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Johnny Marzetti

Recipe and origin of the dish.

1y ago

Marzetti's Restaurant was founded in 1896 by Italian immigrants Joseph and Teresa Marzetti. It was located in Columbus, Ohio near the Ohio State Campus. Johnny Marzetti was created sometime in-between 1896-1920's. This is a ground beef casserole. It originally consists of noodles, ground beef, tomatoes and cheese.

By the 1970's Columbus public schools were serving it to students and from there it spread to church suppers and home kitchens all over Ohio.

This dish varies from family to family but is still basically the same. Originally made with crushed San Marzano tomatoes but now you would most likely find it made with spaghetti sauce. From my husband's family I have had it with ground beef, macaroni, spaghetti sauce, onion, crushed cheese crackers and of course cheese.

Johnny Marzetti

These are approximate amounts. The amount you want is the right amount.

Prep time15min
Cook time30min
Total time45min


  • 1 cup macaroni
  • 20 ounces spaghetti sauce(I used tomato basil)
  • 1 pound ground beef(80/20)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion(it was in the fridge)
  • 2 cups crushed cheese crackers
  • 2 cups shredded cheese(I used colby-jack)
  • spray oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Put a pot of water on to boil, meanwhile. Brown ground beef and onion in skillet, drain.
  3. The macaroni was suppose to be Al dente in 7 minutes, I only cooked it for 5 minutes. Drain.
  4. Take a well greased baking dish(cast iron for me). Add your noodles, ground beef with onions and sauce to the baking dish. Mix it all together, then smooth it out.
  5. Top with shredded cheese and crushed crackers. Spray your crackers with oil, so they will be crunchy.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until desired goldenness.

Recipe Notes

This is all what you want. Ours was meat heavy and saucy. The crunch from the cheese crackers are nice but leftovers the crackers are not as good. This amount was at least 6 servings. My husband and I each ate it twice and sent some to his parents as well.

Recipe by

Fyffe family based off of Marzetti restaurant.

Have you tried this recipe? Share your photos & thoughts in the comments below

This is very tasty and filling. Good for large family or for a pot luck. This would be good paired up with salad and garlic bread if you would like. Have you ever had Marzetti or something similar?

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