Cowboy spaghetti is made with ingredients like bacon and ground beef and combines it with tender spaghetti coated in a deliciously flavored tomato sauce! It is hearty, simple to make and is guaranteed to fill everyone’s bellies!
A NEW TAKE ON YOUR SPAGHETTI DINNER
This Cowboy Spaghetti recipe is a delicious twist on traditional spaghetti. Cowboy Spaghetti is really just spaghetti that you make with what is on hand. You combine different meats and seasonings depending on what is in your pantry. It is meant to be hearty and filling. So you can really have fun with this recipe and make it your own. And like many “cowboy” recipes, it always has to have a spicy kick to it (but don’t worry, I’ll show you how to make it not so spicy). This dish comes together in just under an hour and is sure to be a hit with the whole family!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
As I said above in the intro, this dish can definitely be made without being too spicy. Although I don’t think Rotel is spicy at all, especially since it’s so spread out in this dish, you can just use another can of diced tomatoes instead of the Rotel. Obviously don’t add any of the hot sauce either.
Here are some additional toppings that would perfectly complement your dish: dollops of sour cream, crushed tortilla chips or Fritos, or a generous spoonful of tangy salsa. For a spicy kick, toss in some sliced jalapeños or an extra splash of hot sauce. I think this would be great to put out and then have all the additional toppings set out and everyone can make it just how they like it.
Nope. You use what you like here. We like those two flavors together. I suppose you could even use a ground sausage if you prefer.
Absolutely! Use your favorite cheese if you don’t want cheddar. Here are a few other options to try Pepper Jack, Colby Jack, or Monterey Jack.
Once cooled, leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
To reheat, warm the dish in the pot or microwave. Add a dash of water or stock to loosen up the sauce since the noodles absorb a lot of it. Alternatively, if you’re serving this to a group, dish out the sauce individually over noodles instead of mixing everything together. This little tweak will ensure your meal tastes just as good the second time around!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)
- bacon and ground beef – Cowboy spaghetti really isn’t supposed to be a very specific recipe. It’s meant to be thrown together with what you have on hand. You can combine whatever meats you enjoy eating together or just use one.
- onion and garlic – you don’t need a large onion here, just a small one will work. And you know I’m going to talk about my preference for fresh garlic. It’s always going to taste far better than the jarred stuff but if you prefer jarred then go for it!
- crushed fire roasted tomatoes – fire roasted tomatoes are not spicy. The tomatoes are just charred over fire before they are diced and canned. This adds a very soft smokey flavor to the dish.
- Rotel – Rotel is just canned diced tomatoes with green chilies. If you like your food extra spicy, try getting the “hot” version of Rotel, otherwise just get the original.
- tomato sauce and beef broth – if you are watching your sodium intake then you can certainly get low or no sodium options for these.
- Worcestershire sauce – this is one of those background ingredients you really don’t taste as a separate ingredient. It just adds a little something that ties it all together nicely.
- hot sauce – as I’ve already stated, this is optional. I like Texas Pete for this particular recipe but good old Frank’s works good too.
- spaghetti – this meal really works best with spaghetti but you could use angel hair or fettuccine. I suppose you could use other smaller pasta shapes but I haven’t tried that.
- cheddar cheese and green onions – we like to serve the spaghetti with shredded cheddar cheese and sliced green onions but this is not absolutely necessary.
HOW TO MAKE COWBOY SPAGHETTI
Add the chopped bacon to a dutch oven and cook until crispy over medium heat, 8-10 minutes. Stir often. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Leave the bacon grease in the pot. Add the ground beef and onion, crumble the beef, and cook until there is no pink left, stir often, 8-10 minutes. Drain excess grease from the pot. Add the garlic and stir it in until fragrant, 30 seconds.
Add the crushed tomatoes, Rotel, tomato sauce, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10-15 minutes uncovered; stir often so nothing burns on the bottom. You want to cook out some of the liquid but still be saucy. While the sauce is simmering, boil the spaghetti and drain well. Add the spaghetti to the pot and stir to combine.
I find tongs help with this step of stirring the pasta and sauce together.
Serve immediately with cheddar cheese, scallions, and the crispy bacon on top of each portion.
CRAVING MORE RECIPES?
- 6 slices bacon chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 15 ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
- 10 ounce can Rotel
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 – 2 teaspoons hot sauce (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound spaghetti
- shredded cheddar cheese, to serve
- sliced green onion, to serve
- Add the chopped bacon to a dutch oven and cook until crispy over medium heat, 8-10 minutes. Stir often. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Leave the bacon grease in the pot.
- Add the ground beef and onion, crumble the beef, and cook until there is no pink left, stir often, 8-10 minutes. Drain excess grease from the pot.
- Add the garlic and stir it in until fragrant, 30 seconds.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, Rotel, tomato sauce, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
- Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10-15 minutes uncovered; stir often so nothing burns on the bottom. You want to cook out some of the liquid but still be saucy.
- While the sauce is simmering, boil the spaghetti and drain well.
- Add the spaghetti to the pot and stir to combine, I find tongs help with this step.
- Serve immediately with cheddar cheese, green onions, and the crispy bacon on top of each portion.
- Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
- To reheat, do so back in the pot or microwave. You may need to add a splash of water or stock to loosen it up, the spaghetti will absorb a lot of the sauce as it sits. Alternatively, if you know you are not going to eat the whole batch at once, you can serve the sauce over the spaghetti per person, and not mix everything together.
- Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, freeze for up to 3 months.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.