20 Creamy Pasta Dinners Ready in 30 Minutes

Creamy Artichoke Pasta
Photo: Jen Causey

There is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of creamy pasta for dinner. When you're short on time, but need something cozy and warm, these pasta recipes are ready in 30 minutes or less. Recipes like Creamy Artichoke Pasta and Creamy Sausage & Kale Pasta are perfect for getting a delicious meal on the table that will leave you feeling satisfied.

01 of 20

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.

02 of 20

Creamy Mushroom & Spinach Pasta

Creamy Mushroom & Spinach Pasta
Jennifer Causey

Make this creamy mushroom and spinach pasta for an easy, healthy dinner. Be sure to save some of the pasta-cooking water as it helps the sauce emulsify.

03 of 20

Creamy Sausage & Kale Pasta

Creamy Sausage & Kale Pasta

This quick, comforting gluten-free pasta is perfect for weeknights when cooler weather sets in. Red lentil pasta is coated in a creamy, savory sauce flavored with sausage and packed with plenty of kale. Serve with a green salad on the side.

04 of 20

Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad


This cold pesto pasta salad will cool you off on a summer day. Fresh tomatoes and roasted red peppers add a pop of bright color and juiciness here, but any of your favorite pasta-salad veggies, like blanched broccoli and fresh bell peppers, would be delicious too.

05 of 20

Creamy Avocado Pasta

Creamy Avocado Pasta
Jen Causey

This creamy avocado pasta gets its vibrant color from spinach and avocado, which combine to create a flavorful sauce. Serve the pasta with grilled shrimp or salmon for a boost of protein. Or keep this avocado pasta vegan and top with a portobello mushroom.

06 of 20

Creamy Artichoke Pasta

Creamy Artichoke Pasta
Jen Causey

This creamy artichoke pasta uses lemon zest and parsley to balance the richness of the Parmesan cheese sauce. You can use frozen or canned artichoke hearts in this healthy pasta recipe.

07 of 20

Rotini with Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
Will Dickey

This creamy pumpkin pasta sauce, spiked with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese, is a great fall alternative to traditional tomato-based sauce. Here, we serve it with pasta, but it can also be used on pizza or as a dipping sauce alongside fresh-baked breadsticks.

08 of 20

Linguine with Lemon Alfredo Shrimp

Linguine with Lemon Alfredo Shrimp

This bright and lemony shrimp pasta dish was inspired by traditional Alfredo but comes in at only a fraction of the fat and calories. Reduced-fat cream cheese adds body to the sauce, while Parmesan cheese adds its signature robust flavor. This recipe calls for brown rice pasta, which is gluten-free, but if gluten is not a concern for you feel free to serve this sauce over regular linguine or fettucine—or any pasta you like!

09 of 20

One-Pot Pasta with Peas & Parmesan

One-Pot Pasta with Peas & Parmesan
Victor Protasio

A bowl of creamy pea pasta is colorful—and bright in flavor as well, thanks to the addition of lemon zest and juice. Made in just one pot, this easy pasta recipe is perfect for busy weeknights.

10 of 20

Creamy Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms


Sliced Brussels sprouts and mushrooms cook quickly and cling to the pasta in our fall version of pasta primavera. Look for presliced mushrooms to cut prep time. Serve with a tossed salad.

11 of 20

One-Pot Creamy Chicken Pasta with Zucchini

One-Pot Creamy Chicken Pasta with Zucchini
Diana Chistruga

This one-pot creamy chicken with zucchini is comfort food at its best. Here, we take advantage of fresh summer zucchini, which lightens up the dish. This easy dinner is made all in one pot on the stovetop, so you can give your oven a rest on a warm day and enjoy an easy cleanup.

12 of 20

One-Pot Chicken Alfredo


This creamy, simple chicken Alfredo recipe is incredibly comforting and cheesy from the combination of Parmesan and cream cheese. You'll taste a nice pop of pepper and nutty notes from the whole-wheat pasta, too. Plus, it's a one-pot meal, which means less cleaning for you and a dish that will quickly become your best chicken Alfredo recipe.

13 of 20

Beet Pasta with Goat Cheese & Walnuts

a recipe photo of the Beet Pasta with Goat Cheese and Walnuts served on a plate
Photographer: Fred Hardy, Food Stylist: Julia Levy, Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle

Beets are blended to create a vibrant sauce for an easy way to amp up your veggie intake. We use marinated beets for extra flavor, but you can easily substitute plain cooked beets—just add a bit of lemon juice or white-wine vinegar to balance the sauce. Goat cheese adds creaminess while walnuts provide a satisfying crunch in this healthy pasta dish.

14 of 20

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.

15 of 20

Creamy Arugula Pesto Pasta with Peas & Tomatoes

Creamy Arugula Pesto Pasta with Peas & Tomatoes
Charlotte & Johnny Autry

Here, we jazz up store-bought pesto with peppery arugula and tangy goat cheese to make a creamy pasta sauce.

16 of 20

Cacio e Pepe Pasta with Peas


The sauce for this pasta dish is just cheese and pepper (aka cacio e pepe in Italian). Try this with kids as a simple yet sophisticated alternative to standard mac and cheese. Lots of black pepper adds a touch of heat, priming picky palates for spicier food.

17 of 20

Mac & Cheese with Collards


Dark leafy collards add bold flavor and boost the calcium in this healthy skillet mac and cheese recipe with a crispy topping. If you don't have collards, kale, Swiss chard and spinach are delicious substitutes.

18 of 20

Spaghetti Carbonara with Peas


Our healthy spaghetti carbonara recipe is lower in calories and fat than a traditional spaghetti carbonara recipe, plus it boasts 9 more grams of fiber per serving from whole-wheat pasta. For the best flavor, use Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The eggs in the sauce are not fully cooked; if you're concerned about consuming undercooked eggs, use pasteurized-in-the-shell eggs in this spaghetti carbonara recipe.

19 of 20

Butternut Squash Chickpea Mac & Cheese

Butternut Squash Chickpea Mac & Cheese

This gluten-free butternut squash mac and cheese packs plenty of cheesy goodness in every bite. Chickpea pasta gets coated in a sauce made with pureed butternut squash that gives this comforting meal a nutrient boost and adds a sweet note to complement the savory flavors.

20 of 20

Spinach & Artichoke Dip Pasta with Chicken

Spinach & Artichoke Dip Pasta with Chicken
Jamie Vespa

If you love warm spinach and artichoke dip, then you'll love that we turned this classic dip into a creamy pasta dish with chicken. 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.

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