15 Best Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes

November 4, 2014 posted in round up // 19 Comments ”

From one pot meals to 15 min dishes and slow cooker recipes, these are the easiest pasta dishes ever, perfect for those busy weeknights!

From one pot meals to tex-mex dishes and even dishes made right in the slow cooker, this is your one-stop shop to get the best pasta dishes on your dinner table with just 10 min prep!

1. One Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta – The easiest and creamiest pasta made in a single pot – even the pasta gets cooked right in the pan.

2. One Pot Pizza Pasta Bake – Who can ever say no to pasta in pizza-form loaded with mini pepperonis?

3. One Pot Zucchini Mushroom Pasta – A creamy, hearty pasta dish that you can make in just 20 min.

4. One Pot Lemon Orzo Shrimp – All you have to do is dirty one pot. Done and done.

5. Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo – A rich and creamy lightened up alfredo sauce that tastes just as good as the original.

6. One Pot Mexican Skillet Pasta – This Mexican-inspired pasta dish can be made in 30 minutes or less in a single pot. Easy peasy.

7. Pesto Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Roasted Asparagus – Quick, easy, and chockfull of veggies.

8. Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake – An easy weeknight casserole with chicken, artichokes, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes – and all you need is 10 min prep.

9. Spicy Parmesan Shrimp Pasta – So flavorful, so spicy and so easy to put together.

10. Baked Ravioli – Amazingly cheesy, creamy and comforting.

11. Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce – An easy, no-fuss dish you can make right at home. It’s also cheaper, healthier and quicker than ordering out.

12. Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce – A rich and meaty spaghetti sauce cooked low and slow right in the crockpot.

13. One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole – All the flavors of a cheeseburger in the easiest one pot meal.

14. Spinach Tomato Tortellini – The most unbelievably creamy tortellini you will make in just 15 min. Doesn’t get easier or tastier than that.

15. Spaghetti Carbonara – All you need is 5 ingredients and 15 minutes. Plus, you can’t go wrong with Parmesan and bacon.

Lunchtime is a catch-22 for a lot of workers. Do you shell out big bucks for a tasty (sometimes healthy) meal or bring a sandwich from home that ends up soggy and squished by the time you get around to eating?

The answer, my friends, is neither! It turns out pasta is the perfect work lunch. Sauce and cheese keep things moist, while add-ins like Gorgonzola, Meyer lemon and sausage make for a much more exciting meal than anything you could get at the local coffee shop. Best of all, pasta freezes beautifully, so you can make a batch of pasta on Sunday, freeze it into individual portions and keep enjoying it all week long.

Here are our favorite lunchtime pasta recipes.

More: 26 Vegan Pasta Recipes So Good You Won’t Miss Cheese at All

1. 20-minute creamy Meyer lemon pasta recipe

Image: SheKnows

Creamy pasta doesn’t have to taste heavy. Here, sunny Meyer lemon brightens things up.

2. Tortellini chili recipe

Image: SheKnows

Tired of the same old pasta with red sauce? Jazz things up with plump tortellini and hearty chili.

3. Pasta with sausage, spinach & creamy Gorgonzola recipe

Image: SheKnows

Full of flavor thanks to sausage and Gorgonzola, this pasta is a great midday pick-me-up.

4. Red pepper & butternut squash pasta recipe

Image: SheKnows

This creamy pasta sauce is actually vegan — or vegetarian if you garnish with a sprinkle of cheese.

5. One-skillet spicy sausage pasta recipe

Image: SheKnows

Make this quick meal the night before, and bring leftovers the next day. You’ll get two satisfying meals without wasting a bunch of time in the kitchen.

6. Vegan “scallops” over pasta with creamy white wine sauce recipe

Image: SheKnows

Microwaving seafood for lunch at the office is kind of a no-no, but these succulent vegan “scallops” made from mushrooms are just as satisfying.

7. One-skillet creamy pasta with garlic chicken recipe

Image: SheKnows

Delightfully creamy with a garlicky punch, this hearty pasta will keep you going all day long.

8. Pasta with pumpkin cream sauce & crispy sage recipe

Image: SheKnows

Enjoy a taste of fall all year-round with this luscious pumpkin and sage pasta.

