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I love one pot pasta dishes more than just about anything. Today I’m bringing you a fusion version! This vegan one pot taco spaghetti tastes like a delicious tempeh taco in pasta form.
I turned to trusty Barilla – one of my go-to pasta brands – for this dish. One box of Barilla Spaghetti can make two batches of this taco pasta. As always, I easily found it in the pasta aisle of my local Safeway:
While it is an Italian favorite, I love to use pasta as a base for recipes that borrow flavors from all sorts of cuisines. In this recipe, Barilla spaghetti is the perfect blank canvas for the spicy taco-inspired flavors that I’ve added. It cooks to a perfect al dente texture that pairs well with the tempeh crumbles, tomatoes and peppers.
I know there is already a one pot taco spaghetti going around the web – this is my vegan version. Because tempeh is not as naturally rich as the ground meat in the “original” version, I made sure to brown it in plenty of olive oil. I also added a splash of non-dairy milk to the pasta sauce, to give it a slight creaminess to make up for the lack of cheese.
I think you’ll find that between the wonderfully aromatic spice blend, veggies, fire-roasted tomatoes, and soy sauce (used for additional umami), you won’t miss the meat or dairy in this vegan taco pasta!
One Pot Taco Spaghetti
This one pot taco spaghetti is made by browning crumbled tempeh with spices, and then cooking it with fire-roasted tomatoes, onion, and pepper, and finally, tossing it with Barilla spaghetti. Everything cooks in one pot, including the pasta!
For the tempeh:
- 8 oz. tempeh grated, crumbled or finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
For the taco seasoning:
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 3/4 tsp chipotle chili powder (or other chili powder)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 and 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
For the one pot taco spaghetti:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 2 and 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- 14 oz. diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 8 oz. uncooked Barilla Spaghetti
- chopped fresh cilantro and additional diced red onion (optional, for serving)
In a small bowl, toss together the tempeh, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and 2 tbsp of soy sauce. Add all of the taco seasoning ingredients to the bowl and stir well.
In a large, wide pan - preferably nonstick - heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced red onion with a pinch of salt, and stir well. Cook for 2-4 minutes or until the onion is browning slightly. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
Add the tempeh mixture and diced bell pepper to the pan. Continue to cook until the spices are fragrant and the tempeh is starting to brown.
Add the vegetable broth, non-dairy milk, tomato paste, nutritional yeast (if using), fire-roasted tomatoes, and spaghetti to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, stir it as best you can, and then reduce it to a simmer and cover. Cook for 10-15 minutes (timing will depend on pan size and exact temperature), stirring frequently, until pasta is al dente. If excess liquid remains, continue to simmer with the lid removed until thickened. If the mixture dries up before the pasta is cooked, add more broth as needed.
Garnish with fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime, chopped fresh tomato, and/or chopped red onion if desired. Serve hot.