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A change up from traditional Italian spaghetti and meat sauce, this Cowboy Spaghetti adds in bacon and cheddar cheese for an American twist on a classic.

A change up from traditional Italian spaghetti and meat sauce, this Cowboy Spaghetti adds in bacon and cheddar cheese for an American twist on a classic.

Cowboy Spaghetti

Originally posted April 20, 2009 – As much as I love traditional spaghetti, this Cowboy Spaghetti has become a family favorite since the first time we tried it many years ago. You get a little bit of smokiness from the bacon and the fire roasted tomatoes, plus a little bit of heat from the hot sauce which gives this spaghetti recipe many layers of flavor. Even though the flavors are bold, the kids still love this one and plates get cleaned. And just like regular spaghetti, the leftovers are my favorite part!

Life has been a bit crazy lately. I made dinner twice last week – my poor husband – but I didn’t even take pictures of either meal. It’s not that they weren’t tasty, but by the time dinner was done, I was just exhausted. I usually take pictures of just about every dinner, so it was a bit of a different experience for me – to make a new recipe and not photograph it.

Cowboy Spaghetti Recipe

Needless to say, I’ve been a bit absent around other blogs lately as well. And I’m really sorry and sad about that, because I really do love reading your blogs. And I don’t know if this week will be much better because my sister and her husband are going out of town, and I have babysitting duty for 2 days this week, as well as a fundraiser spaghetti dinner for church. I’m already tired thinking about this week!

But onto the food – which is the real reason you all come here. If you are Italian, please stop reading because I would hate to offend you – this is a true “Americanized” version of a great Italian food. I first made this Cowboy Spaghetti recipe a few years ago, and had to make it again because we liked it so much. It’s a great twist on traditional spaghetti!

Recipe for Cowboy Spaghetti

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Cowboy Spaghetti
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A change up from traditional Italian spaghetti and meat sauce, this Cowboy Spaghetti adds in bacon and cheddar cheese for an American twist on a classic.
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 1 pound dry spaghetti
  • salt
  • ½ lb bacon, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • 1 (16-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chopped or crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, then drain.
  2. Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Drain off the excess grease, leaving just enough to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, breaking it apart as it cooks. In in the onions and garlic and cook until they are softened, another couple minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the hot sauce, Worcestershire and beef stock. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the tomato sauce and tomatoes and cook until completely heated through.
  3. Add the cooked spaghetti to the sauce and stir to combine. Stir in half of the bacon. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed.
  4. Serve the pasta topped with the cheese and green onions. Sprinkle the remaining bacon to top of each serving.
slightly adapted from 30 Minute Meals

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33 Responses to Cowboy Spaghetti

  1. Dawn says:

    you know this is one of my favorite ways to eat a spaghetti dinner (with some barbeque sauce, I know I’m weird), but my hubby hates spaghetti! How weird is that? So I love this dish you made!

  2. Donna-FFW says:

    I think this is a marvelous switch up for a spaghetti dish. I love it and I am gooig to try it, it sounds so fantastic and the picture is great!!

  3. ashley says:

    mmmm looks fantastic! great alternative especially for my hubby who doesn’t like tomatoes really. i bet i could get him to try this out!

  4. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    That looks really scrumptious! A marvelous idea! Different from the ususal pasta dish…



  5. glamah16 says:

    Its hard enough to keep up with your own blog and visit everyone, as much as you would like to. The spaghetti looks great.

  6. Colleen says:

    Mmm this looks so nice and comforting. And I’m not Italian at all so it doesn’t offend me in the least! lol

  7. Paula says:

    Well, I'm Italian and it looks like a winner to me! Spaghetti is just so versatile and comforting, too. Hope the fundraiser is a success, the babysitting is a breeze, and that you get some R&R time! 🙂

  8. Elyse says:

    You can do it! You can make it through this busy week!! It’ll be over before you know it! And, by the way, this Americanized spaghetti sounds TOTALLY amazing. Mmm, I’m craving some of that fabulous meaty sauce right this instant. Delicious!

  9. Patsyk says:

    That spaghetti looks so yummy! How could you go wrong with all those flavors mixing together?

  10. Sophie says:

    Don’t feel bad at all! You are a busy mom now :). I love this ‘Americanized’ version; after all, everything’s better with bacon!

  11. Emily says:

    Hey we understand! I’ve been absent lately, too. I’m guessing just about everyone has trouble visiting all of the blogs. I’m really struggling.

    Anyway, your dinner looks delicious! I love the name. Isn’t there such a thing as cowboy cookies? Or did I make that up?

  12. kat says:

    I think one of the fun things about spaghetti is all the different things you can do to it. My family does a Polish/Irish version!

  13. Ingrid says:

    I like this spin on spaghetti! I don’t know about anyone else but I’m always on the lookout for new takes on old faves.

    Hope things settle down for ya!

  14. Grace says:

    frankly, this makes me proud to be an american. 🙂

  15. Maria says:

    Life has been busy, I hear ya! Looks like a great meal, I am always up for pasta!

  16. caralluma fimbriata says:

    I love it and I am going to try it.

    It sounds so fantastic and the picture is great.!!!!

  17. cesar ian lesmoras says:

    Fabulous spaghetti! Cowboy Spaghetti? I’m gonna remember this name.

  18. Power Kites Sale says:

    I really love spaghetti. But I’m curious about the taste of this Cowboy Spaghetti.

  19. Mrs. L says:

    I love dishes like this. Quick, tasty and filling. Definitely going on my must make list.

    And you’ll notice the date I’m commenting…first time I’ve been able to check up on my favorite blogs in a while so I do understand the busy thing 🙂

  20. Kristy says:

    I just discovered a new way to eat spaghetti the other night (i've yet to post it), similar to this one. I'm excited to try your version.

  21. Kim says:

    This is a favorite in my house. I don’t always use the fire roasted tomatoes and even then it’s still awesome. My husband is not the extreme fan of pasta that I am and so he loves the addition of bacon and hot sauce and cheese. Thanks for such a great recipe!

  22. Chels R. says:

    I Love the chunks of bacon in this. Look awesome!

  23. What a great twist to spaghetti! Love the bacon!

  24. I LOVE this twist on a classic! and I bet my kids would love it too

  25. Pam Sohan says:

    Made this today ! DELISH !

  26. Lauren Davidson says:

    Hi, just wanted to say that this was a great recipe, I made it tonight for my dad and I. I never thought I could pull it off, but it’s delicious!!! Thank you very much 🙂 – Lauren Davidson (14)

  27. carrie says:

    My family loves this spaghetti! I have been making it this way for about 6 years. But I don’t use beef both I use beer and it gives it better flaver.

  28. Jenny says:

    I made this today for my family…my husband is all about bacon, Worcestershire and hot sauce! It’s definitely different but very good! I added a little sugar to sweeten as I do with all of my spaghetti sauces. Will make this again!

  29. Meredith says:

    Made this dish tonight and it was delicious! Thank you so much for a new family favorite recipe!!

  30. Martha Arntson says:

    I have made this for years! First time I saw her make it on Food Network! Over the years I’ve given it a few tweaks: Add Cannellini Beans or Kidney Beans, or now, canned beans that are for “Chili”. Also, the fire-roasted tomatoes ARE A MUST! And, DOUBLE THE RECIPE! I swear you will want leftovers on this one as the flavors get better over the days in fridge! Extra EVERYTHING! Don’t skimp on the Beer or the garlic (loads more!) Is a family favorite now!

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