Weeknight lifesavers! That’s exactly what this one pot pasta recipe is! On a busy weeknight, when you want nothing more but a simple, incredibly easy and fast, flavorful meal – one pot pasta recipe to your rescue!
For a simple Valentine’s Day dinner recipe, try this one pot pasta! Pasta, any day is perfect and it’s even more perfect for date night if you ask me. So why not try it out for Valentine’s day dinner.
If you’ve plans to make too many things for your special one, you should make it. And after making the list of special dishes, keep this simple one pot pasta as your dinner. It’s not about making all fancy things, it’s about showing the love, giving that hug, making an effort to say “I love you” as many times as you can through out the year and cooking something cook with love and care.
This one pot pasta with tomato and basil is simple and delicious meal for perfect weeknight meal.
Italian wonder pot is the easiest one pot pasta recipe, everything, even the pasta gets cooked in the same pot!
These one pot wonders are magical really. You just dump in all the ingredients, including the pasta in a pot and see the magic happen. Everything, I mean everything gets cooked in the same pot. And no need to strain the pasta!
Cooking really is rejuvenating! You put in love and care along with ingredients to create a dish. And when your family and friends appreciate you for your creation the feeling is so magical.
But let me tell you, cleaning dirty dishes …The worst job that I utmost HATE! As much as I love cooking, equally and more so exponentially high I hate cleaning. I only feel a great sense of accomplishment when the dishes are all done and cleaned! Do you feel the same way!? Or is it just me!
With one pot pasta recipes, I relieve myself from the job I hate the most, at least on some days!
Making pasta the proper way no doubt makes fabulous pasta with no compromise in taste. Those are the best kinds, without arguments.
But when you are in no mood to cook, pressed off time, busy working your ass off or just looking for simple, light meal, those days counts for one pot pasta days! Because it’s super simple to make and you need ONE POT!
This throw-together-everything-in-one-pot literal sense is a miracle meal that I got introduced to from Martha Stewart cooking. Isn’t she a legend! Oh, she’s amazing!
You literally thrown in everything including the uncooked pasta and cook it all in one pot. On the stove and wait for the miracle to happen. A happy meal that you bring a smile on your face and well-fed! A meal for the entire family!
It’s a winner dinner – minimal prep, less than 15 minutes cook time, made with readily available pantry ingredients, a single pot to clean resulting in a flavorful meal! It makes a great family friendly meal, kids and adults would finish their bowl of pasta in no time!!
This one pot pasta recipe definitely qualifies for under the budget meal ideas! So don’t forget to add this pasta recipe to your weekly meal plan menu list!
You can easily customize one pot pasta recipes. Add variations as per your mood and palate and you have a happy meal for you and your family.
How to Cook One Pot Pasta
Cooking one pot pasta can’t get any simpler than this!
Literally, throw in all the ingredients into the cooking pot, including the uncooked pasta. Flame on and wait for few minutes to see the magic.
Pasta gets cooked in the liquid that you add to the pot. Choice for liquids can be – chicken stock or vegetable stock, water or a mix of both.
You DON’T drain the pasta!
So what happens to the cooking liquids you ask?
As the pasta cooks, the noodles soak up all the goodness from the ingredients. Cooked pasta leaches out starch making it a rich sauce for the pasta dish.
DON’T GET TEMPTED TO COOK THE PASTA FOR LONGER TIME! Seeing the liquid in the pot you’d probably assume to continue to cook pasta until all water/liquid is evaporated. You’ll end up with over cooked pasta!
You will see some liquid remaining in the pot once the pasta is cooked. Let it be! As the cooked pasta sits in the pot with the liquids and all other ingredients it’ll soak up the wonderful flavors of the all ingredients. Pasta will leach out the starch turning the liquid in the pot to a rich and delectable sauce for the pasta dish.
What All Can You Add to One Pot Pasta Recipe
Well, there can’t be a precise list of ingredients that I can write it down here for you guys! Because this one pot pasta is versatile, you can experiment and tweak it as desired.
Let me tell you what went in my one pot pasta tomato basil-
Loads of cherry tomatoes
Loads of fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Red chili flakes
To your hearts content Italian seasoning
A dash of Olive oil
Liquid (water or stock)
And lastly Parmesan – sprinkled generously.
Variations of One Pot Pasta
Go ahead make it a little healthier by adding some extra vegetables – broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, corn, or any of your favorite vegetable!
To make tomato rich sauce-y pasta, you can add a can of tomato sauce to the pot along with liquid.
Other combinations that you can try adding to your one pot pasta recipes are –
shrimp and kale,
capers, cannellini beans, spinach
mushrooms, pesto sauce for flavouring,
chicken – cooked and shredded.
What Type of Pot Should You Use To Make One Pot Pasta
Any shallow pot or skillet would work the best. You want the pasta to get cooked as well as much water to evaporate from the dish. If water gets trapped inside, the pasta will over cook.
Deep pots like stock pot or any deep skillet is not the ideal pot to use to make one pot pasta recipes.
