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No matter what type of pasta noodles you like, whether you like red or white sauce or meat vs. meatless pastas—this post has all kinds of easy pasta recipes that the whole family will love!

More Collections: Chicken Pasta Recipes, Healthy Pasta Recipes, Penne Pasta Recipes

Collage of popular easy pasta recipes.

An Easy Way to Feed the Family

For me, pasta dishes are among the easiest recipes to make!

Better yet, my kids are more apt to try and love a new recipe when it has pasta in it. Because who doesn’t love pasta?!

I’ve collected some of our favorite easy pasta recipes. Some recipes can be finished in under 30 minutes. Other easy recipes can be whipped up in just a few minutes, then baked in the oven, or finished in the slow cooker. We promise you’ll love these easy pasta dishes!

Easy spaghetti pasta served on a white plate.

Tips for Pasta ingredients

Precooked meats. Many of the recipes use precooked meats like chicken or ground beef. One trick I use is to precook enough to make several meals. I’ll portion the meat into 1 lb bags and then store them all in the freezer. When I have a recipe that calls for precooked meat, all I have to do is grab a portion from the freezer, thaw it, and use it.

Pasta with simple ingredients. Pasta pairs well with almost any flavor and texture. Many pasta recipes can have a lot of ingredients, but some pasta dishes are incredibly simple and still yummy. So whether you’re trying to spruce up an old recipe or creating something new, here are a few easy ways to do so:

  • Sauce: Add a simple pasta sauce—pesto, marinara or alfredo sauce are easy to whip up, or you can buy premade sauce.
  • Veggies: Vegetables are a healthy and easy ingredient to add to pasta. Add sautéd, roasted, or grilled vegetables to the top of many dishes. Some of my favorites include bell pepper, asparagus, and broccoli. For picky eaters, shredded carrots, zucchini, and diced mushrooms can easily be hidden in sauces.
  • Protein: Protein can be mixed in with the dish or added to the top. Chicken, shrimp, bacon bits, or ground turkey, sausage, or beef all work well.
  • Cheese: Cheese can be sprinkled on top or melted into the dish. Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese go with almost any type of dish.
Easy chicken penne pasta served on a blue plate with two slices of bread.

pasta for beginners

Type of noodle. Pasta is pretty forgiving in that you can use virtually any type of noodle in a given recipe. Of course, there are a few recipes that you have to stick with what’s written (like lasagna), but other recipes can be switched up with whatever you have in the pantry.

  • Spaghetti, angel hair, linguine, and fettuccine are all similar and can be substituted for one another.
  • Penne, bow tie, wagon wheel, shell, rigatoni, fusilli, and ziti can often be used interchangeably as well.

Boiling pasta. Boiling 2 ounces of dry pasta per person is a good guideline to follow. Once cooked, 2 ounces of pasta is about 1-1¼ cups of cooked pasta. 

  • Begin by filling a pot with water. Use 4 quarts of water for every pound of pasta. This ensures that there will be enough liquid to cook the pasta as well as enough room for the pasta to cook without being clumped together. Add a lid and bring the water to a boil. (For added flavor use chicken or vegetable broth instead of water to cook the pasta.)
  • Optional: Once the water is boiling add salt. Add 1-2 tablespoons of salt for every pound of pasta.
  • Add the pasta to the boiling water. Cook uncovered until the desired tenderness (al dente is usually the best). Refer to the package for specific times. The best way to test for doneness is to bite into a piece.
  • Drain pasta in a colander. Lightly rinse with water to keep the pasta from sticking to each other. However, don’t add olive oil as the oil will prevent sauces from sticking to the pasta.
Easy crock pot mac and cheese inside a slow cooker.

Serving and Storing

These are some of our favorite easy side dishes to pair with pasta:

Make it ahead of time. Many pasta dishes can be made ahead of time and either stored in the fridge or freezer to be warmed up later.

FREEZE. Because it is so easy, I will often double the recipe I’m already making. I’ll use one for dinner and freeze the other to be used on a busy day. 

With such a wide variety of pasta dishes listed I couldn’t possibly cover all the tips and tricks there are, so be sure to read each recipe post to find out all the ins and outs for that particular recipe. 


favorite easy pasta recipes

All of these recipes are “no fail” pasta that the whole family LOVES!

They’re simple to make, don’t require a ton of crazy ingredients, feed a decent-sized crowd, and are always popular with whoever I feed them to. You’ll want to add some of these to your regular meal rotation as well!

Pasta Carbonara

A creamy, delicious, and flavorful pasta dish filled with cream cheese, parmesan, garlic, and bacon. For only having a few ingredients, this pasta carbonara has a big flavor!

