Healthy Budget Pasta Recipes

Find healthy, delicious budget pasta recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

American Goulash

Rating: 4.73 stars 14
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.

One-Pot Greek Pasta

Rating: 4.5 stars 11
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.

Creamy Chicken, Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms One-Pot Pasta

Rating: 3.7 stars 25
You'll only have to dirty one pot in this easy pasta recipe that cooks chicken and vegetables right along with the noodles. Plus, by using the exact amount of water you need to cook the pasta, the starch that usually gets drained off with your pasta water stays in the pot, giving you delectably creamy results.

Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Chicken & Orzo

Rating: 4.18 stars 22
Perk up basic chicken breast and whole-wheat orzo with the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean, like lemon and olives. This load-and-go recipe makes a complete and satisfying meal; just add a green salad.

Slow-Cooker Pasta e Fagioli Soup Freezer Pack

Rating: 2.67 stars 2
Your favorite restaurant soup just got easier and healthier with this freezer-to-crock-pot recipe. If you keep a special bottle of olive oil on hand for stand-out dishes, this is the recipe to pull it out for. The headiness of the fruity olive oil truly elevates the flavors in this Italian meal-prep slow-cooker soup.

Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

Rating: 2.78 stars 11
Fiber-rich sweet potato is used as the base for the cheese sauce in this healthy, homemade macaroni and cheese recipe. The bright orange color tricks your eyes into thinking this healthy macaroni and cheese recipe is loaded with cheese, but there's actually only about half as much cheese as compared to a traditional recipe.

Nonna's Spaghetti & Meatballs

Rating: 4.4 stars 6
The meatballs and sauce are cooked in the slow cooker for this traditional Italian spaghetti and meatballs recipe. You could also serve the meatballs over creamy polenta or on a sandwich with melted provolone.

Roasted Gnocchi & Brussels Sprouts with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Rating: 4.81 stars 18
In this quick vegetarian dinner recipe, you can skip boiling the gnocchi--they'll cook through while roasting on the sheet pan with the rest of the ingredients. If you can't find Meyer lemons, use 1 small regular lemon in Step 2 and use 4 teaspoons lemon juice and 2 teaspoons orange juice in Step 4.

Classic Sesame Noodles with Chicken

Rating: 4.25 stars 4
Classic sesame noodles become a healthy meal with lean chicken and tons of veggies in this quick recipe for Asian noodles. Be sure to rinse the spaghetti until it's cold, then give it a good shake in the colander until it's well drained. Are you a spiralizing pro? Swap 5 cups of raw zucchini, carrot or other veggie “noodles” for the cooked pasta.

One-Pot Italian Sausage & Kale Pasta

Rating: 4.13 stars 9
For a fast weeknight pasta dinner, why not cook your sauce and pasta all at once? By using the exact amount of water you need to cook the pasta--no colanders here--the starch that cooks off into your pasta water, which you usually drain away, stays in the pot, giving you delectably creamy results.

Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo Salad

Rating: 4.29 stars 7
Baked chicken breasts cook in the oven while you mix together a Mediterranean salad--packed with veggies, whole-wheat orzo and an easy homemade Greek vinaigrette--for a weekend-worthy dinner on the table in under an hour. The leftovers from this healthy 400-calorie meal make a delicious packable lunch for the next day.

Sausage & Peppers Baked Ziti

Rating: 4 stars 2
This healthy baked ziti recipe doesn't require any chopping and is made on the stovetop, so it is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner. Using whole-wheat pasta adds fiber; opt for penne if whole-wheat ziti is hard to find.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce
Rating: Unrated 11
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 Cordon Bleu Casserole
Rating: Unrated 5
All the delicious flavors of your favorite chicken Cordon Bleu--salty ham, melty cheese, tangy mustard--with no tricky assembly required. This healthy comfort food recipe would be perfect for a potluck.

No-Bake Macaroni & Cheese

Rating: 4.66 stars
17

Not only is this ultra-creamy version of mac-and-cheese nearly as fast as the boxed variety, but your family will be able to pronounce every ingredient. If they aren't broccoli fans, substitute a frozen vegetable of your choice.