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This is the easiest Creamy One Pot Pasta you will ever make! Less than 10 minutes to prep, ready in 30 minute and as easy as tossing everything in the pot and stirring. Dinner doesn’t get any easier, or tastier than this creamy, parmesan pasta!

Large pot with creamy rotini pasta, tomatoes, spinach and chopped basil on top.
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If you like pasta and you also like to put minimal effort into cooking an amazing dinner, then this EASY Creamy One Pot Pasta is literally screaming your name.

We are talking toss all of the ingredients into the pot, turn on the heat, and about 20 minutes later, dinner is served. Now THAT is a great recipe!

Who would not be down for that??

There are a lot of things in life that you have to work hard for, don’t let dinner be one of those things. If you love a good one pot dish, check out my 20 Minute One Pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta or this One Pot Chicken Alfredo as well!

Why You Will Love this Creamy One Pot Pasta Recipe:

  • It is the EASIEST pasta recipe ever! All you have to do to make this creamy one pot pasta is toss everything in the pot, and essentially walk away. You will be amazed by how easy it is and how delicious as well! Simple ingredients that include lots of pantry staples, simple prep, easy cleanup–such an easy recipe!
  • A dump and go dinner ready in 30 minutes. Dinner is ready in 30 minutes but also an EASY dinner is ready in 30 minutes. When you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, this creamy tomato pasta dish is great because you can get something else done while it cooks.
  • Simple to vary. Add meat, other veggies, vary the cheeses, add some chicken or another favorite protein and more. So easy to make this dish several times without making it exactly the same twice. Another reason this dish fits so easily into our regular rotation!
White plate with creamy pasta topped with parmesan and basil.

What you will need:

  • pasta: I prefer rotini but have made it with other short pastas as well. Use what you have on hand and just check after about 10 minutes of boiling to make sure the pasta doesn’t get over cooked. I have used whole wheat pasta in this recipe with great success as well.
  • tomatoes: Diced tomatoes, you can use regular or fire roasted are great as well. Leave the juices in the tomatoes when adding to the pot–no need to drain them as the liquid will get absorbed when boiling.
  • spinach: fresh spinach is my preference however frozen spinach should work as well.
  • onion: yellow or white, a shallot will work as well. Very finely diced for best results.
  • seasoning: I used to make this recipe with a combination of oregano, basil and rosemary. Recently, I started using Italian seasoning as it is always on hand and I seemed to never have rosemary. Italian herbs of really any combo will be amazing in this dish! A touch of sea salt and black pepper as well!
  • garlic: freshly minced for the best flavor. If you don’t have any fresh garlic on hand, add about 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder to start and adjust as desired to taste.
  • broth: vegetable broth or chicken broth will work well. If you want the recipe to be vegetarian, use veggie broth and make sure your parmesan cheese is vegetarian as well. You can also use veggie or chicken stock if that is what you have on hand.
  • parmesan: freshly grated parmesan is ideal to allow it to melt into the creamy sauce.
  • cream: I prefer heavy whipping cream in this creamy one pot pasta recipe versus half and half or another alternative. Heavy cream will add the most richness and make the sauce less watery.
  • basil: fresh basil is optional but highly recommended at the end to really make this dish pop!
Rotini, broth, spinach, cheese and other ingredients on counter labeled.

Step-by-step Instructions:

  • Add all of the ingredients except the cream and parmesan to a large pot. The pasta should be uncooked! Stir it all up and you are set. Bring the pot to a boil on medium heat for about 13-15 minutes, or until pasta is almost al dente.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, set the heat to low. Slowly stir in the cream and parmesan until smooth and creamy. Simmer for a few minutes to help thicken the the delicious creamy sauce. Toss chopped basil in just before serving.

Recipe TipS

  • If the pasta seems to be boiling too high, lower the heat slightly and stir it well. You want to keep the pasta at a nice gentle boil.
  • If you prefer a saucier dish, use crushed tomatoes instead of diced. This creamy pasta dish isn’t overly sauce, simply a nice creamy coating. If you want sauce, either use crushed tomatoes instead of the diced or you could also stir in some marinara sauce when adding the cream.
  • A lot of the liquid will boil down in this Creamy One Pot Pasta, but you do not want all of it to do so. If it looks like the liquid is almost gone, you can add an extra 1/2 cup or so of broth while cooking. This will keep the pasta from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Any grated cheese combo would be delicious if you want to up the ante. Parmesan, Romano, asiago–you name it!

