Easy 1-Pot Pasta Dinners You Should Try This Week

Delicious and filling dinners have never been this easy.
Tayler Tayler (75)
30 minutes

Let me paint you a picture: It's a Tuesday, early evening, and you've just arrived home. You're tired, you've been up since the early hours of the morning, and, holy moly, you've still got dinner to consider.

What if I told you there was another option to UberEats or the nearest drive-through? An option that was fast, filling, and, more importantly, delicious?

I'm talking about 1-pot pasta recipes.

Not only can you make a delicious pasta recipe from only a few ingredients, but you can also enjoy leftovers (if you don't eat it all in one sitting. I'm not here to judge you) for lunch or dinner the next day. What's more, you can make these recipes using a single pot and often under 30 minutes.

If you've ever walked through the front door of your house after a long day and felt downright daunted by the task of cooking dinner, then you're in the right place.

Here are five 1-pot pasta dinners that you can easily make, even on the busiest weekday.

Some recipes will require a little bit of preparation, but I promise to keep the additional steps to a minimum.

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Chicken parm pasta.

Delicious and known for being a labor-intensive meal, chicken parmesan is a staple dish in most households, but what if I told you you could make it in under an hour? Here's a one-pot chicken parmesan pasta that you can make on your busiest night.

Ingredients Amount
Chicken breasts 2 breasts
Italian seasoning 1 tsp
Garlic powder 1 tsp
White onion 1 diced onion
Garlic 2 1/2 tbsp minced*
Pasta of choice 16 oz
Marinara sauce of choice 24 oz
Mozzarella cheese 1 cup
Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup
Salt To taste
Pepper To taste
Oil A drizzle

* We all know how delicious garlic is. If your heart tells you to add more, baby, add more.

How to make 1-pot chicken parmesan pasta

  1. Dice your chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium to high heat and add your chicken, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.
  3. Cook chicken for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Add diced onion and garlic to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Pour in marinara sauce. Fill up the marinara jar with water, and add to your pot. Bring your mixture to a boil, then reduce to a strong simmer over low to medium heat.
  6. Add your chicken and uncooked pasta (I'm a penne girl, myself) to your simmering mixture, stir, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked for your preference. Stir in parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top of your dish and cook until the cheese is melted and gooey.
  8. Garnish with Italian seasoning and serve.
  9. (The most crucial step) Enjoy!
Spinach pasta.

Creamy and simple, this spinach pasta recipe can be easily customized. Throw in some chicken, frozen peas, sundried tomatoes, you name it!

Ingredients Amount
Butter 1 tbsp
Garlic* 3 tbsp minced
Pasta of choice 16 oz
Vegetable stock 3 cups
Cream cheese 3 cups
Onion powder 1/2 tsp
Pepper To taste
Salt To taste
Baby spinach 2 cups
Lemon juice 1 tsp
Optional: Frozen peas To taste

* Measure with your heart. Go ahead. I won't judge how much garlic you throw in.

How to make 1-pot creamy spinach pasta

  1. In your large pan, melt your butter over medium heat and saute your garlic for a minute.
  2. Add your vegetable stock and your uncooked pasta. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium to low heat. Cover your pot and let your pasta simmer for 6-8 minutes.
  3. If your pasta has soaked up the water but still isn't tender, add a little more veggie stock and simmer until your pasta has reached your desired texture.
  4. Add your cream cheese, onion powder, pepper, and salt. Reduce to low heat.
  5. Once your cream cheese has melted to a creamy texture, add your spinach and cover, occasionally stirring to let your spinach wilt evenly.
  6. Optional: I love frozen peas in pasta and, if you're feeling jazzy, toss a handful of frozen peas in your pasta and stir.
  7. Juice your lemon (about half for 1 tsp) over your pasta and stir. If your sauce is too thick, add a little bit more veggie stock and stir until you hit your desire sauce consistency.
  8. (The most crucial step) Serve and enjoy!
Tuscan chicken pasta.

