Skillet Spaghetti Recipe

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This healthy skillet spaghetti is the easiest “pot” of spaghetti you’ll ever make because the pasta cooks in the sauce!

Skillet spaghetti is a simple, easy way to get a spaghetti dinner on the table. There is zero boiling the pasta ahead of time because everything cooks together in one, big skillet.

A side view of Skillet Spaghetti in a cast iron skillet, sitting on a wooden table.

Can I Cook Spaghetti Noodles In The Sauce?

Yes! But with one adjustment. You have to add enough water to the sauce to actually rehydrate (cook) the spaghetti. The recipe below accommodates that.

Can You Cook Spaghetti In A Skillet?

You can! You’ll want to use a large pan. The bigger the better. I’ve even boiled pasta in water in a skillet before. But we won’t be doing that here.

How Long Do You Cook Skillet Spaghetti For?

Different types of pasta cook for different lengths of time. There are different thicknesses of spaghetti noodles, so it will all depend very heavily on what your particular package of pasta calls for. This recipe uses a standard, whole-grain spaghetti and cooks for 20 to 30 minutes.

Do You Add Pasta To Sauce Or Sauce To Pasta?

If you boil your pasta separately, you’ll want to add the pasta to the sauce. You’ll continue to simmer the sauce with the pasta in it for about 1 to 2 minutes and then serve it.

But with this recipe, you don’t have to worry about it either way because everything cooks together.

How Do You Cook Spaghetti Without It Sticking?

When you initially put your pasta into the liquid (whether it’s sauce or water), you’ll want to stir it well and make sure your noodles are well separated before walking away from the pot. Also, be sure there is enough liquid in the pot or skillet.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Pasta In A Frying Pan?

In general, it can take up to about 30 minutes, depending on the pasta you use.

Can I Make Pasta Without Boiling It?

Yes! Cook it in the sauce the way this recipe calls for.

An overhead view looking down into a cast iron skillet filled with this Skillet Spaghetti Recipe.

“One Pot” Skillet Spaghetti

The great part about this recipe is that everything happens in one skillet. So there won’t be any big pasta pot to clean up after dinner.

Recipe Additions

If you want to make this skillet spaghetti a little heartier, try adding one or two of these.

  • Mushrooms
  • Grated carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Splash of red wine (if you like wine in sauce).
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar (gives the sauce a deeper, richer flavor).
  • Chopped green pepper (red peppers work too. Any color is fine)

Recipe Variations

  • Switch out the ground turkey for ground beef, or any ground meat you prefer.
  • Add a couple of teaspoons of Italian seasoning.
  • Try adding some Italian sausage.
  • Use marinara sauce (with no added sugar) instead of tomato sauce.

Garnish Options

These are classic garnishes that will all work quite well with this recipe.

  • chopped, fresh basil
  • chopped, fresh parsley
  • a dash of red pepper flakes
  • grated mozzarella cheese
  • grated parmesan

One Pot Spaghetti Ingredients

1½ lbs. ground turkey

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. onion powder

1 tbsp. chili powder

1½ tsp. dried oregano

2 tsp. dried basil

1 tbsp. garlic powder

3 cups water (+ 1 if needed)

30 oz. canned tomato sauce (no sugar added)

1 lb. whole-grain spaghetti

grated parmesan cheese

How To Make Skillet Spaghetti

Brown the turkey in your pan, using the olive oil.

Once the meat has lost all of its pink color, add all the spices to the pan and stir well to combine.

Pour in the water (start with 3 cups, you can always add more as needed) and tomato sauce and stir gently while bringing the sauce to a gentle boil.

Add the pasta, stir and cover the pan with a lid.

Check on the pasta often so as to keep it from burning on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the pasta reaches your desired level of “doneness” (Is that a word?). About 20-30 minutes. Remember to stir!

Allow to cool a bit and top with parmesan when serving.

A cast iron skillet filled with this Skillet Spaghetti Recipe, sitting on a wooden table.

Can I Use A Different Type of Pasta? 

Yes, providing you use enough liquid to cook it.

What Size Skillet Should I Use For Skillet Spaghetti?

Use the biggest skillet you have. A 12 to 15-inch skillet is about right here. I have found that a cast iron skillet works best here. But any skillet will work.

Recipe Supplies For Skillet Spaghetti

More Healthy Pasta Recipes

Skillet Spaghetti Recipe

Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry
Clean Eating Skillet Spaghetti Recipe

Skillet Spaghetti

NOTE: You will need a very large pan for this. Mine was a 10 cup, cast iron pan and it was just barely large enough.
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 290kcal


  • 1 Large Skillet


  • lbs. ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 3 cups water (+ 1 if needed)
  • 30 oz. canned tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • 1 lb. whole grain spaghetti
  • grated parmesan cheese


  • Brown the turkey in your pan, using the olive oil.
  • Once the meat has lost all of it’s pink color, add all the spices to the pan and stir well to combine.
  • Pour in the water (start with 3 cups, you can always add more as needed) and tomato sauce and stir gently while bringing the sauce to a gentle boil.
  • Add the pasta, stir and cover the pan with a lid.
  • Check on the pasta often so as to keep it from burning on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the pasta reaches your desired level of “doneness” (Is that a word?). About 20-30 minutes. Remember to stir!
  • Allow to cool a bit and top with parmesan when serving.