1 Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Main Course Pasta Carbonara Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes
4.73 from 18 votes
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Italian Sausage Pasta

Everyone loves this Italian sausage pasta recipe! Not only is it easy, cheesy, and delicious, but it is a hit with the entire family and can be made mild or spicy depending on your preferences.

2 Italian Sausage Pasta Recipe

Main Course Italian Sausage Pasta Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

4.99 from 252 votes
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Easy Spaghetti Recipe

This easy spaghetti recipe is kid-friendly and is made with a delicious homemade spaghetti sauce making it the perfect family dinner recipe!

3 Spaghetti Recipe

Main Course Spaghetti Recipe
Total Time: 55 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 360 votes
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Easy Lasagna Recipe

Our family’s favorite lasagna recipe – not only because it’s delicious but because it’s so EASY! You don’t even have to precook the lasagna noodles! With beef, pork, three cheeses, and tons of seasonings, you know this recipe is going to be a hit!

4 Easy Lasagna Recipe

Main Course Easy Lasagna Recipe
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Recipe Video

4.88 from 88 votes
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Chicken Penne Pasta

A delicious and simple chicken penne pasta that is the perfect family dinner. The entire family loves it!

5 Chicken Penne Pasta Recipe

Main Course Chicken Penne Pasta Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 18 votes
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Easy Fettuccine Alfredo

Easy and quick fettuccine alfredo that takes just 15 minutes to make! This family favorite recipe includes fettuccine, garlic, parmesan, and whipping cream and is sure to become a go-to dinner idea!

6 Fettuccine Alfredo

Main Course Fettuccine Alfredo
Total Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 305 votes

Beef Stroganoff

This easy beef stroganoff recipe is simple and flavorful. Served with egg noodles, this creamy stroganoff made in the slow cooker is a classic Sunday dinner recipe and is perfect to enjoy any night of the week.

7 Beef Stroganoff Recipe

Main Course Beef Stroganoff Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 20 votes
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Zucchini Chicken Alfredo Roll Ups

Zucchini chicken alfredo roll ups are cheesy & comforting. This easy dish only needs six ingredients & takes only 30 minutes to make!

8 Chicken Alfredo Zucchini Roll Ups Recipe

Chicken Alfredo Zucchini Roll Ups
Main Course Chicken Alfredo Zucchini Roll Ups Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 12 votes
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Cheesy Garlic Tortellini Pasta

Cheesy garlic tortellini pasta is covered in a delish homemade sauce, and is ready in 20 minutes! It is perfect for busy weeknights.

9 Cheesy Tortellini Pasta Recipe

Main Course Cheesy Tortellini Pasta Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 10 votes
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Lemon Asparagus Pasta

This lemon asparagus pasta is so simple, yet packed with amazing flavor! Made from penne pasta, mixed with asparagus, and covered in a cheesy sauce with just a hint of lemon.

10 Lemon Asparagus Pasta Recipe

Main Course Lemon Asparagus Pasta Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes
4.79 from 14 votes
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Chicken Alfredo

Cheesy chicken Alfredo pasta is a go-to dinner meal in our house. Creamy sauce mixed in with fettuccine pasta and sautéed chicken. A one-pot meal that the whole family will enjoy!

11 Chicken Alfredo Recipe

Main Course Chicken Alfredo Recipe
Total Time: 40 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 30 votes
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easy chicken & Turkey Pastas

We always tend to have some chicken on hand, as I mentioned before. I’ll cook up some chicken breasts and either shred or cube them, then store them in the freezer for recipes like this.

Turkey and chicken are interchangeable in these recipes, so depending on what you have on hand, feel free to use either!

Triple Cheddar Chicken Pasta

Even my pickiest eaters love this easy chicken pasta, which is why it’s a go-to weeknight dinner in our family! With pasta, chicken, seasonings, and cream sauce full of cheese, you definitely can’t go wrong!

12 Triple Cheddar Chicken and Pasta Recipe

Main Course Triple Cheddar Chicken and Pasta Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Video

4.96 from 21 votes
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Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

Easy chicken bacon ranch pasta – a creamy and delicious pasta dish filled with cheese, chicken and bacon all made in one pot! This pasta can’t be beat!

13 Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

Main Course Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
Total Time: 28 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 33 votes
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Chicken And Asparagus Pasta

This cheesy chicken and asparagus pasta is one the whole family will love. It’s flavorful and filled with everyone’s favorite ingredients!!

14 Chicken Asparagus Pasta Recipe

Main Course Chicken Asparagus Pasta Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes
4.64 from 11 votes
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Chicken Pesto Pasta

This chicken pesto pasta is very flavorful and simple dinner idea that is sure to please. It’s filled with bow-tie pasta, chunks of chicken, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and pesto making it a new go-to meal recipe. 