Nothing says I'm halfway through the week quite like a 1-pot pasta dish with a splash of wine in it.

Ingredients Amount
Olive oil 2 1/2 tbsp
Chicken breast 1 lb
Italian seasoning 3 tbsp
Salt To taste
Pepper To taste
Butter 1 tbsp
Garlic* 3 tbsp minced
Dry white wine** 1/4 cup
Tomato paste 1 tbsp
Oregano 1 tsp
Chicken broth 2 cups
Half and half 1 1/4 cups
Sundried tomatoes 1/3 cup
Pasta of choice 8 oz
Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup
Romano cheese 1/4 cup
Baby spinach 2 cups

* This is a safe space. A space to use as much garlic as your heart desires.

** Need a dry wine recommendation? Sauvignon Blancs are dry and have high acidity, which makes them a delicious addition to pasta sauce.

How to make 1-pot Tuscan chicken pasta

  1. Dice your chicken breast into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium to high heat and add chicken. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until a golden crust has formed on your chicken. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat and add garlic, wine, tomato paste, and oregano. Stir and cook until thickened and reduced by half (about 3 minutes).
  4. Add your chicken broth, followed by your half and half, stirring as you incorporate.
  5. Add your pasta and sundried tomatoes and heat to high to boil. Stir the pasta as it cooks.
  6. Reduce to low heat and sprinkle in cheese.
  7. Add your chicken and spinach to the pot and stir to combine. Heat for 1-2 minutes or until the spinach wilts.
    1. (The most crucial step) Serve with additional cheese and enjoy!
Pasta Aglio e olio.

Classic, delicious, and oh-so-simple, this 1-pot pasta Aglio e olio makes for an insanely good addition to your arsenal of pasta recipes.

This is one of my favorite recipes!

Ingredients Amount
Spaghetti 1 lb
Garlic* 6 cloves sliced
Olive oil 1/2 cup
Red peper flakes 1/4 tsp
Salt To taste
Pepper To taste
Italian parsley 1/4 cup
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 1 cup
Lemon juice 1 lemon

* Since this recipe is already so garlic heavy, I'd say stick to the recommended garlic amount. I'm also not going to tell you how to live your life.

How to make 1-pot pasta Aglio e olio

  1. Cook your spaghetti by bringing salted water to a boil in your pot and cooking for around 9-10 minutes, or until al dente. Once cooked, drain your pot, and set your pasta aside.
  2. Add half a cup of oil and sliced garlic to your pot. Cook and stir over low to medium heat until the garlic starts to caramelize (around 12-15 minutes). Turn off heat when done.
  3. Add your pasta in with your olive oil and garlic. Add red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Stir to combine and finish with your chopped Italian parsley and half of your Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
  4. Serve pasta with remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano and (of course) enjoy!
Mac 'n cheese.

Nothing says comfort like a big pot of mac 'n cheese. So here's an easy 1-pot recipe that will beat the convenience–and taste–of blue box any day.

Ingredients Amount
Milk 4 cups
Water 1 cup
Salt 1 tsp
Macaroni 16 oz box
Cheddar cheese 2 cups
Butter 1/2 cup
Optional frozen peas 1/2 cup
Optional Italian parsley Chopped
Optional paprika To taste

How to make 1-pot mac 'n cheese

  1. Combine your milk and water in your pot over medium to high heat.
  2. Once your mixture starts simmering, add your macaroni. Stir until the macaroni is tender and turn off the heat.
  3. Add your cheddar cheese, butter, salt, and pepper, and stir in the ingredients with the pasta until the cheese and butter have melted with the milk to create a thick sauce. Optional: Toss is your peas and stir them in, too!
  4. Sprinkle with your optional Italian parsley and paprika, serve and enjoy!

Want to elevate your mac 'n cheese?

Toss your pasta in an oven safe dish, top it with breadcrumbs and extra cheese, and bake it for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool before sprinkling with your optional Italian parsley.

10 minutes

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