Grandma’s Mexican Spaghetti Casserole is a recipe that honors Kim’s Grandmother. She prepared this a flavorful, spicy twist on an Italian favorite.
Tex-Mex or Mexican food, as it is more commonly known has been an American favorite for years. From enchiladas to tacos, we have developed a taste for the Mexican-American fusion of cheeses and spices. With that being said, this genre of food can get old, real fast. Enter Mexican spaghetti casserole. Let’s face it, many of the beloved Tex-Mex dishes are simply the same few ingredients served in a different edible “vehicle.”
I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it works. But, seriously, what’s the difference between a beef burrito and a beef taco? One is served on a fried corn tortilla, while the other in a large flour tortilla. With a few exceptions in condiments, they’re the same dish. For this reason, we have seen a rise in new Mexican fusion recipes like Mexican lasagna and Mexican spaghetti casserole.
This casserole dish is a prime example of Mexican-Italian fusion. Here we have all the flavors of a traditional Tex-Mex meal; like tomatoes, peppers, cheese, and onions. But, it’s being presented in a different way with a new edible “vehicle.” The noodles provide unique layers of flavor and texture. Additionally, the casserole format adds a fresh spin to the presentation of the meal.
Kim’s Grandmother made this recipe for us for years, and I loved it! It was savory, spicy, and cheesy. What’s not to love, right? Moreover, she made it with love and that matter more to us than anything else. Recently, she passed away, and we thought a wonderful way to honor her memory was to share a variation of her beloved Mexican spaghetti casserole.
I as I wrote this post, going over the recipe and looking at her handwriting, certain memories come to mind. So, needless to say, a gentle smile has come over me, and I feel confident she would have approved of our actions concerning the recipe. We will be keeping the exact recipe to ourselves, just a little something private to hold on to and enjoy on occasion. It’s still a little too soon to add it to our normal rotation; we still need some time to heal.
In the meantime, we will take great joy in sharing our version of her dish. Kim and I hope that you will give this recipe a try and change it to make it your own. We think that’s what she’d like as well. In closing, I wish everyone a long life, everlasting love, and belly full of Grandma’s cooking. Take care of those you hold close.
Grandma's Mexican Spaghetti Casserole is a recipe that honors Kim's Grandmother. She prepared this a flavorful, spicy twist on an Italian favorite.
- 1 Lb. Ground Beef (we used 85/15)
- 1 Cup Chopped White Onion
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Green Peppers
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Cayenne Powder or Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 Cups Canned, Stewed Tomatoes
- 16 Ounces Tomato Sauce (2- 8 ounce cans)
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 8 Ounces Cooked Spaghetti Noodles (al dente)
- 1 Cup Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
First, precook the spaghetti noodles as per the instructions on the box. To avoid mushy noodles, we only cooked our spaghetti to al dente.
Next, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Then, combine the ground beef, green peppers, and onions in a large saute pan, over medium-high heat, and let them cook until the meat is browned.
Afterward, drain the excess fat, then add the pepper seasoning, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, and cooked, drained spaghetti noodles. Let this mixture simmer for about 10 minutes.
While the casserole simmers in the pan, spray a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Now, transfer the casserole from the pan to the casserole dish and place it in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes.
After that, remove the dish and top the Mexican spaghetti with the cheese. Then return the casserole to the oven to finish cooking for an additional 10 minutes.
Last, remove the meal from the oven and place it on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes before serving.
The calorie count is an approximation based on the ingredients listed in the recipe. For this recipe, we used Pepper Jack Cheese and only one pound of ground beef. The original recipe called for cheddar cheese and two pounds of ground beef. Please let the dish cool for 10 minutes before serving.