Homemade SpaghettiOs with Sliced Franks

Growing up, I was kind of a picky-pants when it came to eating. (Let this serve as an encouragement to you if you’re raising picky eaters, though– I’m a great eater now!) Anyway, my mom coped with this by allowing me one can of SpaghettiOs a week. I could choose whichever meal I found the most loathsome and have my canned bliss.


Now that I’m a grown-up, I realize a couple of things: 1) my canned was food was almost definitely not as tasty as the homemade roast beef or whatever I was trying to avoid and 2) there’s some pretty icky junk in that canned stuff. And, though I can’t be positive about this, I’d be willing to be there’s MORE yucky stuff in there now than there was back in 1980.


Still, I have very fond memories of Spaghettios with Sliced Franks. Mmmm…


Wanting to relive those glory days and also to share the taste experience with my children, I took to the kitchen. SURELY I could come close to replicating it, right?


I had made the Homemade Spaghetti O’s and Meatballs from Once a ¬†Month Mom’s site before and we’d been very happy with them. I like those little meatballs well enough, but I really missed the hot dog version. My experience making hot dogs in barbecue sauce in the slow cooker taught me that slow-simmering in sauce causes the slices to swell out with the characteristic shape of the processed meat chunks you find in the spaghettios.


Armed with this information, I set to work…



  • 5 cups tomato sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 oz. small pasta (I used macaroni, because that’s what I had. Next time, I’ll use anelletti, which is the “O” shaped pasta.)
  • 8 hotdogs, sliced
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar



  1. Put tomato sauce, water, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add pasta and hot dogs.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and cook until pasta is soft, about 15 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent pasta from sticking to bottom.
  3. Remove pot from heat and stir in butter and milk. Sprinkle cheese in gradually and stir to ensure even mixing.
YUM. JessieLeigh is one happy, nostalgic little camper.


linked to Tasty Tuesday 



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3 comments to Homemade SpaghettiOs with Sliced Franks

  • Sonja

    I have never bought a can of spaghettio’s, but somehow my kids got the impression they were missing out on a very important meal. Considering my one son cannot stand mac & cheese, lasagna, spaghetti, or any other pasta dish, for that matter, I was completely shocked to hear him begging for spaghettio’s! When I tried telling him how similar it was to the foods he despised, he brushed it off with, “but this is different, mom.” I will have to try your recipe to surprise him! Thanks

  • mlearley

    I never liked spaghettio’s but my 1 yr old LOVES pasta and LOVES hot dogs so she might like this. I’m not a fan of hot dogs though, so not sure if this is a meal for me.

  • [...] Homemade Spaghetti-Os with Sliced Franks are a great, homemade alternative to the canned version. This recipe freezes easily, so make a big batch and freeze in small portions. Then heat one portion the morning you’re packing the lunchbox and put in a thermos container to keep warm until lunchtime. [...]

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