by Olena

Easy Spaghetti Recipe

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Olena Osipov
5 from 48 votes

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This quick 10 minute Easy Spaghetti Recipe is going to become your new favourite pasta dish on rotation throughout the week. Made simply with tomato sauce, garlic, and Parmesan, it’s a million-dollar spaghetti on a budget!

Ground turkey pasta, chicken alfredo, and Tuscan chicken pasta are other easy pasta meals that rival any fancy Italian restaurant dinner!

easy spaghetti recipe being dished out of a pot

This easy spaghetti recipe was created out of one of those moments where I didn’t know what to make and wanted a quick dinner that everyone would eat. Well, we ate…and ate…and ate some more.

It’s a simple recipe using a few basic ingredients and it turned out to be the best spaghetti ever and just as easy as mac and cheese. No long-simmering sauces or high restaurant bills, save your money and your time and make a tastier version right at home!

Why Make Easy Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce?

  • So delicious: Flavors come together so nicely in this spaghetti, no one will believe it’s made with plain canned tomato sauce!
  • Easy: 10-minute spaghetti is perfect for a busy weeknight or at the end of a long day. More time to relax in your PJ’s and enjoy a glass of wine!
  • Complete meal: Serve simple spaghetti and sauce dish with a side salad or add protein with turkey meatballs or even a side of turkey breast roast.
  • Budget-friendly. It’s nice to splurge sometimes on a delicious meal, but it’s even nicer to have that same delicious meal for a fraction of the cost!

Similar to Instant Pot spaghetti which is another quick and easy pasta favourite. I am slightly obsessed with Instant Pot recipes so I usually find a way to create a classic dish using the pressure cooker!

easy spaghetti recipe in stove pot with parmesan cheese

Ingredients for Easy Spaghetti Recipe

  • Spaghetti: Any pasta will work. I prefer using whole wheat or whole grain because it contains fibre and nutrients. If you use regular white pasta, please note the nutritional information of this delicious spaghetti recipe will change. Gluten-free spaghetti such as brown rice, quinoa, etc. will also work but it does cook faster than wheat. So watch it to avoid a mushy mess.
  • Tomato sauce: There are so many tomato products on the shelves these days, in cans and jars, I get lost myself in the aisle too! That is partially why I just buy a 12 case of organic low sodium canned tomato sauce at Costco and use it in all my recipes. The other reason is that other tomato products are expensive. To make good spaghetti, you need a can of cheap, preferably low sodium, tomato sauce that reads “tomato sauce.” Not “spaghetti sauce,” not “pizza sauce,” not “pasta sauce,” not “marinara sauce.” Just “tomato sauce.”
  • Parmesan cheese: Pre-grated Parmesan cheese in a shaker contains cellulose as a filler. It is not pure Parmesan cheese. Plus it doesn’t taste nearly as fresh. I highly recommend using a block of fresh parmesan and grating your own for this easy spaghetti recipe.

Storing Parmesan block. Refrigerate the rest in a container for up to 2-3 months or freeze it. When needed, thaw, grate and use for pasta salad, lentil soup, and baked cauliflower.

I highly recommend to use fresh and real Parmesan, it not only tastes better, it adds to the restaurant quality of this simple dish!

  • Extra virgin olive oil and fresh garlic: You’ll need lots of minced garlic in this recipe which makes it just as flavourful as a homemade spaghetti sauce.
  • Dried oregano, salt, and pepper: A simple seasoning to add to the sauce is all you need.
easy spaghetti recipe ingredients

How to Make Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce

Everything cooks in one pot for this easy spaghetti recipe! That’s why I love my 6 quart Dutch oven so much!

Why so much salt? Don’t worry. You will not be eating 2.5 teaspoons of salt. Saltwater boils faster than unsalted water, it also adds a ton of flavor to the pasta and helps the pasta keep from clumping together.

  • Cook spaghetti: Fill a large Dutch oven or pot with cold water 3/4 full and bring to a boil. Add 2 tsp salt and spaghetti. Separate pasta with tongs a few times during the first 2 minutes of cooking to ensure it does not stick. Keep cooking uncovered for 5 more minutes or until al dente, stirring occasionally.

