Sunday, June 12, 2011

Spaghetti Red Recipe Challenge for Joplin

Iron Chef Joplin-Style...calling all foodies! Can you make a fanciful version of Joplin's "Spaghetti Red" recipe from Fred & Red's? Do you crave creating a vegan version of "Squirrel Pie?" Do ingredients like "sucker fish" excite you? Then maybe this fundraising/creative effort is for you!

We want to hear your healthy, gluten-free, super decadent, frou frou, versions...any and all takes on Joplin-area food favorites (that gave Tony Bourdain a glimpse of southwest Missouri he might not have been ready for)! Red4Joplin is putting together a cookbook with foodie versions of Ozarks mealtime favorites including food blogger and food lover recipes to sell to benefit the victims of Joplin's devastating tornado.

[You can post your recipes to this blog or email me at dckiki [at] gmail DOT com with your recipes. Please specify how you would like us to attribute your donated recipes in the book. Ozarks cooking includes an emphasis on canning, fresh vegetables, and wild game.]

Featured will be a special chapter on the delicious and carb-enhanced "Spaghetti Red" - a specialty of the Joplin area diner and landmark, Fred & Red's - the food blogging community can't let me down!

Want to practice? Here's the first challenge! [The recipe below is not the original Fred & Red's recipe, but an approximation made by a loyal customer and Joplinite.]
Joplin Spaghetti Red Recipe

Spaghetti Red is a Joplin favorite. It is spaghetti covered in a greasy chili, served with hamburger pickle slice, onion slices, crackers and sometimes mustard if you like. The following recipe is just like the chili served at Fred & Red's that loyal customers swear features the best Spaghetti Red they have ever had.

It is a challenge to make Spaghetti Red a fancy dish...perhaps using pickle foam might help?

  • 3 pounds of the highest fat content ground beef you can find
  • 1.5 packages of Williams Chili Seasoning (or approximately 1/2 cup)
  • 1.5 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 tube (1/4 of a box) of crushed saltine crackers
You won't find this dish at Dean & Deluca!

Brown the hamburger meat and add the chili seasoning, garlic salt and cumin and simmer for 15 minutes. **DO NOT DRAIN OFF THE FAT**

Add the tube of crushed saltine crackers and one quart( I used 3 cups water) of water to the simmering meat and spices. Mix well together and simmer for 1 hour. Add extra salt if needed.

Simmering time is very important, so do not rush it!

Serve on top of cooked spaghetti noodles. what's your version? Help us help Joplin and thanks for your contributions.

[You can donate or order t-shirts here:


  1. In keeping with the heart attack approach, take a peek at my recipe for Spicy Cheeseburger Dip. It's adapted from a Serious Eats recipe - I made a few slight ingredient changes, but also included some variations that they hadn't thought of.

  2. Just introduced my San Fran friends to our Joplin staple of Velveeta Cheese mixed with 2 cans of Rotel. Yummy dip with Doritos. Melt cheese and mix rotel.

    Also, Heather fixed White Trash Casserole for her NY friends. Of course, use the unhealthier Minute Rice, can of Campbell's mushroom soup, broccoli, and Velveeta Cheese.

  3. OMG - that's the best dip ever. If I still lived in Joplin, I'd be rolling around in one of those Rascal things eating from a big bowl of that dip all day. ;-)

    Gotta love the gourmet excellence out of Joplin!

  4. I wish I knew how greasy this would turn out. I would have removed some grease beforehand. We are first timers as we recently moved here from Minnesota. We knew this was something we had to try so we did. It was a little bland and so.... Greasy. We might make this again but will have to make some changes to it. Like remove some grease and use leaner meat. Maybe replace some grease with a can of tomatoes and add some more spice.

    1. If you remove grease then its not spaghetti red..the grease is what makes it

    2. I package of williams chili season and use the directions on the package not add the beans...and add a extra 5 or 6 oz of water ..make sure the hamburger is atleast 80/20 because the grease is what makes it good! And of course speghatti noodles,,if only takes about 15 minutes to make and it taste almost like the Feds n red version's quick easy and cheap and it's delicious..Parmisian cheese on the side and some people like ketchup and pickles..speghatti red was my all time favorite place to eat and I hope that someday someone will reopen it to the exact way it had been run for the 40+ years that I been eating there!

  5. Refrigerate the chili after you cook it. Some of the grease settles to the top. Scrape it off and use it to coat your spaghetti noodles. That's how we did it at Fred and Reds. :)


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Thanks for your comments!