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One Pot Spaghetti

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This is so ridiculously easy and so ridiculously yummy. I can’t believe I haven’t been making this for YEARS! I have heard of “one pot spaghetti” before, but I didn’t really like the ingredients…so, I used the general idea and make this puppy from scratch. Scratch cooking is a thing of beauty. It’s even MORE beautiful when you only dirty one pan. It’s a spaghetti miracle.

I usually like making my Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce, but this is a fabulous recipe to have on hand when you need spaghetti at the last minute…because I know that happens a lot to me. Sometimes I’m just sitting around and think “Man, I need some spaghetti NOW.”  I hear it happens to a lot of other people too.

In a stock pot or dutch oven, brown one pound of meat. I used beef straight from my daddy’s farm….but you could use ground venison (which is usually my preference) or ground turkey. I’ve not had any luck with ground chicken during this pregnancy…just the site of it makes me get all shaky (trying not to think directly about ground chicken) – but you can try it if you like to live dangerously.

When the meat is browned, it’s time to add everything but the noodles: 1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes, 2 cups tomato sauce (16 ounces), 1 ½ cups water, sucanat, dried minced onion, salt, garlic powder, oregano, pepper, and Italian seasoning.

Okay – I know some of you are weirded out by the fact that I added sweetener to my spaghetti sauce. I know most people don’t do that…but my Mama has done it my whole life. It just adds a little extra something to it and makes it special. Try it and see if you don’t agree. You could also use 1 tablespoon of honey if you prefer or just substitute the sucanat with brown sugar.

Bring this mixture to a boil.

You’re going to need 8 ounces of spaghetti noodles. Break your noodles into 3 pieces…don’t do it one at a time or it’ll be midnight and your family will be passed out on the floor. You need to make the pieces smaller so they’ll fit down in the pot and cook.

Note: You’ll break some little bitty pieces and they’ll pop all over the kitchen…and you’ll still be finding them weeks later, which will remind you that you NEED spaghetti again.

Stick your broken spaghetti down in the pot and give it a good stir. Try to make sure it all gets covered. Some of it will still stick out…it won’t matter. Put the lid on and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until the noodles are done.

Serve immediately…I promise you won’t want to wait. I love mine with cheese on top (cheddar) but Barry likes his plain.

I think I need some spaghetti.

*This post is linked at Fat Tuesday on Real Food Forager, Hearth and Soul Blog Hop at Penniless Parenting, at Healthy 2Day Wednesday on Day2Day Joys, at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, at Cooking Thursday on Diary of a Stay at Home Mom, at Think Pink Sunday on Flamingo Toes, at Proverbs 31 Thursday on Raising Mighty Arrows, at Full Plate Thursday on Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, at Weekend Whatever on Your Thriving Family, at Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead, at Homemaking Hints at Heavenly Homemakers, at Make Your Own Monday at Nourishing Treasures,  and Tuesdays at the Table on All The Small Stuff.

Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her three children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.

  • Cindy

    If you don’t like sweetener, use a couple of tablespoons of grape jelly. The grape flavor isn’t really detectable, but it adds more than just sweetness. My secret to good sauce. 😉

    • Stacy

      And here you are, butting in on my post after you told me I DIDN’T LOOK PREGNANT. :-p It’s a good thing you’re funny.

      • Cindy


  • Brandy

    Cheddar cheese on top of spaghetti reminds me of having it in the cafeteria at school. That was one of my favorite meals.

    • Stacy

      Girl….mine too! :-)

  • Nancy

    I’ve always added a little granulated sugar to my spaghetti sauce to reduce the sour taste of the tomatoes.

    • Stacy

      I’m so glad we’re all on the sweetener train! :-) It just makes spaghetti sauce better.

  • Veronica

    I add sugar to my lasagna sauce too :)

    • Stacy

      So does my Mama! I should share her recipe for lasagna too. Hmmmmmmmmm.

      • Veronica

        I vote yes!

  • Cindy Alewine

    I often buy meat that is on sale. Of course, they don’t usually put the good meat on sale. So, if I have to buy the cheap ground beef, then I should probably drain the meat, huh?

    • Stacy

      Yes, I would. Our meat doesn’t usually have much fat in it. :-)

    • Veronica

      Do you live near a Super Target? They often have 93% lean ground beef on sale — a 2 lb pack for less than $7. The other day their 2 lb packs were on clearance for around $4 so I stocked up (love my extra freezer!!).

