One Pot Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca with Chickpeas & Artichoke

Tell me all you want that I’m in a puttanesca rut. As long as olives + capers + tomatoes still tastes delicious, I’ll be continuing to cook various iterations of that combo. I learned about the one-pot pasta technique when a friend of mine forwarded this Italian wonderpot recipe to me. I knew immediately that one pot spaghetti alla puttanesca was going to be our next Sunday dinner.

One Pot Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca | Easy vegan one pot pasta in the style of puttanesca, with chickpeas and artichoke hearts! Whole grain and healthy.

{get the pin}

I don’t blame you for being skeptical, since I was too, about this idea of cooking the pasta directly in the sauce. But holy smokes, the pasta really was perfectly cooked, and it could not have been easier. The liquid, as promised, thickened up thanks to the starch in the pasta (here is the whole wheat spaghetti I often use), and formed a light, savory sauce. I foresee that a non-puttanesca iteration will also be happening very soon.

Update 8/2014: I love this recipe so much that I made another one pot pasta using fresh spring veggies (namely zucchini) and a white wine lemon sauce. I’m sure a summer variation will also be coming soon!

One Pot Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca | Easy and healthy vegan one pot pasta that cooks in 10 minutes in just ONE pan.

Whether it’s puttanesca or not, I really do think you should try out this one pot pasta cooking method! It’s fast, easy, delicious, and pretty fun to make. Have a bountiful week and weekend!

One Pot Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca with Chickpeas & Artichoke Hearts

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

One Pot Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca with Chickpeas & Artichoke Hearts

This one pot spaghetti alla puttanesca packs a punch of protein & flavor with whole wheat pasta, olives, capers, chickpeas, and artichoke hearts, plus a little spice. It can be ready in under 30 minutes!


  • 12 oz. whole wheat spaghetti (you should not substitute for this; see notes)
  • 2 oz. sliced black olives (up to 4 oz. for olive lovers)
  • 1 (14-oz.) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and chopped
  • 3/4 c. cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tb. capers
  • 1/2 large white or yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14-oz.) can diced tomatoes, low sodium or no salt added
  • 1 tb. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (reduce to 1/4 tsp. if sensitive to heat)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper (reduce to 1/4 tsp. if freshly ground)
  • salt (see notes)
  • 3 c. vegetable broth, low sodium or no salt added


  1. Add the pasta to a large, deep skillet, breaking in half if needed (a saucepan may also work)
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, minus the broth, to the pan on top of the pasta (artsy arrangement not necessary!)
  3. Pour the vegetable broth over everything.
  4. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a steady simmer (medium to medium-low heat) and, keeping covered & stirring occasionally, cook for 8-10 more minutes, or until pasta is done through.


The starch from the whole wheat pasta thickens the broth into a mild sauce and that's what makes this recipe work its magic. Gluten-free pasta will almost definitely not be a viable substitute, as it does not have the same properties. Regular (not whole wheat) pasta is what the original recipe used, and it called for more liquid (4 cups). I personally have not tested with anything other than whole wheat.

My olives, artichoke hearts, chickpeas, capers, and tomatoes all came from (BPA-free) cans, so I found that I didn't need to add any salt, even with my homemade salt-free vegetable broth. It's easiest to salt to taste after the pasta is done cooking, but if none of your ingredients have salt added, I recommend adding a bit before cooking in order to get the same results that I did.

In my picture the onions are chopped, but they will do a better job cooking through if you mince them. Sorry for the visual deception.

Finally, I have heard some feedback that the leftovers can get soggy. I think you can minimize the chances of this by: 1) cooking the pasta to al dente, 2) tossing with a bit of olive oil before you store it, and/or 3) let it fully cool, uncovered, before storing.

One Pot Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca | Easy one pan vegan spaghetti puttanesca made with whole wheat spaghetti.

(Adapted from Apron Strings & shared on Healthy Vegan Fridays.) And here’s the finished product! Not super stylish, but delicious. I didn’t stir it a whole lot during cooking – just enough to keep the noodles from sticking.

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    • says

      So glad you liked it, Carrie! Thanks! Off the top of my head, I would say that the whole grain pasta and chickpeas add a substantial amount of protein/fiber, but as far as specific nutrient levels, I think an online nutrition calculator would be much more accurate than I would =].

  1. Cinzia says

    I am Italian.
    And this is BLASPHEMY for us.
    The pasta MUST BE boiled in water with nothing else but salt. The sauce must be added ONLY when the pasta is cooked, and it must be ‘al dente’, which means cooked until just firm. I’m sure this receipt is good, but please don’t ever call it Italian :)

    • says

      I really did try to avoid (and always do, whenever my recipes are inspired by other cultures than my own) implying that this dish is authentic. It is inspired by Italian food and I defend my decision to say so, as a way of giving people a sense of the flavor profile.

      I hope I’m correct that your comment is lighthearted, but if not, I’m sorry to have offended you, as that was certainly my not my intention.

  2. Emily says

    Just want to let you know that this recipe is AMAZING. Delicious and very easy to make! I loved it. My husband loved it. My 2-year-old loved it. My 1-year-old loved it. We ALL loved it. Thank you!!!!

  3. Akua says

    If you haven’t tested anything other than whole wheat, how do you know nothing else will work? I’m gluten free and I haven’t met a recipe I can’t adjust yet, in ten+ years. Probably the cooking time/liquid would need to be adjusted, but I’d be shocked if you couldn’t make something good with it.

    • says

      Hi Akua,
      I had a reader try this with gluten-free pasta (and no other changes to the recipe), and it made the pasta fall apart, so I added a note of caution. However, I definitely agree with you – with some tweaking it could still be great, but I am not comfortable recommending that type of substitution without having tested it. If you try it then I would love for you to let me know of your findings!

