Introduction: Homemade SpaghettiO's

Picture of Homemade SpaghettiO's

SpaghettiO's are a childhood comfort food here in the United States. My daughter loves them and even I as an adult crave them from time to time. The one thing I can't stand is all the junk they jam into their cans! Easy fix: I make my own! I whip up a batch and jar the leftovers. This way I know EXACTLY what go into them!! Unlike many copy-cat recipes, they look and taste JUST like off the shelf SpaghettiO's!

You need:

  • 1- 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1- 6oz can tomato paste
  • 6oz water
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbs powdered cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tbs corn starch
  • 2 cups (8 oz) dry pasta rings or alphabet letters

Step 1: Make the Sauce: Part 1

Picture of Make the Sauce: Part 1

Take the whole tomatoes and crush them with your hand into a large pot. Add the tomato paste and one can worth (6oz) of water into the pot. Using either a hand blender or traditional blender, puree the tomatoes until smooth.

Add the salt, corn syrup and bay leaves to the pot. This recipe calls for corn syrup, and a decent amount of it, because I was trying to exactly replicate the sauce found in the can. You can use granulated sugar or lesson the amount of corn syrup used to your desired taste.

Usually when I make this at home, I toss in some extra vegetables such as carrots, celery and bell peppers. Its an easy way to sneak more vegetables into my kids diets. It also adds great flavor! I did not include vegetables in this recipe for authentic reasons. If you want to add vegetables, give them a quick chop and add them to the sauce at this point.

Bring the pot to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. If you added vegetables, you will need to puree the sauce again after it's simmered. Make sure you remove the bay leaves BEFORE you puree the sauce again.

Strain the sauce through a fine wire strainer. You may need to use a spatula to help the sauce along. Straining the sauce is only necessary to achieve the super smooth sauce like the can version. I usually skip this step.

Step 2: Make the Sauce: Part 2

Picture of Make the Sauce: Part 2

Slowly whisk 1 cup of the tomato sauce into the milk and then add the mixture back into the sauce. This process will temper the milk and prevent it from curdling in the pot.

Mix about 1/2 cup of the sauce with the corn starch and add the mixture back into the tomato sauce.

Whisk in the powdered cheese and heat the sauce until it has thickened a bit, about another 5 minutes. I don't usually add the cheese, but it really is that one last ingredient you need to achieve the classic SpaghettiO flavor! You can also substitute 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese if you prefer. It doesn't taste quite the same, but it's still pretty good.

Step 3: Finishing the SpaghettiO's

Picture of Finishing the SpaghettiO's

Boil the pasta rings/alphabets according to the package, then allow to cook an additional 2-3 minutes. You do not want al dente pasta, in fact you want slightly over cooked pasta. The O's in SpaghettiO's are super soft! Drain the noodles and add them to your sauce and Enjoy!!

Allow left over SpaghettiO's to cool to room temperature before pouring into jars. You now have single servings of SpaghettiO's ready to go!! Place the room temperature jars in the freezer. They will stay fresh for up to 3 months!

Step 4: Reheat Frozen Jars

Picture of Reheat Frozen Jars

If you know your going to use a jar the next day, its best to let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. If you don't have enough time to thaw it in the refrigerator, let the jar soak in a bath of lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes. Its important not to thaw it in really hot water. The glass does not like sudden temperature changes and could shatter.

Remove the cap and gently shake the SpaghettiO's into a small sauce pan. Heat over medium low until the pasta is warm.


Comments

instructerbot (author)2016-09-26

i didn't know you could do that!!!!#socool

TheGeeWillikers (author)2016-08-28

Any idea whats in the mini meatballs?

MaddieJ3 (author)TheGeeWillikers2016-08-28

I have not yet attempted to recreate those little balls. Perhaps a future instructable?? ;) My niece and I spent quite a bit of time experimenting with the sauce. Reading the ingredients, playing with different quantities and ratios of ingredients and taste testing along the way. It was a good taste bud learning adventure for both of us, and I'm sure she would love to try it again with something else!

TheGeeWillikers (author)MaddieJ32016-08-28

Please please please please
Learn the meatballs ?

no idea why it posted again , sorry

TheGeeWillikers (author)MaddieJ32016-08-28

Please please please please
Learn the meatballs ?

MaddieJ3 (author)TheGeeWillikers2016-08-28

I will see what I can do! ;) However, I find processed meats a lot harder to recreate than sauces, so no promises on a perfect replica like this one.

dleland71 (author)2016-08-29

How many pints does the recipe make?

MaddieJ3 (author)dleland712016-08-30

Around 4 pints I'd say. I jarred up the leftovers from lunch with the kids and had about 2 pints worth left. I'd guess we ate about half the batch or so for lunch.

ggallen103 (author)2016-08-24

Speaking of adding extra vegetables, I used to take scissors and cut off the very tips of the broccoli florets into my sauce/gravy, it thickens the sauce, gives it nutrition, and you would never know it was in there.

