Easy One-Pot Pasta | Cozy & Healthy 20 Minute Dinner!

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This Easy One-Pot Pasta is the perfect weeknight dinner – uncooked pasta, veggies, and sauce combine and cook together in one pot in only 20 minutes!

One-Pot Pasta. Also known as the ultimate cozy weeknight dinner because it’s quick, easy, satisfying, and easy to pack with veggies. Plus, cleanup is a breeze 😉 Let’s get into it…

close up photo of cooked one pot pasta with wooden spoon

INGREDIENTS FOR ONE-POT PASTA

This 20-minute meal comes together with only a few key (and affordable!) ingredients:

  • Dry Pasta (yes, uncooked)
  • Pasta Sauce 
  • Water 
  • Onion & Garlic
  • Veggies! 

I decided to use a combination of tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, and spinach for my pasta, but you can really use whatever you have on hand! Take some away, add extra ones in – you do you, boo.

ingredients for one pot pasta arranged in cooking pan before cooking on marble background

HOW TO MAKE ONE-POT PASTA

The secret to success in one pot pasta is cooking the dry pasta with just the right amount of water in order for the noodles to cook completely – without leaving any extra liquid behind. Luckily I’ve done all the work for you, and all you need to do is follow the (very, very easy) recipe!

  1. Pour the pasta on the bottom of the pot or pan
  2. Add the remaining ingredients
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer until the pasta is al-dente
  4. Serve and enjoy!

pan of cooked one pot pasta with red sauce on marble background

THE BEST NOODLES FOR ONE-POT PASTA

This One Pot Pasta can be made with both gluten-free and gluten-full noodles, but I would recommend using shorter shapes over longer ones, like spaghetti. Longer noodles are harder to stir and tend to stick together more while they cook. Shorter noodles can be stirred immediately (which is important) and and often as needed – no need to wait until they soften.

If you do opt for gluten-free noodles, I have found that brown rice pasta seems to work the best, followed by other corn + grain blends. Bean and lentil-based pastas fall apart in one pot recipes and release more starch, which leads to a gummier final product.

bowl of cooked one pot pasta next to pan of pasta on marble background

I LOVE this One-Pot Pasta recipe because it’s fuss-free, easy, and downright delicious!  I personally think that one-pot noodles taste better too. Because they’re simmering in our actual sauce (and with our veggies) instead of just pasta water, they have at least double the flavor! I also like how the pasta releases a little starch as it cooks, which helps to make our sauce nice, thick, and creamy.

If you’re looking for more one-pot pasta recipes, you’ll also love this One Pot Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff, this One Pot Pumpkin Pasta, and this One Pot Spinach & Artichoke Pasta

This Easy One-Pot Pasta is the perfect weeknight dinner - uncooked pasta, veggies, and sauce combine and cook together in one pot in only 20 minutes! #onepot #pasta #vegan #vegandinner #plantbased | frommybowl.com

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂

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Easy One-Pot Pasta

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4.9 from 25 reviews

This Easy One-Pot Pasta is the perfect weeknight dinner – uncooked pasta, veggies, and sauce combine and cook together in one pot in only 20 minutes!

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces dry pasta*, gluten-free or regular
  • 8 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced 
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped and quartered 
  • 3 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced 
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cup pasta sauce of choice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3 ounces fresh spinach

Instructions

  1. Add the uncooked pasta to a large pot (or pan with deep sides). Add the remaining ingredients – except for the spinach – and mix well. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat.
  2. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium low and cook the pasta for 10-14 minutes, until al-dente. Stir the mixture every 2 minutes to prevent anything from sticking to the bottom of the pan. (Note: cooking times will vary based on the type of pasta used. I suggest you start to check for doneness based on the minimum cook time on the package instructions)
  3. Turn the heat off and fold the spinach into the pasta. Once the spinach has wilted, divide the pasta into serving bowls and top as desired. This recipe is best enjoyed fresh, but leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • Pasta: this recipe will work both gluten-free and gluten-full pasta, so use what works for you! I suggest you use shorter pasta shapes (such as penne, rotini, shells, marcaroni) over longer noodles as they cook more evenly in this method. If you are using gluten-free pasta, I have found that brown rice pasta works best.
  • Vegetables: feel free to add, subtract, or substitute any of the veggies here!

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About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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Comments

  1. I knew I wanted to cook pasta, broccoli, and sauce all together at once and this recipe is exactly what I was looking for! The sauce was so creamy because of the starchy pasta water and I love how adaptable it is. I added a splash of red wine vinegar and some nutritional yeast to mine and it was perfect! Thanks for doing the work of pasta to sauce to water ratio for us.






