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Homemade Spaghetti Os

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Uh oh, homemade spaghetti os!

Healthy Homemade Spaghetti Os



More than 150 million cans of Spaghetti Os are sold each year, many of which are consumed by children. There’s just something about those cute little os in the cheesy tomato sauce that is irresistible!

Spaghetti Os were a common sight in my own elementary-school lunchbox, much to the bemusement of my traditional Italian grandmother. I remember her once picking up a can, reading the label, and saying to me, “This is NOT food.”

When Campbell’s introduced the idea of canned spaghetti back in 1965, I think she may have cried.



With kids heading back to school, it seemed like a good time to try and create a homemade Spaghetti Os recipe—no high fructose corn syrup or ingredients you can’t pronounce. Healthy spaghetti os! And yes, they fit perfectly into a lunchbox thermos.

Maybe alongside some Chocolate Chip Brownie Bars??? 😉

I used anellini pasta for a traditional Spaghetti Os shape, but you can easily substitute whatever small pasta shape you have on hand. These spaghetti os can be dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, vegan, and gluten-free. For gluten-free homemade Spaghetti Os, just use a gluten-free pasta. They even make gluten-free quinoa anellini if you want a true Spaghetti Os shape but wish to keep it gluten-free.

Nutritional yeast is a completely natural–and very healthy–product that can be found at Whole Foods, on Amazon, or in the natural food section of many regular grocery stores. It is high in protein and boasts an impressive list of vitamins. Don’t get it confused with brewers yeast or the yeast you’d use for bread. Here, it is used to give the homemade spaghetti os a deliciously cheesy flavor.

These homemade Spaghetti Os are Italian grandma approved!

Spaghetti Os  spaghettios



Healthy Homemade Spaghetti Os

Print This Recipe 4.91/5


  • 15oz no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp milk of choice
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp to 1 tsp salt (depending on your preference. I like 1 tsp.)
  • 2-3 tsp butter-type spread (such as Earth Balance or Smart Balance Light)
  • 3-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • pinch pure stevia OR 2 tbsp sweetener of choice (agave, sugar, whatever)
  • 1 cup uncooked tiny pasta of choice (If using a larger pasta, such as elbows, increase to 2 cups)
Yield: Makes 3 to 4 servings


Homemade Spaghetti Os Recipe: In a small saucepan, stir together all ingredients except the pasta. Bring to a boil, then lower and cook on low until the butter spread melts completely. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, throw in the pasta and cook until desired texture is reached. Drain, then pat dry with a towel. Pour the pasta into the sauce, and stir to combine. Serve. Before reheating any leftovers, stir and add a little milk of choice if needed.

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Link of The Day:


The Best Vegan Brownies


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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Oh man I used to tear UP some Spaghetti-O’s as a kid! I was just trying to find new ways to carb-up during marathon training and I think this is going to become a regular feature in my diet now!

    1. Are you kidding me?! I tore up the Spaghetti O’s, the Chef Boyardee Beefaroni AND the Chunky clam chowder soup, lol! Eww!

  2. BakeMeABallerina says:

    You read my mind!!!! A couple of weeks ago I was scouring the Internet for a spaghetti o recipe. They are one of my favorite comfort foods. My mom made them for me and my brother and sister when we were little. Where did you get the o-shaped pasta?

    1. I found it at a grocery store in New York… you could also order online. And some Trader Joe’s apparently have it. (Mine didn’t.)

  3. Rachel says:

    This sounds spectacular and I am now craving Spaghetti O’s. I might just have to make this sometime this week…

  4. sam says:

    Hello Katie. Can you please give me more information about nutritional yeast substitutes? I live in a country where I cannot find it. Thank you. sam

    1. Hi Sam,
      It takes the place of something cheesy… so maybe substitute it with something else cheesy? Sorry I can’t be more helpful than that. 🙁

      1. Katy says:

        Pre-grated Parmesan cheese would work well as a substitute.

    2. Steph says:

      I can’t find it where I live either and I’m in the US. You can order it online- ebay, vegan, etc. I just ordered my first can this morning. Good luck!

  5. Kelsey says:

    This has been on my recipe-testing list for like, a year! I think I’ll have to abandon my own plans and just make yours now– it looks delicious!

  6. Ellie says:

    They’re adorable! And I love the picture 🙂

  7. LOVE this post, especially the nonna’s approval! lol! I’m ALL for healthy knock-offs of original fare. They are SO much tastier than the “real” stuff (if that’s what you can call it!).

  8. How fun! I never had Spaghetti – O’s growing up. My mom refused. My dad however loved them. I would be so happy to make a dish of this the next time he is over.

  9. Becky says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe. My daughter loves the Trader Joe’s version of spaghetti O’s. Now I have a healthy version to make for her!

  10. Kelly Wang says:

    Katie, your eyes, they are beautiful 😉

  11. Aparna says:

    I am so glad I have not grown up eating canned pasta. I may sound like a food snob saying that, but it is true, and I am so grateful that I have my flavorful and healthful Indian foods! This looks really good, though I have never had nutritional yeast.

  12. I love it! Being dairy free you just don’t get things like spaghetti-os. I’ll have to try this one soon 🙂

  13. Awww such a cute photo! Yeah, I definitely ate these like it was my job when I was a kid LOL

  14. Lisa says:

    Such a cute idea! If I were still a Nanny, I’d totally make these for the kiddos since they always loved this stuff.
    I’m not a huge spaghetti o person myself, but the sauce sounds mighty tasty:)

  15. Hannah @ TalesFromTheLastFrontier says:

    I love this idea! I am a teacher and I see soooo many cans of spaghetti o’s floating around my classroom. I wish more parents prepared the healthy-versions of their kiddos favorite meals. I may have to suggest this one around 🙂

  16. Melissa says:

    Ahh, just seeing the title of your post today brought back so many fond memories! I was one of the few children who loved bringing hot lunches (i.e. a canned pasta or something of that nature in a thermos). Yum!

  17. Maya says:

    I’m pretty lucky that my parents always fed me regular home cooked food! I rarely ate what Americans think of as “kid food” and as a result have never been picky my whole life. Thanks Mom and Dad! (There was definitely a time I went back up for thirds of spinach quiche my teacher brought in in 1st grade when all the other kids couldn’t take down one bite).

    How does your grandma make her pasta? All the homemade pastas I’ve made have eggs in them.

    1. I guess I’m confused… this pasta is storebought :).

      1. Maya says:

        Ohhhh got it. Storebought is vegan for sure. I was just thinking she may make the homemade kind 🙂 Which by the way is amazing if there’s a way to make it vegan!

        1. I’m sure there must be a way… just google homemade vegan pasta and results are sure to pop up. After all, they make vegan fried calamari now (scary). Pasta should be easy ;).

          1. Kaisa says:

            you can simply substitute the egg(s) with water. Yum, home made pasta!

    2. Raquel Evans says:

      I like this recipe for homemade whole wheat pasta and it happens to be completely vegan. (My husband even likes it, and he’s not a person who likes whole wheat unless it’s actually good.)

  18. Elizabeth says:

    We really needed this one! To my shame, I share that my kids *love* Spaghetti-o’s.

  19. Omg, my life is complete! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  20. we love making our own version of these…VERY kid friendly

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