February 6, 2024

Homemade SpaghettiOs (Spicy Chipotle)

Your classic canned spaghettios just got an adult glow up.

It is time to give your nostalgic childhood pasta a makeover with these spicy chipotle homemade SpaghettiOs. Creamy, smoky, with just a little bit of a kick, these are not the SpaghettiOs you grew up with, but I can guarantee you they are better. Done in under 25 minutes, this recipe is perfect for those short on time on weeknights. Elevate your dinner routine with a nostalgic twist that adds both bold flavor and a touch of heat to this childhood classic.

up close shot of finished homemade spaghettios with mini meatballs


Truth be told, I didn’t grow up on SpaghettiOs; we were more of a Chef Boyardee household. If you’re like me and never had these as a kid, you really didn’t miss out on much. SpaghettiOs are canned ring-shaped pasta swimming in a generous amount of tomato sauce. If you had this growing up, it’s time to face reality… it didn’t really taste like much, but it was pasta, and it was saucy. While this recipe is inspired by the classic, the similarities end there. This recipe brings flavor, spice, and great texture to the classic can of SpaghettiOs.

bowl of homemade spaghettios with mini meatballs


  • Anellini Siciliani – Typically for pasta recipes I say it’s players choice, not here. The little circle pasta shape is called anellini siciliani, and if you have never seen it in the store its because your top big brands don’t make it. Might it be difficult to find? Yes, but impossible? No. ANNA brand which can be sound in major supermarket chains sell it in addition to La Molisana. Worst comes to worse you can always order it HERE. It is a bit pricey, but worth it.
    • Substitute: You can make this dish with any small pasta such as ditalini, stelline, or even orzo. Keep in mind the amount of water you need might change ever so slightly, which can easily be fixed during cook time. See note on water added under instructions.
  • Chipotle Paste – You are going to need to make this. Luckily, it is super easy, and it starts with a can of chipotle peppers in adobo. If you’ve never seen this ingredient, take a walk down the ethnic or dedicated Hispanic aisle in any mainstream supermarket; you’ll find it there. Either using a small “smoothie” blender or an immersion blender, process the chipotle peppers in adobo until smooth. That’s it!
  • Tomato Paste – Plain tomato paste, unflavored.
  • Garlic – Fresh only!
  • Butter
  • Optional Chicken Broth – Absolutely optional but recommended, I like to use either all, or a 50/50 split between a good flavorful chicken broth and water. The chicken broth gives the pasta a bit more flavor. I always keep a jar of Better Than Bouillon in the fridge; not only does it have a great roasted chicken flavor, but it is also convenient to have on hand.
  • Heavy Cream – Adds thickness, texture, and flavor.
    • Substitute: Don’t have heavy cream on hand, half and half works too.
  • Optional 80/20 Ground Beef


Sauté Pan – A pan… that is obvious, but keep in mind there are some pans that work better than others. I like to use stainless steel for this over a ceramic-coated cast iron. The pasta tends to stick more in the latter. While I don’t use non-stick pans, that would also be a good alternative. You need a pan with a little bit of depth since this recipe calls for cooking 1/2 lb of pasta, which requires 4 1/2-5 cups of water/broth.


Make the Chipotle Paste – Either using an immersion blender or a small, let’s call it a “smoothie” blender, process the chipotle peppers in adobo. You are looking for a smooth consistency with no chunks of seeds left.

Cook the Base – Add the butter to a pan over low-medium heat. Once melted, toss in the garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, approximately 2 minutes. Add in the tomato paste and chipotle paste, and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Cook the SpaghettiOs – Add the water or the water/broth combo and the pasta. Simmer until al dente; this will vary depending on the cook time of the pasta. For the Molisana brand, it took about 15 minutes for the pasta to cook, but different pasta brands and different shapes will affect this. Luckily, you won’t overcook it because unfortunately, this pasta does need to be babysat. Stir the pasta every 30 seconds or so. If you have ever made a one-pot pasta, then you know small pasta has a tendency to stick to the bottom. The more you stir, the less likely the pasta will stick and break. Also, different pans will also change this; I find that ceramic-coated pans stick more than stainless steel.

Finish – If at any point the water over simmers and the pasta is still hard, add more 1/4 of a cup at a time. Once the spaghetti os are at the desired tenderness add in a 1 tbsp of butter and the heavy cream. Mix and serve.

Want the mini meatballs? They actually aren’t hard at all. The meatballs in the photo is salted 80/20 ground beef rolled into small balls and cooked at 400F degrees for 6-7 minutes. No egg, no breadcrumbs just ground beef.

pan of finished homemade spaghettios with mini meatballs


Homemade spaghetti os can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. When ready to rehear place the pasta back in a pan with a splash of broth to loosen up the pasta. Cook until warmed throughout.

Looking for more one pot pasta? Check out the recipes below!

Spicy Tomato Pastina


February 6, 2024

Spicy Chipotle Homemade Spaghettios

Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Creamy, smoky, with just a little bit of a kick, these are not the Spaghettios you grew up with, but I can guarantee you they are better.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Creamy Pasta, One Pot, Spicy
Servings 3 people


  • 1/2 lb pasta  anellini siciliani
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 7 oz can of chipotles in adobo see instructions on how much you need and processing
  • 5 cups broth can be subbed out for water
  • 3 tbsp butter split
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 lb 80/20 ground beef optional


  • Begin by making the chipotle paste. Either blend in a small blender or use an immersion blender. Blend until smooth.
  • In a pan over low heat add 2 tbsp of butter. Once melted add the garlic and cook until soft and fragrant approx. 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and 3-5 tbsp of the chipotle paste depending on spice tolerance. You can always add more after the broth has been added. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the pasta and the broth and combine. Salt to taste. Simmer on low until the pasta is al dente. Depending on the brand and pasta you are using this could vary. (For reference the pasta I used took 15 minutes). If at any point the water or broth over reduces you can add more 1/4 of a cup at a time.
  • Once the pasta is al dente add 1 tbsp of butter, and the heavy cream. Mix to combine. Serve pasta as is or with the mini meatballs.
  • If adding the optional meatballs salt the ground beef with a generous heavy pinch of salt. break the meat off into tiny pieces and roll. Roast in a 400℉ degree oven for 5-6 minutes.

RATE + REVIEW What did you think of this recipe?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating