This one-pot taco spaghetti recipe is a 30-minute weeknight meal that's easy to make, packed with flavor, and uses everyday ingredients like ground beef, spaghetti, cheese, and taco seasoning to create a hearty and flavorful meal.
🌟 Why this recipe works
This easy taco spaghetti recipe is a quick and delicious one-pot meal that your family will love. With just a few simple ingredients, you can have this tasty dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Ground beef is cooked with onions and a taco seasoning mix, then combined with Rotel tomatoes, spaghetti noodles, and water to create a hearty taco meat sauce. The noodles are cooked in the same pan, making for an even easier cleanup.
The flavor of this dish comes from the combination of ground beef and taco seasoning, as well as Rotel tomatoes and cilantro for a slight hint of freshness. The addition of cheese adds a delicious creaminess to the sauce that pairs perfectly with the noodles.
The whole recipe comes together in just 4 simple steps which any home cook can follow. The recipe is also incredibly versatile and can be easily adapted to suit your tastes. Whether you're looking for a last-minute dinner or simply wanting to switch up your meal routine, this Mexican-flavored pasta dish is sure to please!
And if you want some more easy and delicious spaghetti recipes to add to your meal planner that your kids will absolutely love, try our Italian meatballs and spaghetti, Texas chicken spaghetti, and Fried spaghetti recipe.
🍽 Key Ingredients
Taco spaghetti is a simple yet delicious recipe that combines flavorful ingredients that you probably already have in the pantry! Here's what you'll need.
Taco meat mixture - To make the meat mixture, you'll need some lean ground beef, yellow onions, and a packet of taco seasoning to add some Mexican flavor. Plus, some olive oil to brown the meat. Same I used for my fried tacos recipe.
Rotel tomatoes - To add some spiciness and flavor to the dish, Rotel tomatoes are a must! They have a bit of kick to them and blend perfectly with the taco seasoning.
Spaghetti noodles - The authentic recipe uses spaghetti noodles, but feel free to use other types of pasta if you'd like.
Water - A few cups of water will help to cook the noodles in the same pan and make the sauce thinner.
Cheddar cheese - Shredded cheddar cheese is added at the end to melt and blend with the taco spaghetti ingredients to create a creamier texture.
Fresh cilantro - For garnishing and adding a bright, earthy aroma, chop a handful of cilantro to sprinkle over the dish.
If you don't have all of the ingredients at home to make this recipe, there are a few substitutions you can use to make it.
Any kind of good melting cheese will work in this recipe, such as Monterey Jack, Velveeta cheese, Mexican cheese blend, or mozzarella cheese.
If you don't have ground beef or don't want to use it, swap it for ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground sausage.
As mentioned before, you can use other types of pasta in this recipe. Some good options are macaroni, penne, or ziti.
Rotel diced tomatoes
Although Rotel tomatoes are one of the best-canned tomatoes to use for Mexican dishes, you can use other types of canned diced tomatoes if you don't have them, like fire-roasted tomatoes.
You can substitute the 1 cup of water for beef or chicken broth to add more flavor to the recipe.
🔪 How to make taco spaghetti
This one-pot taco spaghetti recipe is so easy to make that anyone can do it! All you need is some simple and readily available ingredients, one skillet, and about 30 minutes for it to cook. Follow these simple steps, and you'll have a delicious meal that the whole family will devour!
- Finely dice the yellow onions.
- Chop the cilantro for garnishing.
Set a large skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and brown ground beef and chopped onion for 4 to 5 minutes.
Once the meat is no longer pink and the onions are soft and translucent, add taco seasoning, Rotel tomatoes, and water. Stir to combine, then add the uncooked spaghetti noodles.
Turn the heat up to high until boiling, then cover with a lid and turn the heat to low to simmer for 15 minutes until the spaghetti is al dente.
Remove the cooked taco spaghetti from the heat and sprinkle half of the shredded cheddar cheese over - stirring the cheese into the meat sauce and spaghetti.
Top with the remaining shredded cheese and chopped fresh cilantro.
Garnish with your favorite taco toppings, like sliced green onions, red pepper flakes, crushed tortilla chips, and sour cream.
💭 Cooking tips
Browning the beef mixture
For the best taste, make sure to properly brown the ground beef and onions before adding in the other ingredients. This will add a layer of flavor to the dish that you won't get if not done correctly.
