One of my families favorite recipes growing up was my mom's Cowboy Spaghetti. In fact, it is so much a favorite that we all still ask her to make it for us even to this day. I've been trying for a couple of years now to make the recipe more better-for you without compromising the taste of it. Which oddly enough has been somewhat of a challenge, especially when it comes to getting my mom's seal of approval on the end result.
I always ended up adding too much vegetables or... somehow changed the flavor too much for it to be dubbed the famous 'Cowboy Spaghetti' in any way, shape, or form. So, once more I went back to the drawing board. I left the base of the recipe entirely pure to it's original with just a few minor tweaks here and there.
First of all, I used Barilla® Protein+ Spaghetti Noodles to give that added boost of protein to the meal. I also used a low sodium center cut bacon, and substituted the meat my mom uses for a lean beef and lean turkey instead. Reduced sodium Worcestershire and no salt diced tomatoes are always a must for me! I always prefer to add my own salt as I go so that I can control it and adjust to my liking.
The end result here is something that my mom would be proud of, and I hope that she will try this version of the recipe the next time that she makes it. Or, at least let me make it for her this way. Even though she wasn't here to taste it, I can say that the rest of us eagerly scarfed down our dinner and reminisced over the familiar meal without a single complaint.
In fact, I don't think that anyone even noticed that what they were eating was a healthified variation until I told them it was, hah!
Yippie! I finally did it, mom!
This spaghetti has just enough of a kick to tickle your tastebuds, but I promise you that it isn't overly hot; not even for some of the sensitive mouths that I have in my house. You can adjust the heat by adding more or less of the hot sauce in as you cook.
If it were up to me and me alone, I'd probably double or triple the amount of hot sauce and add some jalapeños!
Healthified Cowboy Spaghetti
Servings: 6 • Size: About 1 1/2 Cup • Calories: 377.1 • Fat: 11.6 g • Carb: 36 g • Fiber: 5.5 g • Protein: 31 g • Sugar: 7.4 g • Sodium: 236.5 mg
1/2 Lb. Barilla® Spaghetti Noodles (I used Protein+ Noodles.)
3 Slices Low Sodium Center Cut Bacon, Chopped
1/2 Lb. Extra Lean Ground Turkey
1/2 Lb. Extra Lean Ground Beef
1 Medium White Onion, Chopped
3-4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
2 Tsp. Hot Sauce (Tabasco, Valentina, Frank's, Etc.)
1 Tbsp. Reduced Sodium Worcestershire
1/2 C. Beer (I used what I had on hand, a Boston Lager.)
14 Oz. Diced 'No Salt Added' Tomatoes
8 Oz. 'No Salt' Tomato Sauce
Salt & Pepper to Taste
4 Oz. Shredded Reduced Fat Cheddar (Mine was white cheddar.)
4 Green Onions, Chopped
Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions.
I was able to find my Barilla® Protein+ Spaghetti Noodles at my local Walmart where they have a great selection.
While the pasta is cooking, place the bacon into a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat to brown and crisp.
Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel to drain.
Keep the bacon grease in the pan and add the turkey and beef; cook over medium-high heat to brown.
When the meat is nearly cooked through, add in the onions and garlic.
Cook until the meat is done and the onions are clear and tender.
Add the hot sauce, Worcestershire, beer, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook down over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes.
When the noodles are done, drain and add them directly to the sauce.
Stir to combine.
Divide the spaghetti evenly among bowls and top each with some of the bacon, cheese, and green onions.
Enjoy right away!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla. The opinions and text are all mine.