The idea behind one-pot recipes is self explanatory—you throw everything into one pot, let it cook, and voila! You can easily make a balanced meal in a few simple steps.
Because they’re so easy, one-pot recipes can be a great lunch or dinner option. And when it comes to one-pot pasta dishes, this can be an easy way to include nutrient-dense foods into your meals with minimal work.
Here are seven Nutrisense dietitian-recommended one-pot pasta recipes to try out the next time you’re crunched for time.
7 Dietitian-Recommended One-Pot Pasta Recipes
Enjoy our favorite dietitian-recommended one-pot pasta recipes that are as tasty as they are nutrient-dense.
1) 10-Minute Hearts of Palm Pasta by Sugary Logic
Recommended by Victoria Eaton, RDN, IFNCP
- 12 ounces hearts of palm pasta
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons fried onions for garnish
Why Victoria Loves It
If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll stir in a bit of pesto. Hearts of palm are a great low carb, glucose-friendly pasta alternative.”
2 ) Vegan Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Bowls by Eating Bird Food
Recommended by Rebecca French, RDN
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup vegan ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup baby greens, spinach or arugula
- Crumbled vegan ricotta cheese, for topping
- Hemp parmesan, for topping
Why Rebecca Loves It
Spaghetti squash is quite bland itself so it takes the flavor of whatever seasonings and sauces you use. I honestly don't even miss traditional pasta noodles when I use spaghetti squash, and I don't feel so full and tired after either.”
3 ) One-Pot Creole Chicken, Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo by No Plate Like Home
While gumbo isn’t typically a pasta dish, whipping up this southern-style recipe and adding some pasta noodles can put a unique twist on a one-pot pasta!
Recommended by Amanda Donahue, MS, RD, CD
- 2 cups of cooked chopped chicken breast or dark meat
- 2 cups of shrimp fresh or frozen
- 2 chicken apple sausage links sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces
- 5 cups of chicken broth
- 14.5 can of diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 green or red bell pepper chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1 celery rib chopped
- 1 cup of okra (optional)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup of flour
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
Why Amanda Loves It
“I love a healthy twist on a good southern dish, and it doesn't get much more southern than gumbo! This is a great dish for winter to keep you warm (and nourished!).
The apple chicken sausage adds a unique, sweeter flavor profile to this savory dish! Feel free to throw in a pasta of your choice and add any vegetables or protein sources. The best part of gumbo is that it can be so versatile!”
4 ) Cheesy Cauliflower Rice with Broccoli and Chicken by Livin’ Chirpy
While cauliflower rice is not quite pasta, it’s a great low-carb alternative to spaghetti noodles if you’re following the keto diet or simply looking to improve your blood sugar response.
Recommended by Liz McKinney, MS, CNS, LDN
- 1 pound chicken breast, cut into bite-sized cubes
- 1 onion
- 3 cups cauliflower (blended/chopped into fine "rice")
- 3 cups broccoli
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ½ cup cream cheese
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Salt and pepper to taste
Why She Loves It
“Although not technically a one-pot pasta, I love this low-carb and protein-packed cauliflower rice! It’s a great lower carb option for those that want to omit pasta altogether but still have an easy-to-cook meal.
Protein helps with satiety throughout the day and can also support healthy glucose levels. This would be a great meal to make ahead of the week for meal prep.”
5 ) Instant Pot Goulash by I Don’t Have Time For That
Recommended by Jordyn Wallerius, MS, RDN, CD
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 large onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 cans of tomato sauce
- 3 cans diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups elbow noodles - see notes
- 2 cups beef broth or water
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Why She Loves It
“Goulash is a Midwest staple perfect for warming up in wintertime. I love that this recipe uses an instant pot for minimal effort and easy clean up, making it perfect for busy weeknights.
This dish can lean on the higher-carb side as is, so I will typically swap the regular noodles for chickpea pasta or something similar. Pairing this with a salad or a side of steamed veggies instead of pasta can also make the carb load more manageable.
Swapping one cup of pasta for one cup of sliced mushrooms also works great. It’s up to you.”
6) Jillian Buckley’s Chicken Noodle Soup
This chicken noodle soup recipe was created by Nutrisense dietitian Jillian Buckley, RD. It's a super easy, one-pot recipe you can whip up in under 30 minutes.
The soup serves roughly eight to 10 people and is a creative way to cook up your leftover pasta noodles!
- 4 carrots chopped
- 5 stalks celery chopped
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 parsnips chopped
- 12 cups water or chicken stock
- 1 whole chicken
- A handful of chopped dill and parsley
- 8 ounces dry egg noodles
- Place soup pot over high heat. Once hot, add butter.
- Add carrots, parsnips, celery, onion, garlic salt and pepper.
- Sauté for 5-10 min.
- Add chicken.
- Pour water/broth on top.
- Bring to boil then reduce to low simmer. Simmer for 1 hour or until chicken reaches 165F.
- Remove chicken and shred.
- Add dill and parsley into the pot with chicken. Add in egg noodles (I added in 8 ounces dry).
- Cook until egg noodles cook, about 15 minutes.
- Serve with optional shredded Parmesan and chopped herbs.
Why Jillian Loves It
“I love this recipe because it’s so comforting, and reminds me of childhood! It's a great option for those who want to enjoy a warm soup in the wintertime, especially if you’re feeling under the weather.”
6) Healthy One-Pot Pasta Recipe by Erin Lives Whole
Recommended by Randi Yow, RDN, LDN
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 ounces box brown rice fusilli pasta, uncooked
- 1 large head broccoli
- 1 package sliced mushrooms
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups jarred pasta sauce
- 3 cups low sodium stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake
- 1 bag fresh spinach
- Parmesan cheese for topping
Why She Loves It
“I love pasta and so does my family, so easy and delicious is the name of the game! I make this easy pasta with chicken or grass fed beef to add protein and usually make it with either brown rice or chickpea pasta.
It’s a delicious and healthy warm meal for the winter.”
Tips For Making the Perfect one-pot Pasta
For some people, crafting the perfect one-pot pasta can feel like a challenge. After all, balancing the cooking time of all your ingredients can be tricky. Here are some top tips to help you craft a tasty, one-pot pasta recipe.
1. Add Fresh Produce and Herbs Where Possible
Because one-pot pasta dishes usually cook quickly, you may not get the same depth of flavor as you would if you were slow-cooking your food. This is where adding in fresh ingredients can really help enhance the flavor.
Adding in fresh herbs and produce can help you ensure that you get the most flavor out of your recipe. Better yet, opt for organic or well-sourced ingredients from local farms.
2. Choose Your Protein Wisely
In a one-pot meal, all your ingredients go inside one-pot and nothing is cooked separately. This can make one-pot recipes a little tricky at times, because not all ingredients have the same cooking time.
After all, you don’t want well-cooked chicken at the expense of mushy pasta. So, choose your protein source wisely, follow the recipe instructions closely, and ensure your protein of choice has roughly the same cooking time as the pasta option you choose.
3. Opt for Well-Tolerated Carb Options For Healthy Post-Meal Blood Sugar
This is as much a tip for your one-pot pasta as it is for your health! If you’re worried about much higher glucose spikes from eating a large portion of starchy pasta, you may want to opt for lower carb options or watch your portions a bit.
For lower carb alternatives, there are lots of options out there, from spaghetti squash to shirataki noodles. Get creative with your dish and experiment with new flavors!If you find yourself to always be on-the-go, finding the time to cook, clean, and relax may seem downright impossible. This is where one-pot recipes can be incredibly helpful.
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