One-Pan Skillet Spaghetti (Vegetarian, Gluten Free)

4.50 from 2 votes
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The internet has been going a little crazy for one-pan pastas lately.

You may have heard of the Baked Feta Pasta trend, which I’ll admit, is actually worth the hype.  I’ve adapted a few recipes based on that method and will be sharing one very soon (get excited).

But let’s start with this pasta, shall we?

I first learned about one-pan pasta when I worked for Martha Stewart.  To me, it originated with her.  This pasta isn’t baked, it’s made all on the stovetop.  No separate sauce pan, no straining.  The best part is that the creamy sauce has no butter, cream, or milk.  Instead, similar to risotto, it relies on frequent stirring and the starch that is extracted and developed to make it super creamy.

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It uses so few ingredients, and such little water, and yet comes together quickly and beautifully every time.  It’s really a marvelous method.

One-Pan skillet spaghetti ingredients:

Spaghetti:  I like to use spaghetti for this, as I find it’s the perfect density to stand up to the sauce without being overpowered.  To keep it gluten free I use Jovial Foods Brown Rice Pasta or Banza Chickpea Pasta.  

Red onion:  I like the subtle sweetness that the red onion lends to the pasta, it’s a big part of flavoring the sauce.

Garlic:  Like onion, garlic is responsible for flavoring the sauce so it’s a must.  I slice it and the flavor melts into the pasta sauce, mellowing the slices as it cooks.  

“what else can i use?”

  • If you’re not gluten free, any spaghetti that you like will work here.  
  • I like spaghetti in this, but linguine is also great and it’s what Martha Stewart’s original recipe calls for.
  • Any size tomato can be used here, if you’re using cherry tomatoes simply halve them.  You want them to be in a 1 or 2 inch size.
  • Swap in kale, or even basil for the spinach if that’s what you have.  
  • You can make this recipe vegan simply by leaving out the parmesan at the end.

If you love pasta as much as me, and are looking for healthy and comforting ways to make it, be sure to also check out my Spicy Fusilli Pasta with Tomato + Cream.  It’s a favorite among all who make it!  As always, let me know what you think of this recipe – DM me on Instagram or share a photo of it to your stories so I can re-share.  I love to hear from you!

one pan spaghetti
4.50 from 2 votes

One-Pan Skillet Spaghetti (Vegetarian, Gluten Free)

This quick and easy skillet spaghetti is creamy, packed with veggies, and all made on the stovetop.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Servings: 4


  • large straight-sided skillet


  • 12 ounces spaghetti, I use Banza or Jovial Foods
  • 12 ounces tomatoes, halved or chopped depending on size
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • Freshly grated parmesan, for serving


  • In a large, straight-sided skillet, place your pasta in the middle so it lies flat.
  • Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, spinach, oil, red pepper flakes (if using), 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper distributing evenly around the pan.
  • Add the water.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium high.
  • Boil pasta mixture, uncovered, stirring and turning the pasta frequently with tongs or a fork to separate.
  • Cook until pasta is al dente and water has almost evaporated, 8-10 minutes.
  • Divide among four shallow bowls, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, cracked pepper and some Parmesan if desired.
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Kat Ashmore
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Keyword: one pan, pasta, spaghetti, vegetarian
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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    So easy to make and so delicious. I added more spinach. I also pureed the tomatoes once they were cooked because my boyfriend prefers it that way.

  2. 4 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight…absolutely delicious! I love that it’s so easy to prepare , and that it produces a creamy sauce without the use of butter or cream or milk. I’ll be making this again. Thanks!