9. Baked pasta with Sriracha cream sauce recipe

Image: SheKnows

It’s a little spicy and a lot delicious. Make this Sriracha pasta bake for dinner, and enjoy the leftovers at lunch all week long.

10. Cheesy pesto-chicken-stuffed shells recipe

Image: SheKnows

These pesto chicken shells are a dream when it comes to packing easy lunches. Freeze individual portions, then grab and go in the morning.

More: Pasta as a Weight-Loss Food? Don’t Get Too Excited

11. Pasta with collard greens & bacon recipe

Image: SheKnows

Hearty greens pack a nutritional wallop while smoky bacon keeps things fun in this tasty dish.

12. One-pot chicken enchilada pasta recipe

Image: SheKnows

Who said pasta has to be Italian? This warming pasta features the flavors of your favorite enchiladas.

13. One-skillet Italian sausage pasta with ricotta cheese recipe

Image: SheKnows

Simple and classic, this one-skillet meal will fill your lunchbox all week long.

14. Chili spaghetti recipe

Image: SheKnows

Repurpose some leftover chili or create it from scratch in this unique spaghetti recipe.

Next: Lighter pasta and cold pasta

A version of this article was originally published in March 2015.

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Mediterranean Pasta

This healthy Mediterranean Pasta is the breezy social butterfly of the dinner recipe crowd. So effortless! So chic! A light, easygoing mix of angel hair pasta, fresh lemon, and classic Mediterranean ingredients like tomato, Parmesan, and artichoke, this simple but splendid healthy pasta recipe can carry itself at any meal. Whether it’s a hectic family weeknight meal or romantic date night in, this Mediterranean pasta belongs.

I prize recipes that combine pantry staples and fresh ingredients to create fast, healthy meals.

Mixing fresh and pantry items means that I only need to buy one or two things to make dinner. Cooking and shopping this way is often less expensive, AND because pantry items are typically quick and convenient, I can get dinner on the table sooner too.

This Mediterranean pasta is a perfect example.

Healthy Mediterranean Pasta—Fast Meets Fresh

  • Whole Wheat Pasta. Higher in fiber, protein, and nutrients than regular pasta, whole wheat pasta is better for you. Its flavor is mild, so no one will suspect your healthy swap. You’ll always find a box or two in my pantry.

As long as the pasta is 100% whole grain, there isn’t one type that is better for you than another. I like to keep a few shapes on hand for making all kinds of healthy pasta recipes. This Garlic Shrimp Pasta, Chicken Feta Pasta, and Kale Pasta are two of my favorites for long-style noodles like spaghetti and fettuccini. Shorter noodles are perfect for Sun Dried Tomato Pasta and Caprese Chicken Pasta. (For more inspo, check out my full list of healthy pasta recipes.)

  • Canned Artichokes. An instant way to add a colorful and delicious serving of veggies to any recipe. Steam and section whole fresh artichokes on a weeknight? No. Open a can of artichoke hearts and add them to a quick pasta? Yes!
  • Canned Olives. The salty-umami oomph. They’re big flavor and will add only a few dollars to your grocery bill.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Don’t skimp on the amount, as you need it to create a luscious sauce. While the olive oil does add fat, it’s good fat and makes this a more heart healthy pasta recipe.

Next, we have the ingredients on Team FRESH. They’re a classic Mediterranean combo that brings the pasta to life.

  • Cherry Tomatoes. Juicy, sweet, and tasty year-round.
  • Chopped Garlic. While I sometimes take a shortcut with garlic powder, in this healthy pasta, you need the real deal. Hate chopping garlic? (I do!) Try a garlic press like this one.
  • Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice. No bottled juice allowed. Trust me! You need the real deal here.
  • Grated Parmesan. As with the lemon juice, use the real deal (not the green can). This pasta has few ingredients, so each is incredibly important.

This Mediterranean pasta is a testament to the fact that a recipe doesn’t need to be long, time-consuming, or complicated to be delicious and taste special.

Mediterranean Pasta Recipe Variations

Thanks to the hearty artichokes and whole grains in the pasta noodles, I found this Mediterranean Pasta plenty satisfying when left vegetarian.

