One Pot Taco Spaghetti is sure to become a family favorite. This outrageously delicious one pot taco pasta includes juicy ground beef, roasted chiles, oodles of noodles, Tex-Mex seasoning, and loads of ooey-gooey cheese!
Best of all, this recipe for taco spaghetti takes just 25 minutes to make, and everything cooks in one pot!
This means you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time around the table!
It’s an easy way to satisfy everyone at the dinner table without making several different meals at once.
You may be wondering, What the heck is taco spaghetti?…
Well, simply put, it’s similar to our one pot Italian spaghetti, but the Italian seasoning is swapped out for taco seasoning and spicy chile peppers!
Cook up some ground beef with flavorful veggies and taco spices. Then, add the pasta, water, tomatoes, and chiles to the pot.
The noodles cook right in the seasoned liquid for extra flavor and minimal cleanup.
This taco spaghetti recipe is just one of the many on TSRI that you can make in LESS than 30 minutes. Our 30 minutes meals are perfect for busy families!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Spaghetti – Cooking time may vary if you choose a thinner or thicker variety.
Break all of the pieces in half before you add them to the pot so they cook more evenly.
- Ground beef – We use lean ground beef for this taco spaghetti recipe, but you are welcome to use any ground meat that you like.
Turkey, chicken, or ground sausage would be tasty. Even chopped rotisserie chicken would work!
- Onion and Garlic – The base of flavor in so many dishes! To avoid any chopping, substitute with 1 teaspoon each of garlic and onion powder.
- Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles – Fire-roasted tomatoes add that “cooked all day” flavor, while canned green chiles add subtle heat.
- Beef Bouillon – Rather than granules, I prefer to use a concentrated beef base. It tastes great, dissolves easily, and has a long refrigerator shelf life.
You could also omit the bouillon and replace 3 cups of the water with 3 cups of beef broth.
- Seasonings – Use a mixture of chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper — plus cayenne pepper for extra heat.
Or, substitute 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite taco seasoning instead.
- Cheese – Shredded cheese is a must! You’ll need 2 cups to stir into the taco spaghetti, plus more for garnish.
I use cheddar because it’s almost always in my fridge. Feel free to spike up the spicy heat with Pepper Jack. Colby or Monterey Jack are great melty options too.
Prep Ahead Instructions
You can easily use up leftover taco meat for one pot taco spaghetti.
In fact, I often make large batches of seasoned ground beef in the crockpot and freeze them for busy weeknights!
Saute the onions first, then stir in the cooked meat until warm.
You’ll still need the garlic and bouillon to season the water, but you can omit the rest of the seasonings from the taco spaghetti recipe since the beef is already flavored.
Taco Spaghetti Recipe FAQ
Yes! It’s important to stir the pasta occasionally to prevent it from sticking, but replace the lid as quickly as possible. Otherwise, heat will escape, causing the liquid to stop boiling.Also, adding a lid prevents the water from evaporating too quickly and helps the pasta to cook evenly. Start checking the noodles at the 12-minute mark — there’s nothing worse than soggy pasta for dinner!
The exact amount of water needed to make one pot taco pasta can depend on how often the lid is removed, how hot the liquid is simmering, and the thickness of your spaghetti.With this recipe for taco spaghetti, it’s important to start with the amount of water listed. If all of the liquid has been absorbed before the pasta is al dente, then simply add more boiling water, a little at a time, until the noodles are cooked through.It’s normal for there to be some water remaining at the end — this combines with the cheese as it melts to coat the pasta.
Garnish each bowl of taco spaghetti with your choice of sour cream, cilantro, or diced avocados for extra flavor.Bell peppers and black olives would also be delicious in this one pot taco pasta! Saute the peppers with the onions, then stir in a can of drained sliced olives with the cheese at the end.For extra protein, try some black or pinto beans. If you like your food extra spicy, use hot green chiles and add a dash or two of red pepper flakes.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Allow the dish to cool, then transfer any leftovers to an airtight container. Taco spaghetti will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stove until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of water or broth if the noodles seem dry.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Fabulous Taco Ideas
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, 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
- 25 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid, 2 – 14.5 ounce cans
- 4 ounce can mild diced green chilies
- 5 3/4 cups water
- 2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
- shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- diced tomatoes
- diced avocadoes
- chopped cilantro
- sour cream
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published December 2017, updated and republished August 2023
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