Taco Spaghetti

Taco Spaghetti is all you favorite taco flavors in comforting spaghetti form on your table in less than 25 minutes!   Simple prep, minimal cleanup, tons of flavor!

Taco Spaghetti is my new favorite pasta, new favorite easy dinner, new favorite Mexican dinner and on and on!  It’s wonderfully comforting, hearty and boasts BIG, bold, complex flavors in super LITTLE time!  This Taco Spaghetti is the answer to all your “what’s for dinner” woes – but is so delicious you’ll be craving it all the time!

Taco Spaghetti in a green bowl.


Do you love spaghetti?  Do you love tacos?  Well, now you can eat them together at last in this dynamite TACO Spaghetti recipe!

Taco Spaghetti in a pot with avocado on top.

I love making my Weeknight Spaghetti Bolognese anytime I don’t feel like cooking, because its so cravilicious and so easy so I wanted to create another equally delicious and equally easy pasta recipe – enter Taco Spaghetti!  Because everything is better with a fiesta flair!  Now you can have two spaghetti recipes in your back pocket to rescue dinner when you don’t feel like cooking.

But this Taco Spaghetti isn’t just to be adored and applauded because it’s quick and easy.  It’s to be raved about because I CAN’T STOP CRAVING IT!   Seriously.  Either I have a problem or this Taco Spaghetti is just too sensational for any normal person to not crave.  I crave like I crave my Taco Pasta Bake but it’s simpler to make – winning!

The juicy beef is seasoned to perfection with Mexican spices and cooked with onions, garlic, green chilies, roasted diced tomatoes then stirred with our spaghetti and as much or as little cheese as your heart desires.  So pull out a chair because this Taco Spaghetti is about to become a regular at your kitchen table!

Taco Spaghetti being served with spoons.


Taco Spaghetti is super quick and easy to make but here are a few tips and tricks:

  • I use lean ground beef but you are welcome to use your fav: ground turkey, ground sausage etc., even chopped chicken will work great!  If you use lean ground turkey, then omit the salt and add 1-2 teaspoons beef bouillon.
  • If you are feeling extra lazy or just don’t feel like chopping (as I often am when I make this recipe), then you can substitute the fresh onion and fresh garlic for onion powder and garlic powder (directions included below).  With these substitutions, this recipe requires ZERO chopping!
  • I recommend using fire roasted diced tomatoes in this recipe as opposed to traditional diced tomatoes. If you aren’t familiar with fire roasted tomatoes, they are not spicy.  The “fire roasted” in their name literally means they were grilled over an open fire which is what infuses them with their wonderfully smoky flavor.  Roasting the tomatoes also releases their sugars and mellows their natural acidity, which is why we don’t have to add any neutralizing sugar.
  • I like to add additional cayenne pepper to my Taco Spaghetti to make it nice and smoky spicy.  If you aren’t sure how spicy you want your pasta, then you can start without any cayenne (ultimate kid friendly) and add more to taste at the end of cooking.  You can always add more spice but it is hard to take it away!
  • The sauce (before you combine it with the spaghetti) freezes beautifully so this is a great make and save for later meal or double/triple and freeze meal.
  • To make this truly taste like Taco Spaghetti, garnish with all or some of your favs of freshly grated cheese, chopped tomatoes, chopped avocados, cilantro, sour cream, etc.
  • Dig in!
A bowl of Taco Spaghetti.

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A fork full of Taco Spaghetti.

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

Twisting Taco spaghetti with a fork in a green bowl with cheese, avocados and tomatoes

Taco Spaghetti

Servings: 6 -8 servings
Total Time: 20 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

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  • 16 oz. spaghetti
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (may sub 1 tsp onion powder)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (may sub 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp EACH dried oregano, smoked paprika, pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional for heat
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans fire roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 4 oz. can mild diced green chilies
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese (may sub Monterrey Jack)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Monterrey Jack cheese (may sub sharp cheddar)

Garnishes (optional)

  • crushed tortilla chips
  • more cheese
  • diced tomatoes
  • diced avocadoes
  • chopped cilantro
  • sour cream


  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions in generously salted water. Rinse and drain. Drizzle and toss with a little olive oil to keep from sticking. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, brown ground been and onions in a large pot/Dutch oven 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 tomatoes and green chilies and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spaghetti and stir until evenly coated in sauce.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cheese a handful at a time until melted. Season with additional salt and pepper/cayenne pepper to taste. Top with desired garnishes.