Tips for cooking gluten-free spaghetti:

  • It cooks a bit faster than wheat, so watch closely.
  • It tends to stick – stir often and rinse with cold water after draining.
  • It makes the water murky during cooking which is OK.
  • Drain pasta: Test the spaghetti for doneness towards the end by grabbing one strand onto a plate with tongs. Do not overcook until too soft. The key to tasty pasta is cooked pasta with a bite. Drain in a colander.

How To Tell When Pasta is Done

Do you know that old trick of throwing pasta against a wall to see if it sticks? Yeah, don’t do that. Although, that is a great way to tell if it’s overdone! 

Really and truly, the only way you’re going to tell for sure is to test it along the way. Take one out, blow on it, or run it under cold water to cool it off, and take a bite!

If it’s edible with a bite (but not undercooked and hard) it’s probably done.

  • Cook garlic: Return the pot to medium heat and add the olive oil, 4 garlic cloves, and oregano. Cook for 20 seconds, stirring constantly. Garlic cooks fast and can easily burn, so don’t walk away. Turn off the heat.
  • Add drained pasta, tomato sauce, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, and 1 more fresh garlic clove: Stir gently until warmed through. That 1 clove of fresh garlic at the end is a must!
  • Sprinkle with parmesan…and serve immediately!

Optional Add-In’s and Variation

  • Olives: I love adding pitted Kalamata olives to garlicky pasta like in this chicken and whole wheat spaghetti. So easy as they come from a jar and add zest and slightly tangy salty flavour. I don’t even chop them!
  • Chicken: Shredded or cubed cooked chicken breast or flavorful leftovers of honey garlic chicken or lemon chicken add extra protein to healthy spaghetti recipe. Also, try crockpot chicken spaghetti!
  • Ground beef: Use fresh or frozen ground beef in the sauce for delicious spaghetti and meat sauce. Cook the meat first, then add the sauce.
  • Ground turkey: Pre-cooked ground turkey with salt and pepper is good enough! Try spaghetti squash casserole that combines ground turkey and tomato sauce!
  • Anchovies or sardines: OK, don’t call me “weird” but I love salty canned fish with pasta. So good! It must be the European in me 🙂
  • Spice: If you like a little heat in your pasta dishes, throw in a few red pepper flakes into the sauce. Or, if you can find spicy tomato sauce, use that!
  • Low carb: Try making just the sauce and then serve with spaghetti squash!

Tips for Best Results

  • To keep spaghetti whole: Hold a bundle of spaghetti for 20 seconds when you first add it to the pot with boiling water, then push in the rest as the submerged portion of pasta softens.
  • Cook to al dente: No one wants mushy pasta!
  • Salt the water: For flavor and nonstick results.
  • Customize: Adjust to whatever flavours or add-ins you like.
  • Serve immediately: But also enjoy leftovers the next day!
  • Cooking garlic: turn off the heat before adding it and it will cook with residual heat rather than burning.

FAQs

How do I make easy spaghetti recipe?


Easily! Cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Cook the aromatics and seasoning in the same pot, add the tomato sauce, toss back in the pasta, sprinkle with cheese, and serve. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

What can I add to plain spaghetti?

Kids love plain spaghetti with a little bit of butter and parmesan cheese. Give them a bowl of that and they’re set with a super easy healthy spaghetti recipe. If you like a little something extra, you can add in some sundried tomatoes and black olives, perhaps a bit of tuna. You could add in any meat of your choice, ground beef, ground chicken, or some sausage. Load it up with chopped veggies or toss it around in some spinach and feta. Spaghetti is a perfect blank slate for adding all kinds of yummy ingredients.

How long do I cook spaghetti noodles?

You always want to check out the directions on the package of the spaghetti you’re using because it varies. If you use white pasta, whole-wheat pasta, or gluten-free pasta, the time will be different. For this recipe, I used whole wheat spaghetti and cooked it for a total of 7 minutes.

How do I cook spaghetti noodles so they don’t stick?

There are a couple of ways to do this, and the first is to use salted water. The second is to make sure you’re stirring occasionally, especially during the first couple of minutes and then again throughout. Some people find adding drops of olive oil into the boiling water helps, but others think that should be illegal.

What does al dente mean?


