Make dinner time quick and easy with this One Pot Rigatoni Bolognese! Everything cooks in one pot for quick prep and easy clean up – even the pasta cooks right in the sauce!
One pot pasta recipes are always my go-to on those absolutely crazy days, because they are so easy to make you can basically whip them up in your sleep. For more one pot pasta recipes with ground beef, see my One Skillet Lasagna or my One Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta!
Some call me a lazy cook, but I like to call myself efficient.
I mean, is it really lazy to use less dishes, cook more things in the same vessel, make food with a small list of simple ingredients to keep dinner easier?
Well, maybe it’s a LITTLE bit lazy. But in turn, I get to sit down at the dinner table mostly relaxed. Because let’s be honest… With a 3 year old, 5 year old AND a baby, you really do need all the calmness and relaxation you can get 😅😂
This One Pot Rigatoni Bolognese
- is SO easy to make! Everything cooks in one pot – yes, you even add the pasta DRY! No need to pre-cook!
- only uses a handful of simple ingredients, but turns out extremely flavorful
- has been one of our favorite meals for some time now, because not only is it easy to make… But the kids eat it right up, too! Plus, less mess with rigatoni vs spaghetti. If you have little kids, you know what I’m talking about 🙈
While I do try to keep our dinners balanced and not serve pasta every single night, there are times I just don’t have the time or energy for much else (hello, newborn life!).
But I’m at least glad I can still whip up a dinner from scratch with lots of nutritious goodies in there, without spending hours in the kitchen.
My kids definitely don’t mind a few pasta dinners in a row, but to keep us from getting bored I always switch things up with plenty of different recipes. Some other favorites include my One Pot Pea and Bacon Pasta, my One Pot Italian Sausage Pasta (aka One Pot “Baked” Ziti) , my One Pot Mushroom Pasta or my One Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce.
How to Make One Pot Rigatoni Bolognese:
ead on for the detailed steps, or scroll down for more tips to make this recipe foolproof and the printable recipe card.
► 1 Prep: When cooking with little kids around, I like to get all of the prep work done ahead of time. Sometimes I even chop veggies during nap time in the morning!
Here, you need to chop onion, carrot and celery. These are relatively easy to clean and prep. Did you know that it’s easier to peel an onion after rinsing it? It kind of sticks the peel together so it doesn’t annoyingly flutter everywhere.
Chop everything quite small so it softens quickly during cooking. And to be even more lazy, I usually throw it all in my food processor and pulse a few times until it’s chopped up. So easy!
► 2 Brown beef and vegetables: Heat some oil in a large pot (I often use my Le Creuset because it’s so pretty, at lazy dinner deserves to look nice, too 😉).
Click here to see which Dutch Oven I have! (This is an affiliate link and I make a commission for purchases made after clicking through.)
Brown the beef, then stir in the chopped veggies to cook for another couple of minutes. Stir in tomato pasta and seasoning and cook for another minute – it is important to roast the tomato paste first, to give it a richer flavor.
► 3 Add remaining ingredients and cook: Stir water (or broth for extra flavor) into the pot, scraping any browned bits off the bottom. Then stir everything else into the pot, including the DRY pasta (I always get comments on my one pot pasta recipes turning out soupy, and usually it’s because the pasta was pre-cooked – do NOT pre-cook the pasta!). Then simmer until the pasta is done. That’s it!
Tips for this One Pot Rigatoni Bolognese:
- don’t precook the pasta! It REALLY does go in dry. If you precook it, your dinner will be rigatoni soup.
- you can use ground sausage in place of the ground beef if you prefer
- this recipe works with most pasta shapes that cook in around 10 minutes (I do not recommend instant varieties, or very small or thin shapes, they usually need less liquid to cook and the pasta will stay soupy), though I do love rigatoni a lot with bolognese sauce
Can you freeze this?
I always get asked if one pot pasta can be made ahead and frozen, or if leftovers freeze well.
Personally, I tend to say no. Because the pasta will continue soaking up the sauce and you’ll end up with very mushy pasta.
If you want to prep this before baby or in similar situations, and you don’t mind softer pasta, you can make this and freeze it in a casserole dish.
Reheat in the oven at 360°F covered with foil for about an hour (no need to defrost). Sprinkle with cheese and bake uncovered for another 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the casserole is piping hot all the way through.
When freezing a recipe, always remember:
- make sure to use containers or bags suitable for freezing
- label with the name and use-by date (freeze for up to 3 months)
- reheat until piping hot all the way through before serving
What can you do with leftover pasta?
Turning leftovers into a pasta casserole is the best way to reheat leftovers.
Refrigerate any leftovers in a casserole dish for up to 2 days. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes at 400°F, or until hot and bubbly.
More Ground Beef Recipes You’ll Love:
- Mozzarella Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf
- Homemade Salisbury Steak
- Homemade Shepherd’s Pie
- Basic Homemade Meatballs
- Easy Swedish Meatballs
- Easy Italian Meatballs
And if you liked these recipes, there’s plenty more to make family meals easier for you! Be sure to join my FREE recipe circle here to get easy recipes by email.
P.S: If you tried this recipe, why not leave me a comment below to let me know how you liked it? I LOVE interacting with you and hearing about your experience with my recipe. Also, by adding a comment and star rating you’re helping Savory Nothings grow and get even better for you!
One Pot Rigatoni Bolognese
* These are affiliate links and I make a commission for purchases made after clicking through.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 carrot finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 3 – 4 cups water can use broth if you prefer
- 1 can (28-oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 box (16-oz) rigatoni pasta uncooked
- Grated parmesan to serve
- Brown the beef: Heat oil in a medium-large Dutch oven. Brown the beef.
- Cook the vegetables: Add the finely chopped vegetables to the pot with the beef and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until softened (about 2-3 minutes).
- Season and deglaze: Add the garlic powder, Italian seasoning and tomato paste to the pan. Stir until mixed in well. Pour in 3 cups water or broth, scratching the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Cook the pasta: Add the diced tomatoes and uncooked pasta to the skillet, making sure to stir everything in until the pasta is covered with liquid. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the pasta is done, about 10-15 minutes. Add up to one more cup of water during cooking, as needed. Serve with grated parmesan.
Nutrition (this is an estimate)
One more thing before you head off… If you need more easy recipes in your life, make sure you’re one the Savory Nothings eMail list! You can click here to sign up.