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Flavorful Chili Spaghetti is a midwestern twist on a classic bowl of chili. It is hearty with just the right amount of spice!!

Chili Spaghetti is a hearty chili, made more robust by adding spaghetti!! Cornbread MuffinsMexican Cornbread, or Cheesy Garlic Bread are absolute MUSTS when eating chili, so choose your favorite bread and start sopping.

Chili Spaghetti served with bread slices.

Midwestern Chili

I love soups and chilis all year long, but especially in the fall! This tasty chili twist is perfect for a cold day, and if you’re a fan of spaghetti AND chili, then you’ll LOVE this soup recipe.

This Chili Spaghetti comes from my friend Jessica’s family and is super tasty. It was a chili her grandma from Wisconsin used to make. Apparently, it’s a mid-west thing to add spaghetti to your chili.

Honestly, I have never seen noodles in chili before, but it was the perfect ingredient for this soup. It made it that much heartier and tastier!

Cincinnati-Style Chili was created back in 1922 and includes chili seasoned with cinnamon and Middle eastern spices with cooked spaghetti in the mix. It is often topped with a generous mound of shredded cheddar cheese.

Hoosier Chili appears in an Indianapolis newspaper in 1908, which is even further back than Cincinnati Chili. The Hoosier version uses more traditional flavored chili with cooked spaghetti mixed in it. Perhaps the spaghetti was added as a cheap way to stretch out the meal or maybe it was used to “dilute” the heat of the famously spicy dish. 

How to make chili spaghetti

MEAT. Brown the ground beef on the stove and add season salt and garlic.

CHILI. In the crockpot, add the browned beef, tomato sauce, whole can of stewed tomatoes, 2 cups water, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, chili powder, and chili beans. Stir. Cook on low for 2 hours.

PASTA. At the end of the chili cook time, break the pasta into thirds, and cook the spaghetti as directed. Drain and add it to the chili.

Variations 

  • Use ground turkey or sausage instead of ground beef.
  • Add chopped jalapeños, chopped red or green peppers, or chopped onion.
  • Add some heat with red chili flakes or hot sauce.
  • Use elbow noodles or penne pasta instead of spaghetti noodles.
  • Adjust the flavor to taste with salt and black pepper, or mix in a dollop of mustard.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened baking chocolate to the chili. You won’t taste the chocolate, but you will notice that chilies and other spices are more accentuated.
Cooked spaghetti in colander.

Recipe Tips

Chili beans are pinto beans with Mexican seasonings. If you don’t have this in nearby stores I would suggest using red kidney beans or pinto beans and increasing some of the other seasonings to taste. 

Stewed tomatoes. I didn’t chop the stewed tomatoes, but if you pour them in and realize that some of those tomatoes are kind of large, “squish” them with your spoon.

Make Chili Spaghetti on the stovetop. For a quicker version, follow these easy steps:

  1. Brown the meat with salt and garlic. Transfer to a large pot.
  2. Add tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, water, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, chili powder, and beans. Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.
  3. While the soup is heating, break the pasta into thirds. Cook up spaghetti noodles as directed on the box, drain and add them to the chili. Serve warm.

Storing Info + SIDE IDEAS

STORE leftover Chili Spaghetti in airtight containers in the fridge for up to a week.

FREEZE. It is also freezable, just note that the spaghetti noodles will be a little softer after being frozen and reheated.

To reheat. Thaw in the fridge if applicable. If you’re in a hurry, reheat individual portions in the microwave. Larger portions are best heated on the stovetop.

Make ahead of time. This makes a great freezer meal.

  • Complete step one as written.
  • Using a large bowl instead of a crock pot, mix together the browned beef, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, 2 cups water, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, chili powder, and chili beans.
  • Transfer the mixture to a freezer-safe container(s).
  • Freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw and add to the crock pot. Finish cooking according to the directions.

Serving Suggestions:

Chili Spaghetti Recipe served with bread slices.

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4.98 from 45 votes

Chili Spaghetti Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Flavorful Chili Spaghetti is a midwestern twist on a classic bowl of chili. It is hearty with just the right amount of spice!!
Servings: 8
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 2 hours 10 minutes
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 24 oz tomato sauce (3 – 8 oz cans)
  • 1 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 cans Mexican style chili beans
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 oz spaghetti noodles
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Instructions 

  • Brown the ground beef on the stove, add season salt and garlic.
  • In a crockpot add the browned beef, tomato sauce, whole can of stewed tomatoes, 2 cups water, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, chili powder, and chili beans. Stir. Cook on low for 2 hours.
  • At the end of the chili cook time, break the pasta into thirds. Cook the spaghetti as directed. Drain and add it to the chili.

Nutrition

Calories: 332kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 1316mg, Potassium: 997mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 680IU, Vitamin C: 8.4mg, Calcium: 67mg, Iron: 4.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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4.98 from 45 votes (25 ratings without comment)

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67 Comments

  1. Susan says:

    What are Mexican style chili beans, please?

  2. Laura says:

    why dirty the crockpot for this? You are cooking the beef first, and you cook the pasta in another pot. Just cook the chili in the pot you browned the beef in. When I was growing up my mom always boiled spaghetti noodles to serve with our chili, whoever wanted the pasta put some in their bowl before dishing up their chili.

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      You totally could 🙂 This is just what we’ve done. The pasta & chili is a great combo! Thanks!

  3. Margot says:

    We usually subbed elbow macaroni for the spaghetti noodles and called it chilighetti.
    Jessica – maybe a midwestern thing. I’m from Iowa.

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Love the name! Thanks for sharing!

  4. bullet force says:

    This is incredible! Gotta make this tonight!

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Let me know what you think 🙂 Hope you like it!

  5. Diane L. says:

    Hello, First of all I want to tell you your moms spanish rice recipe is wonderful, I never can cook enough of it. The enchildas recipe sauce is also soo good! Now a question for you, Since your mom is such a wonderful cook, do you suppose she might have a Carne Guisada recipe she might be willing to share. I have been searching for a good recipe forever. Thanks you for the work you put in to this site, I enjoy it very much. Have a good day!

    1. Lil' Luna says:

      Hi Diane! So glad you like the enchiladas and rice… I know I’m biased, but they truly are our favorites!! As for Carne Guisada, I’m not sure what that is? I know she’s tried Carne Asada before. Is that what you’re referring to?

  6. Karla @ Simplistic Chaos says:

    Goodness, this looks SO good. It is making me hungry just looking at the pictures! Thanks!!

  7. Nicky @ Pink Recipe Box says:

    Spaghetti in chili? What a fantastic idea! I’ve never been keen on rice but looove pasta. Pinning and can’t wait to try 🙂

  8. Jessica says:

    I grew up with spaghetti in my chili, didn’t know an any different! Apparently it’s a Wisconsin thing. 🙂 delicious