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Taco Spaghetti

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close up shot of Spaghetti topped with cilantro in a skillet
This tasty taco spaghetti is a tasty, kid-friendly and easy weeknight meal that’s made with seasoned ground beef, spaghetti, taco seasoning, and gooey, melted cheese.
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Table of Contents
  1. Taco Spaghetti Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Taco Spaghetti Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

One-pot taco spaghetti is an easy and delicious comfort food dinner that has all the tasty Mexican flavors of tacos but in spaghetti form. The taco meat and tomatoes smell incredible as they cook and with only a single skillet, there’s barely any clean-up afterward.

For more simple one-pot pasta recipes, take a look at our chicken fajita pasta and this million-dollar spaghetti which combines spaghetti and lasagna into one epic casserole!

close up shot of Spaghetti topped with cilantro in a skillet

Taco Spaghetti Ingredients

Taco Spaghetti raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • ¼ cup of yellow onions
  • ¼ cup of taco seasoning mix, 1 packet or homemade taco seasoning
  • 10-ounce can of Rotel tomatoes
  • 8 ounces of spaghetti noodles, uncooked
  • 3 cups of water
  • 4 ounces of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup of fresh cilantro, chopped

PRO TIP:

It’s best to grate your own cheese rather than use the pre-grated version in the bag. That’s because it usually has a preservative coating on it which means it doesn’t melt as well.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

GROUND BEEF: You can easily make this taco spaghetti recipe vegetarian by switching the meat for your favorite vegetarian ground beef alternative or even black beans. You could also opt for ground turkey, ground chicken or ground pork instead of ground beef.

TACO SEASONING: Instead of using a packet of taco seasoning, if you have a well-stocked spice rack you can easily make your own taco seasoning with red pepper flakes, chili powder, onion powder, oregano, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.

ROTEL TOMATOES: These are basically just canned tomatoes and chiles, so you can easily substitute fresh or canned tomatoes and fresh or dried green chiles. If you are looking for tomatoes with less spice, you can use a can of diced tomatoes or even salsa.

CHEDDAR CHEESE: Any other cheese would work for this great recipe, including Jack, Colby, Swiss, a Mexican cheese blend, or even a dairy-free cheese alternative if you prefer.

VEGETABLES: To make this taco spaghetti recipe more healthy you could add some mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini or any other veggies that need using up.

PASTA: Any long pasta would work well in this recipe. You can even use zucchini noodles if you’d like.

How To Make This Taco Spaghetti Recipe

STEP ONE: Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.

STEP TWO: Brown the ground beef and onions until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are soft and translucent. Drain meat if needed.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

For an even quicker cooking time, ground beef can be cooked ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a month.

ground beef and onions being cooked in a skillet

STEP THREE: Add the taco seasoning, Rotel tomatoes (including the juice), uncooked spaghetti noodles, and water. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.

taco seasoning, Rotel, spaghetti, and water added to the skillet of cooked ground beef

STEP FOUR: Once the water comes to a boil reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes until the spaghetti is al dente.

STEP FIVE: Remove from the heat. Sprinkle half of the cheese into the pan and stir well.

STEP SIX: Top with remaining shredded cheese and cilantro, then serve.

PRO TIP:

You can always add your favorite taco toppings such as extra cheese, green onions and a dollop of sour cream.

spaghetti topped with shredded cheese and cilantro

How To Serve

Pick this one-pot taco spaghetti recipe for a quick weeknight dinner alongside a salad for a complete meal. A spoonful of homemade salsa and guacamole would be delicious on top of this dish.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store leftovers of this taco spaghetti pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days.

IN THE FREEZER: Taco spaghetti with ground beef freezes well for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating in the microwave or on the stovetop.

close up shot of a serving of Spaghetti topped with cilantro on a plate and on a fork

This one-pot Mexican spaghetti dish is so easy to make and is sure to please the whole family. Taco pasta tastes even better the next day, so you may wish to set some aside and take it to work for lunch.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use different pasta in this recipe?

This simple recipe will work with any pasta, either long pasta or bite-size pasta is fine. Just adjust the cooking time depending on how long the package directions indicate.

Can I freeze this dish?

Taco spaghetti will freeze well in an airtight container for up to three months.

Can I turn this dish into a vegetarian version?

If you replace the ground meat with either beans or a vegetarian ground meat substitute, you can make this dish vegetarian.

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close up shot of Spaghetti topped with cilantro in a skillet

Taco Spaghetti

5 from 23 votes
This tasty taco spaghetti is a tasty, kid-friendly and easy weeknight meal that’s made with seasoned ground beef, spaghetti, taco seasoning, and gooey, melted cheese.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ¼ cup yellow onions
  • ¼ cup taco seasoning (1 packet)
  • 10 ounces Rotel tomatoes
  • 8 ounces spaghetti noodles, uncooked
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Instructions
 

  • Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. 
  • Brown ground beef and onion in the skillet until the meat is no longer pink and onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add the taco seasoning, Rotel tomatoes (including juice), spaghetti noodles, and water.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water comes to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Sprinkle half of the cheese into the pan and stir to distribute the cooked spaghetti and cheese throughout the pan.
  • Top with remaining cheese and cilantro. Serve.

Video

Notes

  • It’s best to grate your own cheese rather than use the pre-grated version in the bag. That’s because it usually has a preservative coating on it which means it doesn’t melt as well.
  • For an even quicker cooking time, ground beef can be cooked ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a month.
  • You can always add your favorite taco toppings such as extra cheese, green onions and a dollop of sour cream.

Nutrition

Sodium: 977mg | Calcium: 176mg | Vitamin C: 10mg | Vitamin A: 1259IU | Sugar: 4g | Fiber: 4g | Potassium: 412mg | Cholesterol: 74mg | Calories: 479kcal | Saturated Fat: 11g | Fat: 27g | Protein: 23g | Carbohydrates: 37g | Iron: 3mg
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  1. Robyn says

    5 stars
    Followed the recipe exactly. It came out perfect. Nice change from the same old spegetti. The mild rotel really gives it such great flavor. I think next time I will try the Hot Rotel to make it a bit more spicy. Family absolutely loved it. I also loved that i could put the pasta in on top and be done with it. Will be making again soon! Thanks

  2. Bonnie says

    5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely delicious. I have made it several times. My husband loves it and asks me to make it all the time. I add a cup of whole kernel corn, and top it with some sliced ripe olives. We love it! Thank you for sharing!

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