  2. So I had already starting making my own before I stumbled across your recipe. Yours was very similar to what I was using. So I used it kind of as a guide for my pasta to cook in my sauce. I used leftover veg; 1/2 onion, 1 tomato diced, 1 carrot, 1 bell pepper, (all diced) 5 cloves garlic minced, 1 zucchini chunked and 8 ounces mushrooms quartered. For liquid. 1 can hunts garlic and herb (26 ounces), half can water and 4 leftover burger patties, diced. Cooked all veg and got sauce simmering. Added in pasta, turned to med. cook 8 min, stir, 8 more, stir and then 8 on lowest flame. Done. Topped with mozzarella as I’m plum out of Parmesan :(.

    Delicious. Thank you!!






  3. This was SUPER good. My toddler (1y) Ate the whole thing and wanted more 🥹

    My only question is can I freeze this & thaw for a later date if I had tons left over ?

    1. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the one-pot pasta recipe! It’s wonderful that even your toddler loved it. Regarding your question about freezing leftovers, I’d suggest exercising some caution.

      While you can technically freeze cooked pasta dishes, the texture of the pasta may change slightly upon thawing. Pasta tends to absorb liquid, so when it’s frozen and then reheated, it can become a bit softer than when freshly cooked. However, the flavor should still be good.

    2. Did you freeze with any success for you? I took my own spin on this with veg on hand and have sooo much left for just me and hub. I usually freeze lasagna with success tho and my bow tie pasta is perfectly al dente now so hoping it will be just a tad soft.

      1. Hi Bren! If you are using wheat-based pasta and cook only to al dente, it should freeze “okay”. The pasta will definitely be softer and may break some, but shouldn’t turn to total mush if it’s al dente when frozen.

  4. We used rigatoni and doubled the recipe. If you plan to double, use less water. We also more than doubled the mushrooms and spinach just to use the whole container it came in. Really good with shredded fresh Parmesan.

  5. So easy and delicious just as is. I can see adding this to my regular quick menu list – it would be very easy to change up veggies and flavors for variety. Doubled the recipe for 8 guests, plenty with a bit leftover. It was a big hit – thank you!






  6. Fantastic taste and super versatile! And tasted all the better knowing how easy it was to whip up. I had my doubts, but with just 8 minutes of cooking time (al dente for the pasta I used) the textures of everything, especially the zucchini, were superb. I added a little dried basil as well as extra garlic and onion. Bravo, I’ll be making more of your recipes!






  7. Recipe was pretty good. I thought it was going to come out too watery but the consistency was perfect. Slightly bland though so I added more salt and pepper. I also threw in Kalamata olives and oregano with the basil at the end. I also added nutritional yeast on top. Way better than regular pasta for sure!






      1. Unless a recipe explicitly states to cover the pot it should remain uncovered. You do not need to cover the pot for any part of this recipe!

  8. Do you think if you doubled the pasta you’d double the water? Love these recipes but 8 oz of pasta won’t cut it for a family of four. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    1. Family of 10 and we loved how easy and versatile this recipe is! We mixed half sauce with tomato and Alfredo plus used vegi broth instead of water. It was delicious! Can be made on the cheap and fed all our teens.






  9. Should the pot be uncovered or covered for steps 1 and 2? (I noticed many recipes in general don’t specify this – is there some unwritten rule I should be aware of to know what to do when it isn’t explicitly stated? 😅)

    1. Hi Steph! Generally if there is no note to cover the pot, it should be uncovered. You do not cover the pot at all in this recipe 🙂

  10. Definitely adding this recipe to my rotation! I had a little more time, so I sauteed onion & garlic in the pan first, and also put the tomatoes in the air fryer for a little roasted flavor. But I still think it only took about 30 min. I used Barilla protein pasta for a protein boost. I love that you can add as many veggies as you have, and it can be super quick if needed.






    1. Just made this and it was delicious! I didn’t have a lot of vegetables, so I added frozen broccoli, along with garlic and tomatoes. Love how versatile it can be!

    1. That’s exciting! Thank you for trying my recipe, Mikaela and good luck on the journey to being Vegan!

  11. Great recipe. I used whole wheat pasta and at the end I added 5 leaves of fresh basil (chopped) along with the spinach. SO GOOD! SO EASY!






  12. This recepie sounds all really good, I’d love to try.
    Can i use diced tomatoes instead? . It is winter here in Australia and tomatoes are a bit expensive atm. Thanks

  13. Hi! This recipe sounds amazing! Would it be possible to substitute the regular pasta noodles for zucchini noodles instead? Can you provide some tips on how much water to add, or if I would have to cook the zoodles a bit longer or even reduce the cook time prior to adding the rest of the vegetables?

    1. Hi, Janojah! For Zucchini noodles, you can substitute them cooking them in the pasta sauce instead of boiling them as you would real noodles. Or sauté them for a few minutes, then top with sauce.