      • Stacy

        No Super Targets here. :-( But, I get my beef for the cost of processing. Thanks Dad! 😉

      • Veronica

        I should’ve clarified — I meant Cindy 😉

  • Eileen Price

    I also had about that much sugar when I make it from scratch. It helps take the tomato taste and make is sauce taste. It’s amazing what just a little sugar can do to make the sauce taste so good!

    • Stacy

      Soooooooooooooooooooooo good. :-)

  • Becca C

    I always add some sweetener to mine, too, because it’s too twangy for my taste without it. I loved school scetti, too, and always wanted a section with the most cheese.

    • Stacy

      School food is no longer what it used to be. It’s very sad, really. :-(

  • Debra Schramm

    This is the common sense thing I like to see. Why haven’t I thought of this before. When I make lasagne I don’t boil the noodles I just add them to the pan right out of the box and they cook just fine. It never crossed my mind to do the same with spaghetti noodles! Thanks for the fabulous idea. I’m adding spaghetti noodles to my grocery list this week!

    • Stacy

      I find that almost every day I have this thought – “Now, why didn’t I think of that BEFORE?!” :-)

  • Debra Schramm

    I bet you could do this in your crockpot also. Brown the meat and dump all the ingredients in and cook on low. I’ve been trying to think of crockpot ideas for Sunday lunch. We go out to eat every Sunday after church and I’d like to stop doing that for two reasons: home cooked meals would be healthier and save money for my upcoming mission trip to China.

    • Stacy

      Well, check back on Friday since I do a different crock pot post every week….that should keep you good on Sunday for a long time! :-) And you can also look through the index to see past recipes. Crock Pot lunch on Sunday is a big help after church! :)

  • jamie

    I add 1/2 cup of milk to my spaghetti sauce to help cut the acid from the tomatoes. You can’t taste it but you know when it’s missing.

    • Stacy

      Interesting…thanks for the tip! :-)

  • Shawna

    My grandmother told me that the added sugar was to reduce the acidity of the tomatoes… (the “sour” taste some people were mentioning) It gives it a much “smoother” (lack of a better adjective) flavor… Anyway, don’t you just love meals that only dirty 1 pan? I know I do! LOL!

    • Stacy

      Amen sister….preach it!

  • Faylee

    Stacy, I have been doing a close cousin to this recipe for years, but then again I am older than you so that….I also add a little sweetness but to give it a creamy cheese flavor I add a couple of tablespoons of Verole Crema Mexicana Table Cream…it smooths out any sour tang. No need to add cheese on top it’s in the sauce. I also use it in most of my tomato based sauces. A tip I picked up from neighbors when I lived in Southern California. I’m all for one pot meals, especially for families and social gatherings.
    Keep up the good work, you are doing a great job!

    • Stacy

      Yes! For social gatherings this would be perfect! You’re a genius, Faylee! :-)

  • Erin@TheHumbledHomemaker

    This looks absolutely delicious! I’m pinning and hope to make it soon! I absolutely love spaghetti! I usually make a baked version.

    • Stacy

      But…it has BEEF! :-)

      • Erin@TheHumbledHomemaker

        I’d use ground turkey/chicken instead. :p

        • Stacy

          *Sigh* You need beef, honey. :-)

  • Debra @ Sweet Kisses and Dirty Dishes

    The simple brilliance of this is astounding. I only have one stockpot, but I also have a dutch oven. Being able to make spaghetti in a dutch oven will possibly save us the cost of another stockpot (which would be a bit since I was holding out till we could get a good one) since that’s my main reason for wanting another one… NOODLES. Oh, and I ALWAYS add sugar and often times lemon juice. Weird. I know.

    • Stacy

      Dutch Ovens are a thing of beauty. Sometimes, I just stare at mine. Ahhhhhhh.

  • Judy

    I can’t wait to try this – with milk! Yummy

    • Stacy

      Judy, you’re weird. 😉

  • Yolanda

    What a brilliant idea! Yes! I just wish you and the internet had been around for the last 40 years… 😉

    • Stacy

      Seeing as how I’m 30, I’m not sure that’s possible. 😉

  • Heidi @Adventures of a Thrifty Mom

    I don’t make spaghetti very often but I’m going to make sure to try this. I love cheap and easy. 😉

    • Stacy

      I make it often….these days anyway. LOL

  • Jami Leigh

    Yum!!! I love one pot dishes! So simple!! :)

    • Stacy

      Woot for less dishes!

