Pasta dishes cook quickly and offer endless flavor possibilities. Make one of our best Italian classics or try a new twist on an old favorite tonight.
Whether you’re in the mood for hearty comfort food or a light, bright summer pasta, you can never have too many pasta supper ideas. Pasta dishes are a great thing to have in your repertoire, especially these easy pasta recipes that won’t take up too much precious weeknight time. Need a one-pot supper? Pasta to the rescue! Had a long day, tiresome day? Mix up a batch of our ooey, gooey macaroni and cheese and put your feet up. Unexpected drop-in guests? Wow them with fancier-than-it-looks burst tomato and herb spaghetti. Spring vegetables, fall vegetables, chicken, ground beef, cheese, sausage, sauce–the combinations are endless, and can be daunting because of the sheer volume of possible dishes. That’s why we have put together this collection of our favorite quick pasta recipes so that you will always have at least one dish to turn to in a pinch.
One-Pot Pasta with Tomato-Basil Sauce
Fettuccine Alfredo with Asparagus
Fettuccine Alfredo probably isn’t the first dish you think of for a springtime supper or healthy eating. But this version, made with fresh, seasonal asparagus, is much lighter than the classic and just as delicious. With a bit of lemon to give it a citrus kick, it’s perfect for the warmer weather.
Recipe: Mushroom Stroganoff
Smoked paprika adds depth to this meatless dish.
Late-Night Pasta Chez Frank
Recipe: Late-Night Pasta Chez Frank
Our Test Kitchen Director Robby Melvin still loves to prepare this fresh and easy pasta dish from his mentor, Birmingham chef Frank Stitt.
Pasta with Heirloom Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, and Basil
When preparing this, start with half the vinaigrette. Cooked pasta absorbs dressing as it sits, so add the rest just before serving for a last-minute burst of flavor.
Shrimp and Peas with Farfalle
Recipe: Shrimp and Peas with Farfalle
Lemony breadcrumbs add a delightful crunch to this dish.
Pasta Shells with Spring Vegetables
Pea tendrils, the tender tips of pea vines that taste just like the peas, make an unexpected and charming garnish.
Bucatini, Ham, and Asparagus
Recipe: Bucatini, Ham, and Asparagus
Bucatini is long, thin pasta that's hollow in the center, like little garden hoses. Spaghetti and linguine are good substitutes.
Recipe: Roquefort Noodles
Ready in 20 Minutes
Don't skimp on the quality of the blue cheese in this recipe—it'll transform this simple pasta dish into a mouth-watering weeknight favorite.
Rotini with Crumbled Turkey and Tomato Sauce
A weeknight meal ready in just 45 minutes.
Collard Green Carbonara
Recipe: Collard Green Carbonara
Ready in 35 Minutes
Pasta carbonara is the ultimate quick dinner. It's rich, satisfying, and works during the week but is worthy of weekend company.
Mix 'n' Match Spring Pasta Toss
Recipe: Mix 'n' Match Spring Pasta Toss
Using a mix of different shapes of pasta? Add any larger, thicker shapes to the pot 2 to 3 minutes before smaller pasta. Feel free to veer from the recipe and use up any vegetables that you have on hand. Try swapping out green beans or broccoli for the sugar snaps or 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper for the jarred pimiento.
Burst Tomato and Herb Spaghetti
Recipe: Burst Tomato and Herb Spaghetti
Serve up the sweet taste of the season any night of the week. Sautéed in a hot skillet with a splash of olive oil, grape tomatoes become fragrant and juicy – perfect for pairing with pasta.
Farmers' Market Pasta Salad
Lemony Broccoli Rabe Pasta
Recipe: Lemony Broccoli Rabe Pasta
Broccoli rabe, a bitter, almost-spicy descendant of wild mustard, is actually more closely related to turnips than broccoli. Blanching, before sautéing, mellows out its bitterness and locks in the bright green color.
Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Whisk warm milk into the flour mixture to ensure a lump-free sauce. We also recommend shredding your own cheese for a creamier texture. We tested with Cracker Barrel Extra-Sharp Cheddar. Our step-by-step guide removes any guesswork from making this classic pasta.
