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This bowl of super easy homemade Cheesy Spaghetti O’s is the perfect recipe for busy weeknights and picky eaters. Small little O-shaped pasta, garlic butter, herbs, and tomato paste are boiled together until al dente. Then a handful of grated parmesan and pecorino cheeses are stirred into the mix. Together they create a creamy, cheesy spaghetti O-style pasta that’s wholesome, delicious, and fun. This simple pasta is made all in one pot, in just 25 minutes and your family will become obsessed!

Super Easy Homemade Cheesy Spaghetti O’s |

Well, isn’t this fun?! Homemade spaghetti O’s! And SO MUCH better than anything you’d dump out of a can. So much better.

I’ve said it many times now, but it’s back-to-school season. And as much as I dreaded this time of year as a kid, there was (and is) something so exciting about starting off a new year. It’s odd since the new year isn’t officially until January. But as a kid, the start of the school year meant so much more than the actual new year. New classrooms, new teachers, new friends, possibly even a new school.

It’s a lot. And with practices, homework, and earlier bedtimes, nights become short and hectic.

Super Easy Homemade Cheesy Spaghetti O’s |

My parents relied on easy dinners like chicken and rice, tacos, and pasta. My mom was always stocked with ramen, boxes of mac and cheese, and yeah, cans of Spaghetti O’s.

To be very, very honest. I never went for the spaghetti O’s. My brother Creighton loved them. I only recall eating them maybe once a year and always with a grilled cheese that my dad would make.

So I can’t say that I was a true fan. But we all know I love a homemade “dupe” and spaghetti O’s needed to happen this week. It’s been thundering and storming all week, and this is back-to-school comfort food at its best.

Super Easy Homemade Cheesy Spaghetti O’s |


For starters, this is almost as easy as dumping out a can of spaghetti o’s and heating. Simple, simple and so much better.

I start by cooking the butter together with a splash of olive oil, lots of garlic, some oregano, and chili flakes. Then add in tomato paste, which is the base of our sauce. I prefer to use tomato paste over jarred pasta. It brings a more intense tomato flavor that tastes as though the sauce has been cooking all day. It’s kind of my “secret”.

Next, pour in the water, this is for cooking the pasta. Then, add the Spaghetti O’s or in correct Italian, Anellini pasta. Any shortcut pasta will work, but using the Anellini makes this feel like a legit Spaghetti O’s copycat. It’s fun!

Super Easy Homemade Cheesy Spaghetti O’s |

Next, add in some onion powder and paprika. Then just cook away until the pasta has the perfect bite. Stir in lots of cheese – both parmesan and pecorino, and finish with fresh basil.

Excited to have this recipe in my back pocket. It’s pretty perfect any time of the year. Everyone really loves it. Like really loves it. Oslo is actually eating a bowl out of my lap as I type this. It’s UMMY as Oslo says!

Super Easy Homemade Cheesy Spaghetti O’s |

Looking for other one pot recipes? Here are my favorites: 

French Onion Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto

One Skillet White Chicken Chili Bake

Healthier Homemade One Pot Hamburger Helper

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta

Lastly, if you make this Super Easy Homemade Cheesy Spaghetti O’s, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Super Easy Homemade Cheesy Spaghetti O’s

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 262 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 1. Melt together the butter, olive oil, garlic, oregano, and chili flakes in a large pot over medium heat. Cook until the butter turns golden, about 5 minutes.
    2. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the tomato paste. Cook 1-2 minutes, then pour over 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, onion powder, paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is al dente, about 12 minutes.
    3. Stir in the parmesan, pecorino, and basil until the cheese is melted.
    4. Serve immediately topped with fresh basil. Eat!
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Super Easy Homemade Cheesy Spaghetti O’s |

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  1. I made the Grown-Up Tomato Parmesan Pasta from your Super Simple book tonight and it was easy and so good but was devoured by my husband standing over the stove barely leaving bites for anyone else. I actually was looking for the recipe on your website to see if there was a comment about doubling the recipe and now I found this one that I have to try. Thanks for the yummy recipes!

    1. Hey Kerri,
      Awesome!! Thanks a bunch for testing this recipe out, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xT

  2. 5 stars
    What is “over 3 cups”?
    I made this recipe and it was so yummy, but mine came out with a thick sauce, and not like the one here.

    1. Hey Blaire,
      Fantastic!!🌻 I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for trying it out! You are pouring the 3 cups of water over the tomato paste:) xT

    1. Hey Renee,
      2 cups is equal to 16 ounces so you can just follow the recipe as written:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

        1. Hi Leslie,
          It depends on the size box that you purchase:) If yours is 2 cups then yes add the whole box. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

    1. Hey Kim,
      Happy Sunday!!🌸 Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your review, I love to hear that it was a winner! xT

    1. Hey there,
      Happy Valentine’s Day! 💌 I appreciate you giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it was tasty! xT

  3. 5 stars
    Highly recommend making mini meatballs in the pan prior and then cooking your pasta in the same pan before adding your meatballs back in at the end. SO yummy!

    1. Hey Michela,
      Happy Sunday!!🏈 I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xx

    1. Hey there,
      Happy Wednesday!! Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it was tasty! xx

  4. 5 stars
    Another A+ recipe! I love the depth of flavor…it’s delicious & comforting but in a way where you can feel good about what you’re eating…so perfect for a snowy night!

    1. Hey Katherine,
      Happy Wednesday!! ❄️ I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xT

  5. Do you think that this is freezer Friendly? I’m looking for a replacement for Spaghetti Os for quick work lunches?

    1. Hey Morgan,
      Sure, I don’t see why not! Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xx

  6. When I look up grated pecorino cheese shredded parmesan cheese pops up. Is that what I use in addition with the grated parm cheese?


    1. Hi Kimberly,
      Yes, you are going to 1 cup grated parmesan and 1/2 cup grated pecorino, they are 2 different cheeses:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx