Dinner is for Kids: Spaghetti Tacos Recipe

by heidi on September 4, 2012

Spaghetti Tacos Inspired by iCarly from FoodieCrush

I know, I know. You’re sitting there, staring at this post and thinking this recipe is one of those “Oh let’s see how outlandish we can be and create an oddball recipe just to be different.”

Well, it is and it isn’t.

Blame it on Spencer. He’s Carly’s big brother.

Smudge has been relentlessly requesting Spaghetti Tacos ever since she saw the first episode of Nickelodeon’s iCarly. Which means its been, like, 2 years.

And surprisinglly, I think it’s pretty good too.

See Spenser makes it for Carly and her friends and hilarity ensues. He’s even served it on dates. Yeah, he’s a little eccentric.

Spaghetti Tacos Inspired by iCarly from FoodieCrush

The other day Smudge had a few of her friends over after one of those all-day playdates that turn into dinner. “How about spaghetti for dinner?” is what I asked. What I heard in return was a symphony of, “SPAGHETTI TACOS!!!!!!”

Seriously? Well, why not? If they can be like their beloved T.V. character, at least it will get them to eat.

I sill love my mom’s spaghetti recipe (or as my sister used to call it BA-sketti) but over the years I’ve adapted it thanks to hours of scoping out Italian cookbooks. Like Kelley’s recent post for Easy Marinara and Flavia’s Sugo di Pomodoro, I like putting a few veggies in my pasta sauce to balance out my addition of ground meat. It gives Smudge something else to focus on avoiding besides the tomato chunks.

And this time I kicked up the healthy points even more by sneaking in grated zucchini.

Spaghetti Tacos Inspired by iCarly from FoodieCrush

In my opinion, the beauty of a heavier pasta sauce like this one is that it tastes even better the next day which makes it perfect for a back-to-school Monday dinner. You can let it simmer and have regular spaghetti dinner on Sunday, and add a taco shell or two with the leftovers on Monday.

It’s all about easing into the week.

Dinner is for Kids: Spaghetti Tacos

Serving Size: 6

Dinner is for Kids: Spaghetti Tacos

Ingredients

1 pound ground hamburger
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus about 1/8 cup reserved
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup low-fat milk
2 15-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup zucchini, grated
1/4 cup fresh shredded parmesan or fresh mozzarella
1 pound spaghetti noodles
12 white corn taco shells

Instructions

  1. In a dutch oven or a large heavy-bottom sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add hamburger and garlic and cook for 5-8 minutes.
  2. Add onion, carrots and celery and cook for another 5 minutes or until onion is transparent.
  3. Add wine and cook for 4-5 minutes or until cooked down.
  4. Add milk and cook 4-5 minutes or until cooked down.
  5. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano, balsamic vinegar and bring to a low boil. Add grated zucchini. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  6. About 15 minutes before sauce is done, bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. Add enough salt (about 1/8 cup) to make water taste like the ocean and cook spaghetti noodles until al dente, about 8 -10 minutes. Add noodles to sauce and mix well. Remove from heat.
  7. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place taco shells on a baking sheet and toast for 3-4 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven.
  8. Fill taco shells with spaghetti noodles and sauce and garnish with cheese.
http://www.foodiecrush.com/2012/09/spaghetti-tacos-recipe/

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41 comments |

Posted in: entrees,noodles, rice and grains

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily September 4, 2012 at 1:26 am

Okay, we may have to use this in a future Taco Tuesday. Or would it be for Thursketti on Thursday? Now I’m all confused! ;)

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heidi September 5, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Oh Em. You are too ironic. Or funny. Or witty. Now I’m confused too.

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar September 4, 2012 at 5:13 am

Such a fun idea!!

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Rachel @ Baked by Rachel September 4, 2012 at 7:00 am

This is so fun!! My girls would totally crack up over this. Will definitely have to try it sometime.

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Laurie {Simply Scratch} September 4, 2012 at 7:52 am

I’m SO showing my kids this post! You will be their hero… too freakin’ funny!

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Miss McBooty September 4, 2012 at 8:02 am

So, by “dinner is for kids” you mean “dinner is for BIG kids” right? ;) Looks great!

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Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa September 4, 2012 at 8:13 am

Spaghetti? Yes. Tacos? Yes. Together? Absolutely! Fabulous idea – one that I’m sure the adults in my family would love :)

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Susan September 4, 2012 at 8:16 am

Forget kids…this looks fun for all ages!!

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Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking September 4, 2012 at 8:20 am

This recipe reminds me of my husband and his college roommates bachelor style of cooking! Isn’t it weird the similarities between what kids like and what immature men like to cook?!?! I kn

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Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking September 4, 2012 at 8:22 am

Oops… I was saying I know what I am going to make the next time they are all in town again! Another great clever recipe Heidi!

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Deborah September 4, 2012 at 8:26 am

Ok, Abbi will go gaga over this. 2 of the foods she will actually eat – wrapped up into one!!

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Delishhh September 4, 2012 at 9:04 am

I would love one of these – one of my favorite foods is spaghetti bolognese and i at LOTS of it while pregnant and still can’t get enough of it! Would love to try this!

