Easy Healthy Homemade Spaghetti O's (+ Video) - Don't Waste the Crumbs (2024)

Easy Healthy Homemade Spaghetti O's (+ Video) - Don't Waste the Crumbs (1)

By Tiffany Published Last Updated: May 20, 2022 41 Comments

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I grew up loving spaghetti O’s, but this homemade spaghetti O’s tastes so much better and it’s much healthier than the store-bought version. Plus, it’s super budget-friendly and always a family favorite!

Confession: I love spaghetti O’s.

The kinda cheese-y but definitely tomato-y sauce with all the fun little noodle ‘O’ pasta shapes that would nestle into each other…

I used to pick out all the tiny o’s and eat those first.

Unless there were meatballs. Meatballs trumped all the noodles.

I was young and naive in those spaghetti O days, just a kid oblivious to nutrition labels and artificial ingredients. It’s amazing, though, how strong that pull is to favorite childhood foods.

Fortunately, my homemade spaghetti O’s are pretty amazing in their own right and definitely picky eater approved!

Just like the original, they’re kinda cheese-y and definitely tomato-y. The pasta is still small enough to eat with a spoon so you can see how many noodles you can fit!

It’s my favorite bowl of childhood goodness, all re-made and grown up into something my body can recognize and digest. It’s a 100% real food-comfort food that I’m okay with feeding to my own kids so that one day they too can look back and fondly remember.

With meatballs for my son, without for my daughter, extra sauce for both.

Classic Homemade Spaghetti O’s

Besides being SO yummy, this homemade spaghetti O’s recipe is:

  • Versatile. Just like homemade Lunchables and homemade hot pockets, this recipe is SUPER versatile. If you’re gluten-free, go ahead and use gluten-free noodle O’s!
  • If you don’t have tomato sauce, you can definitely substitute leftover tomato basil soup or easy homemade pizza sauce instead. You can puree tomatoes fresh from the garden (like I did), or use a can of diced tomatoes. If you go this route, measure the finished tomato puree, not the whole tomatoes.
  • Great for meal planning. Be proactive (and win awesome parent hugs) by planning to make homemade spaghetti-o’s for lunch on the weeks you have any of the above sauce recipes on your meal plan!

Ingredients for Spaghetti O’s

Easy Healthy Homemade Spaghetti O's (+ Video) - Don't Waste the Crumbs (4)

Here are the simple real food ingredients that go into this recipe!

  • Small pasta rings
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Honey (optional)
  • Dried thyme (optional)
  • Salt

Some people might like to add chopped red pepper to this recipe. I didn’t because I love the classic flavor of spaghetti O’s. But you certainly can for more veggies!

Step by Step Instructions

Easy Healthy Homemade Spaghetti O's (+ Video) - Don't Waste the Crumbs (5)

Step 1. Start with the pasta and cook, on medium-high, al dente, according to the directions on the package, stirring occasionally.

Easy Healthy Homemade Spaghetti O's (+ Video) - Don't Waste the Crumbs (6)

Step 2. Meanwhile, combine tomato sauce, tomato paste, spices, milk and butter in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. The honey is optional but adds the signature “sweet” taste that you’re used to in the classic recipe. If you add it, add it with the milk and butter.

Easy Healthy Homemade Spaghetti O's (+ Video) - Don't Waste the Crumbs (7)

Step 3. Add cheese and stir until melted. Turn heat to low until pasta is done.

Easy Healthy Homemade Spaghetti O's (+ Video) - Don't Waste the Crumbs (8)

Step 4. Strain pasta when done and portion into serving bowls.

Easy Healthy Homemade Spaghetti O's (+ Video) - Don't Waste the Crumbs (9)

Step 5. Ladle finished sauce over pasta, adding more sauce for those who like it saucy!

Easy Healthy Homemade Spaghetti O's (+ Video) - Don't Waste the Crumbs (10)

FAQs

Are spaghetti O’s healthy?

This recipe for homemade spaghetti O’s is healthy because it is made with wholesome real food ingredients. It also tastes MUCH better than the store-bought processed canned version.

What type of cheese is best for spaghetti O’s?

I try to buy sharp cheddar whenever possible since it takes less to achieve the same cheese-y flavor as medium cheddar. I used medium cheddar in this recipe because it’s what I had, but if you use sharp cheddar, reduce to 1/2 cup and taste, then possibly add another 1/4 cup. You likely won’t need a full cup of cheese.

How do you make a healthy spaghetti O’s?

Just follow this simple recipe using easy-to-find real food ingredients! I know you’ll love it!

More Classic Recipe Favorites

  • Easy and Healthy Homemade Gummies
  • Healthy Homemade Lunchables
  • Easy Soft Pretzels
  • Homemade Fruit Roll Ups
  • Homemade Hot Pockets
Easy Healthy Homemade Spaghetti O's (+ Video) - Don't Waste the Crumbs (11)

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Watch How to Make Homemade Spaghetti-O’s

Homemade Spaghetti O’s

Easy Healthy Homemade Spaghetti O's (+ Video) - Don't Waste the Crumbs (12)
Print Recipe

5 Stars4 Stars3 Stars2 Stars1 Star

4.9 from 16 reviews

I grew up loving spaghetti O’s, but this homemade spaghetti o’s tastes so much better & is much healthier. My kids chose this over the can & it’s cheaper!

  • Author: Tiffany
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: about 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Main Meals
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

  • 16 oz tomato sauce*
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp honey (optional)
  • 6 Tbsp milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup packed cheddar cheese, shredded (about 5 oz)
  • 2 cups small pasta, about 8 oz (ditalini if you’re shopping in store, or anelletti for the traditional O-shaped noodles)*
  • additional salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Start with the pasta and cook, on medium-high, al dente, according to the directions on the package, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, combine tomato sauce, tomato paste, spices, milk and butter in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. The honey is optional but adds the signature “sweet” taste that you’re used to in spaghetti O’s. If you add it, add it with the milk and butter.
  3. Add cheese and stir until melted. Turn heat to low until pasta is done.
  4. Strain pasta when done and portion into serving bowls.
  5. Ladle finished sauce over pasta, adding more sauce for those who like it saucy!

Notes

* You can substitute fresh tomatoes, canned whole tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes for the tomato sauce. You can even use leftover tomato basil soup or pizza sauce. If you’re using whole or diced tomatoes, puree first and then measure.
* If you use another pasta that is slightly larger, like small shells or macaroni, you might need to increase the quantity.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 846

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Easy Healthy Homemade Spaghetti O's (+ Video) - Don't Waste the Crumbs (2024)
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