For an easy weeknight dinner that doesn't result in a sinkful of dishes, feed your pasta-loving family these simple one-pot pasta dishes. Many classic flavors like cajun pasta, beef stroganoff, and spaghetti and meatballs easily convert to a simplified cooking process you can have on the table in a flash. All of these recipes come together in one pot, one pan, or even your Instant Pot for less mess without sacrificing flavor. If everyone in your household loves pasta, give these easy wins a try.
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Penne alla Vodka
Creamy, rich and loaded with hearty ground beef, crushed tomatoes, and finished with salty parmesan cheese, one-pot penne alla vodka comes together quickly and easily whenever you need a simple and satisfying meal. Vodka gives the sauce a robust richness but doesn't taste like booze.
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Instant Pot Spaghetti Dinner
Have a hearty, saucy spaghetti dinner on the table in under an hour by tossing all of the ingredients in your Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Just sauté the ground beef, onions and garlic, add the rest of the ingredients, and press start. Remember to allow an extra 20 minutes or so for it to come up to pressure and release after cooking. Serve with garlic bread and a green salad for a complete meal.
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Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff
While the dish comes with lots of regional variations, beef stroganoff typically contains beef, egg noodles, mushrooms and onions in a mild sour cream, Worcestershire and Dijon mustard sauce. This version uses your Instant Pot for a simple one-pot meal. It works great on its own, but a side salad or steamed veggie would round it out well too.
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Shrimp Fajita Linguine
When you can't decide between Mexican and Italian, make the best of both worlds with this fajita shrimp linguine. It uses Mexican-inspired flavors like cumin, chili powder, and sharp cheese, as well as fajita-style sliced bell peppers. Toss it all together with shrimp and linguine for a complete meal that only needs one pot.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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Spicy Pasta with Ground Beef and Tomatoes
This one-pot pasta with ground beef and tomatoes has a little kick thanks to Mexican or Cajun seasoning. Use elbow macaroni, penne, rigatoni, or your favorite small shaped pasta. It's also endlessly adaptable; swap out the seasoning blend for Italian or another favorite, or use plain diced tomatoes for a milder dish. Serve with crusty bread and a side salad.
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Beef Lo Mein
Grab a wok, some flank steak, lo mein noodles, oyster and soy sauce, as well as some shredded veggies for a simple Chinese-inspired pasta dish. Because wok cooking goes quickly, prepare all of your ingredients before you start to prevent burning. If you can't find lo mein noodles, spaghetti works in a pinch.
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Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo
Use your Instant Pot to make creamy and comforting chicken Alfredo on a weeknight without cracking open a jarred sauce. Fettuccine or linguine noodles work well in this recipe, but we don't recommend thinner noodles like spaghetti, since they'll end up mushy. If you have leftover chicken, just toss it with the pasta before pressure cooking. Make it vegetarian by using veggie stock instead and leaving out the chicken breast.
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Chicken Cajun Pasta
Start with precooked chicken for this speedy Cajun pasta dish. Adjust the level of spice by using more or less cayenne pepper (or leaving it out entirely) and swap out the vegetables for your family's favorites. It works with leftover turkey or rotisserie chicken, too.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
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Stovetop Broccoli Mac and Cheese
Get some vegetables into the kids' diet with stovetop macaroni and cheese with broccoli that doesn't require turning on the oven. The super cheesy combination of sharp cheddar and broccoli will convince even the most avowed cruciferous veggie haters.
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Hamburger and Pasta Skillet
For a zesty, flavorful and meaty weeknight supper, try this beef and pasta skillet. You can leave out the bacon if you like, and use plain diced tomatoes or chili-style for even more zip. Serve it with crusty rolls, garlic bread, and a tossed green salad for a balanced meal.
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Skillet Spaghetti and Meatballs
Because the pasta cooks right in the sauce, this skillet spaghetti and meatballs makes clean-up a snap. Using jarred red sauce and prepared meatballs means it only has five ingredients, so it works well as a pantry meal, too. Some toasted garlic bread and a Caesar salad would round things out.
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Skillet Tex-Mex Mac and Cheese
Pump up packaged macaroni and cheese with the addition of ground beef, diced tomatoes, and bell pepper, onion, and corn for a Tex Mex-inspired dinner that uses only one skillet. Serve it solo or with garlic bread and some steamed vegetables on the side.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
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Instant Pot Goulash
With ground beef or veal, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and short pasta like macaroni, American-style goulash makes a comforting one-pot meal. Making it in the Instant Pot means next to no dishes, too. It comes together in less than half an hour and leftovers freeze well, if you have a smaller crew to feed.
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Think of chili mac as a marriage between macaroni and cheese and beef and bean chili. It has all of the best flavors of both, with plenty of customization options. Make it spicier by adding more chiles, add corn or different beans for more texture, or leave out the beef for a vegetarian dish. It makes a complete meal on its own, but a salad would taste great alongside, too.
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Easy Pesto Pasta
It doesn't get much easier than this simple pesto pasta. Just toss your favorite pasta with jarred or homemade pesto, sprinkle some shredded parmesan cheese over the top, and serve. You can toss the pesto right in the same pot with the pasta, so no one has to fight over dish duty.