This irresistible One-Pot Taco Spaghetti Recipe fuses the classic flavors of tacos with the convenience and texture of Italian spaghetti noodles for an easy and delicious weeknight dinner. Ready in just 30 minutes!
I just love a big mouthful of spaghetti noodles. But tacos! Tacos offer unbeatable flavors and versatility. Today, we will combine these fantastic cuisines into one super convenient weeknight comfort food.
The whole thing cooks in one pot, and the ingredients are very simple. Plus, the whole family loves it – Even those picky little eaters we love to fuss over. It reminds me a lot of my ground turkey pasta recipe but with stronger taco vibes. As with real tacos, you can make this taco spaghetti recipe as mild or spicy as you like, as cheesy and creamy as you’d like, and even change the meat to chicken or turkey if you prefer a lighter dish.
Find the printable recipe with measurements in the recipe card below.
- Ground Meat: Lean ground beef is the most popular choice, but any ground meat will work, including ground chicken, turkey, or pork.
- Onion, Garlic, and Jalapeño: The jalapeño is optional. If you are sensitive to spice foods, I recommend skipping them. Hot sauce or crushed red pepper can always be added later.
- Tomato Paste: Helps to thicken the sauce. If the sauce looks too watery, add 1-2 more tablespoons after cooking the spaghetti.
- Seasoning and Spices: You’ll need chili powder, Mexican oregano, cumin, salt, and black pepper.
- Rotel Tomatoes: Or any other type of canned tomatoes with (or without) green chilies. The green chilies in Rotel are not spicy.
- Spaghetti: This recipe is great with spaghetti, but any other pasta shape will work. I love making it with penne and bowtie whenever I run out of spaghetti.
- Beef Broth: Chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water can all be used instead of beef broth.
- Cheese: For best results, shred the cheese directly from the block instead of purchasing pre-shredded bags of cheese. The cheese blends more smoothly into the sauce. My favorite cheeses for this recipe include Colby Jack, Mozzarella, Sharp Cheddar, and Pepper Jack Cheese.
- Mexican Crema: Mexican crema is similar to sour cream but somewhat different in taste and texture. It’s thinner and smoother than sour cream, making it perfect for drizzling or adding to sauces. If you can’t find crema, sour cream is a great substitute.
How to Make Taco Spaghetti
1. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet or Dutch oven set over medium heat. As the beef cooks, break the meat apart into smaller and smaller pieces until it is fully cooked. Drain the grease from the skillet. Set aside the cooked meat to a clean plate.
2. Add two tablespoons of oil to the same skillet or Dutch oven and set the pan over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the minced garlic, diced jalapeño (if using), tomato paste, chili powder, salt, oregano, cumin, and black pepper. Cook, stirring continuously, until the tomato paste is fully incorporated with the onion and spices. Then, add the Rotel and mix well to combine.
4. Add the spaghetti to the pot and pour the beef broth over the spaghetti. The spaghetti should be covered by broth; add one additional cup of beef broth if necessary.
5. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to medium-low. Gently simmer for approximately 8 minutes or until the spaghetti is al dente (stir everything together about halfway through cooking).
6. Stir in the cooked beef and Mexican crema and remove from heat. Cover the pasta with a lid and allow it to rest for approximately 5 minutes (this allows time for the flavors to meld and for everything to reach the same temperature).
7. Stir in the shredded cheese until melted.
8. Garnish with all of your favorite taco toppings, including sliced jalapeños, green onion, fresh cilantro, hot sauce, and avocado.
Allow leftovers to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Reheat in a microwave or on the stovetop until reheated.
Can you freeze leftover taco spaghetti?
I do not recommend freezing this taco spaghetti recipe. Once frozen, thawed, and reheated, the pasta noodles usually become mushy and grainy. The other thing is the cheese and crema (or sour cream). Dairy separates after freezing, resulting in a not-so-silky smooth sauce once reheated.
That being said, taco spaghetti can be frozen if you want to try it. Cool to room temperature before transferring to freezer-safe airtight containers or freezer bags. Freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Check Out These Other Yummy Mexican Favorites
- Shrimp Taco Recipe
- Flautas de Pollo (Chicken Flautas)
- Chicken Tinga Recipe (Tinga de Pollo)
- Mexican Mole Sauce Recipe (Chicken Mole)
- Carne Asada Tacos
If you try making this Incredible Taco Spaghetti Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Taco Spaghetti Recipe
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 white onion - diced
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- ½ jalapeño - seeded and diced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano - or regular oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon Ground black pepper
- 1 (10-ounce) can Rotel - see notes
- 8 ounces spaghetti pasta
- 2 cups beef broth - plus more if needed
- 1 cup Colby jack cheese - freshly shredded
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese - freshly shredded
- ½ cup Mexican crema - or sour cream (at room temp)
- Brown the ground beef in a deep pan or a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Crumble the meat into smaller and smaller pieces until it is completely cooked, about 8 minutes. Drain the grease then set the beef aside for later.
- Add two tablespoons of oil to the same pan that was used to cook the ground beef. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic, jalapeño (if using), tomato paste, chili powder, salt, oregano, cumin, and black pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the can of Rotel to the onions and spices, mixing well to combine.
- Add the dried spaghetti noodles to the pan (there's no need to mix) and top with the beef broth. The pasta should be covered by broth; if necessary add one additional cup of beef broth.
- Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for approximately 8-10 minutes or until the spaghetti is cooked to al dente (stir everything together about halfway through cooking).
- Stir in the cooked beef and Mexican crema, then remove from heat. Cover with a lid and allow the pasta to rest for approximately 5 minutes. This allows enough time for the flavors to meld and for everything to reach the same temperature.
- Finally, add the shredded cheese and stir until melted. Garnish with jalapeño slices, green onions, and freshly minced cilantro if desired.
- What is Rotel? Rotel is a brand of diced tomatoes and green chilies. Feel free to use plain canned tomatoes or another brand of diced tomatoes and green chiles if preferred.
- Can this recipe be made with ground turkey or chicken? Yes. However, it may need just a little extra seasoning since ground turkey and chicken aren’t as flavorful as ground beef.
- Can I make this recipe with other types of pasta? Yes. Linguine will give the same vibe as spaghetti noodles. Other favorites are bowtie and penne.
- You can also make your own homemade taco seasoning and use it to make this recipe. Omit the chili powder, salt, oregano, cumin, and black pepper, and replace it with 1.5-2 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning.
- Leftovers: Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)