Homemade Alphagetti Recipe

If your kids like all this canned pasta in tomato sauce “nonsense”, they will love this homemade alphagetti recipe. I never bought a single can of Heinz Alphagetti but I bought organic Trader Joe’s O’s, and my kids love it! Not sure why and I’m not even sure is it a soup or a even part of healthy pasta dishes?! I have no idea. The whole idea of my lunch or dinner coming from a can sounds unappealing to me.

I remember first seeing Alphagetti in kids’ lunch bags and thinking that I would never wanna have that lunch, especially cold. Unfortunately, reality today is that many children don’t even know what real food looks and tastes like. For many kids, “food” comes from a pretty can or box featuring their favourite cartoon/movie character. Even fruit is in a plastic cup. Let’s stop supporting marketing inventions of big corps, buy fruit in season and cut it up. Easy-peasy, right?!

Homemade Alphagetti in a thermos

A few weeks ago, I got new thermos for my kids’ lunches and right away thought of making my own healthy alphaghetti (or whatever it’s called in your neck of the woods). There was a point in time, when my kids were bringing their hot lunch back uneaten and it’s not like them. Then I figured out their thermos (cheap no name) wasn’t retaining heat long enough. Issue solved with good quality thermos. Also the trick is to pour boiling water in a thermos for 5 minutes before adding hot food. BIG difference!

Homemade Alphagetti in a pot.

Back to the recipe. Alphagetti thickens with time as pasta keeps cooking in a hot sauce. So, don’t worry if it’s too thin first thing off the heat. Photo above shows you before and after an hour or two sitting on a counter. It can be refrigerated for days and even frozen. My boys had it for lunch 3 days straight and I had nothing to freeze. In fact, both kids had it some days twice, for lunch and dinner. You can easily freeze the leftovers as soon as your kids get tired of it. In fact, I have made this pot mainly for freezing.

Can of Heinz Moshi Monsters Whole Grain Pasta

A few days ago, I went to the store and couldn’t find Alphagetti. Instead, I found Moshi Monsters. True, there are monster  ingredients inside the can. Heinz played smart and removed preservatives but kept all GMO ingredients. Thank you very much, I’m not feeding that to my kids.

Make this homemade alphagetti for your kids for healthy lunch ideas, they will love it!

Cans of tomato sauce, bag of rice pasta and bag of cheddar cheese

More One Pot Healthy Pasta Recipes

alphagetti recipe


Homemade Alphagetti Recipe made healthy with a few simple ingredients in one pot super fast. Make once, send in a thermos for lunch all week.
5 from 5 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 280
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 2 x 14 oz cans tomato sauce low sodium*
  • 8 cups water divided (I used boiled kettle water)
  • 2 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano dried
  • 1/2 tsp coriander ground
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 1/2 cups any small pasta I used brown rice for GF version
  • 1 cup any cheese shredded


  • In a large pot, add tomato sauce, 7 cups water, honey, garlic powder, salt, oregano and coriander; bring to a boil. Add 1 cup water and cornstarch into a small bowl and whisk until dissolved. Pour into a boiling pot.
  • Add pasta and cook uncovered on low – medium heat for about 7 – 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally. Do not over cook pasta as it will continue cooking off the heat. Add cheese and stir until melted; remove from heat. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes to thicken and flavours merry each other although it’s OK to eat right away. After an hour or two it will be even thicker. Serve hot.


  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.
  • *Feel free to use not low sodium tomato sauce (that’s what I had) and adjust salt to taste.


Serving: 1.75cups | Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 930mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 11g
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. 5 stars
    This is perfect for when your kids stay home were there’s no school or the weekend. Good stuff Olena.

  2. So I’m slightly confused on how many pots are used. I read to combine tomatoes and a few other ingredients into a pot, and then pour the whisked ingredients into a different boiling pot, pot of what; the tomato water or just another pot and then boil the rue in that second pot? Please advise. Thank you.

    1. Hi Fran. Everything is cooked in one pot. You add whisked ingredients to the same pot with tomato brew. Then pasta.

  3. Wondering if it’s the same measurement if you are actually using the alphaghetti noodles (the ABC pasta)? Still 3 1/2 cups? Worried about it skewing the recipe.

  4. I have heard that tomatoes especially leach out the can lining due to their acidity. How would you modify this recipe to avoid that issue?

    1. You can buy strained or crushed tomatoes in a glass jar or bottle. Apparently there are a few organic brands, especially in Whole Foods, which I don’t have nearby. I currently use BPA free Kirkland tomato sauce, the can inside is golden colour, made out of steel. I just tried to find if that is OK without BPA and couldn’t find anything. I know tomatoes are acidic…My head is spinning these days as I’m reading about plastics, cookware, natural cleaners. These toxins and harmful chemicals are everywhere! I wonder what is better: organic tomato sauce in a can or not organic in a glass jar?! Go figure…

  5. It worked!!! I poured boiling water into my Klean Kanteen food jar for 5 minutes and the food was warm, almost hot, after 4 hours sitting in a lunch bag! Yay! Thank you for this tip!

    1. Gaah! I just remembered to check this now! So sorry for the delayed follow up. I live in New York and the Spaghetti-O’s here have tiny meatballs sometimes. Before we went clean my son loved them. I would love to make a replacement, I haven’t figured out a good one yet. So glad the thermos trick worked for you. My husband heard it from a friend, I’m glad to pass it along!

      1. You can use your favourite meatballs recipe and roll into tiny meatballs. Have never seen those Spaghetti-O’s in the West but I honestly have never looked either LOL. Although I know West and East food selection differs.

  6. It does but not as well. The water does the trick! I do it first thing when I wake up and let it sit while I make breakfast. Switching the water to the food is the last thing I do before my husband walks out the door. He doesn’t leave until after I’m up for a while so it’s easy for me. It you are more time crunched it could be a pain. There are all different rated Thermoses. Make sure you get the expensive one and you should be good. Good luck!

    1. Thank you. I will try that trick with Klean Kanteen and maybe go buy a Thermos to try to. We have Target going out of business in Canada so maybe I get a deal lol. I have time in the morning, I shouldn’t complain. Especially since I boil water for my green tea anyways.

  7. I have been searching for a recipe like this for a long time for my 4 year old boy, who is the pickiest eater of my 4 children. I am so excited to try it. Thank you for sharing such practical family recipes!

  8. Would you mind sharing the brand and name of the Thermos you purchased, which you found kept the food warmer than others? Thanks!

    1. I now have Klean Kanteen. The trick is to pour boiling water in it before adding hot food. The food is very warm after 4 hours. I love that it is 100% stainless steel, even the lid.

  9. This sounds so good and so easy. My kiddos will love this. I’ll add to my menu an for next week. Thanks for all the healthy and wonderful recipes.

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