It was Saturday night and I was scrolling through my Instagram feed on the couch when I saw Kalen Allen’s newest video, which was a response to some kind of tragic SpaghettiO pie tutorial that was making the internet rounds. The original video in question showed a woman pouring a can of SpaghettiOs (with meatballs) into a pre-made pie dish. “This is the fastest family recipe for dinner you will ever see,” the chef says proudly, as she quickly pivots to buttering four pieces of sliced bread in hyper speed. “And all the kids will love it, obviously, because who doesn’t love Spaghetti Italian,” she says, quickly continuing to butter the bread.
I’m only 16 seconds in, and I’m HOOKED. What is Spaghetti Italian? Is it legal to put SpaghettiOs in pie crust? Is this woman trolling us? No matter, I kept watching, as she seasoned everything with garlic salt in epic proportions, and then proceeded to mash the buttered, garlic salt bread with her forearms. HER FOREARMS. She was not fucking around. She punched down the bread for good measure to really flatten it. She then cuts the crusts off because no self-respecting child will eat anything with crust.
But okay, back to the SpaghettiO pie du jour: The OP sprinkles some farm style thick cut Tillamook mozzarella on top of the first layer of SpaghettiOs, and then adds a generous layer of garlic salt. She then adds a seemingly optional second layer of SpaghettiOs because she has a large family, and sprinkles more mozzarella, because she really likes mozzarella. The part that was perhaps the most controversial was when she added a large splash of MILK to the SpaghettiOs to make it “juicy.” She then adds another dash of garlic salt to the final layer, and then she adds the “garlic bread” “crust” to top it off.
In one of the cuts of the video, you see the OP putting the pie into the oven and taking it out, claiming this is the best one she’s made so far, and honestly I am so proud of her. But while she does take the pie out so we can see the final result, she never shows us what the pie looks like when you slice into it! What a cliff-hanger!
I decided I had to make this “easiest dinner hack ever” because there was really nothing stopping me, and to be honest, I was bored.
SpaghettiO Pie Ingredients:
- 2 cans of SpaghettiOs with meatballs
- 1 pre-made pie shell
- Mozzarella cheese (I don’t make Tillamook cheese money, so Lucerne had to do)
- Milk (I had low fat on hand, not sure what the OG chef used)
- 4 slices of bread
- Garlic salt (I only had granulated garlic, but I figured SpaghettiOs’ salt content would suffice)
Ahh, SpaghettiOs. Smells like daycare and despair.
Layer one: Everything is going well so far. I generously pour some granulated garlic and prepare the shredded cheese and can #2 for layer two. I admit, this is quite wasteful since I really don’t know how much of this feast I’ll consume, and it’s just my husband and me. But the SpaghettiO cans were half off, and when life gives you the opportunity to use two full cans of SpaghettiOs, you take it.
Confession: As a Midwesterner, I was kind of alarmed when the woman from the video claimed she loved cheese (I also later learned she’s from Minnesota, and SO AM I, so she really doesn’t have an excuse for this puny sprinkling of cheese). But I stuck to the original recipe, because perhaps there’s a reason for everything.
After I layered in more SpaghettiOs and cheese, I realized I almost forgot to add the milk! It was a close call. My near-grave error was probably because the thought of adding milk to SpaghettiOs is obscene and borderline sacrilegious. But I wanted to follow directions, so “eye-balled it” and mixed the milk in. She’s right; it did make the pie extra “juicy.” For better or for worse.
And then, she was ready for the oven. But hold on, because we need to talk about the “garlic bread.”
I used three slices instead of four because I only had thick white bread on hand and didn’t want to fuck with the ratio of bread to SpaghettiOs. Maybe I was thinking too much into this.
I rolled up my sleeves and used my forearms as human rolling pins, even though this seemed unnecessary. But who am I to judge this culinary artistry?
I pummeled the bread with my clenched fists too, just like the OP did. I really tried my best to flatten the bread, even though I’m not quite sure why the bread needed to be so flat. And sure, I cut the crusts off, even though I personally love crust — but this journey wasn’t about me.
Since the OP never told us what temp to preheat the oven, or how long it should bake for, I decided on the standard 350 degrees and gave it 35 minutes to start. I checked on it when the timer went off, but the pie dough had clearly not baked all the way through, so I gave it another 15 minutes in the oven. That seemed to do the trick. So, if you plan on making this at home, preheat your oven to 350, bake for 50 minutes.
The oven hesitantly beeped, and I took out my pie. Looking back, I probably should have added that fourth “garlic bread” “crust,” but as the great Alanis Morissette once said, “you live, you learn.”
Slicing into the pie was the moment I had been waiting for since I first saw the viral video on Saturday. I really wasn’t prepared for what might happen. Did the SpaghettiOs have some kind of magical binding agent which would make it possible for me to carve out a solid piece of pie? Or would this be a scooping situation?
Okay, so yes, it was a scooping situation. I had to use a big spoon to scoop out the “slice.”
Final verdict: Is this Spaghetti Italian? No. But is it SpaghettiOs with cheese, granulated garlic, and toast on top? Yes. And it wasn’t that bad. As a thrifty woman who isn’t above a struggle meal herself, this surely wasn’t the finest meal I’ve ever had, but it wasn’t the worst. I am from the Midwest, after all. It tasted like overcooked spaghetti with cheap marinara sauce and surprise pops of cheese every other bite or so (confirmed: it definitely needed more cheese). The “garlic bread” “crust” tasted like buttered toast with granulated garlic and gave the meal some crunchy texture, which was delightfully carb-y. I will say, I was not a fan of the canned meatballs, but that’s nobody’s fault (I guess it’s Campbell’s fault).
I asked my husband to try some and at first he refused out of principle/self-respect, but after begging relentlessly for five minutes, he gave in, and ate a spoonful. “Yup, tastes like overcooked SpaghettiOs.” Hater.
Some may call this dish a crime against humanity. I personally think you can’t judge a SpaghettiO pie by its viral video.
Here’s where you can get the main ingredients to the SpaghettiO pie:
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