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Southwestern Spaghetti Casserole

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


  • 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 shredded cheddar cheese
  • Shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, salsa and picante sauce


  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, breaking it into crumbles; drain.
  • Stir in the taco seasoning, spaghetti sauce, mushrooms and olives. Drain spaghetti; stir into the beef mixture.
  • Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. or 3-qt. baking dish; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° until heated through, 25-30 minutes. 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 until heated through and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa and picante sauce.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 591 calories, 27g fat (11g saturated fat), 114mg cholesterol, 1130mg sodium, 48g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 4g fiber), 38g protein.

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  • JULIANA190
    Oct 13, 2017

    This is my new go to spaghetti dish! I really like the meat/sauce to pasta ratio, and my daughter, who's not a spaghetti fan, loves it! I don't put in the onion, and use lower sodium taco seasoning.

  • PrplMonky5
    Aug 10, 2017

    What a great change to plain old spaghetti! I cut the recipe in half for just my husband and I. I used lower sodium taco seasoning and it tasted just fine. The spaghetti sauce I used was fire roasted red pepper & garlic. I omitted the mushrooms too. I wound up putting it into a glass pie dish, so it was more of a southwestern spaghetti pie haha. I used mostly cheddar but threw in some mozzarella as well. Delicious! Don't skip the toppings... we loved the added crunch of the lettuce, and the salsa and sour cream really brought out the taco flavor. Will make this again!

  • 2124arizona
    Jul 9, 2017

    This southwestern spin on baked spaghetti is yummy!!

  • TNbluffbaker
    Sep 22, 2016

    A south of the border version of spaghetti. I left out the olives because my family doesn't like them.

  • kristy7
    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.

  • tammyloyd
    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.

  • cliftonhanger
    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.

  • slfarnsw
    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.

  • love_my_life
    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!

  • Liz86
    Oct 11, 2009

    I tried this for family and friends and it was a huge hit! Everyone loves it.