  • TracyDK

    I’m odd, because I don’t like most jarred sauces. They’re too sweet. Seriously, why haven’t we been taught this our whole lives?!?? Wait until I tell my Momma!

    • Stacy

      Secret – I don’t care for jarred sauce for spaghetti either. Other things, yes. Spaghetti, no. I’m weird.

  • Jennifer S.

    This a great recipe. I’m going to try this, but I’ll have to double it – we have seven children who all love spaghetti. However, I’ll still only use 1 lb. of meat because we like to add a cup or two of homemade baked beans to our spaghetti. :) It saves on meat and we like the flavour.

    • Stacy

      Ooooh, it’s also delicious with lentils! :-) I love lentils in my ground meat.

  • Leanne

    My family never put sweetener in our spaghetti sauce. Why? Two reasons. One, we make it with fresh onions and saute those down a bit before we do the rest of the sauce, and two, we cook it for two hours minimum.

    Both of those techniques add natural sweetness. No sugar needed. (: But if you’re in a hurry, sure, you can add sugar. (:

    • Stacy

      When I make Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce, it calls for both onions and sweetener….and it cooks for 8-9 hours. I’ve left it out, and we can tell the difference. :-)

      • Leanne

        Might just be a preference thing. (: I grew up without it, never thought it needed it.

    • Stacy

      I’m sorry, I sounded like a smarty pants but I didn’t mean it that way. LOL I was just referring to the other recipe. :-)
      I guess we all have different tastes when it comes to cooking….that’s what makes different recipes SO AWESOME! And really, can spaghetti be done wrong? I think not. :-) :-)

  • Leanne

    Oh, no worries! (: Everyone’s got different tastes, that’s as it should be!

    I think the only way you can really wreck spaghetti is oversalting it. (: Or overcooking it.

    • Stacy

      Very true about the salt!

  • Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy

    That looks delicious and easy! My kinda recipe:)

    • Stacy

      Anne, every time I make this dish I think of you. LOL

  • Sarai

    We’re moving right now and inexplicably when I came home yesterday, the couch was in the kitchen. At this point, it’s easiest to just throw up my hands and ask, “how can I work around this,” rather than “why on God’s green earth is there a massive leather couch in the kitchen??” Anyway, all this to say that I was on the verge of breaking down and ordering a pizza when I saw your post last night. It looked so easy and yummy!

    All we had in the house were little pasta shells, no spaghetti. So I sauteed some garlic and onions from the garden in with the meat, mixed some frozen spinach in with the sauce, melted a LOT mozzarella and cheddar in the pot with the sauce and noodles and everything (it was that kind of day), and voila: accidentally invented homemade Hamburger Helper! The lasagna flavor of HH was always our favorite before we learned to read ingredients on boxes, and though it’s been a long time since we had it, I think this tops it in every way! Delicious, mercifully easy, and only dirtied one pot. Perfect for moving week. Thanks, Stacy!

    Ps- I just realized I’m eating your honey oat bread for breakfast as I type. You are sustaining us quite a bit this week! 😉

    • Stacy

      Girl, I know how the moving thing goes. I’ve been moving since February. LOL I’m so glad you liked it!

  • Sara Jane

    My wonderful hubby just made this tonight for us (I left it up on the screen for him to follow the recipe). However we had a little trouble as he misread the top part of the recipe to mean 2 Tbsp sucanat, AND 2 TBSP OF ALL THE OTHER SEASONINGS!! I guess he didn’t scroll down to see the actual recipe at the bottom. So it was quite salty, hee hee. But even so pretty good, I’ve just been drinking water nonstop! So maybe you can put a note at the top to look below for the measurements of the other spices just to prevent someone else from doing it too :). Thanks!

    • Stacy

      That’s cute! :-) Thanks for the smile – what a sweet husband!

  • Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures

    Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  • Sharon

    I’ve been hanging on to this recipe and finally made it.
    My boys loved it! I will never make spaghetti the
    regular way again!

    • Stacy

      I’m so glad you liked it! :-) :-)

  • Tammy Sullivan

    This is the BEST spaghetti ever. My boys don’t like chunks of pepper, mushrooms, etc, so they just LOVE this. I didn’t think it would be as good as using fresh produce, but is just wonderful. And so much easier. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Stacy

      Wow, that a great review! Thanks Tammy! :-)

  • Liz

    I use grated carrot instead of sugar in my sauce. I grate it on the tiniest holes on my grater and you’d never know it was in there except for taming the acidity of the tomatoes.

    • Stacy

      Well, that’s just genius!