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Enjoy all the flavors of taco night in a hearty pasta dish!

Mexican spaghetti is loaded with tomatoes, peppers, seasoned ground beef, and plenty of cheese. Have this casserole on the table in under an hour!

A serving of Mexican Spaghetti on a plate with a casserole in the background.

Pasta and tacos are the ultimate comfort food meals, so why not combine them into one delicious dish?

This recipe doesn’t take long to put together, making it perfect for busy weeknights! There are even a few time-saving tips if you find yourself running behind in the evenings.

I also have a similar recipe featuring classic Italian flavors or a Southern-style mac and cheese that’s packed with chicken and leafy greens.

No matter what you’re craving, there’s usually a comforting casserole recipe to do the trick!

Ingredients for Mexican spaghetti on a table including cooked ground beef, cans of diced tomatoes and chilies, spaghetti noodles, and taco seasoning.

Key ingredients & substitutions for Mexican Spaghetti

  • Ground beef — I like to use a leaner blend so there’s less grease to drain once it’s been cooked. Ground chicken or turkey would be just as delicious, too.
  • Spaghetti — This recipe works well with regular, whole grain, or even gluten-free noodles! You could even substitute rotini to stretch the servings — the casserole just might not hold together as well.
  • Fresh veggies — Diced onion and green bell pepper are the flavor foundation of the sauce. If you prefer a little extra sweetness, try a yellow or red bell pepper instead.
  • Canned tomatoes — Choose diced tomatoes with green chiles for extra heat. They come in mild or hot, so you can customize the dish to your preferred level of spice. This recipe also calls for a small can of tomato paste to help thicken the sauce.
  • Taco seasoning — Another great way to adjust the level of spice in your Mexican spaghetti! Grab a packet of your favorite from the store or use 2 tablespoons of a homemade blend.
  • Cheese — You will need half a block of cream cheese for the sauce, plus plenty of shredded cheese for the top of the casserole. I like to use a Mexican blend, which has cheddar and Monterey Jack, but feel free to use your favorite!

How to make Mexican pasta?

process steps for preparing Mexican spaghetti: brown ground beef in a skillet; add spices and tomatoes; stir in cream cheese; mix in cooked spaghetti noodles.

STEP 1 | Cook the veggies and ground beef

Sauté the onions and bell pepper until softened. Stir in the garlic, then add the meat and cook until browned.

While you work on the sauce, boil the spaghetti according to the package directions.

STEP 2 | Add tomatoes and seasoning

Start with the taco seasoning so the beef can really absorb the flavor. Pour the tomatoes, paste, and water over the top, then stir until combined. Simmer for a few minutes.

STEP 3 | Stir in the cream cheese

Remove the pan from the heat and add the cream cheese. Slicing it into smaller pieces will help it melt into the sauce faster.

STEP 4 | Toss sauce with noodles

Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss until everything is well combined.

Process for baking Mexican spaghetti: layer in casserole dish and top with shredded cheese.

STEP 5 | Bake

Transfer the Mexican spaghetti to a casserole dish and cover with shredded cheese. Bake until the cheese has melted, then serve with your favorite toppings.

baked Mexican spaghetti in a casserole dish topped with sliced green onions and tomatoes.

tips

  • Don’t serve this right away! Letting it rest allows the casserole to hold together so you can dish up perfect squares with a little bit of everything inside.
  • For smaller groups, halve the recipe and bake in a 9-inch square or 11×7-inch baking dish.
  • In a hurry? Skip the baking step and serve your Mexican pasta directly from the skillet! Once you toss the noodles with the beef mixture, sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top. Cover with a lid until the cheese has melted, then dish it up.

Mexican spaghetti in a casserole dish with a serving missing in the corner.

Frequently asked questions

Can I make Mexican spaghetti ahead of time?

Yes! Simply prepare the casserole as directed, then cover it tightly with foil and refrigerate until you are ready to bake. It can be assembled up to 24 hours in advance.

How long do leftovers last in the fridge?

Once cooled, store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven until warmed through.

Can I add other vegetables to Mexican pasta?

Mushrooms would be a wonderful addition — sauté them with the onion and bell pepper.

You could also stir in some corn before the dish goes in the oven for extra pops of sweetness.

a serving of Mexican spaghetti on a white plate with a fork.

Serving suggestions

Add a basket of Mexican cornbread muffins to the table, or whip up this incredible Street Corn Salad for a refreshing side.

Don’t forget the toppings! This Mexican pasta casserole is extra tasty with cilantro, green onions, or extra diced tomatoes. You could even add a dollop of sour cream or freshly sliced avocado if you’d like.

Mexican spaghetti swirled on a fork on a white plate.

Please share!

Your shares are how this site grows and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or on your favorite Pinterest board!

a serving of Mexican spaghetti on a white plate with a fork.

Mexican Spaghetti

Mexican spaghetti is loaded with tomatoes, peppers, seasoned ground beef, and plenty of cheese. Have this casserole on the table in under an hour!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12
Calories 337 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. spaghetti noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 (10-oz.) cans Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies mild or hot
  • 1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning mild or hot
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese (Monterey Jack and Cheddar)
  • cilantro, diced tomatoes, and sliced green onions for serving, if desired

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Prepare the spaghetti noodles as directed on the package and drain.
  • While the spaghetti is cooking, in a large deep skillet over medium high heat warm the olive oil. Add the diced onions and bell pepper and saute for 3 – 4 minutes, until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  • Crumble the ground beef into the skillet and cook, stirring often, until no longer pink (about 5 minutes). Drain off any excess grease.
  • Sprinkle the taco seasoning on top of the meat, then add the diced tomatoes and chilies, tomato paste and 1 1/2 cups water. Continue cooking until the tomato paste is incorporated and the mixture is bubbly, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and add the cream cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted. Add the cooked noodles and toss until coated.
  • Turn the spaghetti into the prepared casserole dish and top with the shredded cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Let the casserole rest for 10 minutes before serving, then garnish with fresh cilantro, fresh diced tomatoes, or sliced green onions, if desired.

Notes

  • Don’t serve this right away! Letting it rest allows the casserole to hold together so you can dish up perfect squares with a little bit of everything inside.
  • For smaller groups, halve the recipe and bake in a 9-inch square or 11×7-inch baking dish.
  • In a hurry? Skip the baking step and serve your Mexican pasta directly from the skillet! Once you toss the noodles with the beef mixture, sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top. Cover with a lid until the cheese has melted, then dish it up.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 337kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 17gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 212mgPotassium: 242mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 269IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 242mgIron: 1mg
Keyword pasta
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
sheila thigpen in her kitchen

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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