Johnny Marzetti


This is a recipe that has been around for decades! I never knew why it was called Johnny Marzetti and I’m sure many of my Ohio friends and family didn’t either. I find this to be a fascinating story of how this recipe came about and what other product is still in existence today…hint….Marzetti. Read what states about how the name and recipe Johnny Marzetti originated followed by my step by step directions to make this delicious dish!

Source: All information below was taken from the Wikipedia website.







In a large pan cook the noodles according to the package directions and drain.



In a large frying pan add the onion and ground beef.



Season with the salt and pepper and cook over medium heat

until the onions are tender and the ground beef is no longer pink.



Add the tomato soup and sugar.



Mix well.



Spray a 4 qt casserole dish with cooking oil.



Add half of the noodles to the casserole dish.



Add half the hamburger mixture on top of the noodles.



Add six pieces of cheese on top of the hamburger mixture tearing them in half

to make them fit then repeat using the last half of ingredients in the same order.



Sprinkle the top with the bread crumbs and bake with

a lid in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.



Remove the lid carefully and let sit for five minutes then serve.


Johnny Marzetti



  • 16 oz wide noodles
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 – 10.75 oz cans tomato soup
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 12 slices American Cheese
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large deep pan boil the noodles according to the package directions & drain.
  3. In a large frying pan over medium heat, cook the onion and ground beef until the onion is tender and ground beef is no longer pink.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the tomato soup and sugar and mix well.
  6. Spray a 4 quart oven safe casserole dish with cooking oil.
  7. Place half the noodles in the casserole dish. Top with half the hamburger mixture.
  8. Top with six slices of the cheese breaking them in half to fit.
  9. Repeat in the same order with other half of the ingredients.
  10. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top.
  11. Bake with a lid for 45 minutes.
  12. Carefully remove the lid and let sit for 5 minutes then serve.


Categories: Casseroles, Ground Beef, Pasta


  1. This sounds so good! I’ve never heard of it! Do you think it’s absolutely necessary to add the sugar, so what does it contribute? (I’m terrible at knowing what purpose certain ingredients serve sometimes and if they can be eliminated without changing something important!) I have to avoid excess sugar as much as possible so just wondering. Thanks yet again for another great recipe!

  2. I work at Alfred State College in western New York. The dining hall serves a similar dish here that they call “meat cheese and noodle casserole”. Everyone loves it! Thanks for sharing this!

  3. I’m actually going to try this in that big Ninja I ended up with – heck – it says it has a baking cycle. We’ll see…. 🙂

  4. I was reading this to my grandson to see if would like it this evening. I got as far as the – “Add six pieces of cheese on top of the hamburger mixture tearing them in half” when he piped up and said – “no way! You can’t tear them in half”. LOL!

  5. Back in the mid 1950’s my mother decided to make this dish. The recipe came on the back of a Marzetti bag of noodles. I know the noodles were made in Ohio. They advertised on Cleveland television stations back then. My mother was not much of a cook but she gave it a try and loved it. I think she saw the dish being demonstrated on TV. I can still see her putting that in the oven to bake. We had Johnny Marzetti often growing up. The cellophane wrapper for years sat in her recipe box. She liked to garden and can her produce but…she burnt things and over cooked things.

  6. Thank you so much, Diane! I have often thought of this childhood school favorite, trying to remember what was in it. I make a goulash that is on this order but not quite the same tasting. Guess what’s for supper?! Lol!
    You’ve truly made my day! <3

  7. This was served in my junior high lunch room. A major favorite! (I’m from Ohio😄 But I never knew this was a regional thing. Now I live in Wisconsin and have never seen it here, so that makes sense.)

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