This one pot vegetarian spaghetti is made with marinara sauce and Impossible meat for a meaty and satisfying 30-minute meal! This recipe is vegan and super easy to customize.
If you're anything like me, convenient meals are on repeat this time of year. I always have store-bought marinara sauce and pasta on hand for things like stuffed shells and chili mac, but sometimes I crave classic vegetarian spaghetti.
That's where this one-pot meaty vegetarian spaghetti comes in. The spaghetti cooks directly in the marinara alongside vegetarian ground "meat", resulting in a silky sauce and a weeknight-approved meal.
If you've made my no-boil vegan pasta bake or one-pot chili mac, then you know the glory of having minimal cleanup. One pot spaghetti may not be the most traditional way to cook pasta, but it has all the same coziness with even more convenience.
Why this recipe works
- Quick & easy: This vegetarian spaghetti is made in one pot in under 30 minutes using pantry staples.
- Versatile: Easy to customize with different plant-based proteins and veggies.
- Great for flexitarians: This is a great recipe to serve meat-eaters because the Impossible meat is amazingly realistic. It's the perfect option for meatless pasta that still kind of feels like it has meat.
- Dietary-features: vegetarian, vegan, nut-free, easily modified to be gluten-free and soy-free
What you'll need
- Marinara sauce: Choose a 24-ounce jar of marinara sauce. I do plain or "classic" marinara but you can choose Italian seasoned, spicy, etc.
- Spaghetti: I break the spaghetti in half so that it easily fits in the pot.
- Impossible meat or another vegan meat alternative. I use the Impossible burger meat. Make sure that it is completely thawed before cooking it.
- Balsamic vinegar adds depth and flavor to the sauce. An equal amount of red wine vinegar can be used as needed.
- Italian seasoning, onion powder, and garlic adds flavor to the Impossible meat. I recommend using a salt-free Italian seasoning.
- Spinach adds a pop of color and plant-based iron. Arugula or kale also work.
Equipment note: You will need a 5 quart or larger stockpot or dutch oven to make this vegetarian spaghetti.
- Heat the pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the impossible meat. You don't need to add oil because the meat has its own fat. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, pepper, onion powder, and garlic.
- Crumble the "meat" into ground consistency and cook until almost completely browned (it should still have some pink bits). Add in the tomato paste. Cook another 2 minutes to toast the tomato sauce, stirring occassionally.
- Deglaze the pot with balsamic vinegar. Add the sugar, marinara sauce, and vegetable broth. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Once boiling, lay the broken spaghetti onto the sauce. Press the spaghetti down so that it's fully covered by liquid. Reduce the heat to a low simmer.
- Cover and cook for 15 minutes total, removing the lid every 5 minutes to stir the spaghetti. The spaghetti is ready when cooked through to al dente.
Stir in spinach just before serving. Taste for salt and enjoy.
- Pasta: You can use whole wheat, protein, or gluten-free spaghetti. I haven't tested this recipe with any other shape but all kinds of pasta should work.
- Proteins: I went with Impossible burger meat for a classic meaty pasta feel, but any kind of protein works. Try plant-based Italian sausages, Beyond meat, etc. You can even use tempeh, like the Italian seasoned tempeh I use in my vegetarian pasta bake.
- Veggies: Feel free to saute veggies alongside the meat. Bell peppers, chopped mushrooms, and diced onion would all go well.
- Salt: I usually recommend salting the water when cooking pasta, but because Impossible meat and most storebought marinara sauces are already quite salty, you don't need to do so. I recommend salting to taste after cooking.
- Sauciness: For a thicker sauce, continue simmering uncovered until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. For a thinner sauce, add in ½ cup extra vegetable broth.
- Toppings: Turn this vegetarian spaghetti into vegan spaghetti by using vegan Parmesan in place of vegetarian Parmesan.
I don't see why not. The spaghetti needs to be completely covered to cook through all the way. Otherwise, the type of sauce shouldn't matter too much.
Yes, you can omit the Impossible meat but I recommend still adding all of the seasonings.
- Storage: Let the spaghetti cool before transferring to an airtight container. For best quality, keep refrigerated for 3-4 days.
- Reheating: Reheat individual servings in the microwave in about 2 minutes. Reheat the entire batch of pasta on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through. You may need to add extra vegetable broth to loosen up the sauce when reheating.
- Freezing: I have not tried freezing vegetarian spaghetti. I'd love to hear down below in the comments how it goes if you try freezing leftovers.
Looking for more pasta recipes?
If you're looking for creamy one-pot pasta, you'll love this spicy vegan pasta recipe.
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One-Pot Vegetarian Spaghetti
- ¾ pound Impossible meat see note#1
- 1 tablespoon salt-free Italian seasoning
- 4-5 cloves minced garlic adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon white sugar adjust to taste
- 24 ounces marinara sauce
- 2 and ½ cups vegetable broth water also works
- 8 ounces spaghetti broken in half; see note #2
- 3-4 handfuls fresh spinach
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast optional
- red pepper flakes, salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste
- fresh basil and Parmesan for serving
- Heat a 5 quart Dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the Impossible meat, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, onion powder, and black pepper.
- Use a spatula to chop up the meat into ground consistency. Cook the meat until mostly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, cooking another 2 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
- Deglaze the pot with balsamic vinegar. Add the sugar, marinara sauce, and vegetable broth. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Once almost boiling, lay the broken spaghetti on the sauce. Press the spaghetti down so that it's fully covered by liquid. Add extra broth if needed.
- Reduce the heat to a slow simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes total, removing the lid every 5 minutes to stir the spaghetti. The spaghetti is ready when cooked through to al dente.
- Stir in the spinach and nutritional yeast. Taste for salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Serve topped with grated Parmesan and basil.
- Meat: An equal amount of any meatless beef, sausage, or crumbled tempeh can be used.
- Spaghetti: I used whole wheat spaghetti but any kind will work (protein, gluten-free, white wheat, etc.)
- Veggies: If adding extra veggies like bell peppers or mushrooms, I recommend sauteing them with the meat.
- Leftovers: Let the spaghetti cool before transferring to an airtight container. For best quality, keep refrigerated for 3-4 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave in ~2 minutes. Reheat the entire batch of pasta on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through. Add extra broth as needed to loosen up the sauce.