Dente in Italian means “tooth,” so al dente is a literal translation of “to the tooth.” Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it? In other words, it means the pasta will still have a bite to it. When bitten into, it’s not mushy or soft, but it’s also not uncooked either. Just slightly underdone.

Serving Recommendations

Salad: Serve healthy spaghetti recipe with Parmesan cheese and chopped salad on the side. This is the best, cheapest, spaghetti I have ever had anywhere!

Restaurant quality at home: What’s a plate of pasta without some nice crusty bread with olive oil dip or these cauliflower bread sticks and a glass of red wine?

Making Healthy Spaghetti Recipe in Advance

Store: Refrigerate spaghetti leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Freeze: Do not freeze.

Reheat: Add to a pot with a splash of water and simmer on low.

More Healthy Pasta Recipes

Easy Spaghetti Recipe

Easy Spaghetti Recipe {10 Minutes!}

This quick 10 minute Easy Spaghetti Recipe is going to become your new favourite pasta dish on rotation throughout the week. Made simply with tomato sauce, garlic, and Parmesan, it's a million-dollar spaghetti on a budget!
4.96 from 48 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 11 minutes
Servings: 4 large servings
Calories: 397kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 12 oz any spaghetti uncooked
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce low sodium
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 5 large garlic cloves minced
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp oregano dried
  • Parmesan cheese grated

Instructions

  • Fill large Dutch oven or pot with cold water 3/4 full and bring to a boil. Add 2 tsp salt and spaghetti.
    Easy Spaghetti Recipe
  • Separate pasta with tongs a few times during first 2 minutes of cooking. This will ensure spaghetti do not stick together.
    Easy Spaghetti Recipe
  • Cook pasta uncovered for 5 more minutes or until al dente, stirring occasionally. Taste for doneness while cooking. Do not overcook until too soft. The key to tasty pasta is firm cooked pasta. Drain spaghetti in a colander.
    Easy Spaghetti Recipe
  • Return pot to medium heat and add olive oil, 4 garlic cloves and oregano. Turn off the heat. Stir constantly for 20 seconds.
    Easy Spaghetti Recipe
  • Add drained pasta, tomato sauce, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper and 1 garlic clove. Stir gently until warmed through.
    Easy Spaghetti Recipe
  • Stir gently until warmed through.
    Easy Spaghetti Recipe
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately. This is the best cheap and quite healthy spaghetti I have ever had anywhere!
    Easy Spaghetti Recipe

Store: Refrigerate spaghetti leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days. To reheat, add to a pot with a splash of water and simmer on low.

    Freeze: Do not freeze. Pasta generally does not freeze well.

      Video

      Notes

      • Spaghetti: Any pasta will work. I prefer to use whole wheat or whole grain because it contains fiber and nutrients. If you use regular white pasta, please note nutritional information of this delicious spaghetti recipe will change.
      • Cooking gluten free spaghetti: Like brown rice, quinoa etc. will work. Please note it cooks a bit faster and sticks together more than wheat. So watch to avoid a mushy mess, stir often, rinse with cold water after draining and keep in mind murky water is fine.
      • How do you know pasta is ready? Remove one piece of pasta on a plate, let cool for 30 seconds and taste. Also if you can easily cut it with a fork, pasta is ready.
      • Tomato sauce: To make good spaghetti, you need a can of cheap tomato sauce that reads “tomato sauce”. Preferably low sodium. Not “spaghetti sauce”, not “pizza sauce”, not “pasta sauce”, not “marinara sauce”. Just “tomato sauce”. However, others will work too.
      • Parmesan cheese: Pre-grated Parmesan cheese in a shaker contains cellulose as a filler. It is ground up wood chips. It is not pure Parmesan cheese. Plus it doesn’t taste nearly as fresh. I highly recommend to use fresh and real Parmesan.
      • Why so much salt? Don’t worry. You will not eat 2.5 teaspoons salt. It is important to cook spaghetti with salt to prevent pasta from sticking. And to add flavor during cooking.
      • Olives: I love adding pitted Kalamata olives to garlicky pasta. So easy as they come from a jar and add a zest and flavour. I don’t even chop them.
      • Chicken: Shredded or cubed cooked chicken for extra protein. Check out my Instant Pot chicken breast – so easy!
      • Ground turkey: Pre-cooked ground turkey with salt and pepper is good enough. And ups the protein content.
      • Anchovies or sardines: OK, don’t call me “weird” but I love salty canned fish with pasta. So good!
      See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 2cups | Calories: 397kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 596mg | Potassium: 198mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 3mg
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      99 comments on “Easy Spaghetti Recipe

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      1. 5 stars
        I boil the pasta in my Instant Pot. Approx 12 oz pasta cooked for 3 mins; then quick release. I drain the cooked pasta in a plastic colander & set aside while I cook the sauce ingredients in the Instant Pot. Add the cooked, drained pasta to the hot sauce. Voila!

