No-Recipe One Pot Pasta (with whatever you have on hand!)

By now everyone has seen and probably tried one of the thousand one-pot pasta recipes which are floating around in the ethernet. I’ve heard from a handful of you about it and it seems that many of those existing recipes are … terrible pieces of shit. Encouraged by a friend online, I set out to figure out how to make a one-pot pasta recipe to end all one-pot pasta recipes. And after numerous trials and a handful of tribulations, here’s the only thing you need to know:

8 ounces of pasta

+ 2 1/4 cups liquid

= perfect ratio for any kind of one-pot pasta dish you want to create

For tons of ingredient suggestions, download my No-RecipeOne-PotPastaCheatsheet (Free!)

To be certain, by “pasta” I mean any kind of small pasta shape. Don’t try a one-pot pasta with huge manicotti tubes. And for the love, don’t ruin perfectly good spaghetti noodles by breaking them into pieces to fit them into a tiny pot. Just forget that. It’s rude and inconsiderate and you’ll have much better results anyway if you just pick out a small pasta to begin with. Shapes like elbow macaroni, rotini, fusilli, shells, ziti, orecchiette, penne — anything you can fit on a spoon is a good choice. (Also! I’ve only tested this with wheat pasta; I’m not sure how rice or corn or quinoa pasta would work with the ratio.)

To be extra certain, by “liquid” I mean water or broth. Don’t try to cook your one-pot pasta in a pot of milk, for example. That’s a horrible idea and you’ll end up in tears with a pot of burnt milk-pasta. If you use broth (recommended! it’s very tasty) watch the salt you add to the pasta dish. Depending on the broth or stock, you may not need to add additional salt at all.

And another thing. So many one-pot recipes I see direct the cook to throw everything into a pot and boil it: raw onions, raw tomatoes, raw garlic. I am telling you now, there is nothing grosser than goddamn boiled onions. Take five minutes and brown the onions first in a little oil or butter, then throw everything else in and boil it. Try it. You’ll see. Extra goodness happens when you deglaze the pan with a splash of wine before adding the pasta and liquid.

That’s my tricks. Now take that information and go on and make all the one-pot pasta recipes you can imagine!

For tons of ingredient suggestions, download my No-RecipeOne-PotPastaCheatsheet (Free!)

If you’d like a step-by-step video and recipe using this technique, see my TexMex One-Pot Pasta recipe and video!


  1. Paulina on September 7, 2017 at 3:28 am

    I love that I found you, you’re the first cooking video I don’t mute! you’re hilarious and the two things you’ve shown me and done are delicious!

    • Hilah on September 7, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Oh that is a great compliment, Paula! 😀 Thank you! Super happy you are enjoying my recipes

  2. Sarah Baker on March 18, 2018 at 10:45 am

    I’m disappointed in your potty mouth language. Shame on you.

    • Hilah on March 19, 2018 at 9:08 am

      I’m sorry. It must be very stressful navigating life day to day when you are so easily disappointed by strangers on the internet.

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