One pot taco spaghetti is a tasty easy dinner recipe that feeds a crowd affordably! Mexican spaghetti with ground beef is the best half hour meal.
If you’re looking for a new twist on spaghetti, you’ve got to try Mexican spaghetti! Taco spaghetti is so dang good. Like really really good.
The spice blend is absolutely perfect. Then when it’s mixed with the green chilies in the RO-TEL, it has just the right amount of heat. This dinner was so delicious that my mouth is salivating thinking about it while I write this post (seriously – it actually was that delicious).
I love cheese, so the fact that the cheese mixed in makes for a cheesy gooey bite every time makes me love it even more. This spaghetti dish definitely makes you want to go back for seconds.
You could swap this out for a taco Tuesday night or even add it to your taco night and put it into a hard taco shell! You know, like how iCarly made spaghetti tacos? I feel like that could actually work with this pasta.
This dish was so affordable to make. You could definitely cook a big batch of it and impress a large gathering and know that your guests will love it!
Mexican Spaghetti Ingredients
I think homemade seasoning blends are what makes the best and most flavorful dishes, so I definitely wanted to use a homemade taco seasoning blend in this recipe. If you want something a little easier, or you don’t happen to have chili, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and pepper on hand, you could always use a packet of taco seasoning instead.
In addition to either a homemade or store bought taco seasoning, you’ll also need ground beef, yellow onions, water, RO-TEL, tomato sauce, spaghetti, freshly grated cheddar cheese, and cilantro.
A couple of quick notes on the ingredients: 1) It’s so important to use freshly grated cheese. Pre-shredded cheeses are coated in a starch that stops the cheese from melting as well as freshly grated cheese. That means that you won’t get those ultra delicious and remarkably cheesy bites if you use pre-shredded cheese. 2) The cilantro is definitely a must include ingredient – it brightens up this cheesy taco pasta and brings a whole new level of flavor.
How To Make Taco Spaghetti
Start by browning the ground beef and onions, then mixing in the homemade taco seasoning blend. Add in the water, RO-TEL, and tomato sauce to make the taco spaghetti sauce.
Add the pasta to the skillet, cover, and simmer until the pasta is cooked through. Mix in the cheese, and garnish with cilantro before serving. See the recipe card below for the full instructions with ingredient amounts, times, and helpful tips, etc.
Optional Additions and Alterations
Make It Creamy: If you’d like a creamier taco pasta sauce, you can mix in sour cream or cream cheese.
Try Extra Peppers: If you love spice, try sauteing some jalapeno or poblano pepper with the onion. Just be sure to remove the ribs and seeds since that’s where the really spicy part is. A pro tip with jalapenos is to cut the top off and lick a very very small spot on the piece you cut off. That will tell you if you’re dealing with a mild or spicy jalapeno, which then lets you know how much to include.
Make It A Casserole: After you make this one pot pasta, you could pop it in the oven for a few minutes to crisp up the top layer of spaghetti and melt the cheddar cheese on top. I’d recommend using an oven safe enamel skillet from the beginning of the recipe if that’s what you’re planning to do – then you won’t have too many dishes to wash at the end!
Try A Different Cheese: I love old cheddar cheese in this recipe, but Monterey Jack would also be delicious.
Use Enchilada Sauce: If you want to really up the Mexican inspired flavor in this dish, you could try swapping the tomato sauce for enchilada sauce. You could also top it with some crumbled queso fresco if you have any on hand.
Use Poultry: If you’re trying to eat less red meat, you could definitely swap the ground beef for either ground turkey or some leftover shredded rotisserie chicken.
Keep In Touch
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
Click here to pin this recipe for later!
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out our entire pasta recipe section! Some reader favorites are:
- Authentic Mexican Green Spaghetti (Espagueti Verde)
- Creamy Rasta Pasta with Jerk Chicken
- Spicy Chicken Pasta
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder*
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Spaghetti and Sauce:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 medium yellow onions (chopped)
- 3 3/4 cups water
- 1 (8 ounce) can RO-TEL original (undrained)
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 8 ounces spaghetti (250 grams)
- 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese (divided)**
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Heat a large lidded nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion and ground beef and cook until the beef is browned and the onion is translucent (about 7 to 10 minutes). Break the beef into small pieces while cooking then drain off any fat.
- Mix the taco seasoning in with the beef then empty the cans of RO-TEL and tomato sauce, and add the water. Bring to a boil.
- Once the sauce has come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low,
- break the spaghetti in half and stir into the sauce.
- Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the pasta has reached al dente. Make sure to stir the spaghetti frequently to avoid it sticking together.
- When the spaghetti has reached desired tenderness, Mix in 1/2 cup of the grated old cheddar cheese then garnish with the rest of the shredded cheese and the chopped cilantro, and serve!
You can use 1 pre-bought package of taco seasoning in lieu of the homemade blend in the recipe card if you prefer.
*This chili powder is a spice blend sold in the US and Canada that’s a mixture of chili with milder seasonings. This is not the same thing as chili powder that’s sold in the UK or in other parts of the world. Chili powder in other parts of the world is just chili, and 1 Tablespoon of pure chili powder would be way too spicy in this dish.
**It's so important to use freshly grated cheese. Pre-shredded cheeses are coated in a starch that stops the cheese from melting as well as freshly grated cheese. That means that you won't get those ultra delicious and remarkably cheesy bites if you use pre-shredded cheese.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 492Total Fat: 26.3gCarbohydrates: 40.2gNet Carbohydrates: 36.7gFiber: 3.5gSugar: 5.2gProtein: 23.2g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate. This recipe makes 4 large or 6 small servings. Nutrition was calculated for portions that make 6 servings.
Taco pasta is my favorite way to use up a pound of ground beef I have sitting in my fridge. This Mexican spaghetti is so cheesy, ultra flavorful, and really popular with both adults and kids.