Home Recipe Roundup 30 Easy Pasta Recipes for Weeknight Dinners

30 Easy Pasta Recipes for Weeknight Dinners

Whether you’re yearning for a classic lasagna or baked ziti, these easy pasta recipes won’t let you down.

Because pasta is Italy’s greatest gift to mankind! And there are a ton of ways to use it in various recipes! 

One Pot Chicken and Bacon Pasta in a skillet

From an intimate dinner for two to a casual family lunch or a fun birthday party, there’s a pasta dish for every occasion.

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And here’s the kicker: pasta is deceptively easy to make, especially the dishes on this list of easy pasta recipes! 

Expect minimal effort but maximum flavor. That’s a promise.

30 Best Pasta Dinner Ideas

Homemade Barilla Lasagna with Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce

1. Barilla Lasagna

It’s classic lasagna made easier. Here, you’ll still get the full flavors of al dente lasagna, meat sauce, and a medley of cheeses, but minus the hours of labor.

The secret? Store-bought marinara (though feel free to make homemade marinara if you like).

With this key ingredient, there’s no need to simmer your tomato meat sauce for hours – a mere 5 minutes will do.

Homemade Pasta with Spiked Vodka in a White Bowl

2. Gigi Hadid Spicy Vodka Pasta

Are you looking for a quick weeknight dinner with loads of flavor that requires minimal effort? Try the TikTok famous Gigi Hadid spicy vodka pasta.

Not only does it taste incredible, but it’s also a simple recipe to follow. And it definitely delivers in the heat department.

It’s a flavorful, filling meal your entire family will love. Just be prepared for requests for seconds.

Homemade Chicken Parmesan Pasta with Herbs
Source: Thechunkychef.com

3. One-Pot Chicken Parm Pasta

Chicken parm is a timeless classic, and for good reason. Chicken and parmesan are simply a match made in Heaven.

The only trouble is that it takes a while to make. Not with this recipe, though!

This one-pot chicken parmesan pasta has all the flavors and textures you love about the classic but is ten times easier to whip up.

Cheesy Hamburger Casserole with Cheese and Pasta

4. Old Fashioned Hamburger Casserole

Though they may seem like an odd combination, cheeseburgers and lasagna make one of the most epic culinary mash-ups known to man.

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This old-fashioned hamburger casserole is just… chef’s kiss

Filled with layers of egg noodles, tomato sauce, cheese, and more cheese, this is the casserole of your dreams.

It’s a sure hit with everyone who tries it, no matter what they’re currently craving.

Savory Homemade Baked Ziti with Ground Beef, Onions and Cheese

5. Baked Ziti

Here’s another beloved classic. Ziti shells doused with sweet and savory spaghetti sauce, ground beef, onions, and three kinds of cheese.

That’s Italian comfort food at its finest right there.

Baked ziti is such a delectable treat, but shockingly, a breeze to make. Oh, and it can easily feed a crowd, too…

Unless the crowd includes me, that is. I frequently come back for more.

Tasty Bruschetta Chicken Pasta with Tomatoes and Herbs

6. Bruschetta Chicken Pasta

Bruschetta chicken pasta combines robust appetizer flavors with the heartiness of a satisfying dinner meal.

It features succulent chunks of chicken, juicy tomatoes, tender angel hair pasta, and a wealth of herbs and seasonings.

Serve it with thick chunks of crusty garlic bread for that authentic bruschetta experience.

For the best flavor, remember to marinate the chicken for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

Garlic and Lemon Pasta with Herbs in a Bowl
Source: Pinchandswirl.com

7. Garlic and Lemon Pasta

You had me at lemon and garlic.

Even without reading the recipe card, I could tell this pasta would be a certified hit based on these two ingredients alone.

I mean, seriously! How can you beat lemon spaghetti with buttery garlic?

It’s rich, creamy, and earthy with a nice touch of zing! 

Greek Pasta Salad with Vegetables, Cheese and Creamy Dressing

8. Greek Pasta Salad

Greek pasta salad combines pasta, veggies, cheese, and a creamy dressing.

It’s more than just your average pasta salad, though. Combining ingredients from both Greek and Italian pasta salads, this dish is a delightful infusion of two great cuisines.

It’s a versatile crowd-pleaser perfect for any occasion. Make it for a quick weeknight dinner, a backyard BBQ, or a church potluck.

Cheesy and Meaty Baked Rigatoni Pasta with Ground Beef and Cheese

9. Rigatoni Pasta Bake

As a kid, baked rigatoni was one of my favorite meals. It was meaty, cheesy, saucy, and less messy than lasagna or spaghetti.

As an adult, I still love it. It’s full of bold Italian flavors and has plenty of my favorite: garlic! It’s also an easy dish to make.

It requires fewer than ten ingredients and just 10 minutes of prep time!

Applebee's Three Cheese Chicken Penne

10. Applebee’s Three Cheese Penne

Creamy and cheesy white sauce coats firm and al dente penne. That alone sounds ridiculously delicious, but it doesn’t end there.

On top of this umami-rich dish are tender pieces of well-seasoned chicken and juicy tomatoes.

