Creamy Tomato Basil No-Drain Pasta

A truly one-pot pasta dinner in just 15 minutes with this no-drain pasta hack. Cook the noodles with the garlic, cheese, and tomatoes so they absorb all the yummy flavors. Top with basil and enjoy!

  • Author: Serena Ball


  • 9 ounces of whole grain spaghetti (about 2/3’s of a 16-ounce package – just eyeball it)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 1 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese (or 1 3/4 cups of Homemade Ricotta)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves


To a large wide skillet or pot, add all ingredients except basil.

Pour enough water over spaghetti to barely cover, about 2 3/4 cups. Turn heat to medium and cook about 15 minutes until pasta is nearly al dente, stirring frequently to keep pasta from sticking together. About 1/2-inch of liquid should remain.

Turn off heat and let pasta sit for 3 more minutes to absorb a bit more liquid while you tear basil into shreds and sprinkle over pasta. Stir.


Other ingredients may be added to this basic recipe: quick cooking veggies (like zucchini, tomatoes or shreds of carrots), quick-cooking proteins (shrimp, fish, 3/4-inch chunks of chicken, beans or tofu,) and seasonings (lemon zest, herbs, spices, ricotta or cream cheese).

If adding extra ingredients, add another 1/4-1/2 cup water to pan.