Skillet Spaghetti

Skillet spaghetti recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings

Skillet Spaghetti is a wonderful recipe that is very efficient. The spaghetti pasta cooks right in the sauce. That means you don't have to boil a big pot of water to cook the pasta. You'll love this simple five ingredient recipe and it will probably become a regular dish on your meal rotation.

Be sure to stir this dish for Skillet Spaghetti frequently as the pasta begins to soften, separating the strands carefully with your spoon. The pasta tends to stick together as it cooks in the sauce. You don't want to bite into some undercooked spaghetti!

You could use your own homemade meatballs or use precooked frozen meatballs to this easy recipe. As a bonus, the pasta has a wonderful flavor since it soaks up all the herbs and spices from the sauce.

I sometimes like to start this recipe by cooking a chopped onion and some garlic in a bit of olive oil. Then add the pasta sauce and the water and continue with the recipe. In fact, you could add other vegetables too, such as shredded carrots or chopped zucchini, just to get some more nutrition into the dish.

Serve this dish with some toasted garlic bread and a green salad tossed with mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. An Italian salad dressing would be perfect on the salad.


  • 1 (28-ounce) jar pasta sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 24 frozen precooked meatballs
  • 1 (16-ounce) package spaghetti pasta, broken in half
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for skillet spaghetti
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. In a 12-inch skillet, combine the spaghetti sauce and water and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. This should take about 6 minutes.

    Combine spaghetti and water
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  3. Add the meatballs, still frozen, and the spaghetti and stir well, making sure the spaghetti is all underneath the sauce, completely covered in it. If necessary, you can add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water to make sure that all of the pasta is covered. This should take about 4 minutes.

    Add meatballs
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. Bring to a boil again, cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently. As the pasta cooks, you will need to stir more often to make sure that the spaghetti doesn't stick together and to make sure the sauce doesn't burn as it cooks. The moisture in the sauce is really depleted by the pasta, so be careful about this. You may add more water or tomato sauce if the mixture appears to be too dry.

    Spaghetti in pot
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Cook until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165 F and the spaghetti is tender.

    Cook until meatballs reach right temperature
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. Top with both kinds of cheese and serve immediately.

    Cheese on spaghetti
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack