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Cowboy Spaghetti

A skillet filled with Cowboy Spaghetti is the kind of fusion dish that will have the family running to the table. Filled with spaghetti, cheese, chili seasoned beef, smoky bacon, kidney beans and slices of jalapeno it’s sure to bring the heat to supper any day of the week.

Cowboy Spaghetti

Easy Cowboy Spaghetti Recipe

There’s a mysterious allure when a dish has the word “cowboy” in the title. It implies hearty and flavorful and that’s exactly how I would describe this Western inspired Cowboy Spaghetti. Jalapenos bring the heat to this dish but, if your a bit spice shy feel free to pull back on the amount or leave them out altogether. The meat sauce is chocked full of onion, tomatoes and kidney beans and a seasoning blend that pulls the whole dish together. How to make Cowboy Spaghetti:

  • Pasta – Thin Spaghetti.
  • Beef – Ground sirloin or ground chuck.
  • Bacon – Classic Bacon.
  • Vegetables – Onion, canned light red kidney beans, tomato sauce and Rotel Chili Fixins or original Rotel.
  • Seasonings – Dark chili powder, ground cumin, garlic salt, lemon pepper and Mexican oregano.
  • Cheese – Shredded Pepper-Jack cheese.
  • Mix-ins – Worcestershire sauce and pickled jalapeno slices.
  • Garnish – Green onions.
step-by-step images and ingredients for cowboy spaghetti

How to Make the Best Cowboy Spaghetti Recipe

So, how do you serve Cowboy Spaghetti?  I like to serve this dish with assorted toppings just in case my boys want to kick it up and dress it up to their liking. Think of using the same toppings you might enjoy on a big bowl of chili. I usually have a variety of  topping options such as sour cream, ripe or green olives, homemade pico de gallo, chunky guacamole or whatever your heart desires.

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Cowboy Spaghetti: Bacon, ground sirloin, diced onion, Worcestershire sauce to enhance the flavor of the beef, light red kidney beans, Rotel Chili Fixins’ or classic Rotel tomatoes, dark chili powder, salt, cumin, lemon pepper, Mexican oregano, shredded pepper jack cheese, pickled jalapenos and spaghetti. You’ll also need  green onions or chopped cilantro for garnishing.
  • The chili sauce for this cowboy style spaghetti can be made up to 2 days in advance for a timesaver. Just pop it into the refrigerator until you’re  ready to assemble the spaghetti for baking.
  • When cooking the spaghetti be mindful and don’t over cook it. It will cook again along with the remaining ingredients in the oven and you don’t want mushy pasta. Ever.
  • Pepper jack cheese adds to the kicked up flavor overall. That said, you can adapt using a miler colby jack, monterey jack or even cheddar cheese, if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Store leftover cowboy spaghetti in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the microwave in single serving portions.
  • A basket of green chile cornbread or homestyle garlic bread and a salad would round out the meal nicely.

More Southern Style Cowboy-Inspired Recipes to Make

So you know when a recipe has the word cowboy in it, you’re in for something special. It’s typically comprised of hearty ingredients and infused with flavor and a side of spice. More fun cowboy inspired recipes you may like to try:

baked spaghetti in a skillet

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Cowboy Spaghetti

Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cowboy-spaghetti
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 519kcal


  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground sirloin
  • 1 medium sweet onion diced
  • 3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 15 oz can light red kidney beans drained
  • 1 14 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 10 oz can Rotel Chili Fixins Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp dark chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 3 cups shredded Pepper-Jack cheese divided
  • 12 oz thin spaghetti
  • pickled jalapeno slices, amount to taste
  • sliced green onions for garnishing


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the bottom and sides of a 12-inch cast iron skillet with olive or vegetable oil. Set aside. 
  • In a separate large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain and crumble. Reserve 3 Tbsp drippings in skillet.
  • Add the ground sirloin and diced onion to the bacon drippings. Cook over medium-high heat until no pink remains and the onion is softened. 
  • Lower the heat and add the Worcestershire sauce, beans, tomato sauce, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, lemon pepper and oregano. Mix well and leave on low until pasta is cooked. 
  • Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti per the package directions in salted water until al dente. Drain well. 
  • Add cooked spaghetti and crumbled bacon to the sauce reserving 2 Tbsp bacon for garnishing. Mix until ingredients are combined. and pasta is evenly coated with sauce,
  • Pour half into the bottom of the cast iron skillet. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups cheese and arrange jalapeno slices on top. Repeat layers with spaghetti, jalapeno slices and remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted and golden.
  • Serve immediately garnished with green onion and reserved bacon.


This dish may be baked in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish, if desired.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 519kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 935mg | Potassium: 466mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 758IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 298mg | Iron: 3mg
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  1. 5 stars
    Husband loved this. Said it was addictive. Makes Lots! I did not have a 12” cast iron skillet. Filled a 8” & 6” FULL. Will definitely make again.
    I plan to freeze the extra. (Just the 2 of us)

  2. 5 stars
    Finally! A new recipe that didn’t need ANY enhancements. This was spot on fantastic! My family and I like to mix venison and beef. This recipe was perfect for that combo.

    1. 5 stars
      Really good. Just a bit much for 2 people. Next time, I will halve the recipe. I am going to have to freeze most of this.

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