Growing up, I was a pretty picky eater. I disliked most meat (WAY too much effort to chew), and I didn’t particularly care for vegetables, unless I had pulled it fresh from the dirt of our garden. If you had asked me back then what my favourite meal was, or what meal I would request as a birthday dinner, it would have been spaghetti, hands down. PLAIN spaghetti. No meat sauce, no tomato sauce, just plain old spaghetti with a pat of butter and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. I loved to eat spaghetti!!
I can remember being disgusted by my brother and parents pouring tomato sauce all over their spaghetti – why would you ruin something so perfectly delicious!? And meat sauce? Now that was just downright gross. Funny how our tastes change….
While I admit I still occasionally crave a bowl of spaghetti with just butter and cheese, I am happy to say I’m a converted spaghett-erian. Bring on the meat sauce, the cheese, and heck, let’s throw some diced veggies in there too!
I know I’m a big proclaimer of favourites, but without seeming too disingenuous, I can tell you that this skillet linguine I’m about to share with you IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITES!! It’s so good! The sauce is so utterly creamy, thanks to a slow simmer of all the ingredients. The broiled cheese on top is the perfect accompaniment to a rich and filling pasta dish. And the best part? It’s all done IN ONE PAN!! One pan to clean. ONE! No pasta in one, sautéed veggies in another, meat sauce in another…just one big ol’ skillet. Oh, and you can whip this meal up in under 30 minutes. WIN!
My vegetables of choice in this dish include bell peppers, mushrooms, and spinach, but you can certainly customize the veggies to your liking. I’ve used a jarred marinara sauce (I know, I know – sometimes I buy my pasta sauce), but you can use whatever tomato sauce you’d like, as long as it’s about 650 mL.
I use my 10″ cast iron skillet for this recipe, but you can use any dish as long as it’s deep enough to contain all of the ingredients and is oven-safe.
Browning the beef is the first place to start. Once there is no pink left, you can move on to dumping in the sauce and broth along with the veggies (sans spinach) and linguine. I find it easier to work with the noodles if I break them in half first. Everything simmers for about 10 minutes, or until the noodles and vegetables are soft.
The spinach gets added at the end; stir it in until the leaves have just wilted. Then top everything with cheese and stick the skillet under the broiler for a few minutes!
I like to throw some fresh basil on top of the cheese once the skillet comes out of the oven. Get that pan on the table and dish away!
Ooey, gooey, spaghetti perfection – even if my 7 year old self would strongly disagree!
Yield 4-5 servings
Rich and creamy linguine with vegetables and meat sauce smothered in cheese and prepared all in one skillet, in under 30 minutes!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 jar pasta sauce (650 mL)
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup white mushrooms, diced
- 7 oz linguine noodles (I used whole wheat)
- 2 cups spinach, loosely packed
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp fresh basil
- In a deep, oven-safe skillet, brown the beef over medium heat until there is no pink left. Drain, return to skillet and add the Italian seasoning, stirring.
- Add the diced vegetables (except for spinach), the linguine (broken in half), the jar of pasta sauce and the beef broth. Stir to combine, and while ensuring the noodles are fully submerged, bring the sauce to a boil. Simmer steadily for about 10 minutes, or until the noodles and vegetables are soft.
- Turn the oven broil on high. Add the spinach to the skillet, and stir just until the leaves are wilted. Scatter the top of the dish with both cheeses, and place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, or until the cheeses are melted and slightly browned. Remove from the oven, garnish with fresh basil and serve immediately.
Once cooled, leftovers will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days in an airtight container.
Pin this dish for your next busy weeknight!
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