Cheesy Garlic Bread Spaghetti Bread Boats are the perfect way to use up leftover spaghetti. Nothing beats pasta stuffed cheesy garlic bread!
What do you do with your leftover spaghetti? Growing up, Mom would make “Skettie sandwiches“. Hers was just 2 slices of white bread, slathered with a little butter, parmesan cheese, and straight-from-the-fridge cold pasta. On a side note, she’d mix the leftover pasta with sauce before putting it away.
I grew up thinking everyone did this.
When I married into Mr. Fantabulous’s Italian family, they did something a little bit different. Mama Fantabulous would fry it up in some butter and place it between bread. During my pizzeria years, I took my Mom’s “recipe if you will” and put my own twist on it.
Since I was up to my elbows in hoagie rolls, cheese, and garlic butter, I decided to create one of those “secret menu” items. You know, the ones my brother had no clue about and only certain clients could order when he wasn’t around lol
Thus the invention of the Spaghetti Boat or “Skettie Boat” as those in the know called it. So let’s take a boat ride to #delicioustown !
- Soft & fresh hoagie rolls
- Leftover spaghetti – see details below about making this healthier
- Spaghetti/Marinara sauce
- Garlic Butter mixture
- Freshly shredded mozzarella
Let’s Get Cooking!
So this is a great dish to let the kiddos help with though I would recommend an adult do the cutting part.
- Take the tip of a serrated knife and place it in the top, outer portion of the bread. Cut along the top/outside making an oval/football shape. DO NOT GO ALL THE WAY DOWN! See how my knife is on an angle? If you cut it on an angle like that it’ll help you create that canoe shape.
- Once you cut all the way around, take the tip of the blade to lift one end of the bread.
- You should be able to gently pull it off. Again, you want to keep the bottom and walls intact so go slow.
- Once it’s off, you can hollow out the bottom/sides more if you need to.
The most important thing here is to make sure that you do not cut out the sides or bottom. You want to keep that outer perimeter intact. That is what will give your boat structure and support when you stuff it!
Brush & Cheese
- Place the hollowed-out rolls and the lids (I so hate when folks throw away the tops. It’s bread people and it’s amazing!) on a parchment-lined pan.
- Using a pastry brush, coat the insides of the exposed bread (boat and top) liberally with the garlic butter mixture.
- Next, add some mozzarella cheese and bake for 5-7 minutes or just until the cheese starts to melt and the edges start to crisp up.
Seriously at this point, you could totally stop and have some amazing cheesy bread but we have a boat ride to take so let’s continue!
- To each boat, add some of the warm sauce-coated pasta filling it just to the brim.
- To prevent it from drying out when it bakes, add a few more tablespoons of sauce on top and reserve the rest of the warmed sauce for dipping.
Seriously… when the recipe was at this point, it took every ounce of willpower for me to resist inhaling it!
…but I did. You’re welcome.
- Because we love cheese, add more of the freshly shredded mozzarella on top. If you notice your boat lids need more, add away!
- Pop these babies back in the oven and bake until the cheese is all melted and gooey!
- Transfer to your serving plates and garnish with freshly grated parmesan (I personally love Grana Padano) and a side of that reserved warm marinara
This dish is one of my FAVORITE ways to use up leftover pasta. It’s a great way to use it up in a new and delicious way. Plus the kids love it as they get to help make it.
You have your pasta stuffed cheesy garlic bread AND on the side, you have your cheesy garlic bread topper that is perfect for dipping.
This is such a comfort food meal that everyone loves!
So I posted a teaser pic of this on Facebook a few weeks ago and someone asked how they could “ketofy” it or make it less carb-heavy.
My suggestions are as follows:
- Hoagie – Go with a low/no carb hoagie roll recipe. There are tons on google
- No Bread – go with a hollowed-out zucchini, eggplant, or other large veggies like that. You’ll have to cook it to make it not so firm. Just don’t make it mushy. It would be like this recipe of mine.
- Pasta – Chickpea, rice, or black bean pasta would work. Also, zoodles or spaghetti squash would rock in it.
Substitutions and Additions
This is section is probably my most favorite section when I write recipes. I love being able to give you guys alternatives.
- Bread – you can use any large or small roll. Create a family-style meal and use a large boule!
- Cheese – as long as it’s freshly grated/shredded it’s up to you. Fontina, gruyere, parmesan, ricotta… you get the idea
- Pasta – it doesn’t have to be spaghetti. Most cooked pasta works in this. Just be sure that you’re accounting for size. As for these 5″ hoagie buns, I wouldn’t try stuffing manicotti in them. Well okay, I would as it’s cheesy fill but you’d be lucky to get 1 filled tube in, and that that kind of defeats the purpose here. In this recipe, size matters. (and yes, I totally belly laughed at that)
- Pasta (2) – Skip the pasta altogether and add cooked zoodles or spaghetti sauce tossed in the sauce!
- Sauce – if you have leftover alfredo, use that instead. The overall premise of this is that you use leftover pasta and sauce. There’s no rule it has to be spaghetti and marinara
- Garlic Butter – um, it’s an integral part but you could just use melted butter if you wish
Can we just take a second to look at the next picture???
THIS… THIS is why we save the tops! I’m a dipper through and through and this piece is just ridiculously delicious!
Okay so let’s play with the recipe!
- Meat – a meat sauce with ground beef, chorizo, and or short ribs would be killer!
- Veggies – add cooked eggplant, zucchini, mushroom to your pasta before stuffing it into the boat
- Ricotta – add dollops of ricotta mixed with parmesan on top of the pasta and bake for a creamier “lasagna” style filling
- Pesto – When the boats are done, drizzle on some pesto before serving
- Four 6” Fresh Hoagie rolls
- 2 cups leftover spaghetti lighted coated in sauce, warmed
- Garlic Butter *see recipe below
- 4 cups freshly shredded mozzarella, divided
- 2 cups marinara sauce, warmed and divided
- Freshly grated Parmesan or Grana Padano
- 8 tablespoon melted butter, unsalted
- 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoon garlic powder (or 2 teaspoon minced garlic)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Keep warm.
Make the Boats
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Take the tip of a serrated knife and place it in the top, outer portion of the bread. Cut along the top/outside making an oval/football shape.
- Carefully remove the “lid” trying to keep it intact. If necessary, remove some more bread from the inside of the hoagie if desired. Just make sure to not remove too much or puncture the sides or bottom.
- Place the hollowed-out rolls and the lids on a parchment-lined pan.
- Using a pastry brush, coat the insides of the exposed bread (boat and top) liberally with the garlic butter mixture. Next, add half of the mozzarella cheese to the insides of the boats and overtop of the lids. Bake for 5-7 minutes or just until the cheese starts to melt and the edges start to crisp up.
- To each boat, evenly divided the warm sauce-coated pasta filling it just to the brim. To prevent it from drying out when it bakes, add a few more tablespoons of sauce on top and reserve the rest of the warmed sauce for dipping. Add the remaining mozzarella on top and bake until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasty. ~5-7 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, plate, and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan.
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