22 Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes for Weeknight Dinners

Do you need a simple dinner idea that’s not only frugal but fast to prepare? Here are 22 Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes for Weeknight Dinners that your family is sure to love.

A variety of pasta dishes such as spaghetti, lasagna and chicken parmesan

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In our home, pasta recipes are one of the most requested dishes to make during the week. My kids like them because they are delicious and satisfying. I love making them because they are super simple to prepare with few ingredients when I’ve had a crazy busy day and just want to get dinner on the table fast.

Pasta recipes are not only the perfect solution for busy weeknights at home but make meal planning a breeze especially if you are like me and use theme night dinners to plan dinners for the week. If you are new to meal planning, I share how I meal plan for the month here to save money on groceries and time in the kitchen.

Looking for more ways to save money on groceries every week?

As I sat down to meal plan this week and was looking over my family’s favorite meals, I thought it would be helpful to share some of our go-to pasta recipes. Hopefully, they will give you some inspiration for your next weeknight pasta dish.

These recipes include one-pot meals, casserole dishes, as well as meals cooked in the crockpot and instant pot. Here are 22 Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes that will please even the pickiest of eaters.

22 Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes for Weeknight Dinners

spaghetti with sauce and meatballs on white plate

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs are our go-to pasta recipe on busy nights so it seemed only fitting to start with it first. This pasta dish is not only simple but satisfying for all. Since I like to keep things as quick as possible when making this delicious meal, I use our favorite jarred spaghetti sauce but of course, you can make it with any homemade sauce.

Combined with my favorite meatball recipe that I share in my 35 Quick and Easy Ground Beef Dinner Ideas it’s a family favorite that is perfect for weeknight dinners.


Who can resist all the gooey cheese and the delicious combination of noodles and meaty sauce.  This lasagna recipe from The Stay at Home Chef is sure to please everyone in your family.

Here are a few more variations of lasagna that we love:

Baked Ziti with Sauce and Melted Mozzarella Cheese

Baked Ziti

This pasta meal is my son’s favorite and is requested as his birthday dinner choice year after year. One of the best things about baked ziti is that there are so many ways to jazz it up. You can add ground beef, pepperoni, sausage, or veggies.

Start by boiling one box of ziti pasta (or any pasta of your choosing, we like to use penne). Once the pasta is cooked al dente, remove from heat, drain and add back to the pot with your favorite pasta sauce and a 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.

Preheat oven to 350 ° and pour into greased 13×9 baking dish. Then, simply top with another 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. I like to sprinkle Italian seasoning on the top and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is cooked through. 


Although, we love our instant pot goulash that you can find in my 25 Easy Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners. We also enjoy our go-to comforting one-pot recipe from The Cookie Rookie because it’s not only quick and delicious but budget-friendly. 

angel hair pasta with diced tomatoes and sauce

Angel Hair Pasta

This recipe doesn’t get any easier and it’s perfect to enjoy any time of year. I like to prepare it during the summer months because it’s a lighter pasta dish.

Boil angel hair pasta until cooked, then simply add in your favorite sauce with a can of diced tomatoes (Italian style). Add salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings, then sprinkle with parmesan cheese. A cheap, easy and, delicious meal.

Cheeseburger Pasta

If you enjoy cheeseburgers as much as my family, then you are sure to love this cheeseburger pasta recipe from Cookies and Cups. A cozy weeknight dinner idea that takes less than 30 minutes and will have your family begging for more.

meatballs with egg noodles and gravy

Meatball Stroganoff

I love the flavors of meatball stroganoff, so comforting and delicious. The best part is that it’s so simple to make. I start by using my meatball recipe (link above) and then just boil a package of egg noodles in a pot. Once the egg noodles (drained) and meatballs are cooked, combine with 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 cup of sour cream, and about a 1/2 cup of milk. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until warmed through. 

Spaghetti Bolognese

If you are looking for a spaghetti bolognese recipe that is full of flavor and richness, then look no further than this easy recipe from RecipeTinEats. It’s the perfect choice for those busy nights at home.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Nothing is more comforting than this classic pasta dish and this fettuccine alfredo recipe from Modern Honey doesn’t disappoint. I’m sure your family will love this creamy homemade alfredo sauce that only takes 5 ingredients to make for a satisfying supper.

