This One Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce is a healthy, easy and delicious meal for any night of the week! Made healthier with hidden veggies and one other secret ingredient I bet you’ll never guess!
I can’t speak to how things go at your place, but some days 5:00 hits and I stand in my kitchen, casually looking around for dinner to jump out and make itself.
And then nothing happens.
Sometimes I even — gasp — go to the emergency boxes of mac & cheese.
I have a bit of a sweet tooth, and while I like to think I share mostly easy, relatively healthy dinner ideas here on The Recipe Rebel, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have those days where I get distracted and end up baking cookies instead of making dinner.
This One Pot Spaghetti? It’s made for Real Life.
As a working mom of 3 kids 6 and under, the one pot pasta is a lifesaver.
When there is nothing else in the house, and the fridge and the veggie drawer are empty, I can still whip up some kind of one pot pasta because that is something we always have on hand.
This One Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce has got to be the favorite with my kids.
All three of them are big spaghetti lovers and will easily take a bowl of this over any creamy, cheesy pasta concoction I might come up with.
I originally created this recipe after coming up with my Ultimate Mix and Match One Pot Pasta Guide, and it’s been a hit ever since.
It’s actually amazing how many veggies and healthy things you can stir into a bowl of pasta without anyone noticing 😉
Love easy one pot recipes? You’ll want to check out this One Pot Turkey Mexican Pasta from my friend Nicole!
Tips for making this One Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce:
- I mean, I love to twirl, but do yourself a favor and break those spaghetti noodles in half. They will cook much more easily and you’ll have less clumping!
- Get yourself a good pot — in these photos I used a 3.7L Le Creuset braiser which was recently gifted to me from the company, and I love it for everything from one pot pasta to baked dishes to soup and basically everything that could come out of your kitchen.
- The secret to sneaking in veggies (not that we need to sneak them in, my girls actually prefer raw veggies!), is to shred them, puree them, or dice them up super small. If you have a picky eater, this is a great way to show them that they actually do enjoy a lot of the things they might think they don’t.
Variations of this One Pot Spaghetti:
- If you don’t have tomato juice, you can make this recipe with 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth, 1 28oz can diced tomatoes, and 1 cup tomato pasta sauce to ensure you get that tomato flavor. It will cook up just as well like this!
- If you really like a punch of flavor, you can add a little more red pepper flakes to bring the heat.
- Feel free to make this recipe leaner by swapping the ground beef for ground chicken or turkey.
- Feel free to mix up the veggies you throw in here: mushrooms, zucchini or bell peppers would be great as well!
Like this one pot Spaghetti? Here are more spaghetti recipes you might enjoy:
- Cheesy Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti Recipe
- Healthier Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
- Healthier Creamy Chicken Spaghetti Bake
*Post, images and recipe updated from September 2015
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Healthy One Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
- 1 lb lean ground beef or use turkey or pork if you want
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 1 large carrot (peeled and shredded)
- 1 cup freshly chopped spinach
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 cups low sodium chicken, beef or vegetable broth
- 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
- 375 grams box of whole grain spaghetti (about 13 oz)
- In a large skillet, cook ground beef and onion over medium heat, stirring often, until beef is browned. (If not using lean ground beef, you may want to drain excess fat from the pan)
- Add shredded carrot, spinach, salt, garlic, Italian seasoning, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes and cook 1-2 minutes.
- Add broth and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and then dry spaghetti and reduce to medium heat. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until pasta is cooked, stirring often to keep spaghetti from clumping. (If sauce thickens too quickly and pasta is not yet cooked, simply add another ¼-½ cup broth and keep cooking)
- When pasta is cooked, taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Optional: add 1 teaspoon granulated sugar if tomatoes are bitter.
- Serve with shredded Parmesan cheese and fresh basil as desired.
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