  • To Make Vegan. You can simply omit the Parmesan.
  • Mediterranean Pasta with Shrimp. I’d suggest sautéing or grilling the shrimp separately, then tossing it with the pasta at the end to prevent the shrimp from overcooking.
  • Mediterranean Pasta with Canned Tuna. For additional heart-healthy protein and fats. (I recommend oil packed for the best flavor.)
  • Mediterranean Pasta with Chicken. For those seeking shredded chicken pasta recipes, try combining this Mediterranean Pasta with my quick and easy method for How to Cook Shredded Chicken (stovetop) or this Instant Pot Chicken. You can shred or dice the chicken and toss it in with the pasta at the end.
  • Mediterranean Pasta with Italian Sausage. Slice precooked Italian chicken sausages into coins, then brown the pieces in a sauté pan. Remove them from the pan, proceed with the recipe as directed, and toss the coins into the pasta at the end.
  • Mediterranean Pasta with Feta. Swap the Parm for feta cheese. We served our leftovers this way, and that was delicious too.

What to Serve with Mediterranean Pasta

  • Salad. A simple green salad like this Arugula Salad or this Spinach Strawberry Salad is perfect for this pasta. For something a bit heartier, try this Caesar Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad.
  • Vegetables. This dish is also great with roasted vegetables, especially these Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

And now GUESS WHAT? I have a full-length cooking demonstration video showing you just how fast and easy this Mediterranean Pasta is to make!

In addition to posting the video in this post below, I just started a YouTube Channel and would love for you to subscribe. I’ll be sharing a new how-to recipe video there every week.

Making videos for YouTube feels extra special/nerve wracking because I’m filming the videos on my own now without a crew. It’s new territory, and I’m excited and nervous at the same time. If you could (or even just visit my channel to like and comment on my videos!), your support would mean the world.

OK, now let’s make this bright and healthy Mediterranean Pasta!

4.93 from 27 votes Leave a Review ” Yield: 4 –6 servings Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 15 mins Total Time: 20 mins Mediterranean Pasta with tomatoes, artichoke, garlic, and lemon. A fast, healthy pasta recipe that’s easy to make and filled with bright flavor! Keep the recipe vegetarian or serve with chicken or shrimp. A nutritious all-in-one meal.

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt — plus 1 teaspoon, divided
  • 6 ounces whole wheat angel hair pasta — whole wheat spaghetti, or similar whole wheat noodles (I recommend DeLallo whole wheat pasta)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes — or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts — (14 ounces)
  • 1 can whole pitted black olives — (6 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice — about 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley — chopped
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain.
  2. While the water boils and pasta cooks, prep your vegetables and remaining ingredients: mince the garlic; halve the cherry tomatoes; drain and roughly chop the artichokes; drain and slice the olives in half. Once the vegetables start cooking, the recipe goes quickly, so you want to be ready.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes, garlic, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant and the tomatoes begin to break down and release some juices into the oil, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to coat. Add the artichokes and olives. Drizzle the lemon juice over the pasta. Continue tossing and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until warmed through. If the pasta seems too dry, add a splash of the reserved pasta water to loosen it. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as desired. Remove from heat and sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley. Toss once more and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

  • Tips from Mary, the recipe’s author: Don’t skimp on the olive oil or parsley. Both are key to giving the final dish great flavor.
  • To reheat: Warm gently in the microwave or on the stove with a splash of water to keep the pasta from drying out.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 4 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Course: Main Course Cuisine: Mediterranean Keyword: Healthy Pasta Dinner Recipe, heart healthy pasta, Mediterranean Pasta, Vegetarian All text and images © Erin Clarke / Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 (of 6)) — Calories: 267, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Carbohydrates: 27g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 18g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Lunchtime just got a little more delicious! By making this 5 ingredient healthy pasta for meal prep, you can now look forward to lunches again!

Do you ever get bored with lunch options? I know I really do! I work out in the middle of nowhere, and while there are a few options, I just don’t feel like making the trip (in the snow – or lately, rain) and eating something I’m not really wanting, or that isn’t the best for me health wise.

The only thing that really works for me is planning a little ahead and meal prepping.

This pasta is amazing. It’s so easy to make, flavorful, and filling!

