50+ Easy Pasta Recipes
Everyone needs a go-to easy pasta recipe, whether it’s cheesy baked ziti, comforting pasta Carbonara, or warming tortellini soup. Our ultimate guide to this much-loved starchy staple does the work for you. We’ve compiled our best easy pasta recipes for pasta Bolognese, linguine with clam sauce, mushroom risotto, and more into one delicious collection.
Classic Pasta Carbonara
This simple, classic carbonara recipe is the perfect dish when you need a special night in. And with this foolproof method for nailing the signature creamy sauce, you can go into the kitchen with confidence.
Cacio e Pepe
This foolproof method delivers the classic, crave worthy flavors and textures of cacio e pepe—strong peppery backbone (without verging towards too “hot”), earthy saltiness from the Pecorino cheese, and a luscious sauciness that will have you ready to lick the bowl.
Skillet-Baked Ziti with Andouille, Tomatoes, and Peppers
Think of baked ziti as a speedier, simpler version of lasagna. This Southern-inspired riff on classic baked ziti features smoky and spicy Andouille sausage, a colorful array of bell peppers, tomato sauce, and plenty of gooey cheese.
Baked Smokin' Macaroni and Cheese
Creamy macaroni and cheese is nostalgic, stick-to-your bones comfort food. In the traditional recipe, elbow macaroni holds a luscious, cheesy sauce inspired by classic French Mornay sauce. Here, corkscrew-shaped cellentani pasta combines with three cheeses and smoky ham for a crispy, cornflake-topped macaroni and cheese dish.
Pasta Primavera with Peas, Prosciutto, and Asparagus
Pasta Primavera, which means “spring pasta” in Italian, is a clean, crisp pasta dish full of seasonal produce. Any combination of bright green vegetables such as peas, asparagus, zucchini, spring onions, and ramps is fair game for pasta primavera, and the sauce is typically light and cheesy.
Pasta with Shrimp in Tomato Cream
Creamy, spicy, or tangy, versatile shrimp pasta pleases palates through a variety of preparations. Here, sweet shrimp and corkscrew-shaped fusilli pasta get a boost from a vermouth-spiked tomato cream sauce. Shrimp cook faster than you might expect—they should be plump, firm, and juicy.
Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti
This hearty pasta bake is the ideal dish of cheesy comfort food for cooler weather. We love the depth of caramelized flavor roasted veggies bring to this dish; plus, and you can swap in your favorite vegetables to make your own perfect pan of baked ziti. In fact, this dish is also a delicious way to utilize leftover roasted vegetables you might have hanging out in the fridge. In order to keep the dish entirely vegetarian, be sure to double check the labels on your cheese (especially the Parmesan) to make sure you pick up a package that is free of rennet and vegetarian-friendly.
Hearty Tortellini Soup
Veggie-packed tortellini soup is warming and soothing during chillier months. When making this tortellini soup, cook the pasta separately and add it back just before serving to ensure it doesn’t overcook.
Chicken Alfredo Soup
Inspired by the favorite pasta dish, this creamy Chicken Alfredo Soup comes together in no time with the help of a few store-bought shortcuts. Rotisserie chicken, frozen peas, and a jar of Alfredo sauce, which serves as the backbone of this highly comforting pot of soup, keep your hands-on prep to a minimum. This convenience factor, coupled with the fact that it’s is a guaranteed kid-pleasing recipe, makes this soup a perfect go-to for hectic weeknights. While it is undeniably luscious and satisfying, the soup is surprisingly not overly heavy or right. We used Gia Russa brand sauce, but feel free to use your own favorite. Served with a crusty bread, a green salad, and a glass of white wine, this quick and easy soup makes for an outstanding dinner on chilly nights.
Spaghetti and Meatballs in Tomato-Basil Sauce
Who doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs? This Italian-American dish of spaghetti and meatballs is a tried-and-true family favorite. Our fresh take browns the meatballs at a high temperature, then gently simmers them in tomato sauce to build crave worthy flavors.
Sausage and Spinach Spaghetti Pie
Spaghetti pie is characterized by its baking vessel—the pie pan. Oodles of spaghetti noodles combine with marinara sauce, cheese, and other ingredients such as sausage, vegetables, garlic, and fresh herbs in this feel-good dish.
Penne with Spicy Vodka Cream Sauce
Penne alla Vodka features an irresistible combination of tube-shaped penne pasta and rich tomato-cream sauce that’s kicked up a notch with vodka. The actual alcohol content of vodka cooks out, leaving behind bright flavors that elevate the sauce.
Deli-Style Tortellini Pasta Salad
Tortellini salad commonly appears at cookouts and potlucks, but it’s also a trusted weeknight dish. This tasty tortellini salad recipe is packed with colorful, crisp veggies and a tangy vinaigrette of lemon juice and olive oil. Make the salad in advance to let the flavors develop and intensify.
Pesto Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms
No-boil lasagna noodles are perfect for this recipe, as they absorb all the juices that accumulate in the crockpot. Use 2 (10-ounce) packages of frozen chopped spinach in place of fresh, if you prefer. Also, any mushroom will work.
Tomato-Basil Lasagna Rolls
Lasagna roll ups are a coveted timesaver when you’re craving lasagna but you don’t have the time to make it. Here, lasagna noodles are rolled with a dose of creamy cheeses, artichoke hearts, and basil, then baked with tomato sauce to crispy, bubbly perfection.
