12 Easy Pasta Recipes for Quick and Delicious Dinner Ideas

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Craving pasta tonight? Check out our top 12 easy pasta recipes that guarantee a delicious dinner with minimal effort. Whether you’re in the mood for something creamy, cheesy, or loaded with veggies, we’ve got you covered. Explore a collection of 12 effortless pasta recipes ideal for swift dinner solutions. Whether you crave creamy Alfredo or vibrant veggie-packed primavera, these dishes promise satisfaction with every bite.

pasta recipes

Ah, pasta! Is there anything more comforting after a long day than a bowl of perfectly cooked pasta drenched in a flavorful sauce? I think not. But let’s face it, coming up with new dinner ideas can sometimes feel like a chore. That’s where we come in! We’ve rounded up 12 easy pasta recipes that are not only quick to whip up but are also incredibly delicious. From classic favorites to new twists, these dinner ideas are sure to satisfy your pasta cravings. So, grab your apron, and let’s dive into the world of pasta recipes!

1. Classic Spaghetti Carbonara – Pasta Recipes

Carbonara - Pasta Recipes

This timeless Italian classic is a symphony of creamy sauce, crispy pancetta, and tender spaghetti. It’s the ultimate comfort food that’s as satisfying as it is easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz spaghetti
  • 4 oz pancetta or bacon, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions:

  1. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain.
  2. In a large skillet, cook pancetta until crispy. Add garlic and sauté briefly.
  3. Beat eggs and Parmesan together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Remove skillet from heat. Add spaghetti, tossing quickly. Then, pour in the egg mixture, tossing continuously, adding pasta water as needed to create a creamy sauce.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with extra Parmesan and black pepper.

2. Easy Pesto Pasta

Easy Pesto Pasta - Pasta Recipes

Bright, herby, and full of flavor, this pesto pasta is a quick and easy dish that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner. It’s versatile enough to serve as is or with your favorite protein.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz pasta of your choice
  • 1/2 cup pesto, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water, then drain.
  2. In the same pot, combine pasta, pesto, and cherry tomatoes, adding a bit of reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce if necessary.
  3. Serve topped with toasted pine nuts and grated Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Tomato Basil Penne

Tomato Basil Penne - Pasta Recipes

A vibrant and fresh pasta dish that celebrates the simplicity of ripe tomatoes, fragrant basil, and rich olive oil. It’s a quick and healthy option for any day of the week.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 2 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Cook penne according to package instructions. Drain and return to pot.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add tomatoes to the skillet, cooking until they begin to soften. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss the tomato mixture and basil with the cooked penne. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

4. Creamy Alfredo Fettuccine

Creamy Alfredo Fettuccine - Pasta Recipes

Indulge in the rich and creamy goodness of Alfredo sauce with this easy recipe. Perfect for those nights when you’re craving something comforting and decadent.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Nutmeg (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cook fettuccine according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  2. In the same pot, melt butter over low heat. Add heavy cream and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add cooked fettuccine and Parmesan cheese, tossing until the pasta is evenly coated. If the sauce is too thick, add a little pasta water to reach desired consistency.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg, if using. Serve immediately.

5. Veggie-Packed Primavera

Veggie-Packed Primavera - Pasta Recipes

Loaded with fresh vegetables and tossed in a light and lemony sauce, this pasta primavera is as healthy as it is delicious. A great way to get your veggies in!

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz pasta of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  3. Add mixed vegetables and cook until tender. Deglaze the pan with vegetable broth, scraping up any browned bits.
  4. Stir in cooked pasta, lemon juice, and zest. Toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

6. Spicy Arrabbiata Penne

Spicy Arrabbiata Penne - Pasta Recipes

Kick things up a notch with this spicy Arrabbiata Penne, a bold and fiery dish that’s sure to awaken your taste buds. Perfect for those who love a little heat in their meal.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Cook penne according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking until fragrant.
  3. Stir in crushed tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.
  4. Toss the cooked penne with the Arrabbiata sauce. Serve garnished with basil leaves and Parmesan cheese.

7. Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta - Pasta Recipes

This zesty and garlicky shrimp pasta is light, refreshing, and packed with flavor. A perfect dish for seafood lovers looking for a quick and satisfying dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz spaghetti or linguine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook until shrimp are pink and opaque.
  3. Stir in lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss the shrimp mixture with the cooked pasta. Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

8. Cheesy Baked Ziti – Pasta Recipes

Cheesy Baked Ziti - Pasta Recipes

A hearty and comforting dish, this Cheesy Baked Ziti is loaded with cheese and a flavorful meat sauce. It’s the perfect make-ahead meal for busy weeknights.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz ziti pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef or Italian sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Cook ziti according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add ground beef, onion, and garlic. Cook until meat is browned and onions are soft.
  3. Stir in crushed tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. In a baking dish, layer half the cooked ziti, meat sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Repeat layers.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden. Let cool slightly before serving.

