Easy Pasta Recipes Ready in Less Than 45 Minutes

Pasta is one of our go-to meals for weekdays and weekends alike, because it’s cheap, easy, and endlessly versatile (oh, and absolutely delicious). From cheesy, decadent bakes, to lighter, vegetable-forward dishes, pasta works well in every situation. Scroll through this post for 20 satisfying, easy pasta recipes that all come together in less than 45 minutes.

Caprese Mac and Cheese

Fred Hardy

Mac and cheese can be very rich, but this rendition is on the lighter side thanks to a hit of freshness from tomatoes and basil. To complete the Caprese trio, there’s also plenty of creamy mozzarella.

No-Bake Summer Veggie Lasagna

Fred Hardy.

There’s no bechamel in this bright veggie lasagna: just seasoned ricotta and fresh summer vegetables with oregano and garlic.

Instant Pot Risotto With Peas and Crispy Salami

Greg DuPree

The Instant Pot might be the easiest method for making risotto at home, and it gets the job done in just 35 minutes. This recipe has a Spanish flair thanks to the salami and smoked paprika. 

Skillet Gnocchi With Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

Greg DuPree

Sausage and broccoli rabe are a delicious match—savory and satisfying—and pillowy, quick-cooking gnocchi are the ideal accompaniment for them. 

Tortellini and Veggies en Brodo

Greg DuPree

This recipe is a springy take on a classic Italian recipe; lemon zest and green vegetables elevate and brighten the wintry, tortellini-filled broth.

Mushroom and Burrata Orzotto

Greg DuPree

Yes, you can make risotto with orzo, and it takes much less time than a classic risotto. Roasted mushrooms, torn burrata, and chopped parsley bring the wow factor.

Spaghetti Pasta Salad With Avocado-Basil Dressing

Victor Protasio

Pasta salads typically aren’t made with spaghetti, but there’s no real reason why they shouldn’t be. This version is coated with a luscious avocado-basil dressing that comes together quickly in a blender.

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta With Leeks

Victor Protasio

Here, a creamy pasta sauce is made with mashed butternut squash and half-and-half. Along with the squash-based sauce, frizzled leeks and sage give this dish a warming, autumnal flavor.

Easy Artichoke Pasta Toss

Grace Elkus

Jarred marinated artichokes are the secret to this easy pasta dish, which pair well with nutty Parmesan and crushed red pepper.

Roasted Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Caitlin Bensel

Instead of tossing broccoli stems, slice and roast them, then blend them into a pesto. We like to use whole wheat pasta with this earthy pesto, but any kind of pasta works.

Whole Wheat Pasta With Chard and Pine Nuts

Victor Protasio

This recipe limits food waste by using both the leaves and stems of Swiss chard. Garlic and anchovies flavor the dish, while toasted pine nuts are an excellent final touch.

Cacio e Pepe

Getty Images

Transport yourself to Italy with the classic Roman cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) pasta. Although cacio e pepe sounds and tastes fancy, it actually only requires five ingredients and 25 minutes of your time.

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pasta

Caitlin Bensel

Sherry vinegar and fresh tarragon balance out the richness of this creamy chicken and mushroom pasta.

Linguine With Cherry Tomato Sauce

Greg DuPree

This simple cherry tomato sauce begins with rendered pancetta, which gives it a deep, meaty flavor. 

Lemony Spaghetti With Sardines and Bread Crumbs

Greg DuPree

Tinned fish fans will love this chic pasta recipe, which uses a tin of olive oil-packed sardines along with plenty of herbs and breadcrumbs. Sardines love lemon, so this recipe includes both lemon juice and zest.

Swiss Chard Mac and Cheese

Caitlin Bensel

This creamy mac and cheese contains a generous amount of Swiss chard sautéed in butter for color and nutritional value.

Speedy Linguine and Clam Sauce

Greg DuPree

Linguine with clams might sound complicated, but it couldn’t be easier thanks to canned clams and clam juice, which offer briny flavor with zero fuss.

Spring Pasta Salad

Caitlin Bensel

On a spring day, this colorful pasta salad is just the thing to make. The vinaigrette includes shallot and Dijon mustard, and the pasta is studded with crisp-tender snap peas and radishes.

Pasta With Bacon and Caramelized Cauliflower

Greg DuPree

There aren’t many ingredients in this recipe, but each one packs a punch. Cook the cauliflower in the leftover fat from cooking the bacon to deepen its flavor, and toss everything at the end with butter, Pecorino Romano, and reserved pasta water to make a silky sauce.

Spicy Shrimp Scampi With Angel Hair Pasta

Anna Williams

Delicate, quick-cooking angel hair pasta goes well with tender, garlicky shrimp for an elegant dinner that’s ready in no time.

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