This one-skillet Taco Spaghetti is hearty, flavorful, and perfect for tonight’s dinner! Take everything you love about tacos, fold it into spaghetti rather than taco shells, add lots of hot sauce, and dig in!
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If you feel like having tacos but want to make them a little differently, you definitely need to try my recipe for taco spaghetti! You’ll take ground beef and taco seasoning and add spaghetti for a fun take that’s full of classic taco flavor. And, it’s a one-pan meal!
Taco Spaghetti Recipe
This taco spaghetti recipe is a blend of two of my favorite dishes: cheesy tacos and spaghetti with meat sauce. First, you’ll brown beef and add in some vegetables like onions and chopped bell pepper. Then you’ll make a quick tomato sauce with beef stock and canned tomatoes for extra flavor. You’ll probably already have most of the ingredients you need to make this spaghetti in the pantry.
I love this recipe because you can cook it in just one skillet, making meal prep super easy. It also comes together in less than an hour, so you’ll get dinner on the table fast. And, because it includes vegetables as well as meat, I consider it to be a one-bowl meal! This taco spaghetti is in regular rotation in my kitchen, and I have a feeling it will become a staple in yours, too.
Ingredients for Taco Spaghetti
- Olive oil
- Ground beef – I like to use lean ground beef.
- Green onion
- Bell pepper
- Taco seasoning – Use your favorite brand of taco seasoning.
- Salt – Kosher salt rather than fine or table salt is needed for this recipe.
- Hot sauce – You can choose how spicy you want to make this dish depending on what hot sauce you use!
- Beef stock – If you’re out of beef stock you can use vegetable broth.
- Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies
- Cheese – Use Mexican Blend shredded cheese.
- Cilantro – Fresh is best!
- Sour cream
This is a great recipe as-is, but if you want to change things up a little, try these variations:
- Substitute ground turkey for the beef – You can swap an equal amount of ground turkey for the ground beef if you prefer. Cook it the same way as the instructions detail for cooking the meat. You’ll still have a tasty meal that’s slightly on the lighter side.
- Try a different pasta shape – This technically wouldn’t be Taco Spaghetti without the spaghetti but you can definitely use another pasta shape if you’re out of spaghetti or just want to try something else. Penne would be nice in the recipe or fettuccine for a similar result to the spaghetti.
- Skip the hot sauce – Look, I love this dish with a lot of heat! However, I know not everyone loves or can take a lot of spice. So if you like your food less spicy, you can reduce the amount of hot sauce or omit it entirely. You’ll still get loads of taco flavor from the taco seasoning and other ingredients.
How to Make Taco Spaghetti
- Cook the vegetables and beef: Place the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the ground beef and cook until browned throughout, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, taco seasoning and salt, then cook for another 6 to 7 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the hot sauce, stock, and tomatoes: Lower the heat to medium, then add the hot sauce, beef stock and canned tomatoes. Bring to a simmer.
- Stir in the pasta: Break the spaghetti noodles in half, then add to the pot with the meat sauce. Cook until the noodles are done but still al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, then mix in the shredded cheese until it begins to melt. Transfer to serving bowls, garnish with fresh cilantro and sour cream, then serve.
Check the noodles at 10 minutes; if they are still hard, keep cooking and check again after another minute. Keeping cooking the noodles until they reach your preferred consistency. You want the spaghetti to be al dente (not mushy) but you also want to make sure it’s cooked enough.
How to Store Taco Spaghetti
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, place in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a plate to avoid any splatter, and reheat in the microwave until hot.
Serve taco spaghetti with:
- A salad. A fresh, raw salad like my Corn Avocado, and Cilantro Salad would be an amazing pairing with this dish!
- Vegetable sides. While I consider this a one-pot dinner, a vegetable alongside would be nice! Try my simple recipes for Steamed Broccoli or Fried Zucchini.
- Fresh bread. It’s hard to go wrong with a loaf of fresh bread! Slices of my Easy Homemade French Bread would go so well with this meal.
“Mexican Spaghetti” is a cheesy casserole made with ground beef, spaghetti noodles, and tomato and enchilada sauces. My Taco Spaghetti takes similar flavors but it’s cooked on the stove rather than in the oven.
Spaghetti sauce is not limited to just one kind of meat. In Italy you can find ragu using braised beef, lamb, chicken, fish, veal, or pork.
Spaghetti is a familiar, classic pasta shape from Italy.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- ½ green onion, diced
- 1 package taco seasoning
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 (10 ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies
- 8 ounces dry spaghetti
- 1 ½ cups Mexican blend shredded cheese
- fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- sour cream
- Add the vegetable oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the ground beef and cook until browned throughout, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, taco seasoning and salt, then sauté for another 6 to 7 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Lower the heat to medium, then add the hot sauce, beef stock and canned tomatoes. Bring to a simmer.
- Break the spaghetti noodles in half, then add to the pot with the meat sauce. Cook until the noodles are done but still al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, then mix in the shredded cheese until it begins to melt. Transfer to serving bowls, garnish with fresh cilantro and sour cream, then serve.