15 Pesto Pasta recipe

Main Course Pesto Pasta recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes
4.92 from 12 votes
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Lemon Chicken Pasta

Flavorful lemon chicken pasta is covered in a delicious sauce made from lemons, whipping cream, cheeses, and fresh basil.

16 Lemon Chicken Pasta Recipe

Main Course Lemon Chicken Pasta Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

4.96 from 21 votes
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Easy Turkey Tetrazzini

This creamy turkey tetrazzini is a simple and flavorful pasta casserole dish. It’s perfect for using leftover holiday turkey, but makes for a crowd favorite year round!

17 Turkey Tetrazzini

Main Course Turkey Tetrazzini
Total Time: 45 minutes

Recipe Video

4.99 from 404 votes
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Chicken Parmigiana

Tasty chicken parmigiana is hearty and filling crispy chicken a top a bed of pasta covered in a rich homemade tomato sauce.

18 Chicken Parmigiana Recipe

Main Course Chicken Parmigiana Recipe
Total Time: 37 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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Chicken Scallopini

This chicken scallopini is a delicious dish of crusted chicken over lemon butter pasta. The flavorful, butter chicken and pasta combo is irresistible and perfect for dinner any night of the week.

19 Chicken Scallopini Recipe

Main Course Chicken Scallopini Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Video

4.87 from 23 votes
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Chicken Spaghetti

A new twist on your favorite pasta dinner! This easy recipe calls for chicken, spaghetti noodles, cream of chicken, salsa, sour cream and cheese, making it the epitome of comfort food.

20 Chicken Spaghetti Recipe

Main Course Chicken Spaghetti Recipe
Total Time: 40 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 100 votes
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Parmesan Chicken Manicotti

These manicotti shells are stuffed with a cheesy chicken mixture, and topped with tasty marinara!

21 Chicken Manicotti Recipe

Main Course Chicken Manicotti Recipe
Total Time: 43 minutes
4.91 from 21 votes
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easy pasta bake recipes

These crock pot and baked pasta recipes are awesome for easy prep. They might take a little longer to make from start to finish, but they are less hands-on. Prepare them earlier in the day and then they’ll be ready by dinner time.

Chicken Alfredo Bake

A delicious and simple casserole version of the dish every family loves – cheesy chicken alfredo casserole! Pasta, chicken, lots of cheese, and yummy seasonings make this pasta casserole a hit!

22 Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake Recipe

Main Course Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake Recipe
Total Time: 55 minutes
5 from 3 votes

Baked Spaghetti

Cheesy baked spaghetti – a simple, delicious, dinner recipe filled with hamburger, sausage, cheese and more! Everyone will love this dinner recipe!

23 Baked Spaghetti Recipe

Main Course Baked Spaghetti Recipe
Total Time: 40 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 23 votes
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Chicken Asparagus Pasta Bake

A lighter chicken asparagus pasta bake that is a favorite dish topped with Panko and baked to crispy perfection!!

24 Chicken Asparagus Pasta Bake Recipe

Main Course Chicken Asparagus Pasta Bake Recipe
Total Time: 45 minutes
4.94 from 15 votes
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Chicken Lasagna

Everyone loves lasagna! this chicken version is just as delicious and is filled with spinach, cheese and delicious homemade white sauce. 

25 Chicken Lasagna Recipe

Main Course Chicken Lasagna Recipe
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Recipe Video

4.93 from 57 votes
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Baked Ziti

Baked ziti is an easy baked pasta recipe filled with a cream cheese and tomato sauce and topped with cheese! It’s great for feeding a crowd.

26 Easy Baked Ziti Recipe

Main Course Easy Baked Ziti Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 13 votes
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Cheesy Baked Ravioli

Easy cheesy baked ravioli – a quick, simple and delicious dinner recipe that the whole family loves! It’s so cheesy and so tasty!

27 Baked Ravioli Recipe

Main Course Baked Ravioli Recipe
Total Time: 21 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 43 votes
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Cheesy Baked Tortellini

This easy cheesy baked tortellini is simple and delicious too. Tortellini, bacon, cheese, basil, & spinach fill this recipe and make it irresistible and perfect for dinner any night.

28 Cheesy Baked Tortellini recipe

Main Course Cheesy Baked Tortellini recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Video

4.91 from 21 votes
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Crockpot Lasagna

Classic lasagna made in the slow cooker! This delicious crock pot recipe has all the layers of noodles, cheese, sauce and meat that everyone loves but made more simply.

