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Taco Spaghetti joins two classic family favorites, spaghetti and tacos, for an easy weeknight meal that is bound to become a winner in your home. This dish is loaded with taco seasoned beef, two types of cheese, and tomatoes for an explosion of flavor you’ll love!

I’m a fan of tacos in every form! Taco pizzataco stuffed shells, and taco stroganoff are a few more delicious options to try that are loaded with all of the wonderful taco flavors you crave!

Taco spaghetti in a large pot, being picked up with tongs.

What is Taco Spaghetti?

Traditional spaghetti is an Italian-inspired dish, but this pasta recipe is flavored with the wonderful taste of tacos, instead! Noodles are like a blank canvas and can take on any flavors you add to them. Instead of using hard taco shells, combine soft pasta with taco meat, Rotel, cream cheese and shredded Colby Jack cheese. Everyone will go crazy for this new way to celebrate taco night! 

I adore this classic spaghetti sauce, but if you’re in the mood for Mexican food, this taco spaghetti recipe will not disappoint! For more taco-inspired recipes try this taco dip or this beef taco salad. They are both easy to make and so tasty!

Ingredients in Taco Spaghetti

Only simple, easy-to-find ingredients are needed for this taco spaghetti recipe! It’s one of those dishes you’ll want to recreate again and again. This is the perfect dinner for busy weeknights and lazy weekends. Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements!

  • Olive Oil: For sautéing the onions and garlic.
  • Onion & Garlic: Adds texture and a nice savory flavor.
  • Ground Beef: Feel free to sub the ground beef with ground turkey, if preferred.
  • Taco Seasoning: This homemade taco seasoning is SO good but you can use store-bought, if preferred.
  • Rotel Tomatoes: The best combination of diced tomatoes and green chilies.
  • Beef Broth: Adds moisture to make the ground meat and everything else perfectly saucy.
  • Tomato Paste: Tomato paste adds color and a little acidity, which brings out all the amazing flavors.
  • Cream Cheese: Let this sit out on the counter for a few minutes before you start. Then it will soften up and mix in smoothly to give the sauce creaminess.
  • Noodles: I prefer regular spaghetti noodles here, but you can also switch it up and use fettuccine noodles, your favorite noodles, etc.
  • Shredded Cheese: I like to use Colby jack cheese in this recipe because it’s so flavorful and melty! Grated cheddar cheese or a Mexican blend cheese also works.
  • Cilantro: A sprinkle of freshly chopped cilantro is the perfect finishing touch!

How to Make Taco Spaghetti

Taco spaghetti is quick and easy to make. Cook your pasta, brown your meat and stir in the other ingredients. It can be ready to serve in under 30 minutes! Here’s how to make it:

  1. Boil the Noodles: Cook the pasta according to package directions. Then drain and set aside.
  2. Sauté Onions and Garlic: In a large skillet add the oil and onions and cook until the onions are tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
  3. Brown the Beef: Add the ground beef and cook over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain the fat if needed.
  4. Add Other Ingredients: Add the taco seasoning, Rotel tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, and softened cream cheese. Stir to combine and cook until the cream cheese is melted.
  5. Add Spaghetti and Cheese: Stir in cooked spaghetti and shredded cheddar cheese. Heat through until the cheese melts.
  6. Serve: Garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy!

Recipe Tip

Try serving this with your favorite taco toppings such as extra cheese, green onions, black olives, chopped tomatoes, chopped avocados, jalapeño slices and/or a dollop of sour cream.

4-photo collage of the noodles being combined with the taco meat, cheese, and toppings.

Tips and Variations

Taco spaghetti is easy to customize! Here are some tips and ideas for making it your own.

  • Heat Level: If your family is sensitive to spice, be sure to use mild Rotel and mild taco seasoning. On the other hand, for a kick of spice, add a few dashes of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes and use hot Rotel.
  • Rotel: Rotel is a mix of diced tomatoes and green chilies. Feel free to substitute a can of diced tomatoes and a can of chopped green chilies.
  • Vegetables: Sneak in some extra veggie goodness and cook sliced mushrooms, chopped bell peppers, zucchini or any other veggies while you’re cooking the onion.
  • Pasta: Other kinds of pasta that work with this recipe include thin spaghetti, rotini, penne, elbow macaroni, cavatappi, or rigatoni. You can even try using zucchini noodles for a low-carb option.
A white bowl filled with taco spaghetti.

Storing Leftovers

If you have leftovers, keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. I don’t recommend freezing this pasta dish.

Reheat individual servings in the microwave for 1.5-2 minutes, or reheat on the stovetop over low heat until warm. It may be helpful to add a little water or broth to loosen up the noodles, if they become dry in the fridge.

A serving of taco spaghetti, topped with fresh herbs.

More Delicious Spaghetti Recipes

No matter how you cook it, spaghetti is a classic and never goes out of style! Here are some more spaghetti recipes you’ll definitely want to try.

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30 Minute Taco Spaghetti

By: Alyssa Rivers
Taco Spaghetti joins two classic family favorites, spaghetti and tacos, for an easy weeknight meal that is bound to become a winner in your home. This dish is loaded with taco seasoned beef, two types of cheese, and tomatoes for an explosion of flavor you’ll love!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet add the oil and onions and cook until the onions are tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
  • Add the ground beef and cook over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain the fat if needed.
  • Add the taco seasoning, Rotel tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, and softened cream cheese. Stir to combine and cook until the cream cheese is melted.
  • Stir in cooked spaghetti and shredded cheddar cheese. Heat through until the cheese melts.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 739kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 37gFat: 44gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 626mgPotassium: 720mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1050IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 284mgIron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican American, Tex Mex
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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2 Comments

  1. Just to say Hi I will be having the Taco spaghetti This evening.
    I have been copying your recipes, which I enjoy.
    I like how you combine your recipes. I thank You.

    Blessings Rich P.

  2. This is a high amount of potassium for heart, liver, kidney transplant patients or those that cannot have a lot of potassium. I suggest losing the tomatoes and tomato paste and replacing it with the El Paso Red Enchilada sauce. Do not use a generic, as they include tomatoes. Then use any other low potassium vegetable or mushroom that does not add potassium if needed. Just a suggestion.