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This One Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce recipe cooks in a large pot or Dutch oven for an easy meal the whole family loves. This one pot pasta is ready in just 30 minutes with easy clean-up too!

one-pot spaghetti in red Dutch oven with kitchen tongs

Easy One Pot Spaghetti Recipe

One pot pasta recipes are perfect for a quick dinner on busy weeknights because they’re quick, easy, kid friendly, and you only have one pan to wash, so fewer dishes to do. I love one pot meals!

Once you see how easy it is to cook spaghetti directly in the sauce, you’ll never want to cook it any other way! You cook the spaghetti in the sauce, not boiling water.

I came up with this one-pot spaghetti recipe after a few of you wrote in asking for a stove top version of my Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce.

Spaghetti snobs (I used to be one) may disagree, but believe me, this one-pot meal is a great recipe that saves you a few steps, and it works! And sometimes, we just need easy comfort food. All you need to make this easy spaghetti dinner is a large pot or large Dutch oven — and a stove!

Serve spaghetti and meat sauce with a green salad and crusty bread or garlic bread, for a complete meal in minutes!

spaghetti noodles, ground beef, diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, onion, water, spices and dutch oven.

Dutch Oven Spaghetti Ingredients

You only need a few simple ingredients for this Dutch oven spaghetti recipe. You can find them in your grocery store:

  • Yellow onion — or white onion, chopped
  • Olive oil — to cook the onion
  • Lean ground beef — no draining needed!
  • Spaghetti — 16 ounces. Break spaghetti noodles in half so they cook evenly
  • Spaghetti sauce — I love Rao’s marinara sauce, but any brand works
  • Diced tomatoes — adds texture and additional liquid without watering down the sauce
  • Water or beef broth — to help cook the pasta
  • Seasonings — Italian seasoning, sea salt, garlic powder, ground black pepper and optional red pepper flakes

How to Make One Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

First, you cook the onions in some olive oil over medium heat until they’re slightly soft, and then, you brown your ground beef.

There’s no need to cook the ground meat all the way because it will finish cooking with the pasta.

If there’s a lot of grease, you can drain it. I use lean ground beef, so I usually skip this step. Next, season the meat, and you’re ready for the pasta.

brown ground beef and onion in red dutch oven

You’ll need to break the uncooked spaghetti in half so that it cooks evenly and doesn’t clump together.

Then, add your uncooked spaghetti to the pot, and pour in spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes and water. Cook over medium-high heat until sauce starts to boil. Then, reduce heat to medium while the pasta cooks.

If you want even more flavor for your spaghetti, you can use beef broth or chicken broth instead of water. Or, you can add a little red wine to really take this spaghetti dinner to the next level!

uncooked spaghetti noodles with diced tomatoes, pasta sauce and meat in red dutch oven

You do need to keep an eye on the pasta and stir frequently so that the spaghetti doesn’t clump together or stick to the bottom of the pot.

Cook Time

Cook pasta until al dente, which is about 12 to 15 minutes. Total cooking time for this recipe is about 30 minutes, including time to cook the ground meat.

As soon as the pasta is cooked al dente or to your liking, you’re done!

one pot spaghetti and meat sauce topped with Parmesan cheese and parsley in red dutch oven

I like to sprinkle a little grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley over the top before serving. Doesn’t this look gorgeous?!

one-pot spaghetti and meat sauce with parsley flakes in a red dutch oven

I use kitchen tongs to lift the spaghetti out of the pot directly to people’s plates. Honestly, you guys, this one pot spaghetti is a lifesaver on busy days!

My kids absolutely love this flavorful spaghetti with meat sauce. It has amazing flavor, and it works so well for feeding them before they head off to football or soccer or dance. This is also a great Dutch oven recipe for camping!

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Store leftover spaghetti in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should last for 3 to 4 days. Reheat cold spaghetti in the microwave or on the stove until hot and steaming. You may need to add a little more pasta sauce when reheating.

The leftovers heat up well, and you can freeze larger amounts for later. Just place pasta in freezer safe containers or zip top bags, and use within 3 months for best taste.

tongs holding spaghetti and meat sauce in red dutch oven

Substitutions and Variations

Use Italian sausage in place of ground beef or use half sausage half beef. You can use your favorite pasta shape in place of spaghetti noodles. Gluten free pasta works here.

