Irish Spaghetti

I don’t know the source of this recipe other than my paternal grandpa Bob.


Growing up, my family drove up to Whidbey Island every summer to visit him- usually drove up in two days with us three kids, two parents and at least one if not two dogs in one mini-van (be impressed). Talk about family bonding. As us kids (what a weird phrase) got older, we always asked for this dish.


I still have not mastered it in my own kitchen. My grandpa did finally let me in his kitchen one summer to help and I learned the basics. But it’s never the same as a grandpa-cooked meal overlooking Puget Sound, with some day old Knead and Feed cheese bread.


Maybe it’s the damned canned mushrooms he uses that adds the twang of nostalgia. He also started using buffalo instead of beef. We also would have mom-baked fresh apple pie for dessert.


MMM… those were the days.


So now I give this recipe to the interwebs to try-

try adding other veggies or meats- only about 1 cup’s worth total in excess of the pound of ground meat.

try using different types of ground meat.

The pasta water in my version replaces the mushroom can juices but you could revert back to the original of canned mushrooms and tell me how it works.


When I recorded this recipe with my goPro, I added chopped green onion and cooked breakfast sausage to the mix because they were in the fridge.

Let me know how yours turns out!

Irish Spaghetti
Recipe type: casserole
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 trader joe’s bag sliced brown mushrooms, diced
  • 12 oz spaghetti, broken in half
  • approx. ¾ C grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1lb ground turkey, browned
  • 1 stick butter
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ½ to 1 C reserved pasta water.
  1. preheat oven to 350F
  2. grease 13x9 pan
  3. while cooking pasta, brown meat and drain liquid
  4. Save 1 cup of pasta water
  5. In mixing bowl, combine cooked pasta and cooked meat and set aside
  6. Over medium-low heat, melt butter in a non-stick skillet
  7. Add mushrooms and onion
  8. Add splashes of pasta water and increase heat to medium to get a heavy simmer
  9. cover and simmer until onion is translucent and mushroom is soft
  10. Add a handful (approx. ½ C) of parmesan cheese and whisk until combined and the cheese has melted
  11. Transfer sauce to meat/pasta bowl and stir to combine
  12. Transfer to baking dish and sprinkle with additional parmesan (approx. ¼C)
  13. bake for 25-30 min until top is crusty and browned and the dish is bubbling
  14. Serve hot


{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Aunt Pam January 25, 2015, 8:01 pm

    My understanding is that it came from Dad’s Irish Mom.
    Mine is more simple:
    Brown 1 lb ground beef while cutting up fresh mushrooms & onion & cook with meat. Salt & pepper generously.
    Add a couple tbsp flour & stir soaking up all the liquid in the pan.
    Add milk to the desired consistency & cook at least 20 min & add more S&P to taste.
    Cook ww spagetti & add to meat mixture.
    Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese.
    Bake at 375 until bubbly & lightly browned.

    • Jen January 26, 2015, 9:38 am

      thanks Aunt Pam. It’s always interesting to hear how a recipe evolves depending on what kitchen it’s being made in.



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