Put a zesty twist on pasta night with Mexican Spaghetti! This easy Tex-Mex taco pasta recipe is loaded with hearty beef, spicy jalapeños, black beans, and plenty of cheese.
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We’re spicing things up at the dinner table this week with taco spaghetti! This also answers the question: Why choose between taco night and pasta night when you can have both?
Why You’ll Love This Mexican Spaghetti Recipe
- Easy. This pasta recipe is ready in under an hour and doesn’t require any fancy ingredients.
- Hearty. Thanks to a generous amount of ground beef and melty cheese, this taco spaghetti is super satisfying. Perfect for filling hungry bellies.
- Flavorful. This pasta is loaded with juicy tomatoes, seasoned ground beef, tongue-tingling jalapeños, sweet corn, and black beans! Every bite is a flavor explosion.
If your family loves Southwestern flavor prepare to be blown away by this fiesta-worthy dish.
Is This Really “Mexican” Spaghetti?
I’m gonna level with you: if I served this dish to my abuela she would have had two reactions. First, she would have been like, “Ay, why do you confuse things? It is tacos or spaghetti. Not taco spaghetti!” Second, once I finally convinced her to take a bite, she would have cleaned her plate.
So this is a spaghetti dinner with Mexican flavors, but it’s not a spaghetti dish that is commonly served in Mexico. That’s where the whole Tex-Mex thing comes in!
How to Make Mexican Taco Spaghetti
You’ll soon see why this Tex-Mex spaghetti quickly becomes a family favorite! Here’s how to make it:
- Make the taco seasoning. In a bowl, mix the spices for the homemade taco seasoning.
- Cook the pasta. Next, boil the pasta according to the directions on the package. Set aside the drained pasta for the time being.
- Make the taco meat sauce. In a large skillet with a lid, sauté onion in a bit of oil, then add the beef and minced garlic. Continue to cook until the beef is browned. Drain any excess grease, and season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and let everything cook for a few minutes.
- Stir in your Tex-Mex add-ins: black beans, corn, diced jalapeños and some of the taco seasoning. Add the cooked pasta and give everything a stir. Cover and cook over low heat, then add the cheeses and cook some more until the cheese has melted.
- Serve. Load up with your favorite taco toppings (see below for ideas) and dig in.
You are going to have extra taco seasoning after you have used what you need for this recipe. Put it in a mason jar or tupperware, then store it in your pantry for later!
Tips for the Best Mexican Spaghetti
Below are some hot tips for making the best Mexican-style pasta:
- Cook the pasta al dente. Aim to cook the spaghetti until just barely al dente at first. This way, it won’t become overcooked and mushy when it simmers in the sauce later on.
- Use fresh tomatoes. The canned tomatoes in this recipe can be substituted with fresh tomatoes if you’d like. Add them to the pan along with their juice.
- Use leftover veggies. You can add leftover cooked veggies like carrots and Mexican squash along with corn and black beans. Pasta recipes are a great way to use up those leftovers!
When it comes time to serve your taco pasta, get creative! Try these Mexican-inspired topping ideas:
- Diced avocado
- Mexican crema
- Cilantro or parsley
- A squeeze of fresh lime
- Sour cream
There are also loads of easy ways you can customize this recipe to suit your family’s tastes. Here are some quick variation ideas:
- More or less spicy. Adapt the heat levels in your pasta sauce by using more or fewer jalapeños. You can also make a milder taco seasoning by leaving out some of the chili powder, cayenne, crushed pepper flakes, etc.
- Different protein. As mentioned earlier, the ground beef in this recipe can be substituted with ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground pork instead.
- Vegetarian. Make it a vegetarian pasta by replacing ground meat with your choice of plant-based alternative. Good vegetable protein options are crumbled tofu, cooked lentils, diced mushrooms, or even chopped cauliflower. You could even use my vegetarian chorizo recipe.
This Mexican spaghetti is a meal in and of itself, but I do love a good cocktail on the side. I recommend serving this simple dinner with blood orange margaritas, John Daly drinks, or even mango mojitos.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Mexican spaghetti can be stored airtight in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat the pasta in a saucepan on the stovetop, with a bit of broth or water sprinkled over top to help loosen up the sauce. Alternatively, you can speed up the reheating process in the microwave, too.
Can I Freeze Mexican Spaghetti?
The best way to freeze this recipe is to prepare the taco meat sauce right up until you would add the spaghetti and cheese. Instead, allow the pasta sauce to cool, then store it airtight in a container or freezer bag to keep frozen for up to 3 months.
Whenever you’re ready to serve, defrost the pasta sauce in the fridge, boil your spaghetti, and add the pasta and cheese to finish the recipe as directed.
More Pasta Recipes to Try
- Million Dollar Spaghetti
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
- Gigi Hadid Pasta
- Broccoli Casarecce Pasta
- Tuscan Chicken Pasta
Mexican Taco Spaghetti
For the pasta:
- 12 oz spaghetti , uncooked
- 1 small yellow onion , diced
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1.25 lbs ground beef
- 12 oz canned tomato sauce
- 21 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 1-2 canned jalapeños, chopped
- 1 cup yellow corn
- ¾ cup canned black beans , drained and rinsed
- ¾ cup Pepper Jack cheese , shredded
- ¾ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetable oil for frying
For the taco seasoning:
- 1 ½ tablespoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
- 3 teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika , regular or smoked
- Mexican crema
- Make the taco seasoning. Mix all the ingredients for the seasoning mix in a small bowl until well combined. Set it aside.
- Cook the pasta. Fill a large pot with water and add the pasta. Place it over high heat and let it come to a boil. Cook according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
- Cook the beef. Add about 1 tbsp of oil to a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and let it cook for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and beef. Let them cook for 6-9 minutes, stirring frequently, until the ground beef has browned. Carefully pour out any excess fat from the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the tomatoes. Pour the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Add 1 1/2 tbsp of homemade taco seasoning. Mix well to combine and let everything cook for 8-10 minutes or until it reduces slightly. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the add-ins. Toss in the black beans, corn, and jalapeños. Transfer the spaghetti back into the pan. Stir well and reduce the heat to low. Place the lid on the pan and let the spaghetti simmer for another 5 minutes. Mix in the cheeses, then cover and cook for another 5 minutes. The cheese should be nice and melty.
- Serve. Serve and garnish with your favorite toppings. Enjoy.