Use homemade sauce (try my homemade spaghetti sauce)or your favorite brand of jar sauce and your favorite spices. Fresh herbs like basil add wonderful flavor. You can also add more marinara sauce or tomato sauce and omit the diced tomatoes.

Sub 1/2 cup red wine for 1/2 cup water or broth for extra flavor. Add fresh veggies like fresh spinach, bell pepper, kale, zucchini or broccoli. This is a great way to sneak more veggies into your kids’ meals.

For a low fat option, use ground turkey. You can also leave the meat out for vegetarian pasta.

Recipe Tips

Note — This spaghetti recipe calls for 16 ounces of spaghetti — a regular package, as opposed to 8 ounces. It makes a lot of pasta, but it’s perfect for leftovers, and it freezes well for later — easy meal prep!

Break spaghetti noodles in half so they don’t clump together. Also, stir the pasta frequently as it cooks.

This recipe works best with 24-26 oz jar of spaghetti sauce. If you are using a larger jar of sauce, you may want to skip the can of tomatoes.

More Easy One Pot Pasta Recipes

I love one pot recipes and Dutch oven recipes! Try One Pot Creamy Chicken Pasta, or One Pot Creamy Shells and Beef or One Pot Creamy Kielbasa Tortellini. plus even more easy recipes your family will love.

5 from 19 votes

One Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

By: Dee
This One Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce recipe cooks in a large pot or Dutch oven for an easy meal the whole family loves. This one pot pasta is ready in just 30 minutes with easy clean-up too!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 10



  • ½ yellow onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 16-ounce package spaghetti uncooked and broken in half
  • 1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes undrained
  • 3 cups water or beef broth
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  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottom bot, heat olive oil over medium heat, add the onion, and cook until slightly soft
  • Add the ground beef, and cook until no longer pink. Drain beef if necessary, then add Italian seasoning blend, sea salt, garlic powder, black pepper, red pepper flakes (optional), and stir
  • Add the spaghetti noodles, marinara sauce, diced tomatoes and water, and stir well, pushing the noodles under the liquid and separating them so they don't stick
  • Cover, and bring to low boil over medium high heat, then remove cover, and stir frequently to make sure pasta doesn't stick and noodles aren't clumping together. Reduce heat to medium, if necessary
  • When pasta is al dente or done to your liking, remove from heat, add some grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, if desired, and enjoy!



Make sure to break the spaghetti noodles in half before adding to the pot. 
You can use more marinara sauce or tomato sauce in place of diced tomatoes.
If you are using a jar of spaghetti sauce larger than 26 ounces, you may want to skip the diced tomatoes or use 2 cups water.


Calories: 111kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 398mg, Potassium: 255mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 0.3g, Vitamin A: 10IU, Vitamin C: 0.4mg, Calcium: 18mg, Iron: 2mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Like this? Leave a comment below!

I hope you enjoy our family favorite spaghetti recipe as much as we do. My kids say this delicious dinner is the best one pot spaghetti recipe ever! If you love this delicious recipe as much as we do, please leave a star rating and comment.

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Recipe published in 2019 and updated in 2024.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Noreen says:

    This is so easy to make! The kids love this rendition! Leftovers heat up well too!5 stars

  2. Justin-Time says:

    I made this tonight and used thin spaghetti. Next time I will cut the noodles in half. They soaked up way too much sauce for my liking.

    1. Dee says:

      You can always add more sauce if needed.

  3. Angelia Waters says:

    I am planning this recipe for camping, and am wondering what size your dutch oven is. I want to double the recipe but not sure if it will fit. Thank you

    1. Dee says:

      I have a 5 1/2 quart Le Creuset Dutch oven. I can easily cook 1 pound pasta and sauce in it.

  4. Krit says:

    This was a very simple but satisfying meal. I loved it. For some reason, I can get the print version to come up when I click the print recipe. It takes me back to the top of the page. I’ve tried my pc and my phone with all the same results. Is there a way to simplify the page for printing? Thanks.5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Hmm. I am able to print the recipe without any problems, but I will look into it and see if I can find out why this is happening. So sorry. 🙂