I know you (like me) may have 8 oz of whole wheat pasta leftover from last weeks’ Five Ingredient Friday recipe (this awesome 5 ingredient pancetta parmesan cauliflower pasta recipe) so that is what we’re going to use for this recipe. It’s just 5 ingredients, and the beauty of this recipe is that you can customize it by what you have on hand.

The 5 ingredients in this pasta recipe are whole wheat pasta (you can use any type of pasta), turkey sausage (or chicken sausage, or any type of sausage), swiss chard (or spinach or kale), olive oil, and parmesan cheese. Super easy to make, and when you divide it up, you have 2 ounce portions of pasta, so you’re not sitting there eating more than a serving (which I’m totally guilty of!)

I pack lunches for my hubby and I almost every day. There are some occasions where I haven’t done any meal prepping, and we both can really tell and send each sad face emojis during lunch. What I like to do is to take a few hours on Sunday to meal prep, it ensures that we have something made and ready to eat for the week. Here are some of my favorite recipes for meal prepping:

  • Breakfast: 5 ingredient vegetable frittata (this one reheats really well!)
  • Lunch: the recipe below for this 5 ingredient pasta, or the best shrimp cauliflower fried “rice” (I could seriously eat this every day)
  • Snacks: energy bites are my go tos! I make these no bake oatmeal cookie energy bites (pictured above) all the time. I also make these coconut date energy bites (they’re consistently one of the most popular recipes on my site) and my hubby always requests these 5 ingredient peanut butter pretzel energy bites!
  • Dinner: This turkey meatloaf and roasted vegetables is omg so good and perfect for meal prepping and so is this 5 ingredient slow cooker salsa chicken and quinoa for healthy meal prepping. I also love making recipes from my cookbook (because the recipes all only have 5 ingredients in them!!) like the below pictured Italian sausage parmesan rigatoni which is such a great easy meal that freezes/reheats really well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about some of my favorite recipes to meal prep, among them is definitely this 5 ingredient pasta with sausage and swiss chard. Do you meal prep? I’d love to know! Tag me on Instagram, @philiakelnhofer

Other recipes you might enjoy:

  • Meal Prep Breakfast: Miso Butter and Egg Toast
  • Freezer Meal: Chicken Enchilada Casserole
  • On the go oatmeal cups & toppings

Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 20 minutes Total Time 25 minutes


  • 8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta – can use any type of pasta you’d like
  • 4 turkey sausage links – can use any type of sausage you’d like (each link should be 2.5-3 oz, 10-12 oz total)
  • 1 bunch of rainbow swiss chard, cleaned and chopped (about 4 cups raw) – can use kale or spinach
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded, divided


  • Cook pasta according to the package instructions. Drain, and divide the pasta into 4 containers (I love these).
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet over high heat add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the sausage until brown and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes, turning every few minutes to brown. Remove the sausage from the pan and slice and divide among the 4 containers.
  • Next add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add in the swiss chard. Cook, stirring occasionally until the swiss chard reduces, about 5 minutes (sometimes I add in a few tablespoons of the pasta water if the pan seems to dry). Divide the chard among the 4 containers.
  • Top each container with 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.
  • Put a lid on each container and shake it a couple of times to mix everything. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy within a week.
  • Notes

    I love these food storage containers
    350-400 calories per serving depending on what type of ingredients you use.

    Nutrition Information:


    Serving Size:

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400 Total Fat: 23g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 94mg Sodium: 1099mg Carbohydrates: 42g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 2g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 37g Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

    If you love one pot meals, be sure to follow along with my Pinterest board {ONE POT WONDERS} for some easy dinner inspiration!

    Hi, friends! I’m back with another round-up post. I love doing these posts, because I get so much inspiration from them. I got a whole bunch of new recipe ideas while putting this post together!

    Also, one thing became painfully clear to me: HEALTHY one pot pasta recipes are few and far between. Sure there are a ton of recipes with cherry tomatoes and basil, but where’s the protein? Where are the veggies? In my world, those are an essential part of the meal.

    So today, I have for us 19 Healthy One Pot Pasta Recipes. They all have protein in some form. And there is no shortage in the veggie department as well! I hope you enjoy these recipes!

