One Pot Italian Dinner

italian wonderpotIf there’s one mantra I live by, it’s this: The fewer dirty dishes I have to wash, the better.

No one likes doing dishes, but in my house, this is the least favorite chore of all time. My boyfriend and I will vacuum, do laundry, make beds, and dust…pretty much anything to avoid doing dishes.

So, when I came across a recipe on Budget Bytes for a one-pot meal called “The Italian Wonderpot,” I definitely pinned it on my “to try” board.

The great thing about this meal is that it is a good starter recipe, meaning that you can add and subtract ingredients based on what you have in you cupboard and based on your family’s tastes. I’ve made this dish several times, and it always turns out great. Here’s my favorite way to make it.

Start with about four cups of chicken broth in a very large pot. If you want, you can make this vegetarian and use vegetable broth instead. You can also use other types of broth, depending on the protein you decide to add. When in doubt, use vegetable broth!

Next, add to the pot:  12 ounces of fettuccine (we like to use whole wheat pasta), 8-10 ounces of frozen chopped spinach, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, an undrained 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes (or several diced fresh tomatoes), a chopped onion, 2 Tablespoons diced or sliced garlic, and sprinklings of dried oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, and pepper.

one pot italian dinner

Crank the heat up on high, make sure all of the ingredients are under the liquid, and cover. Once the pot is boiling, turn the heat down to medium and allow it to boil for 10 more minutes without the lid. At this point, you can add some cooked protein like chicken (my favorite) or shrimp. You can also add some mushrooms if you want to make it heartier, but still want it to be vegetarian. Cook for a few more minutes, just long enough to heat whatever you added.

While the food is cooking, you want to make sure to stir every few minutes. You want it to be boiling the whole time so the liquid absorbs and evaporates nicely, but you also don’t want the pasta on the bottom to stick or burn. So, you have to give this dish some lovin’ the entire time you’re cooking. Luckily, that’s not long – I usually get this on the table in under 30 minutes!

Before you serve – and this is my favorite part – add a sprinkling of feta cheese. Normally, I don’t love feta, but in this dish, it is just PERFECT. and if you add more than a tiny pinch of red pepper flakes (the way my southern boyfriend likes it), you’ll need that little bit of cheese to cut the heat!

Delish. Here’s the printable:

One-Post Italian Dinner
  • 4 cups broth
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 oz. whole wheat fettuccine
  • 8-10 oz. frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons diced or sliced garlic
  • ½ Tablespoons dried basil
  • ½ Tablespoons dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • Optional: cooked protein, such as chicken or shrimp
  1. Add all ingredients except cheese and protein to a large pot.
  2. Make sure all ingredients are submerged in broth, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Uncover, reduce hear to medium, and boil for 10 more minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  4. Add protein (optional) and cook until heated through.
  5. Sprinkle with feta cheese before serving.


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Allison is one of the co-founders here at The PinterTest Kitchen. She also works as a content marketing consultant and freelance writer - find out more at

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