This one pot pasta is as simple as throwing all of your ingredients into a pan and letting them cook together until the pasta is done. No boiling the pasta first, no sautéing ingredient beforehand. This is a true pasta dump dish that’s ready in under 15 minutes and perfect for busy weeknights!
Pasta is the quintessential easy weeknight dinner, right?
Well, friends, this classic dinner just got even easier. Meet one pan pasta! By cooking everything together in one pan, you’ll:
- Reduce the amount of dishes so cleanup is done in a snap.
- Infuse the pasta with all that flavor as it cooks.
- Need just a few ingredients, and most of them are pantry staples!
Here’s What You’ll Need
This one-pot pasta recipe is incredibly customizable to whatever you have in your pantry! I’ve got tips on different variations further on in this post, but the core ingredients are:
- Pasta: Almost any type of pasta will work here, like penne or spaghetti!
- Fire Roasted Tomatoes: I love the smoky flavor these bring, but you could use a can of diced or crushed tomatoes in a pinch.
- Onion & Garlic: Our flavor makers!
- Spices: Salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper season this dish with classic flavors. You can add more dried herbs here to suit your taste (oregano, Italian seasoning, thyme, rosemary, and parsley are all good!)
- Boiling Water: Boil your water in a kettle or in a separate pan to ensure the pasta cooks correctly.
- Parmesan: Parmesan cheese bring intense savory flavor. Strict vegetarians should look for a certified vegetarian parm.
- Heavy Cream: Just a splash of heavy cream helps to create a dreamy pasta sauce.
- Spinach: Fresh spinach and can be added when you stir in the cheese for a little boost of leafy greens!
- Basil: Finish it off with a generous handful of fresh basil leaves!
Can I Use Gluten-Free Pasta?
Yes, this one pot pasta recipe works well with most gluten-free pastas! Gluten-free pasta is often more starchy than traditional pasta, so I recommend adding an extra cup of water to the recipe is going with gluten-free pasta.
How to make One Pot Pasta
This whole dish comes together in under 15 minutes in one pan.
- Combine everything in a pot or pan.
- Cook on a gentle simmer until pasta is al dente and water has all been soaked up.
- Serve warm with parmesan, cream, and basil!
What is “Al Dente” anyways?
Al dente is Italian for “to the tooth”, meaning the pasta should still have a little bite to it! Not hard, but also not overcooked – just right! Cooking the pasta to al dente will ensure it won’t breakdown when you stir in the parmesan, cream, and basil.
This pasta dish is incredibly versatile to whatever you’re craving or have in your pantry! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Add Veggies: Mushrooms, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and bell pepper all do well in this dish! Add them at the same time as the pasta.
- Cheese It: One of my favorite ways to elevate this dish is to take it a step further, generously topping the finished pot with mozzarella cheese and popping it under the broiler for a few minutes until melty and golden.
- Make It Saucier: If you prefer a super saucey pasta, add a bit of marinara (here’s my reader-favorite homemade marinara!)
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Reheat leftovers in individual portions either in the microwave or on the stove. You may need to add a splash of water to rehydrate the pasta.
Which pan is best for one pan pasta?
I recommend using a straight sided skillet to make this one-pot meal (the skillet I used in the photos and for recipe testing was this Cuisinart Skillet). With that said, almost any pot or large skillet will work! Just avoid using cast iron skillets for dishes that contain acidic ingredients, like tomatoes.
Serve It With
- Vegan Garlic Bread, just start the garlic bread first so everything is ready at the same time.
- Olive Oil Bread Dip for a super simple Italian pairing idea.
- Parsley Salad, a bright and vibrant salad made with Italian parsley instead of lettuce.
- 8 oz pasta any type, can sub gluten-free*, 225 g
- 1 15-oz can fire roasted tomatoes 425 g
- ½ medium onion yellow or white, diced or cut into strips
- 4 cloves garlic sliced
- ½ tsp each salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 cups boiling water 700 mL
- 2 cups fresh spinach 2 big handfuls, roughly chopped
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese 50 g
- ¼ cup heavy cream 60 mL
- ¼ cup fresh basil roughly chopped
- Combine: Add 8 oz pasta, 1 15-oz can fire roasted tomatoes, ½ medium onion, 4 cloves garlic, ½ tsp each salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and 3 cups boiling water to a pot.
- Cook: Cover and cook at a gentle simmer over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender. If you notice pasta is almost cooked and there is still a lot of liquid, remove the lid and continue cooking until pasta is done.
- Serve: Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups fresh spinach, ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, ¼ cup heavy cream, and ¼ cup fresh basil. Serve hot!