Hearty and filling, this Easy Cowboy Spaghetti has a warm, smoky flavor thanks to fire-roasted tomatoes and crispy bacon. We ditched the traditional Parmesan in favor of cheddar cheese for a delicious twist on the Italian classic!
What Is Cowboy Spaghetti?
Cowboy spaghetti is an American twist on the classic Italian spaghetti and meat sauce. Instead of a simple tomato and ground beef sauce, cowboy spaghetti is made with fire-roasted tomatoes, ground beef, bacon, and cheddar cheese.
The fire-roasted tomatoes and crispy bacon give this pasta dinner recipe a unique warm, smoky flavor while a splash of hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce add some heat and layers of depth to the dish. Then it’s all topped off with a generous amount of shredded cheddar cheese. So yummy!
This cowboy spaghetti recipe was an instant hit in my house and it has become a regular in the weeknight dinner rotation.
One of the great things about this spaghetti recipe is that it can be customized to whatever you have in the pantry.
- Add some mix-ins. A few ideas for additional ingredients to stir in (or swap out) are beans, mushrooms, or olives.
- Adjust the spice level. You can easily increase or decrease the heat level of this cowboy spaghetti. To make it spicier, add in some jalapenos, chili flakes, and extra hot sauce. To tone it down a bit, use regular tomatoes instead of fire-roasted and omit the hot sauce.
This hearty spaghetti recipe easily stands on its own as a meal. If I’m in a rush, I may not serve it with anything else because the carb, protein, and veggie are all right there cooked together. However, if I have the time you bet I’m serving this up with a side of homemade garlic bread and a simple side salad or caesar salad.
- To store leftovers. Cowboy spaghetti will last for 3 to 4 days in the fridge. Just store in an airtight container. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave, add the garnishes, and enjoy.
- To freeze the sauce. While I don’t recommend freezing the spaghetti, you can absolutely freeze the sauce. In fact, I would even recommend making a double batch of the sauce so that you can freeze half. Just allow it to cool completely then transfer to a freezer-safe container or ziploc. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge then reheat on the stovetop and add the spaghetti as directed.
More Easy Pasta Recipes:
- Lasagna Roll Ups
- Easy Stuffed Shells
- Baked Ravioli Casserole
- Baked Feta Pasta
- Penne Alla Vodka
- Chicken Tetrazzini
- Chicken Alfredo
- Baked Ziti
- 1 pound dry spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 slices thick bacon , diced
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion , diced
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- salt and pepper , to taste
- 2 teaspoons sriracha hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
- 15 ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 3 scallions , diced
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large, deep, nonstick skillet; swirl to coat. Add in the bacon and cook until brown and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain off most of the bacon grease, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the skillet.
- Add ground beef and onions to the skillet; sauté, breaking up the beef into crumbles, for about 3 to 4 minutes until it’s browned and no pink remains, and the onions have softened. Drain off grease. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the sriracha, Worcestershire, beef broth, fired roasted tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Let gently bubble and simmer for about 6 minutes until thickened slightly.
- Add cooked spaghetti to the skillet with the meat sauce; toss to combine. Taste and adjust any seasonings, if needed.
- Serve pasta in bowls. Grate fresh cheddar cheese over the pasta and sprinkle with scallions and the reserved crisp bacon. Enjoy!