Tomato Spinach One Pot Pasta

$6.24 recipe / $1.04 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.75 from 260 votes
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Last weekend I got an email from Robyn with a link to this really cool recipe over at Apron Strings. I love cooking pasta and rice in liquids other than water, so this idea for a one pot pasta dish (which is originally from Martha Stewart Living Magazine) was right up my alley!

Originally posted 5/30/2013, updated 8/22/16

Top view of all the ingredients for the Italian Wonderpot in the pot

This dish is incredibly easy and super flavorful. The pasta cooks in a mixture of broth, herbs, and aromatics, like onion and garlic, which really ramp up the flavor. The starch that dissolves off of the pasta as it cooks helps create a thick sauce right in the pot. It’s magic! So fast, so easy, and SO flavorful. I do want to mention, though, that if you’re the type of person that can’t handle pasta any other way than al dente, you may not like this one. The pasta can get a little soft, if you let it cook even just a little too long.

I made a few changes to the original recipe, as usual, to fit my needs. First, instead of using fresh basil, which can cost an arm and a leg, I used frozen spinach for a pop of green and increased the dried basil to make up for the flavor. Second, I wanted more “stuff” in my pasta, so I used a larger can of diced tomatoes and reduced the amount of vegetable broth to compensate. Lastly, I added a light sprinkle of shaved Parmesan over top. Other great ideas for add-ins: mushrooms, parmesan, artichoke hearts, or olives.

I think next time I’ll save adding the frozen spinach until the end so that it will defrost and heat quickly from the pasta’s residual heat. That way the spinach will stay bright green and pretty, and it will not darken the pasta as it cooks. But hey, either way it tasted fantastic!

All the ingredients for this Italian Wonderpot cook together in one pot to make an incredibly fast, flavorful, and easy weeknight meal. BudgetBytes.com

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Tomato Spinach One Pot Pasta

4.75 from 260 votes
All the ingredients for this Tomato Spinach One Pot Pasta cook together to make an incredibly fast, flavorful, and easy weeknight meal.
Servings 6
Prep 10 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 25 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 cups vegetable broth ($0.52)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.22)
  • 12 oz. fettuccine ($0.75)
  • 8 oz. frozen chopped spinach ($0.72)
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes ($1.68)
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced ($0.42)
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced ($0.32)
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried basil ($0.15)
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano ($0.15)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper ($0.03)
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste ($0.05)
  • 2 oz. shaved Parmesan ($1.25)

Instructions 

  • Add four cups of vegetable broth to a large pot. Break the fettuccine in half and add it to the pot along with the canned tomatoes (with juices), olive oil, frozen spinach, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper, and some freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Make sure the ingredients are submerged under the liquid, place a lid on top of the pot, and then turn the heat on to high. Allow the pot to come up to a full boil over high heat, then remove the lid and turn the heat down to medium.
  • Allow the pot to continue to boil over medium heat, without a lid, for 10-15 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir the pot every few minutes as it cooks to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom, but avoid over stirring which can cause the pasta to become sticky.
  • Sprinkle with shaved Parmesan just before serving.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 200.65kcalCarbohydrates: 26.2gProtein: 8.63gFat: 7.82gSodium: 927.95mgFiber: 5.08g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Italian Wonderpot pasta finished and in bowl with fork

Step by Step Photos

Vegetable Broth in jar

Start with four cups of vegetable broth. The flavor intensity and salt content of your broth will make a big difference in the end flavor of the pasta. If you use a low sodium broth, the pasta will taste bland. I use Better Than Bouillon soup base for all of my broths because it is really flavorful, much less expensive than boxed or canned broths, and I can mix up any amount needed. These little jars last forever in the refrigerator, too, so it’s there whenever you need it. And no, I am not being paid to endorse it. :)

top view of Italian Wonderpot Ingredients in pot

Add the four cups of broth to a large pot along with 12 oz. fettuccine, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 8oz. frozen spinach, a 28oz. can diced tomatoes (with the juices), 1 sliced onion, 4 cloves garlic (minced or sliced), 1/2 Tbsp dried basil, 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, and some freshly cracked pepper. Although I show the fettuccine whole here, it’s best to break the pasta in half to help it fit in the pot and make it easier to stir later.

stirring pot of ingredients

Briefly stir the pot and make sure all the pasta is submerged. Place a lid on the pot and bring it up to a boil over high heat. Once it reaches a full boil, remove the lid, turn the heat down to medium, and give it a stir. Make sure it’s still bubbling away when you turn the heat down. It needs to continue boiling for this to work.

Top view of Cooked Italian Wonderpot

Let it boil for 10-15 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed or evaporated. Only stir once every few minutes to keep the pasta from sticking. Over stirring it can make the pasta overly mushy and sticky.

Bowl of Italian Wonderpot with fork on the side

And then it’s done and it tastes amazing! Cool, huh? Sprinkle a little shaved Parmesan over top just before serving. This Tomato Spinach One Pot Pasta deserves a cape for being so amazing. That bowl was gone in 60 seconds. 👅

All the ingredients for this Italian Wonderpot cook together in one pot to make an incredibly fast, flavorful, and easy weeknight meal. BudgetBytes.com
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  1. Have been wanting to make this recipe for the entire time I’ve been lurking on Budget Bytes (no joke, I’ve been skulking around for a decade and kept forgetting this recipe) and it did not disappoint! I did brown some chicken italian sausage in the pot before following the recipe exactly from step 1 onwards, as inspired by some of the comments. This is going into the rotation for sure :)

  2. If you don’t mind, do you remember the amount of broth you would need for only 16ozs of tomatoes? I don’t want to mess up the liquid amounts too much with a guess

    1. Hi, Lani! As Beth mentions in step 2 on the recipe card, you want to ensure all the ingredients are submerged in liquid from the outset. With fewer tomatoes in the mix, I would guess that less broth will be needed. However, just to be safe, I would pour in the broth 1/2-1cup at a time until the ingredients are just covered — and then proceed with the recipe as written. ~Marion :)

  3. Has anyone had luck adapting this recipe to use with gluten free pasta? I’ve tried twice but it’s ends up quite mushy.

    1. Hi Erin, add the pasta at the end of the cooking time for the best results and stir continuously, as gluten-free pasta tends to clump. Bring everything to a boil and allow it to boil for a few minutes to develop flavors, then add the pasta. Pull it off the heat and transfer it to a cool container a few minutes before the directions on the box asks you to. Carryover cooking will continue cooking the pasta. If you use the time on the box, it will be mushy by the time you eat it. XOXO -Monti

  4. Parmesan is good, but feta is betta. boyfriend and I agree, skim the parm and go for feta instead.

    BUT, this recipe is why I have frozen spinach on hand. It’s so easy with pantry staples, it makes a great emergency meal

  5. Tasted great, although it was very soupy by the time the pasta cooked, so I ended up having to drain it a bunch at the end. I used fresh spinach instead of frozen, although I don’t think that would be the issue since the water content should be the same. Otherwise followed exactly, and I probably drained around 3 cups of liquid by the end. Tasted great though! Maybe next time I’ll just add a bit less broth or drain some of the liquid from the diced tomatoes or something.

  6. …just an old fart here… but gotta tell you … this is really good … and plenty to share …

    garnished with crumbled feta was sure different and good good …add black olives, peppers, or a Chile, if you like … but great as is with feta tho …

  7. …just an old fart here… but gotta tell you … this is really good … and plenty to share …

  8. LOL people getting upset about the word italian wonderpot because its doesnt do it the right Italian way. People, its a quick budget meal. Should we cancel Italian dressing too? This is not trying to be anything other than quick and cheap. Chill