Step-by-Step Video: Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Spaghetti With Sausage and Peppers
Mix together spaghetti with sausage and peppers for a quick Italian meal that's sure to please the entire family.
Quick Chicken Noodle Bowls
Recipe: Quick Chicken Noodle Bowls
Fresh lime juice adds extra bright flavor. Bringing the broth back to a boil before serving ensures the snap peas cook to a crisp-tender texture.
One-Dish Chicken Pasta
Recipe: One-Dish Chicken Pasta
If you're craving a cheesy casserole but don't have the time to assemble and bake one, make a quick cooktop casserole with all your favorite casserole ingredients.
Fast-and-Fresh Sausage Ragu
Recipe: Fast-and-Fresh Sausage Ragu
Use your favorite breakfast or Italian sausage. For a finer texture, break up the sausage as it cooks using a potato masher.
Pasta with Sausage and Kale
Kale has a mild cabbage-like flavor that's nice with sausage. To save a few minutes on the cook time, use spinach, which does not require steaming. Cook pasta, chop onion, and toast pine nuts the day before. Rinse pasta with cold water to wash away starches that cause sticking, and refrigerate in a zip-top plastic bag.
- Recipe: Pasta with Sausage and Kale
Pronto-Stuffed Pasta Shells
Recipe: Pronto-Stuffed Pasta Shells
Spinach, chopped chicken, and Parmesan and cottage cheeses combine to form the filling for these rich, Alfredo-topped pasta shells. Use a store-bought rotisserie chicken to speed up the prep time.
Fettuccine with Blue Cheese Sauce
Blue cheese dresses up a super simple white sauce to coat ham, spinach, and noodles for this elegant pasta.
Mediterranean Turkey Cutlets and Pasta
Cooked quickly in a skillet, Greek-seasoned turkey cutlets are the perfect accompaniment to fettuccine with sautéed red onion, tomatoes and olives. Feel free to substitute your favorite canned tomato blend.
Spinach Ravioli Lasagna
Recipe: Spinach Ravioli Lasagna
This top-rated spinach-ravioli lasagna uses convenience items, like store-bought pesto sauce, jarred Alfredo sauce, and frozen cheese-filled ravioli, to deliver a delicious main dish with little time and effort on your part.
Sweet-Hot Asian Noodle Bowl
Recipe: Sweet-Hot Asian Noodle Bowl
This Asian noodle bowl is great cold, so plan to take leftovers to work. Store your bottle of dark sesame oil in the fridge. The oil will solidify, so let it come to room temperature before measuring.
Chicken Tetrazzini with Prosciutto and Peas
In less than an hour, you can create a dinner that will satisfy the whole family. A hallmark of Southern cooking, this updated main dish stars a classic Italian ingredient combination: peas and prosciutto. Transform the traditional pasta meal into a casserole by adding Alfredo sauce and cream of mushroom soup. Crispy sautéed prosciutto adds a savory, salty crunch, while Parmesan cheese, cream of mushroom soup, and Alfredo sauce add a rich, creamy texture. This standby casserole dish is one part comfort food, one part Italian delicacy, served in one dish. Top with almonds for a nutty crunch to accent the Alfredo sauce.
Spicy Tomato Macaroni and Cheese
Canned diced tomatoes and green chiles kick up the flavor in this almost effortless mac and cheese. To tame the spiciness, use regular cheese and milder diced tomatoes and chiles.
- Recipe: Spicy Tomato Macaroni and Cheese
Make traditional spaghetti and meatballs in a flash by taking a shortcut with frozen meatballs and an easy sauce of canned tomatoes, tomato paste and dried herbs.
- Recipe: Country-Style Spaghetti
Cajun Chicken Pasta
Recipe: Cajun Chicken Pasta
One easy way to kick up the flavor in a dish is to add Cajun seasoning. Here, the seasoning is sprinkled on the chicken strips before they're sautéed and tossed into the linguine-vegetable mixture.
