10 Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes

We’ve all got our favorite pasta recipes, from rich, cheesy baked pasta to simple one-pot pasta recipes, but sometimes you need a reliable weeknight recipe that can be on the table in a flash. We’ve compiled a list of our 10 quick and easy pasta recipes that can be on the table in about 30 minutes. Take a peek and find some new ones to add to your list of favorites.

A white bowl filled with blue cheese, sausage, and walnut pasta with a fork resting on the side of the bowl.
This blue cheese, sausage, and walnut pasta is rich, creamy comfort food made with walnuts, sweet Italian sausage, pasta, and blue cheese. It's an easy-peasy way to have dinner on the table when you're getting antsy for a quick yet ultra-satisfying meal.

I made this for dinner last night, and I’m so glad that I did as it was absolutely delicious! It was rich and creamy, the perfect dish for a rainy night.

The sausage and blue cheese complemented each other so nicely. It seemed like a very elegant pasta dish, however, it was quick to put together with few ingredients needed. This is definitely going into my pasta dinner rotation.–Aryn

Bowl of cvatelli with turkey sausage, tomato, and broccoli rabe on a table, with a spoon.
This cavatelli with turkey sausage, tomato, and broccoli rabe is a riff on the classic sausage and rabe pairing. Healthy never tasted so good.
A patterned bowl filled with lemony fettuccine alfredo on a white and gold plate with a glass of water and dish of Parmesan on the side.
This lemony fettuccine alfredo is a slight twist on the classic made with fresh pasta, creamy white wine alfredo sauce, and Parmesan. Fast and easy enough to make on a weeknight yet impressive enough for company.
A metal skillet filled with creamy pasta covered with shredded Parmesan and cracked pepper, with a large serving spoon. A bowl of Parmesan and a pepper mill sit beside it.
This authentic cacio e pepe recipe relies on pantry staples of pasta, cheese, salt, pepper, and olive oil as well as a nifty cooking technique to put dinner on the table before you know it.

This cacio e pepe was really delish and super easy. Nice to have a meatless meal for a change.–Anne

Creamy pappardelle with chicken and bacon in a black bowl with a fork, topped with grated cheese.
Rotisserie chicken is folded into a rich, bacony cream sauce that drapes perfectly over pappardelle (or other wide noodles) for a comforting dish that’s as good for a chilly night at home alone as it is for a casual yet special dinner with friends.
A yellow and white pot filled with smoked salmon pasta and garnished with fresh chives.
This smoked salmon pasta is a simple meal that creates lotsa flavor by easily tossing together spaghetti and smoked salmon with a lemon cream sauce. Did we mention it’s on the table in less than half an hour?
A white enamel pot with a blue rim with spaghetti, chili flakes, and oil in the bottom. A set of wooden tongs sits inside.
This simple spaghetti with garlic and chile flakes couldn’t be more simple. Just spaghetti, garlic, oil, and red pepper flakes. Great for lunch, snack, or a fast weeknight dinner.

Amazingly simple. Easy and delicious.–Piyush

A white serving bowl filled with penne with spinach-ricotta sauce.
When making tortelloni pasta with spinach and ricotta filling, I sometimes end up with leftover filling. It occurred to me that it would make a very nice pasta sauce, so I added a little cream to the spinach and ricotta mixture and this penne with spinach-ricotta sauce was born!

This spinach-ricotta pasta is mild and luscious, reminiscent of creamed spinach but much lighter. We served it two ways: my husband had his with Parmesan, and I had mine with mizithra. Both were delicious.–Alena

A pink bowl filled with lemon garlic shrimp pasta with a fork resting inside.
This bright lemony pasta includes pan-seared shrimp, noodles, and a buttery garlic sauce. It's an easy weeknight meal that's on the table in just 30 minutes.

Pasta FAQs

I never seem to have the right shape of pasta on hand. How do I know what to substitute?

Different pasta shapes are suited to different types of sauce. Some pasta recipes work best with long strands so that they are fully coated in sweet tomato sauce, while other pasta shapes have nooks and crannies to capture bits of ground beef or sausage.

However, within those categories, you can easily swap in different shapes of pasta. Check out this guide on How to Choose the Best Pasta Shape for Your Sauce.

What’s the best way to reheat leftover pasta?

Our preferred method is to reheat leftover pasta gently in a saucepan over low heat. When you’re making pasta, save some of the pasta water and stash it in the fridge with your leftovers. It works miracles in loosening up pasta sauces that have turned too thick and clumpy.

How do I avoid making mushy pasta?

There are three important things to remember when cooking pasta. First, undercook it slightly. You want it to be just al dente which is usually about 1 minute less than the box suggests.

Second, save some pasta water before you drain the noodles. That starchy liquid will help bring your sauce and pasta together.

Lastly, finish cooking your pasta in your sauce. The flavors will meld together and the pasta will absorb some of the sauce as it finishes cooking. For more details, read this article on How to Cook Perfect Pasta.

10 Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes

A pale blue bowl filled with farfalle, tuna, capers, tomatoes, and topped with bread crumbs and a slice of lemon, sitting on a red and white dish cloth.
When you need a fast, reliable weeknight pasta recipe, the list above has you covered. One of our favorites is this simple ☞ PASTA WITH TUNA AND CRISPY BREAD CRUMBS

Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 30 mins
6 servings
456 kcal
5 from 1 vote
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  • 1 pound farfalle
  • Table salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons capers rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest preferably organic
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • One (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives chopped
  • 12 ounces good-quality olive oil-packed tuna drained
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges for serving


  • In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook according to package directions, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to the pot.
  • In a 12-inch (30-cm) nonstick skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add panko and capers and cook, stirring frequently, until panko is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in lemon zest and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Dump the topping into a bowl.
  • Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Return the skillet to medium heat and warm the remaining tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in tomatoes and simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in olives and remove from heat.
  • Add sauce to the pasta and stir until pasta is well coated. Fold in tuna gently until combined but chunks still remain. Season with salt and pepper to taste and adjust consistency with reserved cooking water as needed.
  • Sprinkle with reserved panko mixture. Serve with lemon wedges.
Print RecipeBuy the The Ultimate Meal Prep Cookbook cookbook

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Check out the full recipe post for our testers’ reviews, more info, and tips on making this easy tuna pasta recipe.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 456kcal (23%)Carbohydrates: 71g (24%)Protein: 24g (48%)Fat: 9g (14%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.002gCholesterol: 20mg (7%)Sodium: 628mg (27%)Potassium: 683mg (20%)Fiber: 6g (25%)Sugar: 8g (9%)Vitamin A: 392IU (8%)Vitamin C: 13mg (16%)Calcium: 92mg (9%)Iron: 4mg (22%)

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