foods and cuisines

Barbecue spaghetti | A symphony of flavors that’ll tantalize your taste buds

Barbecue Spaghetti

Barbecue spaghetti is a dish from Memphis, Tennessee, that combines spaghetti with a sauce made from shredded smoked pork or pulled pork, vegetables, and barbecue sauce. It is served as a side dish in some Memphis barbecue restaurants. Southern Living called the dish iconic and “perhaps the city’s most unusual creation.

Place of origin: Memphis, Tennessee, US
Created by: Brady Vincent
Main ingredients: Spaghetti, barbecue sauce, pulled or smoked pork
Ingredients: generally used green peppers, onions
Similar dishes: Cincinnati chili, Filipino spaghetti

Ingredients of Barbecue spaghetti

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 16 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 cup pulled pork


  • Bring large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, pour oil into heavy-bottomed 12-inch stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add onions and garlic. Cook until onion turns translucent, stirring often with wooden spoon, about 5 minutes.
  • Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste to skillet, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for five minutes. Add sugar, oregano, and basil. Stir well, and cook for another five minutes. Transfer sauce to a blender, and add barbecue sauce. Blend until smooth. Season with salt to taste.
  • Add spaghetti to boiling water and cook according to directions on box. When done, drain pasta in colander. Return pasta to empty pot and pour in barbecue sauce. Stir well, and add pork. Serve.

Which sauce is used in Barbecue spaghetti?

Every red barbecue sauce starts with a tomato base. In this recipe, ketchup makes a fantastic foundation. Classic barbecue sauce gets its signature sweetness from brown sugar. Acidic red wine vinegar balances out the sweet brown sugar.

Is tomato sauce in Barbecue spaghetti?

Most BBQ sauces have a tomato base—many start with tomato paste, some with canned tomato sauce or purée, but we use ketchup as the base for our Easy BBQ Sauce because it doesn’t require cooking. Can I use apple cider vinegar? Yes, many homemade BBQ sauce recipes use apple cider vinegar.

Which country invented spaghetti?

While some historians believe pasta originated in Italy, most are convinced Marco Polo actually brought it back from his epic voyage to China. The earliest known pasta was made from rice flour and was common in the east. In Italy, pasta was made from hard wheat and shaped into long strands.
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