If I am short on time (not even enough time to boil the pasta), I opt for Spaghetti Boats instead of regular spaghetti. The kids love them and it seems no matter how big the "boats" are, there are rarely leftovers! (Note down below for variations we often eat as well.)
1 large loaf French or Italian Bread
1 lb ground beef
chopped garlic, onions, peppers, oregano as desired
1 jar favorite spaghetti sauce
2 C shredded cheese (I usually use Colby-Jack or Mozzarella)
Cut the loaf of bread in half, lengthwise and then cut each half into quarters, ending up with 8 "boats". Set aside on baking sheet. In skillet or sauce pan brown ground beef and add desired veggies. Drain fat and add favorite spaghetti sauce. (Homemade or store bought.) Mix well, and stir until heated through. Spoon meat sauce evenly over each bread boat. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Tip: I like to line my baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easier clean-up.
For Sloppy Joe Boats, prepare ground beef as you would for Sloppy Joes and top with shredded cheddar before baking.
For Pizza Boats, use marinara sauce, sausage, pepperoni, etc, and top with a shredded Italian cheese blend.
For Cheeseburger Boats, saute chopped onion with the ground beef and season with a little salt, pepper and some Worcestershire sauce. Top each with slice of favorite "cheeseburger" cheese (American, Pepper-Jack, Cheddar, Swiss, etc.) After baking, add ketchup and mustard if desired.
Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!