Please note that the nutrition data is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 515mg | Potassium: 690mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 845IU | Vitamin C: 6.7mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 4.6mg

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  1. graciouspantry says:

    Haha!! Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. graciouspantry says:

    Ya, something went wrong there…

  3. 5 stars
    I love the idea of making it all in one skillet…less mess for this “mama chef” to clean up! I plan to also add lots of veggies (both diced and pureed…so the kiddos don’t complain about all the veggies! lol)…can’t wait to make this!

    Thanks so much for your wonderful website…I’m learning sooo much about clean eating!!

  4. Pingback: Clean Eating Recipes | Clean Eating Shrimp Scampi
  5. Pingback: Recipe: Clean Eating Skillet Spaghetti | She's Losing It!
  6. Melissa Beckley says:

    This was delicious and totally hit the spot! Kiddos and hubby loved it and it was fairly easy to make.

  7. Great supper! It makes a lot (for 2 people) so I’ll be eating it for a while.

  8. Doesn’t cooking the pasta in the dish make it starchy and heavy?

    1. Ivy – You mean in the skillet? I didn’t think so. For me it cooked up just like pasta should.

  9. I absolutely love spaghetti. This recipe is definitely something I will have to try. I make my spaghetti a lot like this, but instead of turkey I use tofu.

  10. Hi Tiffany. Just a question. I hear a lot lately about the low quality of the majority of olive oil, and how good coconut oil is. Since coconut oil has a much higher burn rate and is good for you, I am curious as to your thoughts on cooking with in instead of olive oil.

  11. I really want to make this tomorrow for the kiddos butwewe can’t have wheat pasta , would the cooking time be similar for brown rice spaghetti ? Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Aimee – For the most part, yes. Just play it by ear. As long as the meat is cooked, you can pretty much cook until the pasta reaches the consistency you like best.

  12. Jessica W says:

    5 stars
    Well! If it isn’t Clean Hamburger Helper! Awesomeness!! ( I make this with elbows for that ‘authentic boxed meal’ appearance. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I am totally trying this with applegate chicken sausage.

  14. 5 stars
    I made this recipe the other night. It was my first ever attempt at a clean meal and everyone loved it! ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you for sharing so many recipes and making the transition to healthy seem a lot less scary. Lol

  15. Made this tonight bit wads great. Delicious. Easy and only one pan to clean. I made half the recipe bc it’s just kiddo and me tonight, but still enough for leftovers. Thanks.

  16. Mmmm…..leftovers tonight were delish! No idea how “bit wads” got into my last post, but you clearly figured it out. I can’t wait to make this again. When I said it to my son, he said “Well, don’t make it again until at least next week”.

  17. Hi There! I’ve made this numerous times but I find that my whole grain pasta doesn’t hold. The consistency of the dish becomes mushy. What am I doing wrong? Otherwise, I love this dish and it’s quickly become a favorite in my household.

    1. TJ – It could just be the particular brand of pasta, but it sounds like it’s just getting cooked too long. Is it a wheat or a brown rice pasta?

  18. This was great!! It was like second day spaghetti which I LOOOVE! Definitely a keeper recipe, super easy too ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!

  19. Hi – Sincere question: Why is this categorized under “clean eating”? Every ingredient listed is processed: the turkey has been deboned and ground down in a food processing plant, the spices are all dehydrated and processed instead of fresh, the spaghetti sauce comes from a can so it’s also processed, and any noodle that comes from the store has also been processed. And unless one makes the parmesan cheese themselves from scratch and then grates it, that’s processed too.

    Clean food is exactly that: clean. It’s organic, unprocessed, fresh food. There doesn’t actually seem to be anything clean about this recipe at all. Could you shed some light on this for your readers?



    1. Gypsy – If you wish to be that extreme with clean eating, that is a personal choice and I commend you for doing so. But by clean eating rules, this is definitely clean. Please see my description and definitions of clean eating here: I would also add here that you are free to use the recipe after drying your own herbs, making your own sauce and grinding your own meat. My recipes are guidelines. Apply them to your lifestyle as you see fit.

  20. Jamie Sawyer says:

    Hi, how would I go about adding some chunky green peppers & onions to this that are cooked through? Sorry, I don’t cook much & am new to clean eating so I’m working to find easy recipes for now. This one looks like something my family would eat but I’d like to add those veggies to it as well. Thank you and is there a nutrition chart for this so I can put it in myfitnesspal?

    1. Jamie – Sure! I would just saute them in the same pan before starting the recipe. Get them about half way cooked and then make the recipe as stated. They should cook the rest of the way just fine. ๐Ÿ™‚ As for myfitnesspal, you would have to enter the recipe into their calculator. Hope that helps!

  21. Diane McQuay says:

    To Gracious Pantry – loved your response to Gypsy! I enjoy reading comments for variations, or just great tips, offered by other cooks. But, there is always at least “one” buzz kill. Thank you for the “training wheels” to transition…some of us just want an easy place to start.

    1. Diane – I don’t see her as being a buzz kill, but rather as somebody who has a different approach to clean eating. There are many!! ๐Ÿ˜€