In this magical recipe for one-pot spaghetti with tomatoes and kale, starchy pasta water creates a flavorful "sauce" for the noodles. This easy and fast dinner recipe is made using frozen kale or frozen spinach.
This one-pot method for cooking spaghetti is brilliant in every way. It's easy, fast and will make the most flavorful spaghetti you've ever eaten.
That's a big statement, so let me clarify. This isn't red sauce and meatballs spaghetti. That's a whole different category. This is a simple bowl of pasta tossed with olive oil, garlic, tomatoes and kale. But something truly magical happens when everything is cooked together in one-pot.
The pasta water is absorbed by the noodles, creating a starchy "sauce" with amazing flavor. Honestly, you have to try this recipe yourself to understand why it's so good. There's something magical about watching a few simple ingredients come together quickly into such a delicious meal.
My family loves the flavor of this pasta with kale and tomatoes. And I love how easy and fast this recipe is!
I use the same one-pot pasta method to cook penne pasta with frozen vegetables.
Ingredients & Equipment
Spaghetti: I've only tested this recipe using spaghetti noodles, but it should also work with other long noodles like fettuccine or linguine.
Frozen Kale or Frozen Spinach: Look for frozen "chopped" spinach or kale, which easily blends into the pasta. For this recipe, frozen greens have a better texture than fresh greens.
Tomatoes: I like using cherry tomatoes, sliced in half. You can also chop whole tomatoes into small, bite-sized pieces.
Parmesan: Optional, but really delicious!
Olive oil, garlic and salt: Pantry basics that are needed for the recipe
Equipment: You'll need either a Dutch oven or deep skillet with a lid. The cooking vessel you choose should be wide enough to fit dry spaghetti noodles. I find that using my Dutch oven works the best.
Step 1: Warm olive oil and frozen chopped kale or spinach
Step 2: Add halved cherry tomatoes and garlic
Step 3: Add 16 ounces spaghetti
Step 4: Add 4 ¼ cups boiling water. Simmer the spaghetti for about 8 minutes, moving the pasta around with tongs so it doesn't clump together.
Step 5: When the noodles are tender and most of the water has been absorbed, sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Put a lid on the pot and let the pasta with kale and tomatoes rest for a few minutes before serving.
For detailed instructions and specific ingredient amounts, see the recipe card below
One-Pot Spaghetti Variations
After making this recipe once, you'll start thinking about variations you'd like to try in the future.
- Add a can of drained chickpeas or white beans
- Add lots of fresh herbs before serving
- Add red pepper flakes for heat
- Add frozen corn
- Add sliced, pre-cooked sausage
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