Cowboy Spaghetti


Here at 12 Tomatoes, we’ve made Cowboy Salad, Cowboy Soup, Cowboy Caviar, Cowboy Chicken, and Cowboy Casserole. Clearly we’re big fans of the style, but what it really means when you’re tacking the word “cowboy” onto a recipe is that it’s a very hearty and filling dish that usually features some sort of meat, some sort of beans, and a few zesty accompaniments. Well, that lineup would work perfectly well with pasta too, so it felt like it was high-time that Cowboy Spaghetti came to be. Here it is in all its hearty, spicy, cheesy glory and we dare say it just might be our favorite “cowboy” creation yet.

True to form, Cowboy Spaghetti starts with meat… in this case two kinds. Bacon that you crisp up in a skillet, and then ground beef (and onions) that get browned in the bacon drippings. (Yum.)

Then there’s some tomatoes and kidney beans and chili powder that head in to simmer for a few.


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 slices smoky bacon, chopped
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (eyeball it)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it )
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes (14 ounces), chopped or crushed
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 ounces)
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 scallions, chopped


Heat a pot of water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and salt the water. Cook to al dente.

Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO and bacon. Brown and crisp the bacon for 5 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon. Drain off a little excess fat if necessary, leaving just enough to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add the ground sirloin and crumble it as it browns, 3-4 minutes.

Add the onion and garlic and stir into the meat. Season the meat with salt and pepper, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Add 1/2 cup beer and deglaze the pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes more, then stir in the tomatoes and tomato sauce.

Add the hot spaghetti to the meat and sauce and combine. Adjust the seasonings and serve up the pasta in shallow bowls. Grate some cheese over the pasta and sprinkle with scallions. Garnish with crisp bacon.


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