    1. One Pan Taco Pasta from Life Made Sweeter

    2. Healthy One Pot Asian Pasta from Yankee Kitchen Ninja

    3. One Pan Orecchiette with Turkey and Zucchini from Sweet Peas & Saffron

    4. One Pot Italian Chicken and Orzo from Carlsbad Cravings

    5. One Pot Chicken Chow Mein from The Recipe Rebel

    6. Creamy Lemon Pasta with Chicken & Asparagus from Kristine’s Kitchen

    7. One Pan Easy Chicken Cacciatore Pasta Bake from Savory Nothings

    8. One Pot Shrimp & Orzo from The Lean Green Bean

    9. One Pot Shrimp Linguine with Leeks and Asparagus from Sweet Peas & Saffron

    10. One Pot Cheesy Pasta and Sausage from The Slow Roasted Italian

    11. Thai Peanut Pasta with Shrimp from Delightful E Made

    12. Sausage and Mushroom One Pot Pasta from Food Wine Thyme

    13. Healthy One Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce from The Recipe Rebel

    14. One Pot Pasta with Kale & Goat Cheese from Sweet Peas & Saffron

    15. One Pot Whole Wheat Pasta with Chicken & Spinach from Cookin Canuck

    16. One Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac from Kristine’s Kitchen

    17. Lemon Shrimp One Pot Pasta from Bake. Eat. Repeat

    18. Skillet Chicken Fajita Whole Wheat Pasta from Cook Nourish Bliss

    19. One Pot Pasta with Chicken, Feta and Dill from Sweet Peas & Saffron

    15 Pasta Dishes That Won’t Pack on the Pounds


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    Enjoy pasta…or slide into those sleek new jeans? Now you no longer need to make that choice. We’re sharing tasty pasta dishes that have fewer calories and less fat than many traditional meals. Our lean pasta recipes include clean-eating ingredients that will help you feel slimmer and healthier.

    1. Skinny Lasagna Rolls
    This perfectly portioned pasta recipe is a fan favorite—make it this week to find out why!

    2. Whole Grain Penne Pasta with Greens & Beans
    When you want clean pasta recipes, this dish is a delish answer to “What’s for dinner?”

    3. Mediterranean Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
    With less than 320 calories, this is a light pasta dish that’s big on taste and easy on calories.

    4. One-Pot Spaghetti Puttanesca An authentic Italian favorite under 400 calories.

    5. Artichoke & Spinach Penne Casserole
    A pasta casserole with fewer than 300 calories per serving? Absolutely! Love your waistline with this dish.

    6. Three Cheese Ziti with Turkey
    You gotta love a recipe that includes three cheeses but has fewer than 290 calories per serving!

    7. Cheesy Pizza Pasta Bake

    Veggies add a nutritional boost to lean pasta dishes like this one.

    8. Slow Cooker Italian Style Penne
    In about two hours, you can enjoy hot, ready-to-go healthy pasta dishes like this crockpot recipe.

    9. Chicken Florentine CasseroleClean pasta recipes like this casserole are a tasty way to satisfy cravings for creamy dishes.

    10. Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Toss
    Take the hassle out of weeknight meals with this stress-free recipe.

    11. Slow Cooker Zucchini Ziti
    Serve SkinnyLicious pasta tonight with this less-than-300-calorie dish.

    12. Slow Cooker Skinny Spaghetti
    It’s not a fairy tale—you can prepare a meal that’s healthy and family friendly! Put this recipe on the menu this week.

    13. Pasta with Cauliflower and Raisins
    Low-fat, nutrient-packed cauliflower adds good-for-you creaminess to this classic Italian pasta dish.

    14. Pasta Salad with Green Beans and PestoThe prefect balance of flavor is created with this delicious pasta dish.

    15. Creamy Three Cheese Pasta Filling
    Lighten up pasta favorites, like homemade ravioli or lasagna, with this filling, which includes fat-free cottage cheese.

    Like our Facebook page and follow us on Pinterest for yummy recipes, clean-eating tips, and healthy lifestyle resources.

    Find delicious, nutritious recipes at your fingertips with the SkinnyMs. Recipe Collection: 101 Fan Favorites.

    Pasta recipes for lunch

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