Submerge the spaghetti
Make sure when adding the spaghetti to the skillet that is completely submerged in the sauce so that it cooks thoroughly.
If the spaghetti seems crunchy after simmering for 15 minutes, add a bit more water, and cook for another 5 minutes.
📖 Recipe Variations
This taco spaghetti recipe is a great basic version that you can customize with different ingredients and flavors. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Crispy taco spaghetti casserole
If you want to give your taco spaghetti a crunchy topping, pour the mixture into a casserole dish and top it with the remaining cheese and 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs. Pop the dish into a preheated oven at 350F and bake for 10 minutes until the topping turns golden brown.
Spicy taco spaghetti
For a spicier version of taco spaghetti, add 1 teaspoon of chili powder and canned diced green chiles along with the hot version of Rotel tomatoes.
Layer the cooked taco spaghetti with uncooked corn tortillas in an oven-safe dish. Top with remaining cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with sour cream on top.
🥗 What to serve with
Taco spaghetti pairs nicely with a variety of side dishes. Here are some suggestions to complete your meal:
Tortillas and dips
Crunchy tortilla chips are the perfect side dish for Mexican main meals. They are good for scooping up tasty sauces and dipping into homemade dips like this queso chili dip. You can also make crispy root veggie chips for the dip or serve the taco goodness in crispy taco shells.
Salsa and guacamole
Serve up your taco spaghetti with a side of fresh homemade pico de gallo and my authentic guacamole recipe. This tasty combo will really brighten up the flavor of the dish and bring out the Mexican flavors even more. And why not my Mexican street corn dip or my tamale pie recipe to pair with this dish.
🙋 Frequently asked questions
Can I make this recipe with pre-cooked spaghetti?
Yes, you can use pre-cooked spaghetti in this recipe. However, it will not absorb as much of the sauce and flavors since it is already cooked. We recommend using uncooked spaghetti for the best results.
Can I make taco spaghetti in a crock pot?
Yes, you can make taco spaghetti in a crock pot. Start by cooking the taco meat mixture on high, and once the meat has browned and the liquid ingredients have been added along with the spaghetti, cook on low for 3-4 hours. Stir every couple of hours to ensure even cooking.
🧊 Storing and ♨️ reheating
You can easily store taco spaghetti if you have some leftovers from dinner to reheat the following day.
Fridge - Store the leftovers in an airtight container and place them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freezer - To freeze, transfer the leftovers into a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Reheating - You can reheat taco spaghetti by microwaving individual portions until hot or reheat the entire dish on the stovetop over medium heat. You can also reheat it in a preheated oven at 350F for 10 minutes until heated through.
🍳 Related recipes
If you're looking for more quick and easy delicious Mexican-inspired recipes, try these 37 lazy Sunday dinner ideas. With these tasty recipes, you'll have Sunday dinner sorted in no time!
For more ways to use up ground beef in Mexican dishes, check out these 30 authentic Mexican ground beef recipes.
👪 Serving size
This taco spaghetti recipe makes 6 servings, perfect for a family-style dinner.
This one-pot taco spaghetti recipe is the perfect family-friendly meal that’s easy to make, delicious, and ready in just 30 minutes. With flavorful ingredients like ground beef, Rotel tomatoes, and taco seasoning, this dish will become a regular on your weeknight meal rotation. Be sure to serve it with a healthy side salad or some roasted vegetables for a complete meal. Enjoy!
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
Try one of my comfort dinner recipes for your next family meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!
One-Pot Taco Spaghetti (Easy 30-Minute Meal!)
- 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
- Finely dice the yellow onions.
- Chop the cilantro for garnishing.
- Set a large skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and brown ground beef and chopped onion for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Once the meat is no longer pink and the onions are soft and translucent, add taco seasoning, Rotel tomatoes, and water. Stir to combine, then add the uncooked spaghetti noodles.
- Turn the heat up to high until boiling, then cover with a lid and turn the heat to low to simmer for 15 minutes until the spaghetti is al dente.
- Remove the cooked taco spaghetti from the heat and sprinkle half of the shredded cheddar cheese over - stirring the cheese into the meat sauce and spaghetti.
- Top with the remaining shredded cheese and chopped fresh cilantro.
- Garnish with your favorite taco toppings, like sliced green onions, red pepper flakes, crushed tortilla chips, and sour cream.