Taco spaghetti is an epic mash-up of two family faves: tacos and spaghetti!
The whole thing comes together in one pot and is ready in just 30 minutes.
If you’re a fan of Tex-Mex flavors and are on the hunt for a new family dinner everyone will love, stop scrolling.
This dish is basically spaghetti jazzed up with taco seasoning and classic Tex-Mex ingredients, like Rotel tomatoes and bell peppers.
It’s mild enough for kids and super easy to modify. So if you like things spicy, throw in some jalapeños, and you’re good to go!
This taco spaghetti is meaty, cheesy, and packed with bright flavors! It’s picky eater and kid-approved and ideal for busy weeknights.
One-Pot Taco Spaghetti
Quick and easy recipe alert!
This one-pot taco spaghetti is hearty, bright, flavorful, and budget-friendly.
Better yet, the ingredients are pantry and kitchen staples, and the steps are straightforward.
Plus, clean-up is a breeze because everything cooks in the same pot.
If you love tacos and spaghetti, this dish is guaranteed to please.
The sauce is a combination of taco-seasoned ground beef and Rotel tomatoes. So it’s just like spaghetti, but with an extra oomph.
Topped with an ooey-gooey blend of Mexican cheeses, this dish is *chef’s kiss*.
- Butter – for sautéing the beef. You can use oil if you prefer.
- Ground Beef – use lean ground beef, so there’s less grease. I use either 85/15 or 90/10.
- Yellow Onion – aromatics.
- Bell Pepper – for added sweetness and crunch. It gives the dish a nice pop of color, too.
- Taco Seasoning – homemade or store-bought.
- Rotel Tomatoes – if you don’t have Rotel on hand, swap it out with a can of fire-roasted tomatoes plus 1 tablespoon of canned diced green chiles.
- Spaghetti – I use regular spaghetti, but any type of pasta will work here. So use whatever you have on hand, and adjust the cooking time depending on the shape & size.
- Low-Sodium Chicken Broth – you’ll need a liquid ingredient for cooking the pasta.
- Mexican Cheese – or use whatever cheese you prefer.
- Cilantro and Green Onions – for garnish.
How to Make Taco Spaghetti
1. Slice the veggies.
Dice up the bell peppers, onions, and green onions. Set aside.
2. Cook the beef and veggies.
Add the ground beef and veggies to a deep sauté pan and cook for 5 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.
Drain excess fat if there’s a lot.
3. Add the remaining ingredients.
Mix in the taco seasoning, Rotel (juices included), and chicken broth. Place the spaghetti on top.
Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and cover the pot.
Let the dish simmer for 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked to a perfect al dente.
5. Add the cheese.
Turn off the stove and top the dish with cheese. Cover the skillet for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
6. Garnish and serve.
Top with cilantro, green onions, and whatever toppings you desire. Serve and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks
- Grate your own cheese. While more convenient, those bags of pre-shredded cheese contain cellulose to keep the shreds from clumping together. It’s safe to eat, but it keeps the cheese from melting as well.
- Use leftover, cooked ground beef to speed up the cooking time even further! Just be sure it’s not already seasoned with something that won’t pair well with the taco flavors.
- Don’t overcook the pasta. You want the noodles to be firm and al dente, not soft and mushy. Low and slow is the way to go.
Variations, Substitutions, and Additions
Feel free to make this recipe your own! For example:
- Meat: aside from ground beef, you can also try turkey, chicken, pork, or a combination of meats.
- Taco Seasoning: if your spice rack is well-stocked, whip up your own spice blend! Taco seasoning contains chili powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Rotel Tomatoes: this canned good has a combination of tomatoes and chiles. If you can’t find one, just swap it out for regular canned tomatoes and add fresh or dried green chiles.
- Cheese: Mexican blend is great for taco spaghetti, but so are Swiss, cheddar, Jack, and Colby.
- Pasta: I use regular spaghetti noodles here, but any type of pasta works! Whether it’s angel hair, fettuccine, bowtie, or macaroni, you can’t go wrong.
- Tex-Mex mix-ins and toppings: if it works on tacos, it’ll work on this recipe. Black beans, corn, black olives, tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream – you name it.
- Veggies: this recipe is a great way to sneak veggies into your kids’ diet! Add carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, and other veggies you have on hand.
- Taco Spaghetti Casserole: if you want taco spaghetti with a crispy brown crust, place it in a casserole, and sprinkle cheese on top. Then bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Increase the heat and broil for 3 to 5 minutes to get a nice bubble finish.
How to Store Taco Spaghetti
Important: be sure to cool taco spaghetti completely to room temperature before storing it.
In the Fridge:
Store taco spaghetti in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
In the Freezer:
Store taco spaghetti in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw frozen taco spaghetti in the fridge overnight. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through.
Add a bit of pasta sauce or water while reheating to keep it from drying out.
Tip: when using the microwave, don’t reheat continuously. Instead, reheat at 1-minute intervals until warmed through.
More Pasta Dinner Recipes You’ll Love
- Rotel Chicken Spaghetti
- TikTok Feta Pasta
- Old-Fashioned Hamburger Casserole
- Applebee’s Three Cheese Chicken Penne
- Velveeta Mac and Cheese
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