The contrast between the creamy pasta and the other fresh, flavorful ingredients is absolutely delightful.

Plus, it tastes just like the famous Applebee’s dish but is far less expensive.

American Goulash in a Bowl with Tomatoes, Herbs and Ground Beef

11. Easy One-Pot American Goulash

American goulash is a hearty dish of elbow macaroni, ground beef, and tomato sauce. It’s a feel-good treat that can easily turn a frown upside down.

It’s also affordable and a cinch to make. It’s so easy; it all comes together in one pot.

Taco Spaghetti in a Pot with Green Peppers, Taco Seasoning, Rote and Mexican Cheese

12. Easy Taco Spaghetti

Don’t you wish you could have all the bold flavors of taco salad in pasta form? With this recipe, you can! It’s the best of both worlds.

It has all the best parts of taco salad with saucy taco meat, green peppers, taco seasoning, Rotel, and Mexican cheese.

However, instead of a bed of potentially soggy nachos, these toppings come with tender spaghetti noodles.

One-Pot Pizza Pasta Bake with Sausage Crumbles, Pepperoni in Tomato Sauce
Source: Damndelicious.net

13. One-Pot Pizza Pasta Bake

You’ll incorporate everything you love about pizza and pasta into this outrageously mouthwatering casserole.

First of all, look at it. Who could possibly resist its charm? I, for one, have completely fallen for it.

Al dente noodles, smoky Italian sausage crumbles, meaty pepperoni, tomato sauce flavored with an array of herbs and spices, melted mozzarella cheese…

I mean, how can anyone say no?

Creamy Fettucine Recipe in a Bowl with Butter, Cream and Cheese

14. Fettuccine Alfredo

Every parent needs to have a recipe for fettuccine alfredo in their back pocket. If you don’t have one yet, I highly recommend this one.

Butter, cream, and cheese – nothing screams comfort food more than this creamy combination. It’s a simple sauce, yet incredibly heavenly and sinful. 

Bacon and Mushroom Carbonara with Cheese in a Bowl
Source: Carriecarvalho.com

15. Bacon and Mushroom Carbonara

If you’re searching for a quick pasta dinner with loads of flavor, you’ve just found it. Bacon and mushroom carbonara takes a simple 20 minutes to make.

However, there’s nothing “simple” about its phenomenal taste. I LOVE pasta anyway; it’s probably my favorite food group.

But adding bacon, parmesan, mushrooms, chives, and garlic? Yeah, you just can’t beat that combination of flavors.

Creamy and Cheesy Broccoli Pasta in a Bowl
Source: Recipetineats.com

16. Quick Broccoli Pasta

Broccoli in pasta? The kids may protest at first, but once you get them to take a bite, they’ll love it!

This pasta is creamy and cheesy with a lovely lemon zing. The broccoli bits give it an inviting flavor and a nice crunch.

Altogether, this recipe gets a 12/10.

Homemade Unstuffed Shells Casserole with Herbs
Source: The-girl-who-ate-everything.com

17. Unstuffed Shells Casserole

Why stuff the shells when you can simply coat all of them with dressing and call it a day? It tastes the same and is ten times easier.

You’ll love how the beefy, creamy, and cheesy sauce coats every nook and cranny of the shells. It’s really just like eating stuffed shells without the effort.

Creamy Rotel Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

18. Rotel Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

This Rotel chicken spaghetti is the comfort food you didn’t know you needed.

Make it once, and you’ll surely crave it again and again… and again.

Thankfully, this recipe only calls for eight ingredients and couldn’t be easier to make. It’s a perfect addition to your weekly meal rotation!

Creamy Beef Pasta with Gravy and Herbs
Source: Cookiesandcups.com

19. Creamy Beef Pasta

I’ll say yes to this creamy beef pasta anytime, any day. 

My goodness, take a look at how sinful those noodles are coated in that thick sauce.

It’s hearty, creamy, cheesy, and meaty – all the words that describe the perfect comfort food.

Close up shot of a bowl of hamburger helper lasagna garnish with parsley

20. Hamburger Helper Skillet Lasagna

There’s something so ridiculously nostalgic and heartwarming about Hamburger Helper casserole.

You smell it or see it cooking on the stove, and you’re automatically transported to another place and time. But what if you prefer making meals from scratch?

That’s where this copycat Hamburger Helper recipe comes in handy. It has all the flavor of your favorite boxed meal but is 100% homemade.

A plate of spaghetti topped with spinach and parmesan cheese
Source: Twopeasandtheirpod.com

21. 5-Ingredient Spinach Parmesan Pasta

Five ingredients for a pasta dish? It’s hard to believe, but it’s true, and it’s insanely delicious.

Toss your favorite pasta in a umami-rich butter garlic sauce, spinach leaves, and parmesan cheese.

It’s a simple yet spectacular meal that will surely satisfy the whole family. Even the pickiest of picky eaters will appreciate it.

Orzo salad with fresh tomatoes, fragrant basil, and drizzled with olive oil.
Source: Skinnytaste.com

22. Grilled Vegetable Orzo Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is fully loaded with grilled cherry tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and zucchini.

