31 Easy Pasta Dinners You'll Want to Make Forever
You can count on these pasta recipes to take all the stress out of making dinner any night of the week. Each of these dinners comes together in 35 minutes or less, so even the most tired cook can have a healthy, satisfying meal at the end of the day. Recipes like our Dan Dan Noodles with Shrimp and Chicken & Spinach Skillet Pasta with Lemon & Parmesan are delicious favorites you'll come back to again and again.
Dan Dan Noodles with Shrimp
Skip takeout and make these delicious, healthy dan dan noodles with a sesame-soy sauce, shrimp and peanuts in just 30 minutes. The Sichuan preserved vegetables add a bright pop of tangy, slightly fermented flavor. Look for them at an Asian market if you want the most authentic flavor or use more commonly available kimchi.
American goulash, also known as old-fashioned goulash, is the perfect economical family meal. The pasta cooks right in the sauce, so this satisfying dish can cook in just one pot.
Chicken & Spinach Skillet Pasta with Lemon & Parmesan
This one-pan pasta that combines lean chicken breast and sautéed spinach for a one-bowl meal is garlicky, lemony and best served with a little Parm on top. I call it "Mom's Skillet Pasta" and she called it "Devon's Favorite Pasta." Either way it's a quick and easy weeknight dinner we created together and scribbled on a little recipe card more than a decade ago, and it remains in my weekly dinner rotation to this day. It's a simple dinner the whole family will love.
Spinach & Artichoke Dip Pasta
If you've ever wanted to make a meal out of warm spinach and artichoke dip, this creamy pasta is for you. And here's what's almost as good as the flavor of this comforting dish: the fact that this healthy dinner takes just 20 minutes to prepare.
One-Pot Tomato Basil Pasta
This one-pot pasta with tangy tomato-basil sauce is a simple, fast and easy weeknight dinner. All of your ingredients go into one pot, and with a bit of stirring and about 25 minutes of cook time, you'll have a healthy dinner the whole family will enjoy.
Chicken & Vegetable Penne with Parsley-Walnut Pesto
Homemade pesto may seem daunting, but in this quick pasta recipe you can make a simple sauce in minutes while the pasta water comes to a boil. You can substitute frozen green beans and cauliflower for fresh; in Step 4, cook the frozen vegetables according to package directions before tossing with the pasta and pesto.
Broccolini, Chicken Sausage & Orzo Skillet
We love this quick skillet meal for busy evenings. The sausage and orzo simmer together in chicken broth, resulting in a creamy, risotto-like dish in under 30 minutes.
Easy Pea & Spinach Carbonara
Fresh pasta cooks up faster than dried, making it a must-have for fast weeknight dinners like this luscious yet healthy meal. Eggs are the base of the creamy sauce. They don't get fully cooked, so use pasteurized-in-the-shell eggs if you prefer.
Cherry Tomato & Garlic Pasta
This easy and healthy pasta recipe takes just 20 minutes to prep so it's a perfect weeknight dinner. Cooking garlic cloves whole and then mashing them into the sauce not only saves time, it creates a mellow garlic flavor that melds seamlessly into the silky burst cherry tomatoes.
One-Pot Chicken Alfredo
This better-for-you creamy, cheesy chicken fettuccine Alfredo isn't all that fancy, but it's incredibly comforting. You'll taste a nice pop of pepper and nutty notes from the whole-wheat pasta. Best part about this recipe? It's a one-pot meal, which means fewer dishes for you!
One-Pot Lemon-Broccoli Pasta with Parmesan
This hearty pasta dish with bright, fresh flavor is ideal for busy weeknights. The Parmesan adds welcome saltiness and notes of umami and you get added texture from the slight crunch of broccoli and whole-wheat noodles. Add some shredded rotisserie chicken, grilled shrimp or crispy chickpeas to punch up the protein.
Brothy Chinese Noodles
This dish was inspired by Chinese Dan Dan noodles--ground pork and noodles in a spicy broth. We use ground turkey and omit the traditional Sichuan peppercorns for convenience, but add hot sesame oil. Use toasted sesame oil instead if you want mild noodles.
Lemon Chicken Pasta
In this easy lemon chicken pasta recipe, we love the combination of lemon zest and toasted breadcrumbs. This healthy dinner is made with rotisserie chicken, quick-cooking spiralized zucchini and baby zucchini, so you get a complete meal in just 10 minutes.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Chicken Sausage & Kale
What's the secret to making store-bought butternut squash ravioli even more delicious? Add apple-chicken sausage, tender greens and lots of caramelized onions. We add a bit of sugar to help the onions caramelize faster, but feel free to omit it (just cook the onions a bit longer if you do). Buy prewashed chopped kale to cut down on prep time. It all adds up to an easy dinner that's ready in just 20 minutes.
