Skip the mess with this easy one-pot pasta recipe. It works for many types and quantities of pasta. With simple pantry ingredients you can create a gourmet creamy and flavorful pasta dinner without too much clean-up after!
Easy One-Pot Pasta
This Easy One-Pot Pasta has so many positive aspects to it:
- Only one pot to clean - obviously!
- No need to wait a long time for a huge pot of water to come to a rolling boil!
- No need to lift a heavy hot pot and strain. No strainer to clean either.
- The final result is so much creamier since the pasta and sauce are combined with the pasta water which contains the natural pasta starches that get released during the cooking process. The starchy pasta water becomes part of the sauce.
- It is a super simple recipe and yet very gourmet tasting.
- It works for all types of pasta.
- No need to sauté the onions and garlic first - I found that the final result is just as flavorful without that step (I have tried it both ways).
Really, I don't know if I'll ever go back to cooking pasta any other way!
How to Make One-Pot Pasta
You can use any large skillet or pot for this recipe. I have tested this recipe using both my 5.5 quart dutch oven and my 12-inch cast iron skillet. You just want to make sure all the pasta is covered by the water once the water is poured in. Here are the easy steps:
- Add onions, garlic, pasta, salt, pepper, oil and red pepper flakes to your pot.
- Add water to your pot (for 8 ounces of pasta use 3 cups of water and for 12 ounces of pasta use 4 cups of water).
- Turn the burner on high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling start tossing the pasta so it doesn't stick to the pan or to other pasta noodles.
- Once the water starts to evaporate and reduce, lower the heat and continue to toss. When the water is almost totally absorbed add marinara sauce and my homemade vegan cashew cream.
- Continue cooking on low heat until the noodles are al dente. Turn off the burner and add a couple handfuls of spinach. You can add any other cooked veggies at this time (sautéed mushrooms and steamed broccoli are my favorites).
- Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Garnish with fresh basil or Italian flat leaf parsley if desired. Serve immediately.
The entire process takes about 25 minutes for 12 ounces of pasta (less time for less pasta or quick-cooking pasta, of course). You can store leftovers in an airtight container and reheat on the stovetop with more marinara sauce, water and cashew cream to rehydrate the noodles.
More Popular Pasta Recipes
Here are more of my popular pasta recipes (all vegan and gluten-free):
Creamy Vegan Garlic Mushroom Fettuccini
Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Garlic Pasta
Vegan Chickpea Bolognese PastaPrint
Easy One-Pot Pasta
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
Skip the mess with this easy one-pot pasta recipe. It works for many types of pasta including gluten-free pastas. With simple pantry ingredients you can create a gourmet creamy and flavorful pasta dinner without too much clean-up after!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 12 ounces pasta (my favorite is Jovial gluten-free brown rice spaghetti)*
- ½ large red onion, diced
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 pinches of red pepper flakes
- 4 cups filtered water
- 2 cups marinara sauce (my favorite is Rao's marinara sauce - the best!)
- ½ cup of easy homemade vegan cashew cream
- 2-3 handfuls of fresh baby spinach
- garnish: fresh basil or parsley
- In a 12-inch cast iron skillet, add oil, pasta, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and water. Bring water to a rolling boil (this takes about 5 minutes). Toss the pasta with tongs every couple minutes to avoid the pasta sticking.
- Keep the skillet uncovered throughout this entire process. As the water starts to evaporate and as the pasta absorbs the water, slowly and gradually reduce the heat (this takes about 8 minutes). Continue tossing the pasta regularly throughout the cooking process so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the skillet.
- Once the water is mostly (not totally) absorbed, make sure the burner is on a low simmer and then stir in the marinara sauce and vegan cashew cream. Allow the pasta to continue to simmer in the sauces until al dente.** Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.
- Turn the burner off and stir in spinach to wilt it. Serve immediately with fresh basil or fresh parsley as a garnish.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat leftovers on the stovetop with additional marinara sauce and vegan cashew cream.
*If you have 8 ounces of pasta use 3 cups of water instead of 4 cups of water.
**The cook time will depend on the type of pasta you are using. If you find the pasta is not finished cooking once the sauces have simmered for a couple of minutes you might want to add more water and continue cooking for another couple minutes.
A large pot will not work for this recipe because it does not allow the water to evaporate as quickly.
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 25
- Category: Entree
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: easy one-pot pasta
Megan feldman says
I normally love all your recipes but this one was a miss. Leaving the pasta water in left a funky taste in the dish overall. I did wait until it was almost evaporated and everything cooked up fine. It just left an odd taste. Sorry Elaine!
Elaine Gordon says
Thank you for being honest, Megan. I will go ahead and retest this ASAP and see what might be going on. What type of pan did you use? And what type of marinara sauce?
This dish was delicious and easy to clean up. It was nice getting protein and veggies in one dish. We even used chic pea pasta for extra nutrients. Delicious and we are already figuring out when we’ll make it next!
Elaine Gordon says
Thank you so much, Michelle! I'm so happy you enjoyed this one. I also love using chickpea pasta for added protein when I can. I hope you had a chance to make it again - it is a great option for busy weeknights for sure. Best, Elaine