The Easiest Spaghetti Recipes You'll Ever Try

On the hunt for the easiest spaghetti recipes you'll ever try? And is there anything more soul satisfying than a big plate of delicious spaghetti? Whether it's at Sunday dinner with the whole family or a rushed meal on a hectic weeknight, there's never a wrong time for this classic comfort food. But unlike most great things, a great spaghetti meal doesn't need to cost you an arm and a leg. In fact, when it comes to at-home meals, spaghetti hits the trifecta: easy, cheap, and delicious. You can have the meal prepared in minutes, it will likely only cost you a few dollars, and regardless of who you're feeding, everybody will devour every morsel. 

Now you are probably asking yourself, "How many different ways can you prepare spaghetti?" The answer is a lot: with meatballs or without, boiled or baked, quickly cooking in an instant pot, or simmering for hours in a slow cooker. Each and every variety provides a unique meal that lets you rediscover the satisfying spaghetti-eating experience without even breaking a sweat.

Baked spaghetti

A different take on the traditional spaghetti meal comes from our recipe for baked spaghetti. This Italian casserole is essentially a spaghetti-lasagna hybrid, incorporating the noodles and red sauce of the former with the melted cheese and crispy exterior of the latter.

What's even more enticing about this recipe is its simplicity. It requires just a handful of ingredients — spaghetti, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, marinara sauce, salt, parsley, and the option of ground beef or turkey — and can be prepped, cooked, and on your dinner table in less than one hour.

To start, cook the spaghetti in boiling water and brown the meat. When the noodles are al dente, drain, and add the meat and marinara. Pour the whole mixture in a baking dish, top with both cheeses and parsley, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Just like that, your cheesy, crispy baked spaghetti is complete!

Slow cooker spaghetti and meatballs

While we love spaghetti's short cook time, we all know good things come to those who wait. If you have time to allow all the flavors to develop, or you know you'll be out all day and want dinner to ready when you walk through the door, our slow cooker spaghetti and meatballs recipe is right for you.

The best thing about slow cookers is that they really do all the work for you, and this recipe is the perfect example. To begin, stir together peppers, onion, and tomato sauce, puree, and paste in the slow cooker. Then stir in the seasonings — salt, sugar, Italian seasoning, a bay leaf, and red pepper flakes — and add frozen meatballs. Cover, cook, and come back in eight hours.

Unlike most slow cooker recipes, there's one final step needed, and that's cooking the spaghetti; fortunately, this should only take a few minutes. Once everything is ready to go you can serve individually or put the spaghetti in a large serving dish and top with the sauce, meatballs, and a heaping of parmesan cheese.

Spaghetti and meatballs casserole

Another unique spin on traditional spaghetti and meatballs is our spaghetti and meatball casserole recipe. This dish may sound complicated, but it can be prepped and cooked in just 45 minutes, including the time it takes to make the meatballs from scratch.

Speaking of the meatballs, we walk you through the process of making them at home, but if you're short on time feel free to use your favorite pre-made brand. We recommend initially cooking the meatballs and spaghetti noodles separately until they're nearly done.

Once those steps are completed, spread a spoonful of marinara sauce on a baking dish, add the spaghetti, and top with the meatballs. Cover the mixture with another layer of marinara as well as some Parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Pro tip: When baking, the dish should be covered with aluminum foil, but removing the foil for the last five minutes allows the top of the cheese to brown and develop a nice crispy texture.

One-pot spaghetti

What makes spaghetti such a great meal, aside from its taste, is that it can be prepared in a snap. And just when you thought the Italian feast couldn't get any easier to make, we have a spaghetti recipe that feeds six, cooks in just 15 minutes, and best of all, is all done in one pot so there's very little cleanup necessary.

There are just three steps to this recipe. First, add all the ingredients (except one) to a large Dutch oven: spaghetti noodles, white onion, a can of diced tomatoes, dried basil, minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and chicken broth. Cook for 10 minutes before removing from heat. Finally, stir in some parmesan cheese and you're done.

If you're curious, there's no red sauce in this dish; instead, the flavor is derived from the lemon juice and lemon zest. If you'd like a bit more heat, you can swap out the diced tomatoes for a fire-roasted variety.

Instant pot spaghetti and meatballs

Meatballs are the perfect accompaniment to a serving of spaghetti, but they take time to prep and cook, which can be even more frustrating since spaghetti takes mere minutes to make. But that problem is a thing of the past thanks to our instant pot spaghetti and meatballs recipe.

The recipe teaches you how to make your own meatballs from scratch, but you're free to use pre-made frozen ones instead. All the other necessary ingredients you likely already have in your home: spaghetti noodles, olive oil, crushed tomatoes (either canned or frozen), onion, and garlic.

To start, add the garlic and onion to the instant pot, then the tomatoes. Turn the instant pot off before placing the meatballs in the sauce in a single layer. Break the noodles in half and place in a crisscross pattern on top. Put in a little water or broth, close the lid, and cook for eight minutes.

When it's done, top with some shredded cheese and enjoy!