One-Pot Cheesy Tex-Mex Pasta
This comforting one-pot pasta dish has a Southwestern kick. Chili powder and pico de gallo flavor the dish, while melted Mexican cheese adds a creamy finish. Top it with your favorite fixings like scallions, cilantro and sour cream, and serve it alongside a crisp green salad for an easy weeknight meal the whole family will love.
Kale, Sausage & Pepper Pasta
This healthy sausage and kale pasta recipe cooks in one skillet, so there's only one pot to clean! Try it with any greens you have in the fridge, such as chard or spinach.
Skillet Ravioli Lasagna
This easy inside-out ravioli lasagna is the ultimate weeknight comfort food--no layering or mixing bowls required. Feel free to swap in ground turkey for the beef. Look for fresh mozzarella balls (also called "pearls") in the specialty cheese section of your grocery store.
Peppery Barbecue-Glazed Shrimp with Vegetables & Orzo
In this healthy BBQ shrimp recipe, shrimp are seasoned with a peppery spice blend and served with zucchini, peppers and whole-grain orzo for a delicious and easy dinner that's ready in just 30 minutes. The shrimp and veggies are cooked in the same skillet, so cleanup is a snap too.
One-Pot Greek Pasta
A little bit of Sunday meal prep goes a long way in this one-dish Mediterranean pasta recipe. The pasta is cooked ahead of time and stored in the fridge to use for meals all week, but any leftover cooked pasta you have on hand will do. Chicken sausage with feta is especially good in this recipe.
Roasted Red Pepper, Spinach & Feta Penne Pasta
In this quick 20-minute dinner recipe, tender penne pasta is combined with garlic, roasted red peppers and spinach and topped with crumbled feta cheese for a fast and easy Mediterranean-inspired meal. This recipe was graciously shared by EatingWell reader Dottie Carpenter, who states, "Recipes are no good if they're not shared!"
One-Pot Chicken Pesto Pasta with Asparagus
This healthy chicken pesto pasta recipe is easy to make thanks to convenience ingredients like rotisserie chicken and store-bought pesto. The addition of fresh asparagus brights up the look and flavors of this easy one-pot dinner. Fresh basil, if you have it on hand, is a nice finishing touch.
Lemony Linguine with Spring Vegetables
Instead of cooking pasta in a huge pot of water, here we use just 3 1/2 cups for this one-pot pasta recipe. When the pasta is al dente, most of the water has evaporated and the bit that's left is thickened with the starch that cooks off the pasta. With just a few add-ins like lemon and Parmesan cheese you have a delicious silky sauce. Want to use up your veggie stash in the freezer? Swap in 8 ounces frozen spinach for fresh.
Shrimp scampi is a favorite dish at many Italian restaurants but our version takes just 20 minutes to prepare, so it's perfect for a weeknight dinner at home. Large shrimp are cooked with garlic and then served over linguine pasta with a buttery-wine sauce--it's so good your family may think you ordered takeout!
Bruschetta Chicken Pasta
This healthy chicken pasta recipe is jazzed up with traditional bruschetta toppers, including cherry tomatoes, garlic and basil. Multicolored cherry tomatoes look pretty, but you can use all one color of tomato too. Either way, you've got an easy weeknight dinner that's ready in 25 minutes. We've called for spaghettini (thin spaghetti) in this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite shape of pasta.
Creamy Spinach Pasta
This might be one of the creamiest light pasta dishes you've ever had! The mascarpone cheese adds a richness to the spinach pasta that's unexpected--especially in a healthy pasta recipe.
Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce
Instead of opening a jar of sauce, try this easy spaghetti with meat sauce on a weeknight. Serve with steamed broccoli and garlic bread. The recipe makes enough for 8 servings. If you're serving only four for dinner, cook 8 ounces of spaghetti and freeze the leftover sauce.
Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo
Sun-dried tomatoes and Romano cheese pack a flavorful punch along with the tantalizing aroma of fresh marjoram in this rustic Italian-inspired dish. Serve with sautéed fresh spinach or steamed broccolini.
Turkey, Pesto & Broccoli Pasta
This easy pasta recipe is a weeknight dinner lifesaver. While shelf-stable pesto will work here, we prefer the fresh flavor and more vibrant color of refrigerated pesto. Look for it in the refrigerated section of your supermarket, near the fresh pasta and marinara sauce.
Linguine with Creamy White Clam Sauce
Ripe tomato and fresh basil give this quick recipe tons of flavor. Serve this healthy pasta dinner with crusty garlic bread and steamed green beans.
Pasta with Parsley-Walnut Pesto
Remaking this classic high-calorie, high-fat pasta sauce was a great success. By adding fresh breadcrumbs to the pesto, we were able to use much less oil. The pesto still coats the pasta nicely and its herbal flavor remains intense and vibrant. Parsley is more than just a garnish--it's a rich source of carotenoids and vitamin C.
Penne with Sausage & Eggplant Bolognese
Here, we infuse eggplant Bolognese with savoriness by cooking the eggplant in the sausage drippings. Serve this family-friendly baked pasta with a salad and pour the adults a glass of Chianti.