29 Crockpot Lasagna Recipe

Main Course Crockpot Lasagna Recipe
Total Time: 4 hours 55 minutes

Recipe Video

4.94 from 15 votes
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Crock Pot Mac And Cheese

Everyone loves a good slow cooker recipe, and this crock pot mac and cheese is so simple, cheesy and delicious. With loads of cheese, butter, and sour cream it’s hard not to love this creamy macaroni and cheese recipe.

30 Crock Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe

Main Course Crock Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Recipe Video

4.99 from 278 votes
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Crock Pot Spaghetti

We make this yummy crock pot spaghetti all the time! Buttery noodles topped with a flavorful meaty sauce—DELISH!

31 Crockpot Spaghetti

Main Course Crockpot Spaghetti
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 8 votes
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Easy Pasta Salad recipes

All of these are cold pastas, and make great side dishes. Although, some of them include meat, which makes them filling enough to use for a main dish.

Pasta Salad with italian dressing

Easy pasta salad with Italian dressing takes minutes to make. It’s a classic side dish, perfect for BBQs, picnics, or any night of the week!

32 Pasta Salad Recipe

Side Dish Pasta Salad Recipe
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 250 votes
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Layered Pasta Salad

A dish that is appealing to both your taste buds and your eyes! This beautiful layered pasta salad is filled with your favorite ingredients including pasta, chicken, peas, lettuce, celery, and more.

33 Layered Pasta Salad Recipe

Salad, Side Dish Layered Pasta Salad Recipe
Total Time: 13 minutes
5 from 10 votes
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Taco Pasta Salad

Delicious taco pasta salad filled with beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado and more!!

34 Taco Pasta Salad Recipe

Salad Taco Pasta Salad Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 7 votes
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Macaroni Salad

A simple, creamy macaroni salad loaded with pasta, peas and ham. It’s perfect for parties, family dinners, and potlucks!

35 Macaroni Salad Recipe

Salad, Side Dish Macaroni Salad Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

4.98 from 108 votes
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Greek Pasta Salad

This delicious Greek pasta salad is filled with rotini pasta, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and feta cheese and is covered in a tasty Greek dressing! It’s perfectly light and refreshing.

36 Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

Salad Greek Pasta Salad Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 10 votes
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Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad

Caprese pesto pasta salad is a light dish with a bold flavor, making it perfect for potlucks, parties, BBQ’s, and get togethers!

37 Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad recipe

Salad Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 1 vote
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Chinese Pasta Salad

Chinese pasta salad is filled with lettuce, pasta noodles, chicken, fried wontons, and more, all tossed in a delicious homemade dressing.

38 Chinese Pasta Salad Recipe

Appetizer, Salad Chinese Pasta Salad Recipe
Total Time: 6 minutes
5 from 11 votes
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Easy Tortellini Salad

Super YUMMY and easy tortellini salad filled with tortellini, salad, ranch, tomatoes and bacon bits – perfect for summer time!

39 Easy Tortellini Salad Recipe

Salad Easy Tortellini Salad Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

4.96 from 22 votes
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Fresh Mozzarella Pasta Salad

Easy & fresh mozzarella pasta salad is light, delicious and flavorful. This simply dressed salad is a new favorite!!

40 Mozzarella Pasta Salad Recipe

Salad Mozzarella Pasta Salad Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 11 votes
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Chicken Pasta Salad

Creamy chicken pasta salad is quick, easy, and SO tasty. It is packed with hearty ingredients for a filling side or main dish!

41 Chicken Pasta Salad

Salad, Side Dish Chicken Pasta Salad
Total Time: 20 minutes
5 from 16 votes
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Go-To Pasta Recipes!

We’ve shared some of our family’s favorite easy Pasta recipes on the list above. These dishes are so versatile and full of flavor they’re sure to become some of your new go-to’s whether you’re looking for a weeknight meal or something for a special occasion!

More Collections: Easy Salad Recipes, Pasta Salad Recipes, Dinner Ideas For Kids

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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7 Comments

  1. Sue says:

    My kids love pasta but I’ve grown tired of the same dishes. I love this list and have already made a few with great success.

  2. Natasha says:

    As a pasta lover, this is a gem for me! I will absolutely try every recipe difference sauces recommended. So far, our favorite is the baked spaghetti, delicious!

  3. April says:

    I loooooove pasta. I can’t wait to try each and every one of these!

  4. Agnes says:

    I am absolutely salivating as I read this post haha pasta is SO versatile, there is an option here for everyone!

  5. Olivia says:

    We love pretty much anything pasta. It’s always a good meal that can can feed plenty of people. The variety on this site is amazing!!

  6. Joy says:

    Pasta is the best!! Love all the varieties you have on your site! We love your spaghetti! It’s a favorite of ours!

  7. Melanie says:

    5 stars
    This is bookmarked and it’s a life saver for summer bbq’s!