Taco spaghetti is a mouthwatering Mexican casserole that combines two beloved classics: tacos and spaghetti with meat sauce. It's a one-pan wonder, ready in less than 30 minutes!
This Taco Spaghetti is now our go-to way of making spaghetti! The meat, cooked in beef broth and taco seasoning, is incredibly flavorful - you'll find yourself eagerly chasing every bite. The sauce, rich and cheesy, is elevated with subtle enhancers that really make it stand out. It's a perfect match for the spaghetti, even for those with picky palates.
Now, here's the secret: a touch of sour cream. It brings a creamy, cooling element that balances out the acidity of the tomatoes and tomato sauce.
😍 Why You'll Love This Taco Spaghetti Recipe
- Effortless cleanup with this one-pot wonder!
- Just 4 simple steps! On the table in under 30 minutes.
- Taco seasoning pack for a quick and time-saving fix!
- Loved by kids and even the pickiest of eaters.
✅ Ingredients & Substitutions
- Tomato Sauce (16 oz.): Opt for a good-quality tomato sauce without added sugars or excessive preservatives for the best flavor. You can use plain tomato sauce or one with additional seasonings if you prefer a more robust taste.
- Beef Broth (2 ½ cups): Use a low-sodium beef broth to control the saltiness of the dish. If you don't have beef broth, you can substitute with chicken or vegetable broth.
- Sour Cream (½ cup): Full-fat sour cream provides a creamy richness to the sauce. For a lighter option, you can use low-fat or Greek yogurt as a substitute. Mascarpone is a great substitute too.
- Tomato Paste (2 tablespoons): This helps to thicken the sauce and intensify the tomato flavor. If you don't have tomato paste, you can reduce the tomato sauce slightly and simmer it longer.
- Worcestershire Sauce (2 teaspoons): Adds a deep, umami flavor to the sauce. If you don't have Worcestershire sauce, you can substitute with soy sauce.
- Hot Sauce (1 teaspoon): Adjust the amount to your liking. You can use any hot sauce you like, such as Tabasco, Sriracha, or your personal favorite.
- Olive Oil (1 tablespoon): Use a good-quality extra virgin olive oil for flavor. If unavailable, vegetable oil can be used as a substitute.
- Ground Beef (1 pound): Opt for lean ground beef for a healthier option. You can also use ground turkey or chicken as a leaner alternative.
- Yellow Onion (small, finely chopped): Provides a mild, sweet flavor that complements the other ingredients. If you prefer a different type of onion, feel free to substitute.
- Garlic (3 cloves, minced): Fresh garlic adds a pungent, aromatic flavor to the dish.
- Taco Seasoning (1-ounce packet): This is a convenient blend of spices that adds a classic taco flavor. You can use store-bought or make your own taco seasoning mix at home.
- Rotel Tomatoes (1 can, 10 ounces, DO NOT Drain): These are diced tomatoes with green chilies, adding a slight kick to the dish. If you prefer less heat, you can use plain diced tomatoes.
- Spaghetti (12 ounces): Use regular or whole wheat spaghetti, or feel free to substitute with your preferred pasta shape.
- Cheddar Cheese (1 ½ cups, shredded): Sharp cheddar adds a rich, cheesy flavor. You can also experiment with other cheeses like Monterey Jack, Colby, or a Mexican cheese blend.
- Fresh Cilantro (for garnish): This herb adds a fresh, bright element to the dish. If you're not a fan of cilantro, you can substitute with parsley or green onions for garnish.
🔪 How to Make Taco Spaghetti
Combine the sauce ingredients, including tomato sauce, beef broth, sour cream, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce in a large measuring cup, and set it aside.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and chopped onion, cook until the beef loses its pink color and the onions become tender and translucent, approximately 6-7 minutes. Then, add the garlic and continue cooking until it becomes fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the sauce mixture (from step 1), taco seasoning, undrained Rotel tomatoes, and spaghetti noodles. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Sprinkle half of the cheese into the pan and gently mix, ensuring the spaghetti is coated with cheese. Finally, top it off with the remaining cheese and a garnish of fresh cilantro.
👨🍳 Pro Tips
- Broth: Instead of beef broth, you can use chicken broth for a different but tasty flavor.
- Cheese: We like using Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Yellow, it's soft and melts nicely. Monterey Jack cheese is also a good choice. Grate the cheese from a block for better taste and melt.
- Fresh is Best: If possible, use fresh garlic and onions for a more robust and aromatic base.
- Opt for Whole Wheat Pasta: For a healthier twist, consider using whole wheat spaghetti or other whole grain pasta options.
- Try Ground Turkey or Chicken: Swap out the ground beef for a leaner protein option like turkey or chicken for a lighter version of this dish.
- Don't Forget the Fresh Herbs: Finish with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro or parsley for a burst of color and an extra layer of flavor.
- Meal Prep Friendly: This dish reheats well, making it a great option for meal prep. Store in airtight containers for easy and quick weekday lunches or dinners.
Place the leftovers in an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to three months. Leftovers retain their quality when frozen and reheated.
Fresh Salad: Serve with Cucumber and Tomato Salad for a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of the dish.
Guacamole and Chips: Accompany with homemade guacamole and a side of tortilla chips for a delicious Tex-Mex twist.
Sour Cream and Salsa: Offer a dollop of sour cream and a side of your favorite salsa for extra creaminess and a burst of flavor.
Absolutely! While spaghetti works great, you can also try penne, ziti, or rotini for a unique twist.
Yes, simply swap the ground meat for a plant-based alternative like crumbled tofu, tempeh, or a meat substitute.
Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican cheese blend work well. For best results, grate the cheese from a block rather than using pre-grated.
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