9. Butternut Squash and Sage Pasta – Pasta Recipes

Butternut Squash and Sage Pasta - Pasta Recipes

This autumn-inspired pasta dish combines sweet butternut squash with fragrant sage in a creamy sauce. It’s a comforting and sophisticated meal perfect for cooler evenings.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz pasta of your choice
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Sage leaves, to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add butternut squash and sage, cooking until squash is tender.
  3. Stir in heavy cream and cooked pasta, tossing until the pasta is coated in the creamy sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

10. One-Pot Tomato Spinach Pasta

One-Pot Tomato Spinach Pasta - Pasta Recipes

This one-pot pasta is not only incredibly easy to make but also packed with the goodness of spinach and tomatoes. It’s a simple, wholesome meal perfect for a fuss-free dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz pasta of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  2. Add pasta, diced tomatoes (with juice), and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until pasta is cooked through.
  3. Stir in spinach until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

11. Chicken Alfredo Pasta – Pasta Recipes

11. Chicken Alfredo Pasta - Pasta Recipes

This Chicken Alfredo Pasta combines tender chicken breast slices with a creamy and rich Alfredo sauce. It’s a comforting and satisfying dish that’s perfect for a hearty dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz fettuccine or linguine
  • 1 lb chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Season chicken slices with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until golden and cooked through. Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, add butter and garlic, cooking until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Pour in the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Add the Parmesan cheese and nutmeg, stirring until the cheese melts into a smooth sauce.
  4. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and add it to the skillet with the Alfredo sauce, tossing to coat evenly.
  5. Return the cooked chicken to the skillet, mixing it with the pasta and sauce. Heat through.
  6. Serve garnished with chopped parsley and additional Parmesan if desired.

12. Chicken Pesto Pasta

Chicken Pesto Pasta - Pasta Recipes

This Chicken Pesto Pasta is a fresh and flavorful dish that combines grilled chicken, aromatic pesto, and tender pasta. It’s a light yet fulfilling meal that’s perfect for any day of the week.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz penne or rotini pasta
  • 1 lb chicken breast, grilled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup pesto, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. While pasta is cooking, grill the chicken breast until thoroughly cooked and nicely charred. Slice the chicken into strips.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, sliced chicken, pesto, and cherry tomatoes. Toss until all the ingredients are evenly coated with pesto.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with toasted pine nuts, grated Parmesan, and fresh basil leaves.

These two chicken pasta recipes offer a delightful mix of flavors and textures, from the creamy indulgence of Chicken Alfredo to the vibrant freshness of Chicken Pesto Pasta. Both pasta recipes are sure to be a hit at any dinner table, providing a comforting and satisfying meal that’s easy to prepare. Whether you’re looking for a classic favorite or a new twist on pasta night, these recipes deliver delicious results with minimal fuss. Enjoy cooking and savoring every bite!

13. Soy Sauce Spaghetti with Chicken and Vegetables – Pasta Recipes

Soy Sauce Spaghetti with Chicken and Vegetables - Pasta Recipes

This Soy Sauce Spaghetti with Chicken and Vegetables is a delightful fusion dish that blends the comforting texture of spaghetti with the savory depth of soy sauce, creating a unique and flavorful meal. Perfect for those who love to mix traditional Italian pasta with Asian flavors.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz spaghetti
  • 1 lb chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce (optional for extra flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Season chicken slices with salt and pepper, and add them to the skillet. Cook until golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add a bit more oil if needed. Add the red bell pepper and carrot, sautéing until they start to soften. Add the green onions and garlic, cooking for another minute until fragrant.
  4. Return the cooked chicken to the skillet. Add the cooked spaghetti, soy sauce, oyster sauce (if using), sesame oil, and sugar. Toss everything together over medium heat until the spaghetti is evenly coated and the ingredients are well combined. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Serve the spaghetti sprinkled with sesame seeds and chopped cilantro for a fresh, aromatic finish.

Try these pasta recipes

And there you have it—12 easy pasta recipes that are perfect for any dinner dilemma. Whether you’re in the mood for something creamy, spicy, or loaded with veggies, there’s a dish here that will satisfy your craving. Not only are these pasta recipes simple to prepare, but they also pack a punch in terms of flavor. So next time you’re stuck on what to make for dinner, remember that a delicious pasta dish is just a few ingredients away. Bon appétit!

12 Pasta Recipes

Discover 12 easy pasta recipes that are perfect for quick dinner ideas. From creamy Alfredo to veggie-packed primavera, these dishes are sure to please.

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