Mexican Spaghetti REC

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Executive Chef
Aug 25, 2004
USA, Oklahoma
This is the dish that I made last night.

Mexican Spaghetti
Yields: 6 servings

2 T vegetable oil, in all
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
one 12 oz package spaghetti noodles, broken in half
5 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
½ T ground cumin
2 ½ t chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ c water
1 c shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat 1 T of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken breasts in the oil until nicely browned on the outside. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
Add remaining oil to the skillet, and add the broken spaghetti. Cook, stirring constantly until spaghetti is browned. Drain off any excess oil, and add tomatoes and onion. Dice the chicken breasts, and return them to the skillet. Season with cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Pour in water, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat until pasta is tender, and water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Check towards the end, and add more water if necessary.
Spoon the chicken mixture into bowls to serve, and garnish with shredded cheese.

I did make a couple changes, one accidental and some intentional. I used chicken stock instead of water, and I accidentally used twice as much chicken as the recipe called for. I ended up using about 2 1/4 c of liquid instead of the 1 1/2 c it called for. Also, forget the 10 minute cooking time. It's more like 20 - 25, until the pasta is cooked. PeppA liked it, as did I, but the kids didn't really eat any of it.

Future changes that I would suggest:
-boneless chicken thighs instead of breasts, for better flavor and lower cost.
-if not the above, maybe one of my usual tricks, purchasing a Tyson Roast Chicken, whole, cold, at the grocery store and picking the meat from the bones, then chopping it. However, using raw meat like this allows you to add that caramelized chicken flavor to the pot, for when you deglaze the pan with stock.
-needs some garlic, either fresh or powdered.
Nice! Not at all like the mess my friends mom's would make and call spagetti in Mexico. I never found out how they made it but it was a weird, slightly orange and sour sauce, very unpleasant.

While we are on the subject of Mexicanising pasta I've done a few experiments recently that I think you would be interested in. I'll go over them very lightly so you can adapt to your needs:

Tomatillo spagetti:

Basically once the noodles are ready I give them a frying to give them more texture and flavor, this is mixed with diced, fried chicken breast or beef and then about half a bottle of "la costena" brand green sauce. Chopped onions, garlic, peppers and so on can only make this better.

Poblano alfredo:

One of my favorite soups is "cream of poblano" but it dosent really exist up here in Boston. Instead I will finely dice some poblanos and simmer them in a sauce similar to an alfredo serving it with pasta (I love rottini for this) and spicy, very tiny meat balls (either slightly sweetened ground turkey ones or very hot ground beef ones).
Thanks for the tips, Lugaru!

Yes, the dish I made was an orange color, but it wasn't sour, and actually had a good flavor. Although, I'm thinking about substituting a Mexican-style seasoning mix that I keep around for things like this.
This is the way a friend of mine makes this dish.

1 lb chicken thighs with the skin removed, bone in
1 8 oz package of angel hair nests
1 8 oz can of Contadina tomato sauce
1 tsp of Caldo de Tomate (powder tomato bouillon)
Cayenne powder to taste
3 cloves of garlic chopped
salt and pepper
Vegetable oil
Flour tortillas

Brown angel hair nests in oil, set aside.

Brown chicken with salt and pepper. Add remaining ingredients including pasta. Add enough water to just cover. You will have to add water as it cooks. The only way to tell when the pasta is done is by continually tasting. Takes quite a while, at least 20 minutes.

When pasta is done, break up chicken with a fork and serve with warm flour tortillas.

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