Orzo noodles add a lovely textural variety, while the simple red wine vinegar dressing gives it that extra oomph.

Also, let’s set the record straight: while orzo does look like rice, it’s considered pasta. 

Healthy Pasta Primevera with Broccoli, Lemon, Zucchini and Carrots
Source: Cookingclassy.com

23. Pasta Primavera

Pasta primavera is another vegetable-filled pasta dish that’s ultra colorful and refreshing.

The combination of pasta and veggies makes this dish both hearty and refreshing at the same time.

You’re free to add as many different kinds of vegetables as you can, so go slice up whatever you have on hand.

Spaghetti with meatballs, garlic and olives in a white bowl
Source: Seriouseats.com

24. Spaghetti Puttanesca

Puttanesca, which literally means “in the style of prostitutes,” may not have the most appealing name.

However, it does have one of the most wonderful colors, flavors, and aromas you can imagine.

Spaghetti noodles are tossed with a sauce of garlic, olives, anchovies, and capers. It looks, smells, and tastes heavenly – a feast for the senses, indeed.

Hearty spaghetti with butternut squash and bacon
Source: Kitchenswagger.com

26. Butternut Squash Pasta

Looking for easy pasta recipes that are also fall-friendly? Look no further than this butternut squash pasta.

It comes together in 30 minutes and is overflowing with some of your favorite fall flavors.

Its wonderful sweet and savory flavor highlights ingredients that don’t SEEM like they’d go well together.

There’s garlic and thyme but also nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar. It’s a truly delightful dish.

Ina Garten Meatballs and Spaghetti with Cheese and Herbs

27. Ina Garten’s Real Meatballs and Spaghetti

Need a quick and easy meal for dinner? This recipe for spaghetti and meatballs has you covered.

While it’s always fun to experiment with new flavor profiles, nothing beats the classic combination of spaghetti, homemade sauce, and gigantic meatballs on top.

Homemade Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic, Herbs and Tomatoes
Source: Dinneratthezoo.com

28. Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic and Herbs

This dish may look plain, but don’t let its appearance deceive you. It’s far from basic. 

Delicate angel hair pasta bathed in butter garlic sauce and seasoned with fresh herbs and parmesan. What could be better?

You’ll love the contrast between the thin strands of pasta and the rich, buttery, and earthy sauce. 

Creamy Macaroni Salad with Herbs and Vegetables

29. Grandmas Macaroni Salad

Grandma’s macaroni salad is the ultimate guilty pleasure! While technically a side dish, it can easily steal the spotlight.

Firm and chewy macaroni noodles are coated with a wildly creamy sauce.

Served chilled, it makes for a refreshing summer dish. I don’t mind eating it any day of the year, though.

Buttery and Tender Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

30. Red Lobster Shrimp Scampi

Typically, I go to Red Lobster for two things: the Cheddar Bay Biscuits and the shrimp scampi. I like other menu items there, of course, but those are the best. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to go out for either of those things. You can just as easily make them at home. (And for less money, too!) 

This recipe tells you everything you need to know. 

30 Easy Pasta Recipes for Dinner Tonight

Servings

6

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Calories

832

kcal

1

You can have this delicious one-pot chicken pasta on the table in about 35 minutes! It’s a quick and easy pasta recipe the whole family will love.

Ingredients

  • 6 6 slices bacon, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon 1 olive oil (if needed)

  • 1 pound 1 chicken breast, diced into 1/2-inch cubes

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 onion, diced

  • 2 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Italian seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon 1 fresh parsley

  • 1 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

  • 1 cup 1 heavy cream

  • 3 cups 3 chicken broth (plus 1/2 cup extra if needed)

  • 12 ounces 12 penne pasta

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 grated parmesan cheese, divided

  • 2/3 cup 2/3 mozzarella

Instructions

  • Chop the bacon, then add it to a large skillet. Cook over medium heat until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. DO NOT discard the grease in the skillet. 
  • Add olive oil (if needed) to the skillet. Then, season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook in the skillet for 5 to 7 minutes. When ready, it should have a golden-brown color and an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Once done, transfer it from the skillet to a plate and cover it with a paper towel to keep it warm. Set aside. 
  • Add the onion and garlic to the now-empty skillet. Cook for about 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent and tender. 
  • Sprinkle Italian seasoning over the mixture. Then, add the parsley, tomatoes, heavy cream, and 3 cups of chicken broth. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil. 
  • Once the sauce is boiling, add the pasta. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the pasta is tender. If the sauce is too thick or needs more liquid to cook the pasta, add an additional 1/2 cup of chicken broth. 
  • Stir in 1/4 cup of parmesan. Then, add the chicken and half the bacon back to the skillet. Stir gently to combine. 
  • Once ready, remove the dish from heat and top with mozzarella and the remaining parmesan and bacon. 
  • Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 832kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 86.6g
  • Protein: 38.9g
  • Fat: 38g
  • Saturated Fat: 10.7g
  • Cholesterol: 66mg
  • Sodium: 777mg
  • Potassium: 1776mg
  • Fiber: 10.9g
  • Sugar: 10.5g
  • Calcium: 158mg
  • Iron: 7mg
Easy Pasta Recipes

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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