This one pot curry pasta is such a quick and easy recipe that it is perfect for a quick lunch, a simple side dish with dinner, or a late-night snack.
Serve it as a side dish with grilled meat/fish, or you can turn it into a meal by adding some roasted vegetables or your favorite protein (chicken or shrimp is always a favorite).
This pasta curry isn't in any way an authentic Indian or Thai curry, think more like the flavor of a curried chicken salad but in mild, warm creamy, comforting pasta form!
Curry with pasta??
This recipe is a throwback to student days, where, as the end of the month came around and money got tight, food came out of a single packet and was all cooked in one pan.
The brands of pasta in sauce, where you add some water, maybe some milk, a little butter, and your saucy pasta cooks together in one pot! A mealtime winner back then but not the food I want to feed the family, so today we are making a homemade version of the blue or green "pasta sides" packets from Continental, Knorr, or Batchelors.
Making Curry Pasta
The full printable recipe is below in the recipe card but as an overview:
Our pasta curry starts with some fresh veggies - onions, carrots, and garlic are cooked gently in butter. To this, we add some chicken broth/stock, some salt, pepper, sugar, and curry powder.
Once this mixture comes to a simmer, pasta and frozen peas are added into the pan. This is cooked over medium heat until the pasta is cooked through. (just like those student day packets, you have to stir this frequently to ensure the pasta cooks evenly.)
Once the pasta is cooked, add a little heavy cream and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat for a minute to thicken the sauce and then serve!
- Cook the vegetables slowly in the butter to make sure they don't burn.
- Add the garlic just before the broth, so it doesn't get crispy.
- Use a pasta shape, like penne, rather than a long pasta.
- Bring the broth to a boil before adding the pasta and peas.
- Stir the pasta constantly until the broth returns to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to medium, so the broth doesn't evaporate.
- Don't use a lid, or the pasta sauce will be too thin.
- Stir the pasta frequently (every couple of minutes) to ensure it cooks evenly.
- The broth is going to soak into the pasta; don't be tempted to add extra water/broth. You'll end up with a watery sauce.
- Test the pasta after 9 minutes, one-pot pasta takes a little longer to cook than the traditional method, but you don't want to overcook it. So check it after 9 minutes, and if it's not ready, check again at 10 minutes.
- Once the pasta is cooked, there should be a little broth left at the bottom of the pan.
- Turn the heat to high and add in the cream, stir the pasta quickly to create a rich, creamy curry sauce.
For more pasta dishes that can be served as sides try:
- Greek Orzo with Lemon and Herbs
- Creamy Lemon Basil Pasta
- Easy Creamy Saffron Pasta
- Easy Creamy Four Cheese Pasta
- Easy Creamy Herb Pasta
- Easy Garlic Bacon Pasta
- No Cream Italian Herb Pasta
- See all 60+ pasta recipes
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One-Pan Curry Pasta
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 ½ cups broth -see note 1
- 2 tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp sugar
- pinch black pepper
- 10 oz pasta - see note 2
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ½ cup cream
Start by preparing the vegetables
- Peel and finely chop the onion, carrot, and garlic.
3 garlic cloves
- Set to one side.
To cook the pasta and sauce
- Melt the butter in a large pan (see note 3)
2 tbsp butter
- Add the onions and carrot and sweat them off for 5 minutes until softened.
- Add the garlic and stir together until it smells fragrant.
- Pour in the broth, then add the curry powder, salt, sugar, and black pepper.
4 ½ cups broth
2 tsp curry powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar
pinch black pepper
- Bring to a simmer and then add in the pasta and the frozen peas. Stir well, then reduce the heat to a medium, so the broth is barely simmering.
1 cup frozen peas
- Stir the pasta every couple of minutes, so the pasta doesn't stick.
- Test the pasta after 9 minutes if it's not ready, check again at 10 minutes. (see note 4)
- Once the pasta is cooked, add the heavy cream to the remaining liquid in the pan. Turn up the heat and boil for a minute to thicken the sauce.
½ cup heavy cream
- I use chicken or vegetable broth for this recipe.
- You want to pick a pasta shape that can withstand stirring. So a penne or a rigatoni is excellent. Farfalle (bowtie) pasta isn't a great option as the ends tend to break off when you stir the pasta.
- You want a large pan so that all of the pasta gets a chance to sit in the liquid. I like to use a wide, high sided skillet; it makes it easier to stir without covering the stovetop.
- One-pan pasta takes a little longer to cook than the traditional method. If your water is simmering a little too vigorously, you will find the pasta may cook more quickly, but unevenly. Better to take an extra couple of minutes and use the barest of simmers.