Lasagna, spaghetti, ravioli, tortellini, and so many more easy pasta recipes to love! Pick one (or a few) and enjoy a stress-free dinner any night of the week.
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So Many Pasta-bilities
Forgive the pun, but it was just too fitting to pass up. I adore pasta in all of its shapes and sizes (and there are so many!), but my favorite thing about easy pasta recipes are the endless possibilities of how to prepare it, including casseroles, soups, salads, and one-pot wonders.
It tastes equally as great in a sauce (homemade bolognese sauce or marinara sauce), a broth, a dressing, or even with just a little bit of salted butter. Trust me, that last one is a kid’s dream when it comes to pasta dinner ideas.
It’s important to know how to cook pasta, of course, but it really is one of the more forgiving things you can make. I have cooked it in an Instant Pot, a crockpot, a regular pot, the oven, and even an air fryer.
With so many easy pasta recipes to choose from, there is sure to be something for everyone. These are some of the tried and tested best pasta recipes I keep in the dinner rotation, and I hope you find something you love, as well.
Easy Pasta Recipes on the Stovetop
You’ll find a slew of traditional pasta recipes are made on the stovetop, due in large part to how quickly it all comes together. Be sure to always, always, always salt your water when boiling pasta separate from a sauce.
- Spaghetti and Meatballs. This classic dish is one of my family’s favorite pasta recipes and it can be made with frozen or homemade meatballs.
- Chicken Alfredo. This Italian pasta made with fettucine comes together in less than 30 minutes.
- One Pot Chicken Caprese Pasta. Less than 20 minutes to make and only one-pot? Dreamy.
- Pasta Carbonara. I love the ease of this hearty yet easy pasta recipe, made with spaghetti, eggs, guanciale (or bacon), pepper and a few extras.
- Creamy Chicken Pasta. Farfalle noodles, sautéed onions, peppers and shredded chicken are tossed in a rich, white sauce.
- One Pan Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta. The iconic sandwich is reinvented as a pasta, and it is delicious.
- Easy Goulash Recipe. This American goulash is tomato based and includes ground beef and macaroni noodles.
- Homemade Hamburger Helper. My homemade version is as fast (if not faster) and tastier than its store-bought counterpart.
- One Pot Chicken Parmesan Pasta. This is all of your favorite flavors of the more involved dish in an easy pasta that comes together in less than 30 minutes.
- Lemon Chicken Fettuccine. For a lighter pasta, I always turn to this one made with chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs and a light lemon dressing.
- Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta. This is my take on the popular Bonefish Grill appetizer, but reinvented as a pasta dinner idea.
- Spaghetti Pesto. The pesto may be a dairy-free, vegan pesto but you would never know with how creamy and hearty it tastes.
- Easy Parmesan Mushroom Gnocchi. An easy vegetarian pasta perfect for date night.
- Asparagus Pasta. The stalky vegetable is the star of the this easy pasta recipe so you will want to get them as fresh as possible.
- White Sauce Pasta Recipe. Made with whole milk and Parmesan, this creamy sauce comes together in just 15 minutes and is perfect to serve over your favorite pasta noodles!
Simple Pasta Recipes That Are Baked
I do love a really good casserole, especially one made with pasta. These oven-baked easy pasta recipes are perfect for a hungry family or friends. Sometimes I even take a short cut and make it into a recipe with leftover rotisserie chicken.
- Creamy Chicken Alfredo Lasagna. Hearty shredded chicken, cream, spinach, and aromatics come together for a spin on the classic lasagna.
- Easy Lasagna. The list wouldn’t be complete without this fan favorite, and it really is easy, I promise.
- Cheesy Baked Ziti. This is one of my go-to simple pasta recipes when someone isn’t feeling well or needs a comforting dish.
- Cheesy Ricotta Stuffed Shells. Make these ahead of time and thank your past self for giving you the night off.
- Sheet Pan Gnocchi. Grab your favorite vegetables and make this as hearty as you like.
- Caprese Pasta Bake. Tomatoes, mozzarella and basil are tossed with ziti for a lighter take on the baked ziti.
- Baked Spaghetti. You read it right. You can absolutely bake spaghetti for a really filling meal.
- Lasagna Roll Ups. All the same delicious layers and flavors as traditional lasagna but an easy to serve package.
- White Chicken Lasagna with Pesto. Bursting with pesto, chicken and spinach covered in a white sauce, this lasagna is a favorite with guests.
- Baked Beef Ravioli. When I can, I love making easy pasta recipes in bulk and freezing for those nights I don’t have time to cook. This one is a favorite make ahead dish!
- Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole. This family-favorite is as if spaghetti and lasagna were one recipe. It is that good.
- Pepperoni Lasagna Roll Ups. Consider this the pizza pasta dish you didn’t know you even needed in your life.