  4. Laura says

    Do you think I can make this in a non-one-pot way? I want to have left overs, so I think having the sauce and pasta separate would be better, right? The pasta with a bit of olive oil to keep it from drying out, cooked el dente, and then the sauce. If I just chuck it all together in a pot to cook that should work, I assume? Also, I don’t really love artichoke hearts, do you think they are vital?

    • says

      That would probably work fine (let me know how it goes!). Mine worked fine as leftovers for about 3 days, even when cooked in one pot, but a couple of people had their leftovers be kind of mushy, so the safest bet would be to cook them separately. You might want to reduce the amount of broth in the sauce, though, since the pasta won’t be cooking in it to thicken it up. The artichoke hearts are definitely not vital.

  5. CT says

    I make something similar but find that I like penne pasta better. I like to add red bell pepper too. For a crowd I make this in a 5 QT Dutch oven (450 degrees F for 35-40 min) toss 1 lb of penne with 1 Tb olive oil, top with undrained diced tomatoes (I used home canned so about 1 qt), add in other goodies (like your recipe), herbs then cover & bake. I really don’t do exact measurements. I just spread even layers of each item, after baking I toss the ingredients to mix lightly, add fresh sliced basil on top and replace the lid until ready to eat. Baking it makes it a great “hands off” event.

  6. says

    In case you haven’t examined everything other than whole wheat grains, how will you know nothing otherwise is fine? I’m gluten cost-free along with My partner and i haven’t attained a menu My partner and i can’t change however. Probably the cooking time/liquid would have to end up being modified, although I’d end up being amazed in the event you couldn’t create anything very good by using it.

    • says

      Hi Chris,
      You’re right that I haven’t tested the other options (e.g. gluten-free or white pasta), and that’s why I haven’t listed instructions for using them. I agree that with some tweaking, this dish could be gluten-free, but I haven’t worked with gluten-free pasta and I’m uncomfortable recommending a substitution. I wanted to make it clear that if anyone tries that, it will be an experiment and I can’t guarantee good results. If you try it out, I’d love to hear how it goes.

  7. Deb says

    I made this for dinner last night. It was delicious, and RIDICULOUSLY simple to make! I thought the amount of oregano in the recipe (1 Tb.) was a bit much, so I used 1 tsp., but other than that I followed the recipe. I took the advice and let it cool completely (uncovered) before storing the leftovers. I had another portion for dinner tonight, and did not find it mushy. We’ll see what the texture of the frozen portions are like sometime in the near future. Thanks for sharing this recipe – I will definitely make it again. :)

  8. Kim says

    Everything tasted so good! I added fresh oregano and basil from my herb garden. There’s only one thing that I will change next time. Ill use regular pasta! This was the first time that I ever used wheat pasta and I guess I don’t like it haha! The rest was absolutely delicious though! Also, was I supposed to drain the canned tomato?

    • says

      I could see how whole wheat pasta might be an acquired taste! I’m really glad to hear that you liked everything else though, thanks so much for letting me know! :) I didn’t intend for the canned tomato to be drained, but if you are sensitive to the canned taste or anything I’m sure draining them wouldn’t cause any issues.

      Btw, you may want to increase the liquid if you make it again with white pasta – to about 4 cups.

  9. ida says

    Just cooked this for dinner. Tastes fantastic and was easy to prepare and cook! I’m not a vegan but this is just great as an introduction to veganisim…

  10. Rebecca Gregory says

    Wow.. I just made this for dinner and it was amazing. I will have to add this dish to my lists of favorites and make it often! It was really quick and easy. Even my meat loving boyfriend couldn’t get enough of it.

  11. M Briggs says

    OMG this was sooo good!!! My meat loving boys had seconds and my former vegetarian brother said it was awesome and that his still vegetarian kids would like this! Thanks

  12. BabblinBrookie says

    I’m currently eating gluten free. I went against your advice, and used a Brown rice rigatoni noodle. The sauce was more like Italian dressing consistency, but just as great. Thanks!

  13. Nadine says

    I used gluten free rice pasta swirls and it turned out a treat!! My fussy kids loved it! I also put the onions, garlic and artichoke in my Vitamix and wizzed until puréed. I thought that my kids wouldn’t try the pasta if they saw the artichokes. Thanks for a great recipe! X

  14. maureen says

    I made this with regular pasta- thin spaghetti, although I normally use angel hair pasta. I did increase the broth to 4 cups per the recipe. LOVED IT! turned out great! I’m 1/2 Italian and never tried this kind of dish.. will def. make again!

  15. Margie says

    This sounds awesome! I want to make this for a large group, do you think it can doubled & made in a paella pan?

  16. Crock Pot Conversion says

    How easily do you think you could transfer this recipe for slow cooker? I am thinking put all ingredient into crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours? Maybe less? Not sure.

    • says

      I honestly am not sure would happen with this recipe in the slow cooker… I’m worried that the texture of the pasta wouldn’t come out right but I really have no idea. You’d have to just go with your gut instinct. and if you try it I’d love to hear whether it’s a success!

  17. Nina says

    Shannon! This is a brilliant creation. I don’t know if I will ever make pasta the traditional way again! We used gluten-free rice pasta with Rice Bran in it (Tinkyada). I figured that maybe it would add the most starchy thickener to the broth. It turned out gorgeous! Appreciate your heads up about it under your notes and reviews from those who gave GF a go. My guess is we could probably add some sauteed veg (zucchini?) to the pot before adding the broth. Thanks again!


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