Storage Instructions:

This easy creamy one-pot pasta is technically better as leftovers in my opinion. You can store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. When reheating, you can add in some more cream to help add some moisture back into the recipe if desired to get that sauce like texture.

While this is not the best recipe to freeze, it can be frozen for up to 3 months. The only issue is that the pasta can get a bit mushy when thawed and reheated so if texture is your thing, it may not be ideal. If you plan to make and freeze right away, cook the pasta just under al dente and that will help it hold up better when thawing!

One pot creamy pasta in stock pot topped with chopped basil.

Ways to Vary This One Pot Pasta:

Lots of ways to vary this recipe to jazz it up a bit. Here are some of the ways we change things up since we eat it so much:

  • Add in some Italian sausage. You can use pre-cooked and just slice it up or brown the sausage before hand.
  • Add other veggies. Toss in some other vegetables: red peppers,
  • Use fresh herbs. Add in some freshly chopped oregano, basil, thyme and more.
  • Vary the cheese. You can add romano, asiago, a cheese blend of your choice to the parmesan. Serve topped with fresh mozzarella.
  • Add rotisserie chicken. Shredded rotisserie chicken is one of our favorites to add to this one pot pasta recipe.

Try these other simple dinners:

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5 from 12 votes

Creamy One Pot Pasta

This is the easiest Creamy One Pot Pasta you will ever make! Less than 10 minutes to prep and as easy as tossing everything in the pot and stirring. Dinner doesn't get any easier, or tastier than this creamy, parmesan pasta!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 16 oz. rotini or short pasta, uncooked
  • 4 c vegetable broth (chicken will work too!)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, do not drain liquid! (approx. 14 oz. cans)
  • 3 c baby spinach, fresh
  • 1 small small onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 – 3 tsp Italian seasoning
  • c heavy cream
  • c grated parmesan
  • ½ tsp cracked pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • c fresh basil, chopped, optional but recommended!
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Instructions 

  • In a large pot, combine all ingredients except for the parmesan and the cream. Stir well to combine.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook for about 13-15 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked al dente.
  • Lower the heat to low and add in the cream and parmesan and stir until smooth and creamy. Simmer for several minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. Stir in freshly chopped basil just before serving. Serve with an extra sprinkle of parmesan and enjoy!

Notes

*I used all dry herbs for this pasta recipe. You are welcome to try with freshly chopped herbs!
  • If the pasta seems to be boiling too high, lower the heat slightly and stir it well.
  • Most of the liquid will boil down in this Creamy One Pot Pasta, but you do not want all of it to do so. If it looks like the liquid is almost gone, you can add an extra 1/2 cup or so of broth while cooking. This will keep the pasta from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Any grated cheese combo would be delicious if you want to up the ante. Parmesan, Romano, asiago–you name it!

Nutrition

Calories: 305kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 558mg, Potassium: 607mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 1981IU, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 208mg, Iron: 3mg

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

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. Kar says:

    5 stars
    Mine is on the stove now! Cant wait! I used ham, peas, onions and mushrooms and will be finishing with pureed cottage cheese and shredded marble. Topped with black olives! Thank you for the inspiration! I have not tried pasta this way!

    1. Lorie says:

      Yum! Enjoy it!

  2. Deb says:

    This looks delicious. I’d like to make this in advance, if that is possible. If so, how would you recommend doing so? Thanks.

    1. Lorie says:

      Hi Deb! How far in advance are you wanting to make this? You can certainly make it a day ahead and then just warm everything up again before serving.

  3. Lillian says:

    can you use almond milk or canned coconut milk to sub out the heavy cream? or even evaporated milk?

    1. Lorie says:

      If you are trying to keep it dairy free, a cashew cream or something slightly thicker would be ideal. However, you still should be ok with the other options, just won’t be as thick and rich.