Taco Tuesday went up a few notches with this hearty one pot dish! Learn how to make The Best One Pot Taco Spaghetti filled with ingredients similar to traditional but with a spicy, flavorful Tex-Mex flare. Ready in under thirty minutes, this casserole is perfect for the weeknight and requires minimal clean up.
This one pot taco spaghetti recipe is so easy to prepare and does not skip out on flavor. This dish provides all the flavors of traditional Tex-Mex style American tacos but made like traditional, American spaghetti. Again, packed with flavor mixed with the best of both worlds.
WHAT IS TACO SPAGHETTI?
To explain, this recipe is prepared similarly to that of traditional American style spaghetti. That is to say, the ground beef is browned with onion, canned tomatoes and tomato paste added, seasonings, dried and fresh herbs and noodles. This casserole rings true to recipes defined as one pot, all ingredients in general are prepared in one, single pot!
To explain, there are additional ingredients added to give it a Mexican flare or flavor, but the base is almost identical! Prepare your tastebuds for the texture of spaghetti but flavors of a tasty ground beef taco!
TACO SPAGHETTI SAUCE
In this case, the sauce is certainly the star of this show, matter of fact, this taco spaghetti is to die for! Unlike store bought spaghetti sauce, this sauce is built right into the one pot that the entire recipe is made from.
With just a few ingredients such as tomato paste, dried oregano, fresh cilantro, canned diced tomatoes and with green chilies, this Mexican spaghetti sauce is robust in flavor and really pleasing in texture! This easy taco pasta is certainly going to become a staple in your home.
- Ground Beef- Ground beef, chicken or turkey will work. If using beef, use at least an 80/20 fat ratio.
- Onion-Yellow onions works best for this recipe. The sweetness pairs well with the additional ingredients.
- Taco Seasoning-The usual prepackaged stuff works perfectly.
- Harissa Powder-This seasoning is certainly optional but really adds deeper flavor and extra spice.
- Garlic Powder- I used a garlic and parsley blend that can be found here.
- Canned Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies - Rotel is my favorite brand, the medium or hot versions.
- Canned Diced Tomatoes-More of the Italian style for extra texture.
- Tomato Paste- This will help to thicken the sauce similar to traditional American marinara sauce.
- Noodles- Spaghetti or any "long" type pasta works great. Click here to purchase the noodles as seen in this blog post.
- Beef Stock- Will allow the noodles to boil in the meat sauce. You can use water, but beef stock or broth will help to develop more flavors.
- Cheddar Cheese
- Queso or Monterrey Jack Cheese
- Sour Cream
WHAT TYPE OF SPAGHETTI WORKS BEST?
It is important to note, all noodles are not created equally. That is to say, depending on the type of pasta used, the cooking time will vary. I tested this recipe using traditional spaghetti noodles and the noodles used in the images and video shared in this post.
It is best to use spaghetti style noodles with this recipe then again, any noodle will work, the cooking times will vary. To be sure the noodles cook appropriately, simply follow the package instructions for best results.
HOW TO PREPARE
Prepare Taco Spaghetti Sauce
First, in a large (and deep) skillet or sauce/stock pot brown the ground beef. Add salt and pepper to taste and begin breaking the ground beef down into small crumbles.
Next, add the chopped onion and cook and stir until ground beef is cooked through and onions are translucent. Now, drain any excess fat if necessary and immediately return back to the pan. Then, add the tomato paste, seasonings and stir allowing the paste to soften and combined with the beef.
Pour in the canned diced tomatoes and stir one final time.
Add Final Ingredients and Cook
At this instant, the meat sauce is prepared! Next, add desired noodles on top of the taco meat sauce. Then, pour the beef stock (or water) directly over the noodles. As mentioned, pour enough liquid to cover the noodles. As a matter of fact, gently pat the noodles if needed to submerge the noodles into the liquid.
Now, cover the pan or pot and simmer the one pot taco spaghetti for at least twenty minutes or until noodles are cooked through and fork tender.
WHEN IS SPAGHETTI READY?
This step is most important when preparing the one pot taco spaghetti. To explain, there are a few tips to ensure the noodles cook evenly and all-the-way-through.
- Depending on the noodles used, make certain the noodles can fit into the pot. That is to say, break the noodles in half if needed.
- Using the beef stock (or water) is key to providing the noodles the necessary liquid to cook.
- Make certain when pouring the initial liquid that the noodles are submerged completely in the liquid of your choice.
- As the noodles cook in the taco spaghetti sauce, add more liquid if it begins to cook out.
HOW TO SERVE
After the noodles have cooked through and fork tender, it is time for the final steps of this delicious recipe. It is ok to turn the heat to low (or off) because it is just about time to serve.
Sprinkle the assorted cheese on top of the taco spaghetti, cover and allow the cheese to melt. After the cheese has melted, garnish with sour cream if desired and roughly chopped cilantro.
Serve immediately and with a quick side salad and enjoy!
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS
While I'm certain there will be minimal leftovers, this casserole certainly tastes better with time! With that said, simply store the one pot taco spaghetti leftovers in an airtight container. The recipe can last up to 4-5 days when stored in the refrigerator.
If preparing this recipe for weekly meal prep, it is best to allow the casserole to completely cool before storing in the refrigerator.
HOW TO FREEZE LEFTOVERS
To properly freeze one pot taco spaghetti, there are two variations that will work. To explain, this meal should freeze ok and can last in the freezer for up to three months.
- Freeze the sauce. And prepare the noodles when you're ready to serve by following the same steps as if you're making the recipe in real time. Add taco meat sauce to the pot, dump the noodles, pour in the beef stock (or water) and simmer until noodles are cooked through!
- Prepare entire recipe. Follow recipe instructions as is and store in an airtight/freezer safe bag or container. This option could possibly result in mushier noodles when reheated. Prepare the noodles al dente and reheat in a pot adding beef stock (or water) to allow the noodles to cook until tender.
The Best One Pot Taco Spaghetti
- 1 lb Gound Beef
- 1 small Onion about 1 cup
- 1.5 oz Taco Seasoning
- 2 teaspoon Harissa Seasoning
- 2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 20 oz Canned Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
- 14.5 oz Diced Tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
- 8 oz Spaghetti Noodles
- 2 cups Beef Stock more if needed
- ½ cup Queso or Monterrey Jack Cheese
- ½ cup Cheddar
- ¼ cup Cilantro
- 1-2 tablespoon Sour Cream
- In a large (and deep) skillet or sauce/stock pot brown the ground beef.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and begin breaking the ground beef down into small crumbles.
- Add the chopped onion and cook and stir until ground beef is cooked through and onions are translucent.
- Drain any excess fat if necessary and immediately return back to the pan.
- Add the tomato paste, seasonings and stir allowing the paste to soften and combined with the beef.
- Pour in the canned diced tomatoes and stir one final time.
- Add desired noodles on top of the taco meat sauce. Then, pour the beef stock (or water) directly over the noodles.
- Pour enough liquid to cover the noodles. Gently pat the noodles if needed to submerge the noodles into the liquid.
- Now, cover the pan or pot and simmer the one pot taco spaghetti for at least twenty minutes or until noodles are cooked through and fork tender.
- After the noodles have cooked through and fork tender, it is time for the final steps of this delicious recipe.
- It is ok to turn the heat to low (or off) because it is just about time to serve.
- Sprinkle the assorted cheese on top of the taco spaghetti, cover and allow the cheese to melt.
- After the cheese has melted, garnish with sour cream if desired and roughly chopped cilantro.
- Serve immediately and with a quick side salad and enjoy!
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