One Pot Pasta Recipe
The method to make one pot pasta works like this – throw in linguine pasta, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced onions, sliced garlic, torn fresh basil leaves, olive oil, salt, pepper, red chili flakes into your saucepan along with liquid(water or broth). Flame on!
Bring it to boil, stirring occasionally.
DO NOT COVER the sauce pan with lid.
In about 8-10 minutes you have pasta that’s beautifully cooked.
Pro-Tip : using the right proportion of water is very important.
Water along with good quality olive oil and the starch leaching out of pasta all comes together to produce perfect, rich, warm sauce and perfectly cooked pasta in that sauce!
Serve one pot magic pasta warm with generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and some fresh basil leaves for garnish.
Brief Guide for One Pot Pasta Recipes
Use any of the below pasta to make one pot pasta recipe. Regular pasta or whole wheat pasta can be used. I wouldn’t recommend you to use gluten free pasta for making one pot pasta, as there is no starch in the pasta which is essential to make this one pot dish. Starch in the pasta along with liquid used to cook pasta and quality olive oil makes a rich sauce for one pot pasta, without this sauce the essence of the dish cannot be appreciated.
If using whole wheat pasta, the liquid you would use will be little more than the specified proportion in this recipe. But it shouldn’t make much of a difference.
It’s better to use thinner(or smaller) pasta that cooks faster in 8-10 minutes. Something like spaghetti will not need as much time to cook as say a penne. While spaghetti or bucatini or linguine pasta may need approximately 8-10 minutes to cook, a penne or rotini would need somewhere 15 to 17 minutes.
My choice of pasta for one pot pasta recipe –
You could also use these, but the cooking time would vary
Ratio for pasta to liquid to make any one pot pasta recipes is – for every 1 pound spaghetti you 4 ½ cups of liquids.
The liquid ratio will be slightly more if using whole wheat pasta, please experiment it out.
My choice of liquid to use-
Stock – chicken, vegetable or beef stock
For more flavorful pasta meal you chicken or vegetable stock. For every one pound of pasta, use 4 ½ cups of liquids.
Meat either raw or deli meat can be used. If using raw meat cook meat completely in the pot before adding in pasta and rest of the ingredients. You want to brown the meat and cook it completely first. If you add raw meat to pasta along with liquid and rest of the ingredients, meat wont brown and it wont get cooked completely in water. Time to cook pasta versus time to cook meat is not the same. Also browning meat before adding in pasta impart rich flavor to the pasta dish.
My choice of protein that can be added to one pot pasta recipe –
Ground beef, pork, chicken or turkey – brown it and cook it completely first before adding in pasta
Italian sausages, cooked
Bacon, cooked and crumbled
Deli meat like cooked ham, pepperoni
Use CANNELLONI BEANS for vegetarian option.
Adding loads of vegetables to one pot pasta can only make this dish more healthier and tastier.
My choice of vegetables to use
Sliced bell peppers
Diced tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes
Some of the vegetables needs to be cooked before adding in pasta. Precooking vegetables is important especially when it comes to mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli. Cooking these vegetables along with pasta in the liquids all at once might result in some vegetables not getting completely cooked. I personally find the texture of those vegetables totally off in the pasta dish. Precook vegetables (that needs to be cooked) in the same pot before adding in pasta and rest of the ingredients. And then add in all other ingredients and cook as per instructions.
Other vegetables like diced tomatoes, chopped spinach, shredded carrots, snow peas, frozen peas, frozen corn doesn’t really needs to be pre-cooked. They don’t need much time to cook. It’s fine to cook these vegetables along with the pasta and rest of the ingredients at the same time.
Olive Oil –
It’s no pasta without olive oil. Use good quality EVOO(Extra virgin olive oil) to the dish.
Cheese options to use
Always add cheese in the end after pasta is cooked. Do not add it to the pot with rest of the ingredients in the liquids.
Once pasta is completely cooked and flame is off, add in grated cheese of your choice and be generous while you add the cheese! Stir in until cheese is melted. Serve.
These extras are the flavoring agents that you add to the dish to make it packed with flavors and taste amazing!
This one pot pasta recipe uses simple flavoring agents like
Salt and pepper to taste
Red chili flakes
Italian seasoning (mixed herbs)
Other flavor enhancing ingredients that can be used –
Some more one pot wonders for you to try, don’t miss these-
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- 1 pound spaghetti or linguine pasta
- 4 ½ cups water or stock
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 3 ½ cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 6 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 cup fresh basil loosely packed, torn
- Kosher Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes ignore if you can’t eat spice
- 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning mixed herbs
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- Thrown in Spaghetti pasta, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced onions, sliced garlic, torn fresh basil leaves, olive oil, salt, pepper, red chili flakes into your saucepan along with liquid(water or broth). Turn on the flame.
- Bring it to boil, stirring occasionally.
- DO NOT COVER the sauce pan with lid.
- In about 8-10 minutes you have pasta that’s beautifully cooked.
- Turn off flame, stir in Parmesan cheese.
- Serve immediately.