I want my spaghetti to lie straight and flat on the plate. How will I cook the noodles without getting them all tangled up? Can I bake them in a bread pan with sauce and meat?

  • 2
    This will get difficult when you intend to serve the spaghetti on a different plate than the pot/dish you cooked them in, as they will bend during transfer unless you severely undercook them. Can you elaborate on what exactly you want to achieve?
    – John Doe
    Aug 12, 2021 at 13:32
  • @JohnW. you might be able to parboil just enough to soften, then arrange them in something reasonably solid, like some forms of lasagne that can be sliced into portions and hold their shape, however those tend to be cut up cold and reheated
    – Chris H
    Aug 13, 2021 at 9:16
  • I wonder if it would work to put the ends of the dry spaghetti in some kind of flat clip and then cook it with that. You could then pull them out of the water at the clip, let them hang down from it and comb them.
    – Philipp
    Aug 13, 2021 at 10:07
  • @Philipp a clip would likely lead to the place where they were clipped to be undercooked, as the boiling water couldn’t get to the pasta. You could cut the ends off at the end (just cut them free from the clip, rather than releasing it), but I’d also be worried about the pasta clumping together as it cooks, as it can’t freely move around as it swells
    – Joe
    Aug 13, 2021 at 11:34
  • Out of curiosity, what's the reason you'd like straight spaghetti?
    – dbmag9
    Aug 13, 2021 at 14:50

3 Answers 3


To add to the existing answer. The easiest method would probably be to bake the spaghetti. If you cook the spaghetti in a casserole in the oven instead of cooking them in a pot of water, they get less tangled and stay straight. You can take them out with a spatula which should help them stay in shape.

I found this article/recipe that follows a couple of simple steps to make baked spaghetti without stirring them (so that they don't get tangled up) and also provides a picture of the result.

Coat the spaghetti with olive oil. Since you will not cook the spaghetti before placing it in the baking dish (added: and put them straight into the casserole and not toss or turn them during the process), it’s important to coat the spaghetti with olive oil to make sure it doesn’t stick together while baking in the oven.

Salt the spaghetti before it bakes (added: and add the other ingredients). Just as it’s important to add salt when cooking spaghetti traditionally, it’s the same idea when baking spaghetti. Add the salt right to the pasta in the beginning for best flavor.

Make sure to use enough liquid for the spaghetti. These one pan meals can be tricky to measure the right amount of liquid for pasta. But in general 4 ounces of pasta will take about 1 cup of liquid. I like it a little saucier, so I use 5 cups of liquid for 16 ounces of pasta. A good rule of thumb is to make sure there is enough liquid to cover the pasta in the baking dish.

  • A 9x13 pan would probably work for this (you want it a bit longer than the dry pasta, as it’ll lengthen as it swells). But I’d still recommend the tongs — you can grab them at the end, and let gravity work. A spatula would require getting under the whole length of you didn’t want it to droop off the ends. Two spatulas might work, but you’d have sag in between (and it’d likely slide off; you’d need to leave pasta dangling at the ends to counteract the pulling from the sag in the middle). Or fry to find a suitable vessel so you can bake & serve in the same dish
    – Joe
    Aug 13, 2021 at 11:45

Spaghetti is flexible and only gets tangled if you mix it around a lot. Use as large a pan as you can and don't stir the pasta around unduly.

Remove it from the pan with tongs rather than straining it in a colander, and arrange is as you wish.

  • Tongs were my thought, too. It also helps to not overcook it, so it doesn’t start sticking to itself once it’s out of the water. And I like to fan it out as you’re putting it in the pan, as just dropping it in as a bundle risks it clumping together as it cooks
    – Joe
    Aug 13, 2021 at 11:31

If you want to bake them in a bread pan, you probably could just assemble the whole thing (sauce, .... ) with the pasta uncooked or just parboiled a few minutes.

A little bit like lasagna or ziti.

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