Trust no one but cowboys to upgrade your spaghetti. Bacon, cheese, and lots of hot sauce make Cowboy Spaghetti a family favorite!

I tried Cowboy Spaghetti at the suggestion of one of my readers, Linda from Boynton Beach, Florida, and I’m not the least bit sorry I did.

This is the kind of recipe that feels a bit like: Why didn’t I think of this sooner? OBVIOUSLY, I should be eating my spaghetti with bacon and hot sauce.

Thank you, Linda, for showing us all the way.

A white bowl of Cowboy Spaghetti with a fork with swirled spaghetti.

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Start by frying some bacon. Set that aside for garnishing later, and then cook your beef and onions in the bacon grease.

You like that sound of that, don’t you?

Add some delicious, saucy ingredients such as garlic, hot sauce, Worcestershire, and beer. Yes, let’s deglaze the pan with beer.

Finally, stir in some fire-roasted crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Let it simmer for a bit: 10 minutes is enough. Serve over a heap of spaghetti and garnish with bacon, shredded cheese, and scallions.

Cowboy boots = optional.

Two white bowls filled with cowboy spaghetti.

A white bowl of Cowboy Spaghetti with a fork with swirled spaghetti.

Cowboy Spaghetti

Trust no one but cowboys to upgrade your spaghetti. Bacon, cheese, and lots of hot sauce make Cowboy Spaghetti a family favorite!
4.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 8 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 496


  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 1 (14 ounce) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese shredded
  • 4 scallions sliced


  • Bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain well.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add bacon and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  • Add the beef and onions and cook until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain off grease if desired.  Stir in garlic until fragrant. Add hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Whisk in ½ cup beer, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato sauce and cook 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Add the spaghetti to the meat sauce and toss to combine. Serve with a garnish of shredded cheese, reserved bacon, and sliced scallions.


This recipe was sent in by one of my lovely readers, Linda from Boynton Beach, Florida. She originally found it in a Rachael Ray cookbook. 


Calories: 496kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 26gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 340mgPotassium: 419mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 351IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 241mgIron: 3mg
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Meggan Hill

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  1. This was just delicious! Make it about once a month and get 2 meals out of it! Just added a salad! I use Siriachi hot sauce. Would recommend to anyone who loves spicy…but not too spicy!

  2. Thanks Meggam for the quick reply. Been waiting to make this all week. I’m sure me and my 3 Dudes are gonna Luv It!

  3. I live in Texas and “hot sauce can mean several things. So when you say “hot sauce” do you mean like Tabasco?

    1. Hi Terri, Ginger Ale is a good substitute. You won’t notice the sweetness. Thanks and let me know if you need anything else!

  4. Sometimes I leave the onions raw and sprinkle them on at the end with the bacon and cheese, I guess like Cincinnati Chili.4 stars

    1. I like your style, Max. Sounds fantastic. Wishing you all kinds of delicious food in the new year!

  5. Two quick questions, I don’t see eye garlic in the ingredient list so how much did you add (I usd 2 cloves) and in the ingredient list is says 8 ounce can of tomato sauce but in the recipe it says paste, which did you use? Since I went off the ingredient list a used sauce but then added a few tablespoons of paste to thicken it a bit. Thanks for the recipe

    1. Hi Trisha, typos are so embarrassing! I used 4 cloves of garlic (2 is also good, sometimes it depends on the size of the cloves). There is no paste – the ingredient list was right but the directions were wrong. Stir in the 8-ounce can of tomato sauce with the can of crushed tomatoes. You could certainly add paste if you want! Thank you and I’m so sorry! I’ve made all the corrections you found. I appreciate you.

  6. With bacon AND beer added, how could this be anything but absolutely delicious. Another incredible idea that I’ve never heard of, Meggan.

    You’re truly putting Midwestern food on the map – at least for me!!5 stars

  7. I first saw this recipe on Rachael Ray’s 30 minute meals quite a few years ago.  Ever since I made it, my husband will not eat spaghetti any other way!!  I will admit to using lots more hot sauce and worchestershire sauce than the recipe calls for and I also add the bacon to the sauce.  This is a fantastic tasting recipe5 stars

  8. Anything that has fire-roasted tomatoes, bacon and spice in it, may well be the worlds second most perfect food (pizza being number one). This looks like a relative of Cincinnati chili don’t ya think? Going to make this one too.5 stars