15 One Pot Pastas That Will Make Doing Dishes a Breeze

Make Weeknights Easier With These One Pot Pasta Dinner Ideas

spaghetti pasta with fresh tomatoes, olives and parmesan
Davide Illini / Stocksy United

When you need to get dinner on the table but don't want to face a sink full of dishes afterward, these one-pot pasta dishes are all you need. And with a wide range of flavor profiles, these simple one-dish dinner recipes have something for just about everybody. And with a mixture of stovetop and casserole styles, you can choose whether or not to stand over the stove, too. Get ready to spend less time cooking and cleaning, and more time enjoying your meal -- and your fellow diners.


Watch Now: 4 Easy, Delicious Pasta Dishes You Can Make in One Pot

  • 01 of 15

    Meaty One-Pot Penne Alla Vodka

    penne alla vodka
    The Spruce

    This decadent and delicious meaty one-pot penne alla vodka is a restaurant favorite that you can serve for a romantic dinner at home, or whenever you crave a warming meal. The penne comes together with a creamy, rich, beefy tomato sauce, with a nice kick from vodka and red chili flakes. The booze emulsifies the sauce, and the alcohol burns off during cooking, so you can serve this dish for family dinner.

  • 02 of 15

    Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

    Chicken broccoli alfredo
    The Spruce

    The fun shape of rotini or other corkscrew noodles makes this creamy chicken broccoli alfredo pasta a fun and family-friendly option. This filling, nutritious, one-pot pasta cooks up in under 30 minutes, so it's also a great weekday option. It can also be made meatless, if you've got vegetarians at your table.

  • 03 of 15

    Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

    Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

    Diana Rattray

    Love your Instant Pot? Then add this family favorite Instant Pot macaroni and cheese casserole to your repertoire. It's loaded with plenty of both sharp and mild cheddar, and ground mustard adds an extra little kick. Best of all, it cooks in an amazing 5 minutes—no preheating the oven required.

  • 04 of 15

    Shrimp Fajita Pasta

    shrimp fajita pasta
    The Spruce

    Mexican and pasta night meet in the middle with this quick and easy shrimp fajita pasta with bell pepper, onion, shredded cheese, and Mexican spices. It's a fiesta of fun flavors just made for family dinner. Use thawed, frozen peeled and deveined shrimp to make the meal preparation a snap. If you forget to thaw the shrimp first, just set them in a colander under cold running water, and they'll thaw nicely in just a few minutes.

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  • 05 of 15

    Garlic Chicken Primavera

    Garlic Chicken Primavera
    The Spruce

    Vampires need not apply for this garlic chicken primavera pasta made with tender chicken, sauteed garlic, lots of vegetables, and whichever shaped pasta you prefer. It cooks up in just 30 minutes in a Dutch Oven or other heavy stovetop pot. If you're not as much of a garlic fan, use less or omit it entirely. Shave fresh parmesan over the top for an extra special touch.

  • 06 of 15

    One-Pot Beefy Chili Mac and Cheese

    One-Pot Beefy Chili Mac and Cheese

    Diana Rattray

    The kids will love this awesome mash-up that combines the flavors of two popular family meals. One-pot beefy chili macaroni and cheese is a match made in heaven. It's creamy, beefy, saucy, filling, and just a little spicy. Serve with a tossed green salad, and cornbread or crusty bread on the side, for a complete meal.

  • 07 of 15

    Skillet Spaghetti

    Skillet Spaghetti

    The Picture Pantry/Getty Images

    Cooking spaghetti right in the sauce helps the noodles soak up all that great tomato flavor, in this quick and easy, weeknight skillet spaghetti recipe. Using jarred spaghetti sauce, frozen precooked meatballs, along with dry spaghetti noodles and both mozzarella and parmesan cheeses makes it a nice pantry meal, too. This one's so simple, it'll likely become a new family standard.

  • 08 of 15

    One Pan Beef Stroganoff

    One Pan Beef Stroganoff With Ground Beef and Noodles

    Diana Rattray

    One pan beef stroganoff is a popular, budget-friendly American dinner that traditionally combines ground beef, sour cream, and mushrooms, served over a bed of hot, buttery cooked egg noodles. This version mixes up the noddles and the rest of the ingredients all in one pot, for a simpler preparation that's just as delicious as the original. The flavors are just as complex, but the prep time couldn't be easier.

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  • 09 of 15

    Red and White Tortellini

    Red and White Tortellini

    Linda Larsen

    Take just 5 ingredients, and 5 minutes of assembly time for this colorful, potluck-friendly red and white tortellini dish. Making use of store-bought ravioli, prepared alfredo sauce, and jarred spaghetti sauce make it a snap to put together. If you'd like a heartier meal, add some chopped veggies, frozen meatballs, or leftover diced meat from another meal to make it a little heartier.

  • 10 of 15

    All Day Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese

    All Day Macaroni and Cheese in the Crockpot

    TheCrimsonMonkey/E+/Getty Images

    Set it and forget it, with this easy, delicious all day crockpot macaroni and cheese. A solid helping of cheddar cheese gives it a rich, intense flavor, while evaporated milk adds extra creaminess. For extra pizzazz, crumble some bacon on top before serving, or fold in canned tuna for additional protein and flavor. If you're a fan of chili mac, a can of chili or some ground beef would make a tasty addition, too.

  • 11 of 15

    Quick and Easy One-Pot Spaghetti Dinner

    Quick and Easy One-Pot Spaghetti Dinner

    Diana Rattray

    Grab your Dutch oven to make this quick and easy one-pot spaghetti dinner, that requires no separate pot for boiling the pasta. Adding extra water to the sauce lets you cook spaghetti noodles right with the sauce and gives it a velvety, smooth texture. Browned ground beef adds plenty of protein and meaty taste to the well-seasoned tomato sauce. Substitute ground turkey for a lighter version, if you're watching your cholesterol.

  • 12 of 15

    Old-Fashioned Skillet Goulash

    Old Fashioned Skillet Goulash
    Linda Larsen

    Update this classic old-fashioned skillet goulash recipe by making it in a skillet, so it all cooks up in one pot. Hearty seasoned beef and tomatoes, plenty of spices, and toothsome pasta will bring the family running to the table. Ziti or rotini work well, but make sure to test the pasta as you cook. Different shapes may take slightly different times to finish.

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  • 13 of 15

    Vegetarian Spinach and Ricotta Pasta

    Vegetarian Pasta With Spinach and Ricotta

     The Spruce

    This simple and delicious one-pot vegetarian spinach and ricotta pasta is perfect for vegetarians or anyone who wants a meatless dish that's nevertheless rich, creamy, and satisfying. Once you've mastered the recipe, try drizzling in a little good-quality olive oil, tossing some sun-dried tomatoes into the mix, or indulging the carnivores among you with some grilled chicken or sausage.

  • 14 of 15

    Spicy Ground Beef Pasta

    Pasta with ground beef and tomatoes in a serving bowl.
    Diana Rattray

    Get a kick out of dinner with this spicy ground beef pasta skillet meal. Adjust the seasonings to make it Cajun or Southwestern-style, and add additional chiles if you really want to bring the heat. It can also be made as a casserole, if you'd prefer to make it in the oven.

  • 15 of 15

    Microwave Spaghetti

    Spaghetti in the microwave

    The Spruce


    Yes, you can make saucy, traditional microwave spaghetti with red sauce in your favorite time-saving device. It all cooks in the same casserole dish, then make use of your favorite kitchen workhorse to get the job done. Best of all, you can reheat this meaty, tomato-y pasta in the same device, so it's a perfect make-ahead dinner, too.