Simplify your meal prep with these one-pot no-fuss pasta dinners sure to be winners with the entire family
Don’t have the time (or energy) for a big dinner followed by an even bigger cleanup? These one-pot pasta dinners will hit the spot for the entire family. They’re easy to make, easy to clean, and absolutely delicious. Whether you’re a meat lover or a vegan, there are one-pot and one-pan pasta dinners to satisfy any taste buds and dietary preferences. Check out some of our favorite recipes, for delicious dinners and cleanup that’s a breeze!
Cajun Chicken Pasta
This easy one-pot pasta from Food Fanatic is full of flavor and packed with chicken, sausage, tomatoes, and onions. If you have some picky eaters who can’t handle too much spice, use Food Fanatic’s adjustable cajun seasoning blend.
Chili Mac and Cheese Soup
This dish is the perfect mashup of two family-favorite dinners: mac and cheese and chili. A Taste of Madness seamlessly combines the two into one delicious and filling dish that’s sure to please even the pickiest eaters.
Instant Pot Taco Pasta
Have the taco without the mess with this super easy one-pot recipe from Kristime’s Kitchen Blog. This meal imbues ground beef and pasta with flavors pulled from bell peppers, tomatoes, corn, salsa (mildly spicy but adjustable!), and taco seasoning—topped with cheese, of course. This hearty meal cooks in just four minutes in the instant pot, bringing the total cook and prep time to under 20 minutes. It’s a perfect choice for busy nights!
Let this dish take you on a flavorful journey to Naples, Italy. The View from Great Island packs the recipe with traditional Italian ingredients like olives, crushed tomatoes, capers, parmesan, and even anchovies (which you’re advised not to skip out on even if you’re not a fan!).
Homemade Hamburger Helper
If you grew up on Hamburger Helper, you’ll love this healthier copycat from The Forked Spoon. This one-pot comfort meal is ready in under half an hour and has all the saucy, cheesy, beefy goodness of Hamburger Helper without any unpronounceable ingredients. Plus, you can easily sneak in some veggies for the kiddos.
One-Pot Spicy Vegetarian Pasta
This recipe from Boulder Locavore couldn’t be easier to make. Fresh tomatoes, basil, and mushrooms pack this dish with umami, and the sauce makes itself! Read the recipe notes for some tips for making this vegetarian dish with gluten-free pasta.
Don’t be intimidated by the idea of making alfredo sauce from scratch—this chicken alfredo from Bake Me Some Sugar is entirely homemade and still comes together in one pot. The result is rich, creamy, and deliciously garlicky. It’s also super versatile: The chicken and broccoli can be swapped out for other proteins and veggies to suit your family’s preferences.
Vegan One-Pot Pasta
This recipe from Sunkissed Kitchen is gluten-free, dairy-free, and meat-free. It uses chickpea pasta and a variety of vegetables in a uniquely nutty sundried tomato sauce that’s unmatched in its creaminess and flavor. The secret? Soaked cashews!
One Skillet Spaghetti
If you want more options or are just trying to clear out your fridge or pantry, this versatile dish from Family Spice will become a staple on your dinner rotation. The beauty of this recipe is that you can use basically any type of ground meat, noodles, and vegetables you happen to have on hand. You can even choose how chunky or smooth the flavorful tomato sauce is. All you need to prepare it is an oven-safe pan.
Instant Pot Gluten-Free Pasta
One Lovely Life’s recipe is custom-made for those days when you just don’t have the energy or time to bake up some complex masterpiece. Simply throw all the ingredients, which you probably already have on hand, into an instant pot, and dinner’s ready in minutes. The dish is gluten-free and dairy-free, and the sausage can be replaced with a plant-based sausage to make it vegetarian, as well.
Black Bean Fajita Pasta
Packed with vegetables and beans and flavored with homemade seasoning, this one-pot fajita pasta from Sweet Peas and Saffron is a spiced sensation. And since you don’t need to saute anything—simply drop all the ingredients into the pot and wait for the delicious diner to make itself—it makes for a perfect freezer prep meal. Squeeze some lime and top with freshly shredded mozzarella when serving to really pull the flavors together.
Sausage, Corn, and Spinach Orzo
Orzo is an often-overlooked pasta, but we love it for its fun rice-like shape. This recipe by Chelsea’s Messy Apron pays homage to the humble orzo with sausage, corn, fresh spinach, Italian sausage, and parmesan for a hearty, creamy meal that resembles traditional risotto.
Creamy Tomato Chicken Skillet
Are you trying to figure out what to do with leftover cooked chicken? This easy dinner from Spend with Pennies is the perfect leftover meal. Chop up your cooked chicken and throw it in with the rest of the ingredients for an herby tomato pasta skillet ideal for busy evenings.
Thai Peanut Shrimp Pasta
This seafood pasta recipe from Fav Family Recipes pulls in Thai flavors. Combine coconut milk and peanut butter with lime, soy sauce, ginger, and other flavor-packed ingredients for a unique take on the one-pot pasta dish.
Chicken Caesar One-Pot Pasta
Chicken Caesar is made tastier and more filling by Dinner Then Dessert’s take on the classic salad, which brings in chicken, parmesan cheese, and broccoli instead of lettuce. Best of all, the dish comes together from scratch—no cooked chicken necessary. You can use store-bought Caesar dressing, but if you’re feeling ambitious, Dinner Then Dessert includes a recipe for making your own homemade dressing (and it’s simpler than you might think).
Skillet Shrimp Fra Diavolo
In the mood for something spicy? This shrimpy twist on fra diavolo (which literally means “Brother Devil”) from A Spicy Perspective is smothered in fiery tomato sauce. The sauce gets its unique flaming flavor from a combination of fennel, garlic, red pepper flakes, and cognac—don’t worry, the alcohol content is cooked out in the process (though you can also omit the alcohol altogether). You can also make this meal in the instant pot!
Pea and Bacon Pasta
Bacon makes everything better, including this pasta dish by Carlsbad Cravings! This pea and bacon one-pot pasta is made with a combination of mascarpone and parmesan for a heavenly creaminess that’s unique and delicious.
The caprese pasta is a traditional Italian meal full of fresh ingredients. It’s a refreshing meal that won’t sit heavy in your stomach at the end of a busy day. This recipe from Momdot uses fresh basil, grape tomatoes, and mozzarella, and draws its flavor from a Balsamic Vinegar dressing. It’s one-pot and low-fuss, as it requires no draining at all.
One-Pot Butternut Squash Pasta
Enjoy this fall dinner from A Pumpkin and a Princess while butternut squash is in season. The flavor and creaminess of the squash is brought out by the autumnal sauce, which uses Boursin cheese mixed with arugula and toasted hazelnuts. It’s the ultimate cozy meal!