Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Taco Spaghetti (One Pot Pasta Recipe)

Taco Spaghetti features your favorite taco flavors in pasta form. Make this cheesy, fiesta-licious one pot pasta recipe in under 30 minutes!

titled photo (and shown): One Pot Taco Spaghetti
Do you love spaghetti?  Do you love tacos?  Well, now you can eat them together at last!

Juicy beef is seasoned with Mexican spices and cooked with onions, garlic, green chilies, roasted diced tomatoes and of course, spaghetti. Then, we smother it with lots and lots of cheese!

The spaghetti cooks right IN the seasoned liquid for simple prep, minimal cleanup, and extra flavor.

This one pot pasta dinner is just one of many recipes on TSRI that you can make in LESS than 30 minutes. Our 30 minute meals are perfect for busy families!

ground beef and onions cooking in large pot on the stove

Taco Spaghetti Ingredient Notes:

  • Beef: We use lean ground beef, but you are welcome to use your favorite ground meat; turkey, chicken, sausage etc. Even chopped rotisserie chicken will work great! 

  • Bouillon: We use 1 tablespoon beef bouillon, which is the equivalent of 3 beef bouillon cubes.  Beef bouillon is less expensive than beef broth, but you are welcome to substitute 3 cups of water with 3 cups low sodium beef broth and omit the bouillon.

  • Spaghetti: We break our spaghetti pieces in half so they can be fully emerged in the water.  Break all your pieces in half before you add them to the pot. This way, they will cook more evenly. 

  • Seasonings: We use individual seasonings like chili powder, but if you would like to use homemade taco seasoning, it will save you some extra time measuring ingredients.

One pot pasta recipe cooking in large pot on stove top

Kitchen Tools for Making a One Pot Pasta Recipe:

  • Large Soup Pot or Dutch Oven: this is essential in this recipe, as we are cooking everything in one pot. All of the ingredients need to fit into one pot with ease, with enough room for the pasta to move around and the water to boil along with all the other ingredients. 

  • Cheese Grater - this kitchen tool gets more love than almost any other tool in my kitchen because I am a huge proponent of FRESHLY grated cheese as opposed to bagged shredded cheeses.  Using freshly grated cheeses saves money, tastes better, and MELTS better.  In this One Pot Spaghetti Pasta, you really want a good melting cheese.

Recipe Tips

  1. Keep the pot covered. It is important to stir the spaghetti occasionally to prevent it from sticking, but replace the lid as quickly as possible. Otherwise, heat will escape, causing the water to stop boiling. We want the spaghetti to cook evenly.  Also, replacing the lid keeps the water from evaporating too quickly. 

  2. Water ratio may vary. There are variables in the exact amount of water needed to cook spaghetti such as how often the lid is removed, how hot the liquid is simmering, etc., 

    It's important to keep in mind that required liquid should be very close to the 5 3/4 cups listed.  If you find the liquid is all absorbed by the spaghetti before it is al dente, then simply add more hot water, a little at a time, until the spaghetti is cooked through. 

    It's normal for there to be some water remaining when the spaghetti is cooked because this melts with the cheese helping to coat our spaghetti. 

  3. Cooking time: Taco spaghetti cooks in roughly 12-15 minutes after the water starts to boil.  As with all pastas, you are going to want to start checking for doneness at the 12 minute mark, because there is nothing worse than soggy pasta for dinner!

With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Other favorite taco inspired recipes: 

Yield: 6-8
Author: Jennifer Sattley
Taco Spaghetti (One Pot Pasta Recipe)

Taco Spaghetti (One Pot Pasta Recipe)

Taco Spaghetti features your favorite taco flavors in pasta form. Make this cheesy, fiesta-licious one pot pasta recipe in under 30 minutes!
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 25 Min


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for heat)
  • 16 ounces uncooked spaghetti, pieces broken in half
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 (4 oz) can mild diced green chilies
  • 5 3/4 cups water
  • 2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • Garnishes (optional)
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced avocadoes
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Sour cream


  1. Brown ground been and onions in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium high heat, crumbling beef as you cook. Drain off grease. Add garlic, beef bouillon and all seasonings and cook an additional 30 seconds over medium high heat.
  2. Stir in spaghetti, tomatoes, green chilies and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cover and cook 12-15 minutes OR until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally and replacing lid. Add additional water a little at time if water evaporates before spaghetti is cooked. Once cooked, there should be a little water remaining.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in cheese a handful at a time until melted. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Top with desired garnishes.

This one pot pasta recipe was originally published on 12/08/2017. The content was updated and post republished on 12/29/2020.


titled photo collage (and shown): One Pot Taco Spaghetti

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  1. My son is either going to love this or hate it, but I know Alexis and I will love it!

    1. Holli@TheSlowRoastedItalianJanuary 7, 2018 at 7:29 AM

      Enjoy and let us know how it goes!

  2. making this now sure smells good

  3. Can I use a different pasta other than spaghetti?


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