MaddieJ3 (author)ggallen1032016-08-24

You have to love hidden vegis, espically when dealing with kids! I'm sure you could easily add broccoli ends to this meal too!

goaskal (author)MaddieJ32016-08-26

Hidden veggies work well for adults, too!

My wife makes a great pasta sauce with carrots, celery, mushrooms and parsley pureed until everything just disappears into the tomato paste and ground beef. I know it is there and I would miss it if she left the veggie puree out but I won't touch the stuff otherwise. It is purely a texture thing for me. We have had fun serving friends and then asking if they had any idea what was in the sauce. (They never do.) We always ask about, allergies, first, just to be safe.

gen81465 (author)goaskal2016-08-26

Thank you for mentioning allergies, and being safe. I have an allergy to mushrooms, and while your sauce might not be the death of me, anaphylaxis isn't very fun to watch (or experience).

Łukasz (author)2016-08-23

They dont even the sell sell this in poland :( not even the pasta on its own, maybe i can find some alternate paster this small

jannie.lloyd (author)Łukasz2016-08-25

Can you try somewhere like AMAZON?

MaddieJ3 (author)jannie.lloyd2016-08-25

Amazon is where I found the powdered cheese!

creaky (author)MaddieJ32016-08-26

If you have a Winco grocery (US) near you they sell the powdered cheese in their bulk section.

MaddieJ3 (author)creaky2016-08-26

I don't unfortunately! I had never even seen this type of product before!

MaddieJ3 (author)Łukasz2016-08-23

That's too bad :(

rutcorn (author)2016-08-23

You could also put the sauce into the jars while hot. Then close them and put them in almost boiling water for about ten minutes. This way you don't need to keep them in the freezer.

MaddieJ3 (author)rutcorn2016-08-23

That is an interesting idea! You could do that but you must make sure you use a pressure canning device. Water boiling for this particular product will not kill the clostridium botulinum and the sauce isn't acidic enough to prevent growth. I don't have a pressure canner so I decided to just freeze it. Also, I would jar just the sauce and add the pasta in after you can. It doesn't tend to hold up so swell in the canning process.

l33tDad (author)MaddieJ32016-08-25

I usually don't respond, but I felt I needed to chime in here. We've been water bath and pressure canning for years and as you said, you can't water bath can this, but in reality it's not safe to pressure can it either. The problem is that the starches will break down under pressure canning making it so that the stuff your canning can't reach the temps you need to kill botulism. The reason that you can buy stuff with pasta in it at the store is that the pasta they use is specially prepared and they can it under MUCH higher temps and pressure than you can do at home. Do some people can pasta without issue? Yes, but personally I wouldn't want to take a chance. The best way to preserve this is freezing.

http://extension.psu.edu/food/preservation/news/20...

Yea, I know it's soup, but it explains it better. I just don't want anyone to potentially get sick...

rutcorn (author)l33tDad2016-08-26

I haven't thought of botulinum, yes that could be a problem. My
parents have been jarring beans and other vegetables my whole life in an
ordinary cooker and we're all still alive :). The thing is that those
beans get cooked before consumption, so the toxins get destroyed (the
toxin gets destroyed at temperatures above 80 degrees Celsius). As this sauce isn't being cooked, IT'S BETTER TO FREEZE IT!

Thanks for pointing out my mistake.

MaddieJ3 (author)l33tDad2016-08-25

Thank you for the detailed explanation and article! You learn something new every day!

MaurizioD (author)2016-08-25

Ti prego!!! Chiamali come ti pare ma non chiamare quella roba ..."spaghetti"!!!

Tu non li hai mai visti gli spaghetti e non li hai mai assaggiati.

bvzpao (author)MaurizioD2016-08-26

hai ragione! quegli anellini di pasta che diventano ruote d'auto non si possono vedere!

You are right. I can't see those little rings of pasta become a wheel -car!

ChrisLewis300 (author)2016-08-25

No "junk" just a dehydrated blend of cheese (granular and blue (milk, cheese culture, salt,enzymes)), whey, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, whey protein concentrate,lactose, maltodextrin, salt, sodiumphosphate, citric acid, lactic acid,yellow 5, yellow 6, Ferrous Sulphate

MaddieJ3 (author)ChrisLewis3002016-08-25

Like I said, I don't use it. BUT, if you want authentic flavor...well, the cheese is in there. Feel free to make it however you wish. :) Happy cooking!

VickiM33 (author)2016-08-25

This does need to be frozen for storage. The dairy and pasta are not safe to can by any home canning process. I love the recipe and my grandkids will love me for making it. Thank you.

MaddieJ3 (author)VickiM332016-08-25

Thanks!

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