- Three Cheese Manicotti. It doesn’t get cheesier than this easy pasta recipe, thanks to its use of three different cheeses.
- Easy Baked Mostaccioli. A family favorite with tender pasta, juicy tomatoes and melty cheese, ready in just over an hour.
Crockpot Pasta Dinner Ideas
Is there anything better than having dinner ready and waiting for you? This is why I love crockpot recipes, and these easy pasta recipes made in the slow cooker are some of my favorite. I typically set it up in the morning or after lunch and enjoy the bonus of a stress-free dinner.
- Easy Crockpot Lasagna. 10 minutes of prep! Enough said.
- Crockpot Beef Stroganoff. This classic comfort pasta has become a regular recipe in my arsenal. Try it and you will know why.
- Creamy Crockpot Italian Chicken. Four simple ingredients to create a really satisfying and flavorful weeknight meal.
- Crockpot Lasagna Soup. This is the low and slow version of my easy pasta recipe for stovetop lasagna soup.
Easy Pasta Salads
From bringing one to a potluck or making it a whole meal, there is something so comforting and satisfying about a well-made pasta salad recipe. These are some of my favorites and they never disappoint when I have a craving for cold pasta.
- Greek Pasta Salad. Just look at all of those vegetables and feta cheese. Delicious!
- Caprese Pasta Salad. I swear there is nothing this combination can’t do. It tastes just as good cold as it does cooked.
- Macaroni Salad. This is one of my top recipes to bring to a BBQ. It’s always a hit.
- Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad. Taking less than 10 minutes, this easy pasta dish is the perfect meal on a busy night.
- Orzo Salad with a Homemade Vinaigrette. Classic Mediterranean flavors shine in this simple side.
- Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad. I love when I can make simple pasta recipes ahead of time like this one as it means I always have something hearty on hand in a pinch.
- Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad. Little secret, I love all things buffalo chicken and this pasta salad is one of my faves for the tangy sauce.
- Easy Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing. Noodles, veggies and a tangy Italian dressing. I mean, does easy pasta recipes get more simple than that?!
- BLT Pasta Salad. Move over, classic sandwich! This pasta is our new favorite.
- Easy Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad. This comes together in less than 15 minutes. Enjoy your extra time.
Easy Pasta Soups
Soup with pasta is simply made for each other, and there are so many different ways to enjoy this fantastic combo. I make one of these simple pasta recipes at least once a week during the chillier winter months or when anyone is in need of a little comfort.
- Sausage Tortellini Soup. One of my husband’s favorites, this soup is packed with lots of wonderful flavors.
- Pasta e Fagioli. This Olive Garden copycat is loaded with fresh veggies, beans, ground beef, seasonings and ditalini pasta. One of our favorite easy pasta recipes!
- Easy Chicken Gnocchi Soup. It just takes 30 minutes to make a comforting and hearty soup.
- Easy Lasagna Soup Recipe. All the wonderful flavors of lasagna without any of the work.
- Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup. Pasta takes this tomato soup to the next level. Sorry, grilled cheese.
- Chicken Noodle Soup. You might not immediately think pasta when you think of this soup, but it is in the name. I make this whenever anyone gets a little sniffle.
Frequently Asked Questions
The most famous pasta dishes are spaghetti, lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo, pasta carbonara, ravioli and macaroni.
The 5 main types of pasta are penne, spaghetti noodles, linguine, shells and lasagna noodles.
This will depend on your personal preference, but I prefer Rao’s, De Cecco or the barilla brand.
Favorite Bread to Serve with Pasta Ideas
I realize that pasta and bread may seem like a lot of carbs, but they are just meant to be. To add a little freshness, I also like to serve an Olive Garden salad or a chopped salad. Depending on my choice of easy pasta recipes, I typically choose one of these breads to serve along with it.
- Olive Garden Breadsticks
- Easy Garlic Knots
- EASY Garlic Bread
- Rosemary Focaccia
- Cheesy Pesto Pull-Apart Bread
- Stuffed Cheesy Garlic Bread
Easy Pasta Recipes
- Large 8-12 quart pot
- Measuring cup
- 1 pound pasta
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt , more to taste
- 5-6 quarts water
Pasta sauce for serving
- Fill a large pot about 2/3 the way full with water. Add in 1 Tablespoon kosher salt. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add the pasta to the pot and cook for the recommended time according to package directions. Stir every couple of minutes to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Test the pasta about 1-2 minutes before recommended time. Cook for another minute if needed.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and then drain the noodles in a colander. Add pasta to the sauce (or follow recipe as directed) and thin out with the reserved pasta water as needed.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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The Full List of the Best Pasta Recipes
Click on the links below to find the recipes for all of the delicious easy pasta recipes mentioned above.