Cajun Shrimp Linguine
Like spaghetti pie, spaghetti casserole is classic soul-warming fare. There is no hard rule for how it’s made, but typical ingredients include a savory swirl of noodles, tomato sauce, gooey cheese, and chicken or ground meat. Classic recipes may also use canned cream of mushroom or chicken soup to give the sauce a richer body.
Chicken, Tortellini, and Spinach Soup with Pesto
Chicken tortellini soup is essentially a jazzed up version of chicken noodle soup. This warming weeknight chicken tortellini soup recipe comes together quickly with shredded store bought chicken rotisserie meat and store bought fresh pesto.
Cheese Ravioli with Toasted Walnuts
Store bought cheese ravioli gets a boost from a simple sauce of lemon juice, Parmesan, fresh parsley, and the pasta cooking liquid. A topping of toasted walnuts adds crunch to this easy weeknight cheese ravioli dish.
Easy Ravioli Bake
For busy weeknights when time is short, lasagna ravioli is a perfect shortcut dinner that kids will love. Layers of ravioli, which can be fresh store bought or frozen, replace lasagna noodles in this flavor-packed and clever spin on the traditional recipe.
Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing
A go-to side for grill-outs, orzo pasta salad is the perfect canvas for any array of seasonal veggies, fresh herbs, creamy dressings, or citrusy vinaigrettes. This south-of-the-border-inspired orzo pasta salad gets a boost from fresh avocado and hot-and-tangy buttermilk dressing.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Homemade Parmesan breadcrumbs add a special touch to this creamy macaroni and cheese casserole. You’ll want to add this comforting dish, which can easily be baked and frozen ahead of time, to your Thanksgiving or holiday menu.
Spaghetti with Shrimp and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Elevate simple shrimp spaghetti by tossing together a roasted cherry tomato sauce, which adds an intense pop of flavor. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar or dollop of fresh pesto make perfect toppers.
Shrimp Scampi Linguine
Shrimp scampi linguine is an old-school dish that always feels fresh and vibrant, no matter how it’s made. This recipe sticks to the classic recipe of sautéed shrimp, fresh garlic, and a white wine-butter sauce over silky linguine noodles, but kicks up the heat with crushed red pepper.
Classic Light Bolognese Lasagna
Lasagna Bolognese mixes traditional Bolognese sauce with luscious layers of cheese and lasagna noodles. This hearty recipe gets a healthy makeover with ground turkey breast, low-fat milk, and lower-fat cheeses while still feeling indulgent.
Penne and Chicken Tenderloins with Spiced Tomato Sauce
A spiced rub of ground fennel, coriander, and dried basil elevate quick-cooking chicken tenderloins in this weeknight chicken penne pasta recipe. A leafy green salad or toasty loaf of garlic bread make easy sides.
Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese
This hearty, veggie-forward take on classic pasta Bolognese is a dish that everyone at the table will enjoy, regardless of their relationship status with meat.
Mushroom Tortellini with Arugula and Crispy Prosciutto
Whether mushroom ravioli or mushroom tortellini, these umami-packed fungi stand alone as a flavor-packed pasta filling. Here, leafy green arugula lends subtle bitterness while pan-crisped prosciutto is an elegant (and totally delicious) garnish.
Classic Lasagna with Meat Sauce
If you’re searching for a traditional lasagna recipe that’s guaranteed to steal the show at any gathering, look no further. Lower-fat ricotta and mozzarella keep fat and calories low while jarred marinara makes for a welcomed shortcut in this goldmine recipe.
Instant Pot Lasagna
Weeknight dinner doesn't get easier than this—we're talking cheesy, gooey, and ready in a flash. The next time the craving for hearty, comfort food strikes, just remember, Instant Pot Lasagna has your back.
Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna
Mushroom lasagna proves that meat isn’t always necessary to create this classic dish’s signature heartiness. Here, sliced portobello mushroom caps are layered with lasagna noodles with cheese, fresh basil, and spinach for a boost of nutrition.
Sheet Pan Seafood Bake with Buttery Wine Sauce
Spin this sheet pan seafood bake into the perfect seafood linguine dish by omitting the potatoes. White wine and a buttery hot sauce gives clams, mussels, and andouille sausage mouthwatering flavor that works beautifully over a bed of linguine pasta.
The trick to flawless linguine carbonara is nailing the smooth, velvety egg-based sauce. After you add the whisked egg to the pasta, monitor the stovetop’s heat closely and ensure that your pan never gets too hot—these are your keys to linguine carbonara success.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Spinach Pesto
Sweet, nutty-flavored butternut squash makes a perfect filling for squash ravioli. Homemade ravioli can be labor-intensive, but wonton wrappers provide an easy shortcut—just make sure not to overstuff them. An earthy walnut pesto sauce adds depth to this fall-inspired squash ravioli dish.
Simple Lobster Risotto
Creamy and comforting risotto commonly appears on menus alongside pasta dishes, but it’s technically a rice dish indigenous to northern Italy. The best risottos use Arborio rice or carnaroli rice that’s gently simmered and stirred in broth until al dente, or tender and slightly crunchy. Risotto takes time to cook, but the extra effort can make any meal special.