One Pot Pasta

For those busy nights when you not only need a quick meal, but an easy clean up, this One Pot Pasta dish will save the day.

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The one pot pasta recipe has been floating around the internets for a few years but I never really jumped on board.  I think it has to do with having an Italian husband which inherently awards you with an Italian mother in law.   I say awards because truly, learning and watching her cook over the years has been absolute joy.  The simplicity of her tactics and tools (why have a kettle when a pot on the stove boils water just fine) have encouraged me to not overcomplicate things.  The irony is that well I may never convince HER to try cook a one pot pasta meal, it embodies simplicity in the best way possible.  

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With just a few simple ingredients, a fresh and hearty meal comes together on the stove in about ten minutes.  But an important note here -  this is NOT the best spaghetti I have ever had in my life.  This is a weeknight meal when we are running between activities and my desired effort level is relatively low.  This does however satisfy both my husband and seven year old, especially when served along side a buttery piece of toast.  

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Give it a try and please tell me how you liked it!  If you are looking for some delicious but maybe two pot pastas try my Easy Weeknight Spaghetti, Winter Squash Carbonara or a Pesto Pasta Salad


One Pot Pasta


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup white onion, slice thin or chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4.5 cups of chicken broth (or water, see note about salt)
  • 1 pound of high quality dry spaghetti
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, loosely packed
  • Garnish: fresh or dried basil, grated parmesan 

Recipe Notes

  1. Salt:  I do not call for salt in this recipe.  If you are using water, you will need to add salt.  About 1 tablespoon for this water volume.  If you are using broth that is low sodium, you may want to add salt at the end of the cooking process.  If you are adding parmesan at the end, this will also increase the saltiness of the dish.
  2. Garlic:  I use high quality, organic garlic and therefore 2 small cloves is enough.  If you use imported garlic (which I suggest you do move away from in general) you may need more to bring out the garlic flavour.


Add the olive oil, onions and garlic to a large pot over medium heat.  Saute until tender, about 3-4 minutes.

Add broth and dry spaghetti and bring to a boil.  Partially cover the pot, turn down to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

Add the tomatoes, zucchini, and spinach and simmer for an additional 4-5 minutes until all the water has evaporated.