by Olena

Easy Spaghetti Recipe

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Olena Osipov
5 from 52 votes

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

Ground turkey pasta, healthy chicken alfredo, and healthy Tuscan chicken pasta are among other Italian restaurant quality healthy dinner ideas you can make at home!

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 healthy salad recipe 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 chicken breast or flavorful leftovers of baked honey garlic chicken breast or butter 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.

easy spaghetti tomato sauce recipe with noodles in pot with parmesan

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

Spaghetti in a pot with cheese and tongs.
Easy Spaghetti Recipe

Easy Spaghetti Recipe

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!
4.97 from 52 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.
  • Separate pasta with tongs a few times during first 2 minutes of cooking. This will ensure spaghetti do not stick together.
  • 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.
  • Return pot to medium heat and add olive oil, 4 garlic cloves and oregano. Turn off the heat. Stir constantly for 20 seconds.
  • Add drained pasta, tomato sauce, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper and 1 garlic clove. Stir gently until warmed through.
  • Stir gently until warmed through.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately. This is the best cheap and quite healthy spaghetti I have ever had anywhere!

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, whole wheat, whole grain, even gluten free. 
      • 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”.
      • Parmesan cheese: Pre-grated Parmesan cheese in a shaker contains cellulose as a filler. 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.
      See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 2cups | Calories: 397kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 596mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g

      Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.

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      1. 5 stars
        Another yummy recipe from Olena!! I made this for the fam tonight. I cooked lean ground beef with onions. Then I boiled and drained the pasta. Followed the recipe but added the beef/ onions to the pot with the pasta and sauce. It’s my new go to recipe for spaghetti!! My son and I thought it was better than using jarred sauce!! And no sugar, or extra sodium!! Thanks Olena!!

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