Pasta Carbonara

This weeknight pasta dish takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and it’s so good. You won’t be able to resist this simple and delicious Pasta Carbonara recipe from Cooking Classy.

Ravioli Casserole

This Ravioli Casserole recipe from The Seasoned Mom is the perfect make-ahead freezer meal for a busy mid-week dinner when you don’t have time to prepare anything. It only takes 4 ingredients to make and trust me it’s a dish your kids will be asking you to make time and time again.

Stuffed Shells

If you love stuffed shells, then you need to try this Stuffed Shells recipe from Love and Lemons. Another great make-ahead meal when you need dinner on the table fast.

Sausage and Cheese Baked Rigatoni

My family loves rigatoni and sausage so I knew when I stumbled across this recipe from Foodie Crush, we had to give it a try and it definitely didn’t disappoint. It was cheesy goodness at its finest. 

Creamy Pesto Pasta

If you are looking for an easy weeknight dish, then this Creamy Pesto Pasta Recipe from She Wears Many Hats, is for you. This dish is so flavorful you are sure to love it!

Lemon Garlic Parmesan Shrimp Pasta

This Lemon garlic parmesan shrimp pasta from The Recipe Critic is a simple one-pot pasta meal that is not only delicious but kid-friendly and can be ready and on the table in 30 minutes. A great dinner to make for those busy nights when you don’t know what to cook.

Chicken Parmesan 

Chicken parmesan is another one of our go-to pasta meals to make during the week. It’s in constant rotation when planning out my meals for the month. Who can resist all that deliciousness? I know we can’t and this Oven Baked Chicken Parmesan from Fox and Briar is one of our favorite chicken parmesan recipes.

We also like to use our air fryer to cook our chicken parmesan. You can find our favorite air fryer chicken parmesan recipe at 25 Must-Have Air Fryer Recipes for Beginners.

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Slow Cooker Recipes

Who doesn’t love a good crockpot recipe? You can throw dinner in the slow cooker in the morning so it’s ready when dinner time rolls around. Here are a few quick and easy pasta recipes for your slow cooker to add to your weekly meal plan.

Chicken Tetrazzini

 This Slow Cooker Chicken Tetrazzini from The Magical Slow Cooker is both comforting and delicious. Everyone is sure to love this tasty dish as it’s perfect for even the pickiest of eaters.

Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta

We love this Slow Cooker Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta from Family Fresh Meals as it only takes a few simple ingredients thrown in the slow cooker for an easy mid-week meal.

Creamy Crockpot Tortellini

This tasty Creamy Crockpot Tortellini  from Spend with Pennies is comfort food at its finest. Being able to throw it in the slow cooker makes this yummy dish even better.

Looking for more crockpot recipes?

Instant Pot Recipes

Despite being a little intimidated at the beginning, my instant pot has quickly grown to be one of my favorite small kitchen appliances. Even with a meal plan, there are nights when plans change and I need to think of what to make for dinner in a hurry. My instant pot has come to the rescue more than once because of this.

Here are some of our favorite quick and easy pasta recipes to cook in the instant pot:

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

Our family can’t get enough of buffalo chicken dip so when I discovered that there was a recipe for buffalo chicken pasta I knew that we had to try it. This Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta from Fab Everyday is not only flavorful but creamy and delicious.

No instant pot? This Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake from BruCrew is also a hit with our family. I like to make this recipe when I have leftover rotisserie chicken.

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Chicken Alfredo

This Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Recipefrom Shugary Sweets is definitely one of our favorites that we make time and time again. We love that it takes less than 30 minutes and we have dinner on the table. 

Macaroni and Cheese

Honestly, if there was one dish that I make the most in the instant pot, it would be macaroni and cheese. I have tried so many recipes and this Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese from Build Your Bite is one of our favorites.

There you go, 22 Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes when you don’t know what to cook for dinner or add to your meal plan. Hopefully, you’ve been inspired to try some of these tasty pasta dishes. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

More easy meal ideas:

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