Easy Fried Spaghetti Recipe

This easy fried spaghetti recipe with cheddar, tomatoes, and onions is UNBELIEVABLY quick and incredibly tasty. Just five ingredients plus salt and pepper, and ready in half an hour.

While it is definitely not a “healthy” vegetarian recipe, a little of what you fancy every now and then won’t do you any harm.

This fried spaghetti is a comfort food recipe first and foremost. It is also:

  • The ultimate hangover recipe
  • The ultimate hangry recipe
  • The just-plain-fed-up recipe
  • The ultimate vegetarian-food-is-awesome-and-not-just-salad recipe
Spaghetti in a pan with onions and tomatoes

All that with oozy stretchy cheesy spaghetti bits mixed in with crisped up bits? Yes please! Absolute carb and fat heaven.

Most comfort food recipes either come from your roots or your childhood meals, and this recipe is no exception.

My mum used to make fried spaghetti with cheddar just enough so that every time she said “Guess what’s for dinner?”, we would shout excitedly “Fried cheesy spaghetti?!?!”(nine times out of ten nope, my mother was no nutritional fool).

If you love pasta (who doesn’t?) you might also be interested in trying out the best arrabbiata sauce ever (it is, I swear), roasted red pepper sauce for pasta (ready in just ten minutes!), or this decadent 20-minute pumpkin pasta. For a really light dish, zucchini marinara is also gorgeous over spaghetti.

A forkful of spaghetti with onions and tomatoes

How to make it

This cheesy fried spaghetti is a super easy recipe but I’ll go into detail in this section and include some photos of the process so you can check back here if you have any doubts while making it.

First, put your water on to boil in the pot for the spaghetti (remember it will boil faster if you put a lid on). You can also use leftover spaghetti for this, just heat it up with a tablespoon of water in the microwave for up to 2.5 minutes before adding to the pan later so it loosens up a bit.

Then chop up your onions (I always do this under the extractor fan so they don’t irritate my eyes), seed and chop the tomatoes, and grate the cheese.

I use cheddar cheese and highly recommend it, but you can use any sharp hard cheese such as jack, colby, gouda, etc.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan (make sure it’s non-stick) on high heat. Add in the onions and stir. You’re going to leave the onions to fry for about five-eight minutes until quite brown (as in image number one below) but you’ll need to stir them often to stop them sticking and burning.

4 photos showing fried onions, tomatoes, and spaghetti being cooked

Don’t forget to add the spaghetti to the pot when the water comes to a boil. When it comes back to the boil, set a timer for 10-11 minutes and leave to cook, stirring the odd time to separate the strands).

Keep stirring the onions regularly and when they’re nice and brown you can add the tomatoes and the teaspoon of salt (as in image number two above), and turn the heat down to medium-high.

Stir the onion and tomato mixture well and leave to cook for about five minutes, stirring the odd time, or until the tomatoes have broken down (they should look like image number three above).

Drain your spaghetti well when cooked al-dente, and add to the pan with the tomatoes and onions (image number four). Toss the spaghetti to make sure it’s well coated with the olive oil tomatoes and onions.

Turn the heat up to high and sprinkle a third of the grated cheese on top of the spaghetti (see image number one below). Toss quickly with the pasta before it starts to melt, and then let sit for two minutes.

A split view of spaghetti with cheese on top, then tossed and fried

This is when the magic happens and the cheese starts to melt through all the spaghetti and the spaghetti and cheese bits on the bottom get nice and crispy.

After two minutes, add another third of the cheese, toss again (make sure to lift any crispy bits away from the bottom or they will burn), and let sit two minutes more. Repeat with the final third of the cheese, letting it sit two minutes again.

Your spaghetti should look like image number two from the photo above. Done!

Mixing the cheese in three times and letting the cheesy spaghetti sit and fry two minutes each time yields the perfect ratio of gooey cheese to crispy cheesy spaghetti bits for me, but if you like it crispier, then you can let it sit a little longer. Likewise, if you prefer it less crispy, let it sit less time.

Fried spaghetti in a cast iron pan

Storing it

If you have any leftovers, they’ll keep in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to five days. To reheat, add a tablespoon of water to the container, shake, and microwave on high for two and a half minutes. I don’t recommend freezing this dish as this spaghetti gets a bit spongy.


I hope you enjoyed this recipe, and if you made it please let me know how you got on in the comments below or leave a star rating and review by clicking on the stars in the recipe box.

Ooh, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram (@the_fiery_vegetarian), I love seeing your creations!

Yield: 4 people

Easy Fried Spaghetti

A top down look at spaghetti fried in a cast iron pan on a blue background

Ready in under half an hour, this easy cheesy fried spaghetti coated in a quick luscious sauce of tomatoes and onions is flavor-city!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 large tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 17.5oz spaghetti (500g)
  • 10.5oz cheddar cheese (300g)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Put the water on to boil for the spaghetti and salt with a heavy pinch of salt. Prep your ingredients (chop the onions, seed and chop the tomatoes, grate the cheese).
  2. Add the olive oil to a large non-stick frying pan or wok and heat on high. When it's sizzling hot, add the chopped onions.
  3. Stir the onions quite frequently, for about 5-8 minutes. They should start to brown evenly. 
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and the salt. Turn the heat down to medium-high. (you can probably add your spaghetti to the pot with water now and cook for 10-11 minutes).
  5. Stir the tomato-onion mixture often, making sure nothing burns until the tomatoes are broken down (about 5 minutes).
  6. Drain the spaghetti and quickly add to the hot pan with the tomatoes and onions. Turn the heat up to high. Use spaghetti tongs to thoroughly mix and coat the spaghetti with the broken down tomatoes and onions.
  7. Add in a third of the cheddar and use the tongs again to mix thoroughly. Let it sit for two minutes without stirring to crisp up some of the bits on the bottom.
  8. Add in another third of the cheese, toss well, and leave two minutes without stirring. Repeat with the final third of the grated cheddar. After the final two minutes of cooking, check if it's crispy enough to your liking. If you'd like it crispier, toss the spaghetti again and leave to sit until it's crispy enough to your liking.
  9. Test for salt and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!

Notes

You can substitute the cheddar cheese with another sharp hard cheese such as jack, colby, edam, aged gouda or emmental.

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