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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 70 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

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




    Comments

    • Layne Kangas says

      Yes, it will keep for up to three months in a freezer-safe container. I would suggest thawing overnight in the fridge before warming up the leftovers on the stovetop or microwave. Enjoy!

  1. Cookmom says

    5 stars
    I love fast and easy tasty recipes. I cook for a crew of guys and this one went over really well. Definitely doing it again.

  2. april says

    Are the nutritional values per the entire amount or per serving? If per serving, what size serving?

  3. Sue says

    5 stars
    The was so easy to make and my husband loved ii. For me it was a little spicey because of the Rotel Tomatoes (I used the original, not the mild for this try), but I added just a bit of sour cream to my plate and it cooled it right down. Will definitely make again.

  4. Kim says

    So easy and so tasty! Rotel is too spicy for me so I subbed in some canned chili seasoned tomatoes and also stirred in a little bit of queso sauce at the end. A total hit with the whole family! Definitely a keeper recipe!

  5. Colleen says

    5 stars
    Made this tonight for my husband and myself. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn’t have any canned tomatoes on hand but lots of fresh ones from my garden so used some of them. Delicious!

  6. Lisa says

    5 stars
    This was super easy and delicious. I cannot believe how easy it was and very yummy……made my own taco seasoning, great recipe, will be making this again. Thanks. Ps…used marinara sauce instead of tomatoes…..not a fan of chunky cooked ones, but excellent!!

  7. 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

  8. 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!

  9. Saverla Williams says

    5 stars
    Very nice recipe! I made this for dinner and it turned really good! Even my picky son liked it! Thx for the recipe!

  10. Linda Elmquist says

    5 stars
    Could you do this in a crockpot? If so would you do it the same way as you would on the stove ?

    • Lexus Monroe, Editorial Assistant says

      Although we have not tried it. You can make taco spaghetti in a crockpot. I am sure you would have to adjust the timing.

  11. Frank Narciso says

    5 stars
    Great recipe.
    I use a combination of ground pork, ground veal and ground turkey. Lots of caramelized onions and garlic also make for a real tasty meal.

  12. Kristin Threlkeld says

    5 stars
    This looks absolutely delicious! I’d use ground beef in mine. I think some black beans would taste great in here. Maybe a bit of salsa and sour cream on top before serving. We’re not big fans of too much spice. I’ve never made or ate zucchini noodles. This recipe sounds like a must-try!

  13. Marie Stowers says

    5 stars
    This recipe sounds delicious. I would use regular spaghetti noodles , not zucchini as my husband won’t be eat anything with zucchini not even a dessert like chocolate zucchini bread!

  14. Ashley A. says

    5 stars
    Looks delicious, I’m going to try this tonight. I would definitely use ground beef in response to your survey question!

  15. Geri says

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Family loved it!! Next time I might add a little chopped jalapeño for a bit of spiciness.

  16. Sheila J Williams says

    We make this often. For the protein I use ground beef or my own HOMEMADE BEEF/PORK TACOS….SO GOOD. Plus we add mild chili’s, refried beans, cumin, onion powder and GARLIC. This recipe on its own is super easy AND DELICIOUS!!! I love simple recipes I can “doctor” to our tastes. If you are NEW TO COOKING…THIS SITE IS FOR YOU!! EASY FUN DELICIOUS 😋 ❤❤❤💯💯💯

  17. Stephanie C. says

    5 stars
    This is sooo yummy! I use ground turkey, bell pepper, celery and adobo peppers to jazz it up.❤️ My family loves Monterey Jack cheese and sour cream on all things Mexican inspired. This is going on my meal prep rotation!!🥰

  18. Tracy Oldaker says

    5 stars
    This is fun! And as with every ground beef recipe, I’d probably go half grass fed ground beef and half lean Turkey breast. But I might wanna try it with Zoodles!!! Kind of reminds me of when we had to try spaghetti tacos because my daughters were obsessed with the TV Show iCarly! 😄

  19. Grace Culbreath says

    5 stars
    I would stick with the ground beef. This recipe looks great, as is! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  20. Carol A Clendenen says

    5 stars
    Wow we love all the flavors in this casserole! I would spice it up with some chopped jalapeños

  21. Kelly says

    I haven’t made this yet but I can’t wait to try! This looks like a fun way to change up Taco Tuesday!

  22. Lori Pennington says

    5 stars
    I have never made nor have I ever tried taco spaghetti but I hear it is pretty amazing gonna have to make it one day……

  23. Janice Brown says

    5 stars
    Spicy, spicy and definitely, although I’m watching carbs, I would use real spaghetti pasta. Bell peppers would also be an option..n

  24. Jenny says

    5 stars
    Such a fun twist on a pasta dish. When I make dishes like this, I tend to use ground turkey for the protein. The flavor of the ground beef isn’t missed that much, with all of the other delicious ingredients! My kids love it.

  25. Lauren Taneyhill says

    1) I would stick with regular ground beef for this recipe.
    2) I would add bell peppers and mushrooms to this recipe.
    3) no I wouldn’t- I want the taco seasoning to be the focus of this recipe, not making it spicy.
    4) I would stay with regular spaghetti noodles.
    5) no I haven’t – yet. I will make it soon! It sounds delicious.

  26. Laura says

    5 stars
    Such an amazing recipe! Soooo good! Have made it with spaghetti squash (the one squash the garden actually produced a bunch of!) and grass fed local ground beef. Thanks for always posting such amazing recipes!!!! 😋

  27. patricia L wright says

    5 stars
    I would use the ground beef or chicken as a protein
    I might add corn to it
    I love spaghetti it’s a perfect comfort food but never tried taco spaghetti so will definitely try this recipe

  28. Karen says

    5 stars
    Our local grocery store sells a ground beef and ground pork mixture. I think it would be perfect for this recipe!

  29. Rosana says

    5 stars
    Looks delicious. Will be trying this recipe at next family gathering. I would use ground beef or even ground turkey for this recipe.

  30. Sheila Little says

    5 stars
    This wound be great with ground Turkey and I would like to add maybe cut up red peppers maybe even some shredded carrots but not to much.

  31. Charlotte Hamilton says

    5 stars
    1. I would use Gardein crumbles instead of beef.
    2. I would add mushrooms to it
    3. I would use a mild salsa to add to the sauce.
    4. I would use either regular spaghetti noodles or spaghetti squash:)
    5. I can’t wait to try this since I have never made it before and I know my 6 kids would love the new twist on their boring pasta!

  32. Stephanie says

    5 stars
    I really look forward to making this recipe as it looks easy & scrumptious. I think it is a perfect starter recipe for me as I have never made this before 😋😋

  33. Sue says

    5 stars
    Going to be trying this recipe. Love spaghetti and this recipe is like looking outside the box for ideas for new recipes.

  34. Tina G. says

    I think this looks yummy. I will probably double the recipe for plenty of leftovers. I like to do a mixture of ground beef and ground turkey to lighten it up a bit.

  35. Jennifer Pleake says

    5 stars
    Can’t wait to try this! I feel like there are so many things you could do with this recipe. I am a veggie person, so would probably add some green chilies or roasted poblano peppers. I would probably make this with ground beef the first time and possibly switch to a ground port the next time.

  36. Patsy says

    5 stars
    I’ve never had Taco Spaghetti but am really excited to try this recipe. I’m going to use ground turkey & add some black beans to my pot. Should be yummy and something different for my family.

  37. Pam Springs says

    Sounds delicious! I would use ground beef and regular spaghetti. No need to spice it up – top with some guacamole and/or sour cream!

  38. Arthur N. Greene says

    5 stars
    I’d like to make this Taco Spaghetti a little spicy! Adding a small can of Chopped Green Chili’s would work, as well as cooking up a couple (or just one!) of Hot Italian Sausage. Yum! I’m sure either ingredient would add to the flavor of this recipe!

  39. Carolyn Robinson Carnegie says

    5 stars
    Haven’t tried it yet, but it looks delicious and easy to make. I’m the cook for my union and we have meetings every month. Well, guess what……we are having Taco Spaghetti for August. Can’t wait to try it. I think I would like to add diced green pepper in it as adding a little more veggies, and I certainly don’t want it spicy. Oh wow, and it certainly won’t hurt to add just a few green or black olives in this dish. The ground beef is fine. The only other protein that I would substitute for the beef is turkey. Very appealing. Long pasta is good. Served with a salad and garlic bread…..yeah, that is my menu for August!

  40. Susan Paro says

    5 stars
    Yummy!! I will be adding this to my weekly rotation for “Taco Tuesdays” 🙂 I am going to add tortilla strips on top for the added crunch along with extra cheese!

  41. Wendy Tanguay says

    5 stars
    My husband is not an onion fan so I would probably leave them out. I can imagine sprinkling on some Fritos or crushed tortilla chips or Doritos on the top. I would probably add beans to this and can imagine making it with shredded chicken or TVP.

  42. G Patterson says

    5 stars
    This looks great! I’ll probably add some black olives and finish with sour cream when done. Has anyone ever tried this in an instant pot? I not much of a cook, my late husband did that, so now, the quicker, the better. Plus less to clean up!

  43. Bruce says

    5 stars
    What a surprise!! I made this for my daughter and her family and they absolutely loved it, the sour cream really pulled it all together.

  44. Gail says

    5 stars
    This was like taco Tuesday outside the box! Really great. Like another commenter, I too used salsa instead of Rotel. I enjoyed the additional flavor. I also added black olives and Mexican cheese. Definitely will be making again!

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