This post may contain affiliate links, please see our privacy policy for details.

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!
View Recipe Comments
Super Easy Homemade Cheesy Spaghetti O’s |

Add a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Hi! Love your recipes so much! This is a favorite in my house. I was wondering if there is a crockpot option or if I could make it a few hours ahead and then transfer to a crockpot and keep the setting on warm?

  2. So so good! The family loved it and I will definitely be making a double batch next time! I need leftovers for school lunch! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I’m wondering how come the recipe here calls for oregano, paprika, and onion powder but the recipe in your cookbook is different? calling for rosemary and no paprika//onion powder…I love the recipe with extra water but curious about the difference?

  4. Made this last night! Turned out great! Make sure to stir frequently like it says and use good quality tomato paste! Turned out perfectly!

  5. We made this tonight for our family and I was really, really hopeful, but it came out nothing like the pictures. Then I watched the video and wondered if the recipe listed is even the same as the one in the video. The recipe calls for fresh basil, but in the video you used basil pesto. There also seemed to be way more cheese in the written recipe, so much so that I couldn’t even taste the tomato in the final dish. I’m going to try it again, but adjust things to match the video.

    1. I felt the same way. The cheese and tomato paste were way too much compared with the video. The basil pesto wasn’t listed in the ingredients but was in the video.
      I will definitely make this again but use less tomato paste (more like the video). I love spaghetti-os, but always looking for a healthier/homemade alternative. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    1. 1 star
      I had high hopes for this recipe but something isn’t right. The measurements here are off. The recipe doesn’t include enough water to actually cook the pasta. It does not come out the way it is described. Do not recommend. You should republish it with different measurements to perfect the recipe.

      1. 4 stars
        I agree, I had to add a lot more water or some broth to it to fully cook 2 cups of dry Anelli rings. I forget how much, maybe 3 more cups of water? I simply put in more by eye and cooked until al dente.

        1. Thanks for trying the recipe June! Sorry to hear you had to add so much more water, next time I would turn your heat down:)

  6. 5 stars
    This was so yummy! I used the 6 oz can of tomato paste and it was the perfect amount of sauce. Perfect with chick pea pasta shells! Just want to say all your recipes are a hit with our family and I just love you! Keep up the good work!

  7. 4 stars
    It was really yummy! I had to add about another cup of water and it was still a little dry but good. I made mini meatballs to go with it!

  8. 4 stars
    Good. Not great. Not saucy like the picture shows. Was much “drier.” I will 1.5 times the sauce next time.

  9. 5 stars
    Outstanding!!! We added crisp italian sausage, fresh cherry tomatoes and homegrown basil and parsley on top. So yummy!

  10. 5 stars
    We really enjoyed this simple but very flavorable recipe. So so so much tastier than the canned stuff:) I made grilled cheese with sourdough bread to have with it ..Good combo