      2. 5 stars
        My husband likes lots of sauce so I used 2 cans of tomato sauce it was still delicious .we really enjoyed it

      3. That looks so simple and quick thats what I like .I’m going to make this dish tonight 😋. Thankyou for all your delicious and fabulous recipes. 😋.

      4. 5 stars
        I found this because I forgot to defrost any meat ( turkey, ground beef, meatballs) a old friend had made this spaghetti like over 15yrs ago..lost touch
        Fast fwd this was the flavor she had made..omg I won’t ever forget now!!
        Will definitely make again omg so good…the guys here asked for seconds…now that’s a plus..

        Used jar garlic with oregano on shelf
        Can’t wait to use fresh garlic on this plus I doubled the recipe, thank you!!!

          1. 5 stars
            I made this for dinner tonight. It was a hit! I was shocked at the simplicity of this recipe. This is the way spaghetti is supposed to taste. I’ll be making it like this from now on. Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe! 😁

      5. 5 stars
        This is my go-to recipe. I can’t count the number of times I’ve made it. It’s perfect for busy days or “I-don’t-feel-like-cooking” days. I’m planning to clean house and make this recipe tomorrow. It will be post-housework treat.

      6. 5 stars
        Wanted something quick and delicious. Stumbled upon this recipe. And when I say it was EVERYTHING!!!!!! So simple yet packed with so much flavor! Thank you so much!!!!

      7. 5 stars
        Hi Olena, I would like to thank you for posting this delicious and super easy/quick recipe .I cooked it for my husband, two always hungry teenage boys and myself, and we absolutely loved it! I used 450g of Spaghetti (not whole wheat) and it was just the right amount for the four of us. I also used strained tomatoes (because that’s all I had on hand) and it worked well. Hi from Edmonton, Alberta : )

      8. hi I decided to make this as a side to our supper this evening. I feed a family of 4 . would the portions still be the same?

        1. Depends on how much you plan on serving and whether you want leftovers. If you don’t mind leftovers, I would keep the recipe the same.

      9. 5 stars
        Just made this and scoffed down 2
        Bowls like a Labrador – Absolutely Devine! Delicious and easy. Washed down beautifully with a glass of wine and a large slice of herby Turkish bread, is there anything in the world better than pasta and wine ?!? I shall have a light Salad tomorrow, today was for spaghetti. Thank you Olena for another satisfying and simple weeknight meal x

      10. 5 stars
        Hi Olena!

        My 24 year old son Eric just moved out to his own apartment in Ottawa. He isn’t much of a cook yet but I gave him your spaghetti recipe and he made it. He really liked it and proudly sent me a photo of his creation. He didn’t have a block of Parmesan and only had a can but he still enjoyed it.

        Thanks for your recipes and love your down to earth common sense comments regarding food and your memories of growing up in the Ukraine.

        All the best to you and your family!

      11. 5 stars
        Made this for my kids and they loved it! It is so simple and cheaper than buying sauce at the store. I used half the oregano because I thought it would be too much flavor for my kids and they liked it. Maybe I will slowly add in more until they like the full amount! Will definitely use this recipe over again and again!

      12. 5 stars
        Amazing! I can never get my daughter to eat Spaghetti because of the sauce but she loved this one! Thank you!

      13. 5 stars
        Absolutely delicious. The smokiness of the garlic and oregano made the whole dish. Threw together a little garlic bread and a Caesar salad. My 21 year old son LOVED it!! Thank you!

      14. 4 stars
        This really was an easy recipe for a first-time spaghetti eater (I suffered from a tomato allergy for 40 years that was recently declared “outgrown”). I left out the cheese and garlic and thought it was really good.

      15. 5 stars
        This is stupid yummy. And I say stupid because how much easier could it be? And it’s yummy! We do add meat. Still stupid yummy.

      16. 5 stars
        I make this once a week. So delicious and garlicky. Even my picky daughter loves this spaghetti. I do add a pound of hamburger or Italian sausage.

        1. That’s the best when picky eaters like what we cook! Sounds like this one is a keeper for you Michelle!

      17. 5 stars
        Very good and simple recipe! I added some mushrooms and tossed it with corkscrew pasta. Very good. Very very very very good.

      18. 5 stars
        Ohh my goodness!! This recipe was so easy!! We loved the taste!! The garlic!! Wow!! This recipe is a KEEPER!!

      19. 5 stars
        This sauce was SO Delicious And it was easy too! Im usually frustarated with meh jar sauce and my attempt is usually worse, Bit this is sooo good! Recommend! Thanks for this so simple and delicous recipe with simple ingredients too! 10 stars

      20. 5 stars
        All I can say is, “WOW!” I always spend all day making my homemade spaghetti sauce. This was amazing for the amount of time and ingredients. My husband and I had a burrata salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette to accompany our meal. Hands down our new go to recipe when I do not have time to make mine. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE

        1. I’m so happy to read this! Thanks for your positive feedback, Erin! The magic powers of fresh garlic sauteed in olive oil. I learnt it from Italians themselves.:)

      21. Hi Olena, what if the tomato sauce is too tangy for one, can you make it less tangy? Also could you use butter instead of olive oil?

        1. Hi Justin. Yes butter is great. To make tomato sauce less tangy and acidic I usually add 1-2 tsp honey, maple syrup or sugar. ALso if you add a splash of half and half or cream sauce will be more sweet. Enjoy!

      22. 5 stars
        I used a can of petite diced, steam pealed, tomatoes with garlic and olive oil instead of tomato sauce. Came out amazing. Thanks.

      23. 5 stars
        Being Italian my family and I love our pasta hehe (sparingly of course) but this sauce is delicious. I bought quinoa and amaranth pasta and it was fantastic. Heading into the recipe section to see what I can make next for tomorrow nights dinner. Thanks so much again for sharing. Have a beautiful week. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

      24. and many times instead of the tomato sauce I use a tin of diced tomatoes, sometimes adding a small tin of tomato paste. I also have added left over cooked meat and really like browning lean ground beef with the oil and garlic (and onion) then added the tomato and pasta.
        Yes, a fav recipe all winter.

      25. 5 stars
        This has become my go-to spaghetti recipe I use every couple of weeks. It is so easy and so tasty and I feel better about making it myself than buying a jar of sauce. I usually add some ground turkey to it also.

      26. 5 stars
        Quick, easy & surprisingly really tasty. This recipe is now one of my ‘go to’s’. On a side note, I like to garnish it with some chilli flakes to add a bit of spice and it’s bloody awesome!

      27. 5 stars
        Yum! Enjoyed the combination of the cooked garlic and the clove or raw garlic at the end. The whole family loved.

        1. Yay! That clove of garlic changes everything in almost any dish. So happy to hear everyone enjoyed this spaghetti with tomato sauce recipe.

          1. 5 stars
            Really enjoyed this lovely, simple recipe. I tweaked it a bit and added crushed red pepper and anchovies. Melted the anchovy into the olive oil before the addition of the garlic and oregano. I have always loved the subtle, delicious flavor of cooking with anchovies. The additional raw garlic at the end was lovely. Definitely would make this again!

            1. I LOVE anchovies too. Anchovies + garlic are heaven. I so agree lol. So happy you enjoyed this simple spaghetti recipe, Sarah!

      28. 5 stars
        I love that it is so easy and cheap. Although I will have to use less sodium cause of weight gain. Otherwise, I will make it as is. I love sardines too from a can.

      29. Hi Olena, you are so right on the mark up of pasta at restaurants. We rarely dine out and I never order pasta when we do. I will try your recipe soon. I was wondering about the garlic in the photo at the top. Is it from Costco?

        1. “the more I live, the less I dine out” LOL. It’s from Save on Foods, my local grocery store. Didn’t say from China so I bought it. Very convenient I have to say!Hope it’s at least from USA LOL.

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