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Auntiepatch September 4, 2012 at 9:35 am

My mother started making spaghetti enchiladas with leftover spaghetti in the 50′s. My friends thought it sounded strange until they tasted them! Everybody loved spaghetti enchiladas then and now. I will have to try your tacos now!

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heidi September 5, 2012 at 11:30 pm

OMG! Enchiladas? I triple dog dare you! Or maybe I’ll just borrow that idea!

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Meg September 4, 2012 at 9:50 am

My daughter is obsessed with these! We have made a gluten-free version at our house.I can’t wait to show her your post when she gets home from school.

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heidi September 5, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Hi Meg, do you adapt it only with gluten-free noodles, or is there another tip to share? THX!

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Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes September 4, 2012 at 10:43 am

OK this is too funny! I love it!

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Barbara | Creative Culinary September 4, 2012 at 10:53 am

I have recently realized that a lot of the foods I made when my kids were growing up I’ve quit making since they’ve both graduated from college and are living on their own. I’ve also wondered why? Right now I am craving a hamburger baked bean casserole with mashed potatoes bad!

My youngest daughter is 28…doesn’t matter; she would still LOVE this!

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heidi September 5, 2012 at 11:27 pm

I would love to get the recipe for that casserole. Please share!

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Hip Foodie Mom September 4, 2012 at 11:09 am

Love this! And my daughter will love this even more since it was on iCarly! :P thank you!

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Davina Sanchez September 4, 2012 at 11:15 am

I think I might actually try this! Your photos really make it look appetizing!

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katie September 4, 2012 at 11:31 am

I love this idea! We’ve actually had spaghetti sandwiches before…basically a meatball sandwich with some leftover spaghetti thrown in, because I’ve always love scooping spaghetti onto a slice of Italian bread at dinner – so why not a sandwich?
But this taco thing is brillz. We’re big iCarly lovers here and I think I remember that episode. I’m sure my kids will for sure! I also love the sneaky veggies :)

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Kathryn September 4, 2012 at 11:31 am

Hilarious idea, I love that you actually made it for the kids (and probably earned yourself yet more cool mom points!).

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Bev @ Bev Cooks September 4, 2012 at 1:48 pm

This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. Ever.

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Cookin' Canuck September 4, 2012 at 4:53 pm

What a fun idea! I’ll have to make this for my kids (and I know they’ll want to send thanks to Smudge).

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Becky @ Project Domestication September 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Love this combo. I love the idea of making Spaghetti on Sunday and these as leftover the next day. WINNER! And of course, gorgeous photos.

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kari September 5, 2012 at 8:05 am

So reminds me of the leftover spaghetti sandwiches that I grew up with. Who doesn’t love spaghetti (not many I would assume). You cannot forget the mayo either, it totally brings it all together.
I love the concept of being able to hold spaghetti in your hand, it could even be spaghetti lettuce wraps drizzled with a ricotta cream sauce-yum!!!

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carrian September 5, 2012 at 8:13 am

haha, peyton would sit with me in the hospital and watch this when I was pregnant. Ok, it only happened three times, but this was the only show on and it kept her out of my cords and distracted. I’ll have to surprise her with these. Actually, I’m kinda excited to do just that!

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heidi September 5, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Smudge totally tried to con me into making this. It worked. And she’s happy. Peyton I bet will like it too!

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Anna @ hiddenponies September 5, 2012 at 10:17 am

LOVE these – I could eat spaghetti every day, and in a taco?? Amazing!

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Kristen September 5, 2012 at 11:59 am

Oh we have big iCarly fans around here…. and this is what is going to make you mom of the year. Actually making spaghetti tacos? Brilliant.

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heidi September 5, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Kristen and Katie, so glad to hear there are more crazy iCarly followers out there. But the big question is: 1D or Big Time Rush for best boy band? :)

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Julia September 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm

My carb lovin’ self is totally ok with these.

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Cathy @ Noble Pig September 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm

My kids always wanted spaghetti tacos from iCarly!! Love these…will share on Facebook!

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Amber Joy December 8, 2012 at 7:23 am

My kids have been after me to make Spaghetti Tacos because of iCarly! So glad I found you via Pinterest as this will be Tuesday night’s dinner when I have to feed the babysitting kids too. Should be a hit for all. Thank you!!

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Emma October 4, 2013 at 11:30 am

Nothing new. Here in Mexico, we make pasta and bean tacos. Very thin pasta, maybe like angel hair pasta, just cook it by frying it a little bit and then add some tomate sauce, little bit of onion and pepper, some chicken stock, cook it until its dry(and cooked). Use cooked pinto beans, mix them with the pasta and put in a soft tortilla taco. They are called “tacos de fideo con frijoles”

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http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293925-d2044621-Reviews-XO_Tours_Vietnam_Motorbike_Tours-Ho_Chi_Minh_City.html September 24, 2014 at 12:56 am

At this time I am ready to do my breakfast, later than having my breakfast coming yet again to read other news.

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