One Pot Spaghetti with Cream Cheese

I’ve been making spaghetti with cream cheese for my son since he was a toddler, and all these years later it’s still his favorite comfort food. So of course making a one pot spaghetti with cream cheese recipe he can easily make for himself when he goes off to college (entirely too soon) topped my mommy to do list – and here it is! 4 ingredients, one pot – no strainer needed – and it’s ready in 15 minutes.

One Pot Spaghetti with Cream Cheese


I admit I’ve been skeptical about this one pot pasta craze because it seemed too easy. The idea of simply tossing a bunch of ingredients into a pot and having a delicious meal ready in a quick ten minutes had to be impossible. I mean, if pasta could be cooked with the water and sauce in one pot, no draining needed, I totally would have known, right?

One Pot Spaghetti with Cream Cheese

Wrong! One pot pasta really is just one pot, and my total time investment was 15 minutes – this recipe is a keeper!

I’ve read the complaints about starchy, overcooked pasta using the one pot pasta method. This is neither. It tastes better because the pasta absorbs some of the sauce as it cooks, and the sauce is thickened by the starch the pasta releases.

One Pot Spaghetti with Cream Cheese

You know how pasts dries out pretty quickly? I made this for dinner around 7, got all hangry again at midnight, decided to scarf down the 1/2 serving that had been left in the pot, on the stove, uncovered, and it was still lovely! It hadn’t dried out at all. This is one pot pasta covered in magic sauce!

One Pot Spaghetti with Cream Cheese

The best news of all??? You don’t even have to believe me! It’s so quick and so simple that it really is risk free to try this recipe yourself! When you do, come back to this post and tell me about it – I want to hear from you!
Seriously, this couldn’t be easier! To make this right now, you’ll need 1 jar of tomato sauce, 4 ounces of cream cheese, 41/2 cups of water, and 1 pound of uncooked semolina pasta.

Step 1: Get a pot – mine is a 5 quart stock pot – and lightly coat the inside with cooking spray.

Step 2: Dump the pasta in the pot. I used spaghetti, but any semolina pasta will work.

Step 3: Pour the water in. It won’t cover the pasta, but that’s ok. In my pot, it looks like this:

One Pot Spaghetti with Cream Cheese

Step 4: Pour a jar of sauce on top. It doesn’t have to be fancy! I used the Kroger store brand marinara for this recipe because it’s really good.

One Pot Spaghetti with Cream Cheese

Step 5: Put the cream cheese on top of the sauce. 4 ounces is half of a regular box of cream cheese, so just cut one roughly in half – no measuring required.

One Pot Spaghetti with Cream Cheese

Step 6: Grab a couple of pot holders, a long handled utensil, put the pot on the stove and turn the heat on high. Stir, stir, stir to keep the pasta from sticking! Wear those pot holders to keep the steam off your hands. This will be bubbling like crazy! Move the utensil across the bottom of the pot constantly and this will not stick. If you walk away to let this boil like regular pasta – just don’t. Learn from my mistakes! It looks like it’s never going to cook:

One Pot Spaghetti with Cream Cheese

Step 7: And then it’s done. The pasta will go pretty quickly from stick straight to cooked, so once it starts to really bend around the utensil it’s close. Keep stirring until it looks like this:

One Pot Spaghetti with Cream Cheese

Do a quick check to be sure it’s done done done – I like to grab a piece with a fork and bite into it to see – and when you’re happy with the texture, turn the heat off and take the pot off the hot burner. Keep stirring until it stops bubbling. The finished dish should look like this:

One Pot Spaghetti with Cream Cheese


Yields 4 - 6 Servings

One Pot Spaghetti with Cream Cheese

5 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

15 minTotal Time

Save Recipe


1 pound uncooked spaghetti

1 24oz jar marinara sauce

4 ounces cream cheese

4 1/2 cups water


  1. Add all ingredients to a pot.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Cook for ten minutes or until pasta is done, stirring frequently.
  4. And that’s it! Super easy!


17 Responses to One Pot Spaghetti with Cream Cheese

  1. Neat recipe! I love your explicit instructions on how to prevent the pasta from sticking! This is very important to know when you are making a recipe for the first time!

  2. My husband found this page and sent it to me. Now, he’s not big on tomato sauce (I am), so when he said that we should have it for dinner I jumped at the chance. It was a hit! I thought my daughter was going to just put the pot in front of her and ask what we were eating. lol. I see what you mean about the sticking! Even with fast stirring and scraping, some still stuck. Still, it was YUMMY. Thank you!

  3. Curious why you wouldn’t par cook the pasta in water, and then finish with the rest of the ingredients to eliminate the sticking problem?

  4. This was a hit with the kids! I did have to increase the water by about 2/3 C. more. Maybe due to higher elevation? Anyway, added some seasoned, cooked ground round, Parmesan cheese, and salt. Will be great for after long days at work! Thanks for sharing Jen!

  5. Delicious! I added a pound of cooked ground beef seasoned with garlic salt and Italian seasoning , a can of diced tomatoes (we like a chunky sauce), one diced zucchini which had been sautéed with the meat (great way to sneak veggies in because the kids don’t notice them), and used only 3 cups of water. Turned out wonderful! Thank you!

  6. Great recipe! I converted this to metric measurements and used standard packet sizes (for Australia) and it worked out really well. I used 1 packet of macaroni (500g), 1 jar of passata tomato sauce (700mL), half a block of cream cheese (125g) and 1L of water (plus a little salt). I also added half a bag of frozen IKEA meatballs at the beginning, no need to defrost. Once boiling, stirred for 8 min. Mine did not stick at all, I used a 30cm stainless steel chef pan (low and wide) and oiled the base before I began, then used a silicone cake spatula to stir – the spatula gets everything off the bottom and sides. Next time I might top with some Parmesan and fresh herbs, maybe some fresh spinach at the end – but this is such a simple go to meal with ingredients that can be kept on hand. Dinner in under 30 minutes…Thank you!

  7. This looks quite interesting. I think I will try it with Barilla Bolognese sauce which is available here in France. It is a tomato based sauce but does not have cheese in it, so I think it will go well with this dish, mainly with the cream cheese. And I must say, great pictures…

  8. Delicious and so easy! I used vodka sauce and also added garlic and salt. Definitely will make this again 🙂

Leave a reply

Hello! Welcome to Addicted to Yum!

I'm Jen, and yes, I look guilty. See that lovely jar of salted caramel sauce to my right? Yeah, that one. I've hidden a secret stash in my pantry. Wow it feels sooooo good to say that outloud!