Southwestern Spaghetti Casserole Recipe
Southwestern Spaghetti Casserole Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Southwestern Spaghetti Casserole Recipe

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4.5 7 15
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A close friend made this Mexican-Italian bake for me almost 20 years ago, and I've prepared it regularly ever since. It comes together in a snap because it relies largely on convenient ingredients I keep on hand. We like it with a loaf of crusty bread. —Rose Turner Minnick, Christiansburg, Virginia
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 25 min.
MAKES:8 servings
Contest Winning Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 25 min.
MAKES: 8 servings


  • 12 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 jar (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce
  • 1 jar (4-1/2 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • Shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, salsa and picante sauce


  1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  2. Stir in the taco seasoning, spaghetti sauce, mushrooms and olives. Drain spaghetti; stir into the beef mixture.
  3. Transfer to a greased shallow 3-qt. baking dish; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa and picante sauce.
    Freeze option: Cool unbaked casserole; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa and picante sauce.
    Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Southwestern Spaghetti in Quick Cooking March/April 2003, p29

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Reviewed Jan. 20, 2015

"I really liked this recipe and took it to the school for hot lunch. The kids really enjoyed it. Use all the regular toppings: sour cream, cheddar cheese, olives, etc."

Reviewed Jan. 21, 2014

"Made this tonight for my family and they LOVED it. I cut the calories by using 90/10 ground beef and reduced fat cheese. Used the Healthy spaghetti. Spiced it up with hot and spicy Taco mix. Left out olives and mushrooms since my family doesn't like either."

Reviewed Nov. 28, 2012

"I made some changes to the recipe. Not particularly liking black olives, I increased the amount of mushrooms to approx. 7 oz. Instead of sprinkling all the cheese over the top before baking, I sprinkled half over half the spaghetti mixture and the other half over the top of the full amount."

Reviewed Aug. 11, 2011

"I loved baked pasta, and this is a great twist on traditional spaghetti. My only negative is that it can be a little dry."

Reviewed Nov. 23, 2010

"I made this with the Barilla PLUS Protein Spaghetti which made a very hearty meal. I only had a 24 oz jar of spag sauce so I added a good splash of HOT taco sauce to make up for the difference. LOVED it! I loved mixing the bake with the lettuce, sour cream and tomatoes- very good. You may want to try a milder sauce though if you don't like things too spicy. Even my kids liked it!"

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