*The sauce (without the spaghetti) freezes beautifully.

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A variation of this post first appeared on The Slow Roasted Italian website where I am a contributor.

Carlsbad Cravings© Original


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  1. Nikki says

    My kids are going to love this!

  2. Sabrina says

    This is brilliant! Your weeknight Spaghtte Bolognese is one of our family’s favorite recipes and probably the recipe I make more than any other so I am excited to add another spaghetti to the mix. We love all your Mexican recipes too! Thanks for your fantastic site!

    • Jen says

      Hi Sabrina, thanks for your kind words! I’m thrilled your family loves my Spaghetti Bolognese so much – you have great taste because that is one of my favs as well! I really think they are going to love this just as much – or maybe even more!

  3. Mel says

    I was searching for something a little different to use ground beef. This is a new favorite for sure. Quick, easy and even my picky eaters cleaned their plate!

    • Jen says

      yessss! I’m so happy you made it already and it was a hit with your whole family! Thank you Mel!!!

  4. Vince says

    This is such a fun idea. Spaghetti is acutally one of my favorite meals but it does tend to get a bit boring after a while. Your recipe is a cool way to spice it up and create something different.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Vince! I totally agree – spaghetti can get repetitive so it’s nice to have another version! I hope you love this recipe!

  5. Jessica says

    Here in New Zealand we cannot buy fire roasted tomatoes, i will have to use regular canned tomatoes – would you recommend adding anything else with it? I recently found liquid smoke at a local specialty store would that help? Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Hi Jessica, I would add a little sugar to taste – just enough so the pasta sauce tastes balanced and not too acidic. You could definitely add a splash of liquid smoke but I would use it very sparingly. I hope this helps!!!

  6. Sherry says

    I made the taco spaghetti against my husbands advise, and it was yummy! And of course my husband said so too. Tonight we’re having leftovers from when I made this over the weekend. But my husband asked if he could put spaghetti sauce on it, he wants more sauce, and thinks it tastes similar to my spaghetti. I told him he could on his serving, but mine was perfect the way the recipe was written, so don’t touch mine!

    • Jen says

      LOL! I’m so happy you loved this recipe exactly as is! He could try some enchilada sauce on his if he wants it saucier but more Mexican tasting 🙂

  7. Lisa says

    Just finished eating this for dinner and my husband and sons gave it a “add this to the rotation!” That doesn’t happen very often with new recipes! Followed the recipe exactly. Thanks for ANOTHER great one!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Lisa, thanks for the thanks! I’m so happy it was a winner!

  8. Kim says

    This looks absolutely delicious.. have to try it!

    • Jen says

      Thank you! I think you’ll love it!

  9. Lauren Glass says

    Shouldn’t water be added to this since it requires a tablespoon of beef bouillon?

    • Jen says

      No, it will dissolve in the rest of the sauce. Enjoy!

  10. Carolyn Fowler says

    Okay, so this is almost the 20th recipe I’ve tried from this site. Every single recipe has been phenomenal. This is definitely going in my list of favorites. It’s quick, easy, and absolutely delicious. My husband, who is not a huge fan of spaghetti, absolutely loved this! It was flavorful, meaty, and so tasty! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes! 🙂

    Also, your tip about the crumbled tortilla chips on top was great. That just made the recipe 20x better, in my opinion!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment Carolyn and make my day! That is awesome you have made so many of my recipes and I’m thrilled this taco spaghetti was another hit! Thank you!!!