We LOVE one pot meals. They’re easy, the cleanup is simple, and something about them is almost scientific as you make it you wonder to yourself “Is this really going to work?“. Well- YES, it is, and this One Pot Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil and Parmesan comes together so quickly, I’d be willing to bet it makes your normal weekly meal rotation.
The best part about this, besides the fact that it’s all made in one pan, is that this pasta becomes a creamy, dreamy, almost caprese flavored delicious pot of pasta. Everything is combined all in one pot, including the vegetables (tomatoes, onion, garlic, and basil) along with uncooked pasta and water.
Start by prepping your vegetables; cut cherry tomatoes in half, chiffonade fresh basil, dice onions, and chop fresh garlic. Add to a medium sized pot along with the uncooked pasta (we used spaghetti).
After adding ingredients to the pot, pour in water, and bring to a boil. When you’re making one pot pasta, it’s important to stir often (we use tongs) because of the starch. Stirring often will prevent the pasta from sticking to the pot, but it also distributes the starch from the pasta which is what makes this dish so creamy and delicious!
After the pasta has absorbed the water, roughly 9-12 minutes, remove from heat and add parmesan cheese. I also like to add more fresh basil at this point- I love me some fresh basil!
Given the nature of one pot pasta- you probably have some questions. Let me, Rachel of Laughing Spatula, be your One Pot Pasta Tour Guide!
What kind of pasta can I use?
We used spaghetti for this particular dish. You could use any other pasta you like, so long as you continue to follow the recipe measurements.
How do I measure pasta?
A kitchen scale is the most accurate way to measure pasta. We recommend this one from Amazon. Less than $10 and is a true kitchen staple.
What kind of pot did you use?
Being that this is a one pot meal, this is an important question! Stay away from aluminum or copper- this is a starchy meal and really needs something non stick. Make sure your pot is at least 3 inches deep as well.
We used this pan from ScanPan (it is pricey but was a very nice wedding gift from my Aunt Sue that I adore- the BEST pot I have ever owned). If you want something a little less expensive, I suggest this pot from Caldero ($10!).
What other vegetables can I add?
If you want to stray from the recipe, you could easily sub out for other options. But- you will want to use vegetables that don’t crumble too easy as they are being boiled in this recipe. We recommend:
- Asparagus (cut)
- Red Bell Pepper
- Green Beans
- Brussel Sprouts
Can I use other liquid besides water?
Yes! We recommend:
- Use 1/2 water and 1/2 dry white wine
- Chicken Stock
- Beef Stock
- Vegetable Stock
What other combinations can I use to customize this one pot pasta?
Tired of the tomato, basil and parmesan combo? Check these out!
- Make it Fancy! Use 1/2 dry white wine, 1/2 chicken stock for liquid. Sub peas for tomatoes and sub parsley for basil.
- Make it Spanish! Use chicken stock for liquid, sub chopped red bell pepper for tomatoes, add 1/2 cup of frozen peas, and add a pinch of saffron to the mixture to make it resemble Arroz con Pollo but in pasta form.
- Make it Hearty! Use beef stock for liquid, sub tomatoes for asparagus, sub 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary, and add white cheddar cheese instead of parmesan.
What other one pot meals do you recommend?
We are EXPERTS when it comes to one pot meals! You can find all of our one pot meals here, but if we had to pick 3 favorites, we’d pick these:
- One Pan Meatball and Pasta Skillet
- 30 Minute Minestrone Soup with Sausage
- Easy Roasted Chicken Thighs and Potatoes
Cheers to easy dinners, friends! If you make this, let us know what you think by rating this recipe, and leaving us a note in the comments below. – Rachel
One Pot Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil and Parmesan
- 12 ounces spaghetti or other pasta
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 1 diced onion equivalent to about 1 1/2 cups
- 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil plus extra to garnish if desired
- 4 1/2 cups water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- Combine all ingredients (except parmesan) into a large pot. If additional room in pot is needed, snap spaghetti in half.
- Pour water into pot and bring to a boil. Stir often.
- Once pasta is cooked and water has dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Stir in parmesan. Garnish with additional basil if desired, serve and enjoy.