25 Weeknight Pasta Dinner Recipes
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When you’re looking to enjoy a big bowl of pasta for dinner, look no further than these easy and delicious pasta dinner ideas! Most of the dishes are quick to cook and ready to eat in 30 minutes or less.
Hands down, pasta is a universal crowd-pleaser. Whether you’re hungry for a soul-satisfying meal on a busy weeknight or looking to share a cozy plate for a date-night at home, there’s nothing better than tucking into a bowl of perfectly cooked pasta for dinner.
My friends and family call me the Queen of Pasta. I credit my Italian-American background — tiny star-shaped pasta (pastina) was my first solid food as a baby and I’ve never stopped loving it!
I included a handful of my top pasta recipes in my cookbook Family Style: Shared Plates for Casual Feasts but I could probably write an entire book on pasta alone.
Grab a big pasta pot and boil some water. Then scroll down through this list of Familystyle Food favorites to find your favorite pasta shape. Pick a vegetarian pasta or meat pasta sauce to go with it and get your fork ready to dig in!
Spaghetti, linguine and bucatini pasta recipes
- Bucatini with Sheet Pan Tomato Sauce: Thick and chewy noodles in a spicy red sauce made on one sheet pan.
- Tuna Pasta with Olive Oil and Garlic: A super-tasty 25-minute pantry pasta to make with canned or jarred tuna, sun-dried tomatoes in a garlic and olive oil sauce.
- Pasta with Sicilian Almond Pesto: Top spaghetti, linguine or any long pasta noodle with a savory toasted almond and tomato pesto sauce.
- Spicy Italian Cauliflower Pasta: Creamy sauce, hot Italian chilies and roasted cauliflower make this quick pasta incredibly flavorful.
Fettuccine pasta recipes
- Creamy Lemon Cacio e Pepe with Pancetta: A combination carbonara and cacio e pepe pasta, this quick lemony recipe satisfies on every level, with creamy, cheesy black pepper sauce, Italian pancetta and sweet peas.
- Wild Mushroom Fettuccine: Fettuccine noodles coated in a buttery sauce with savory mushrooms. It’s a perfect elegant and comforting meal!
- Asparagus Mushroom Pasta: A vegetarian recipe in a quick butter sauce with hearty mixed mushrooms, thyme and shallots.
Pappardelle pasta recipes
- Pappardelle with Lemon Cream Sauce: A creamy lemon pasta recipe with a luscious, super-lemony cream sauce and wide pappardelle noodles. It’s quick and easy to make and so, so good!
- Pappardelle with Red Pepper Pesto: Fast and easy recipe for pappardelle pasta in a savory roasted red pepper sauce.
- Pappardelle with Mushroom Ragu: This recipe has thousands of five-star reviews! A quick and easy vegetarian pasta recipe — pappardelle with chunky portobello mushrooms and rosemary.
Pasta with meat sauce:
- Pasta with Quick Meat Sauce: A full-flavored weeknight meat pasta dinner with a quick and hearty tomato meat sauce. Whip this up in 30 minutes!
- Bow Tie Pasta with Sausage and Broccolini: Bowtie pasta in a light, creamy sauce with Italian sausage, tangy sun-dried tomatoes and perfectly tender broccolini. A family favorite one-dish dinner.
- Pressure Cooker Italian Meat Sauce: This is my family red sauce recipe, a deliciously rich, meaty pasta sauce you can make in an electric pressure cooker.
Seafood Pasta Recipes
- Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta: An easy, elegant, 20-minute garlic shrimp pasta recipe that will become a classic in your kitchen! Juicy quick-sauteed shrimp in a rich, tasty garlic butter sauce
- Roasted Calamari Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes: Quick and so tasty! This sheet-pan roasted calamari is sauced with spicy cherry tomatoes and toasted breadcrumbs.
Vegetarian pasta recipes
- Roasted Vegetable Lasagna: Fresh, healthful roasted vegetable lasagna loaded with colorful roasted vegetables and three different cheeses.
- Mushroom Bolognese Pasta: A rich-tasting vegetarian Bolognese sauce for pasta, with savory mushrooms, red wine and tomato.
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta: A flavor-packed pasta recipe with whole grain spaghetti, a rainbow of roasted vegetables, and creamy ricotta salata cheese.
- Tomato and Eggplant Pasta: A quick and tasty version of the classic Sicilian pasta sauce. You’ll fall in love with this! Roasted eggplant, chunky tomato sauce, fresh basil and pasta topped with cheese.
- Creamy Tomato “Vodka” Penne
Baked Pasta Recipes
- Cheesy Chicken Pasta Casserole: Italian-style “pasta al forno” is a creamy chicken pasta casserole baked with spinach and gooey melted cheese. A perfect one-dish dinner for a cozy night in.
- Baked Mac and Cheese with Herb Breadcrumbs: Cheesy baked cavatappi or shell pasta with gooey cheese, creamy sauce and crunchy breadcrumbs seasoned like your favorite Thanksgiving stuffing!
- Creamy Pasta with Chicken and Zucchini: Shell pasta baked in a creamy lemon garlic sauce with chicken, fresh basil and roasted zucchini.
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25 Weeknight Pasta Dinner Recipes: Bucatini with Sheet Pan Tomato Sauce
- 1 pound (450 g) cherry or grape tomatoes
- ¼ cup (65 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- ½-1 teaspoon crushed red chili
- 1 fresh red chili pepper (such as Fresno), sliced in half lenghtwise (optional)
- Kosher salt
- 12 ounces (340 g) dried bucatini or spaghetti
- 2 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
- ½ cup (125 g) whole milk ricotta cheese
- Freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 (220C) degrees.
- Arrange half of the cherry tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Slice the remaining tomatoes in half and add to the baking sheet.
- Toss the tomatoes with the oil, crushed red pepper, fresh chili and ¾ teaspoon salt.
- Roast 20-25 minutes, until the tomatoes are very soft, shriveled and juicy. Use the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to lightly crush the tomatoes. For extra heat, chop the chili pepper and add back to the sauce, otherwise remove it.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, bring 5-6 quarts of water to a boil with 2 tablespoons salt. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions (about 10 minutes) for perfect al dente texture.
- Scoop out ½ cup of the pasta water and reserve. Drain the pasta and transfer to a serving bowl (cover to keep warm).
- Pour ¼ cup of the pasta water onto the sheet pan. Add the garlic and stir to create a saucy, chunky consistency, adding additional water little by little as needed. Stir in the basil.
- Add about half the sauce to the pasta and toss to coat. To serve, portion the pasta into bowls and add 2 tablespoons ricotta alongside. Add more sauce to taste and sprinkle with grated cheese.
Hey, I’m Karen
Creator of Familystyle Food
I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.