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Square overhead shot of one pot pasta with ground beef and fresh herbs
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5 from 2 votes

One Pot Pasta with Ground Beef

An easy, family-friendly dinner that cooks in one pot!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword one pot pasta, one pot pasta with sauce, pasta with ground beef
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 - 6 people
Calories 477kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced or pressed garlic (about 4 small cloves)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 3 ¾ cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 3 cups water
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh basil (or other herbs); crushed red pepper flakes; grated Parmesan cheese


  • In a Dutch oven, cook ground beef and onion over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink and the onion is translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Drain off any excess grease.
  • Stir in tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, and sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  • Add the pasta and water. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until the pasta is tender, about 16-18 minutes.
  • Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Serve immediately and garnish with chopped fresh basil (or other herbs), crushed red pepper flakes, and Parmesan cheese, if desired.


  • Swap out the ground beef and use ground turkey, ground pork, ground chicken, or ground Italian sausage instead.
  • Add extra veggies to the sauce. Try sauteing sliced mushrooms, zucchini, or cherry tomatoes.
  • Instead of the dried Italian seasoning, add flavor to the sauce with chopped fresh herbs of your choosing. Good options include basil, thyme, oregano, and parsley.
  • Try a different shape of pasta in lieu of the penne. You will need to adjust the cooking time if using a different size, so keep an eye on the pot and take it off of the heat when the noodles are tender. You might like rigatoni, spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine, elbows, rotini, or farfalle.
  • Drizzle with olive oil at the end, or add a bright, acidic touch with fresh lemon juice or lemon zest.
  • Stir in a splash of heavy cream at the end for a creamy one pot pasta.


Serving: 1/6 of the recipe | Calories: 477kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 623mg | Potassium: 809mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 299IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 5mg