Mediterranean Chicken Couscous
Recipe: Mediterranean Chicken Couscous
No pots and pans are required for this easy, no-mess Mediterranean recipe. Simply use a glass measuring cup to heat the broth in the microwave, place dry couscous in the serving bowl, and then add the broth. Once the remaining ingredients are stirred in, the dish is ready to serve.
Use refrigerated tortellini, canned artichoke hearts, and a bottle of Caesar dressing to make this easy and hearty pasta salad.
- Recipe: Tortellini Salad
Jarred Alfredo sauce makes preparing this flavor-packed pasta simple. Sautéed onion, garlic, carrots, mushrooms, and fresh spinach leaves are a winning veggie combination. Add cooked chicken for a heartier variation.
- Recipe: Fettuccine-Vegetable Toss
Turn this zesty side dish into a hearty entrée by adding cooked shrimp or chicken.
- Recipe: Tomato-Herb Pasta
Tuscan Pasta With Tomato-Basil Cream
This elegant pasta dinner will have your family thinking you worked in the kitchen all day long. The secret, though, is refrigerated ravioli and jarred alfredo sauce that's heated with white wine, chopped fresh tomatoes, and fresh basil. Top with grated Parmesan cheese for a tasty finishing touch.
Tex-Mex Ravioli Casserole
For an extra pop of flavor, top individual servings with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped pickled jalapeños.
Recipe: Tex-Mex Ravioli Casserole
Recipe: Shrimp Scampi
Lemon and garlic combine with delicate angel hair pasta and mild-flavored shrimp for a refreshing and quick pasta supper. Buy peeled and deveined shrimp at the grocery store to cut prep time.
Pizza Spaghetti Casserole
Recipe: Pizza Spaghetti Casserole
Sausage, pepperoni, and your favorite jarred pasta sauce fill this cheese-topped casserole. Freeze it unbaked up to a month to pull out on a busy weeknight.
Porcini Mushroom Tortelloni With Wilted Greens
Bacon and a white wine sauce add plenty of rich flavor to tortelloni, peas, tomatoes, and spring greens. We tested with porcini mushroom tortelloni, but you can substitute your favorite variety.
Grilled Chicken-and-Veggie Tortellini
Vanessa's Make-Ahead Beefy Lasagna
A container of refrigerated pesto adds distinctive flavor to this basic beef-and-cheese lasagna, and the unbaked lasagna can be frozen for up to three months.
Orange Beef Pasta
Beef broth, soy sauce, and orange marmalade form a simple yet flavorful sauce for this pasta tossed with beef, snow peas, and carrots. Measure all ingredients before you begin cooking for the very best results.
- Recipe: Orange Beef Pasta
Chicken and Bow Tie Pasta
This creamy bow tie pasta recipe combines chicken, cream of mushroom soup, and cheese for a satisfying main dish. Cooking the pasta in the same water that the chicken was cooked in gives the noodles extra flavor —and using just one pot makes for easy cleanup
- Recipe: Chicken and Bow Tie Pasta
Cheese Ravioli With Spicy Tomato Sauce
Won ton wrappers make homemade ravioli super easy to prepare. A light sauce made with chicken broth and white wine tops the fresh ricotta, Parmesan, and basil-stuffed pasta. Change the level of spiciness by adjusting the amount of dried crushed red pepper.
This classic Italian dish can be prepped and cooked in less than an hour. Our secret for speedily preparing your favorite lasagna ingredients? The microwave.
- Recipe: Speedy Lasagna
Roasted Red Pepper-Caesar Tortelloni
If you like Caesar salad, you’ll love this pasta twist. Lemon and Dijon mustard enhance bottled Caesar dressing to make a warm, creamy sauce for tortelloni and roasted red bell pepper strips.
Chicken Cannelloni with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce
This company-worthy pasta dish is easy enough to make on a weeknight. To get dinner on the table fast, stuff the chicken, cheese, and spinach mixture into the pasta in advance and freeze. When you’re ready to eat, just arrange thawed cannelloni in a dish, top with jarred sauce, and bake.