● 1 teaspoon basil
  • ● 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ● 1 teaspoon salt
  • ● ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ● 1 lb spaghetti
  • ● ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • Directions:


  • Get out and measure your ingredients.
    Overhead photo of all the ingredients needed to make school cafeteria spaghetti.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef with minced onions. Be sure to crumble the ground beef into small pieces as you cook it with wooden spoon.
    ground beef and minced onions added to a skillet.
  • While meat is cooking, prepare tomatoes by dicing them. (You can substitute crushed tor diced tomatoes but I prefer the texture of the whole tomatoes diced instead.)
    Fresh tomatoes diced on a wooden cutting board.
  • Add diced tomatoes and juice from tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, worcestershire sauce, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to a large bowl.
    Diced tomatoes and juice from tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, worcestershire sauce, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper added to a large mixing bowl.
  • Stir well.
    Tomato sauce mixed in a large mixing bowl.
  • When meat is done, drain any fat, if desired.
    Cooked ground beef and onions in a skillet.
  • Stir in dry spaghetti sauce mix.
    Dry spaghetti sauce mix added to the skillet.
  • Make sue mix is incorporated.
    Ground meat, onions and dry spaghetti sauce mixture on a large metal spoon.
  • Add tomato mixture to meat.
    Tomato sauce added to the skillet with the cooked ground meat.
  • Bring to a slow boil.
    Tomato sauce and ground meat mixture in a skillet.
  • Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until sauce thickens.
    Prepared school cafeteria spaghetti sauce in a skillet with a metal spoon.
  • While meat/tomato mixture is simmering, prepare spaghetti noodles according to package directions and drain.
    Cooked spaghetti noodles in a strainer.
  • When sauce is thickened, stir cooked pasta in.
    Cooked spaghetti noodles added to the top of tomato sauce in the skillet.
  • Until blended.
    Spaghetti noodles and sauce mixed together in a skillet.
  • Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
    Prepared spaghetti topped with parmesan cheese and parsley.
  • Serve
    Closeup photo of metal tongs holding spaghetti.
  • With extra parmesan/
    School cafeteria spaghetti served in a round-white bowl.
  • Enjoy!
    Closeup photo of school cafeteria spaghetti in a white bowl. A fork is digging into the spaghetti.
  • Every bite!
    Closeup photo of a forkful of spaghetti. The fork is held above a bowl of spaghetti.