100 Healthy Pasta Recipes
There is more to pasta night than a jar of marinara—much more. We've gathered 100 of our most deliciously saucy recipes, so you can be a dinnertime rock star.
We'll start you off with super simple Sausage, Tomato, and Arugula Fettuccine.
This 20-minute recipe has become a favorite among staff and readers alike for its ease to prepare and use of bold ingredients like peppery arugula and savory sausage. A sprinkling of shaved pecorino Romano cheese gives a salty bite.
Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese
Nothing defines comfort food better than mac and cheese, and nothing gives "comfort" a bad nutritional name quite so deliciously: A typical bowl can contain a half-day's worth of calories and two days' saturated fat. So, we gave the well-loved classic dish a much needed makeover.
Rich porcini broth and nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano add deep umami taste to this vegetarian lasagna. Plain white button mushrooms will work in place of cremini. Serve with a simple green salad for a satisfying meal.
Bacon and Butternut Pasta
Broth, thickened with flour and enriched with crème fraîche, forms the savory sauce in this dish. We like the addition of earthy, hearty kale which helps balance the sweetness from the squash.
Fusilli with Caramelized Spring Onions and White Wine
Spring onions are those that have been harvested early—they look like scallions with large white bulbs. If they're unavailable, use Vidalia onions. Rotini (corkscrew pasta) will work in place of fusilli.
This creamy baked pasta comes together quickly. Melted, gooey part-skim mozzarella cheese makes it even more decadent—without leaving you feeling guilty. Use any short pasta—ziti or rotini also work.
Orecchiette with Kale, Bacon, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Orecchiette (little ears pasta) is a classic shape that's ideal for this chunky sauce. You can also substitute short pasta shapes like penne or rigatoni. If you can find mild-tasting cavolo nero (black kale), try it here.
Garganelli with Asparagus and Pecorino Cheese
Pasta laced with rich, salty cheese puts asparagus on full display. Substitute penne if garganelli is unavailable.
Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing
Pasta salad gets a southwestern twist with the addition of corn, black beans, chili powder, and fresh cilantro. Make ahead for lunch, dinner, or even a picnic.
The shrimp goes into the pasta shells raw to prevent it from overcooking while the pasta bakes. Look for potato starch near the cornstarch in your supermarket.
Tomato-Basil Lasagna with Prosciutto
Instead of full-fat ricotta, which is used in traditional recipes, we combine low-fat cottage cheese and fat-free cream cheese for just enough creaminess without all the heft. This tasty lasagna is a great make-ahead option. After assembling the lasagna, cover and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator; bake as directed.
Bucatini with Mushrooms
A large assortment of mushrooms, including luxurious dried porcinis, is the key to the huge earthy flavor of this dish. It's meatless, but you'd never know it with all the savory flavor of mushrooms, Parmesan, and truffle oil. A generous splash of cream gives the sauce its luscious texture.
Artichoke, Spinach, and Feta Stuffed Shells
To fill the shells, simply spoon the cheese mixture into a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; squeeze out the air. Snip a one-inch hole in one corner of the bag, and pipe the filling into the shells.
Gemelli Salad with Green Beans, Pistachios, and Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette
Haricots verts are thin, tender green beans. If you can't find them, use trimmed regular green beans, but add them to the pasta after 8 minutes of cooking since they'll take longer to cook. You can make the salad ahead, but dress it just before serving so the beans don't turn drab.
Linguine with Clams and Fresh Herbs
Try this Italian-inspired dish featuring quick-cooking linguine and clams in a light, fresh white wine sauce—you won't be sorry you did.
Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Shrimp Fra Diavolo recipes can often be very hot, but you can adjust the spice to your preference by adding more or less red pepper. To save money, be sure to use inexpensive medium-size shrimp in this garlicky, spicy classic.
Baked Mac and Cheese
Panko breadcrumbs provide the perfect crunchy topping to this mac and cheese. To complete the meal, serve a spinach salad with sliced red onion and tomato.
Mini Farfalle with Roasted Peppers, Onions, Feta, and Mint
This light and easy pasta will pull together in a flash. Fresh basil and mint give an unbelievably fresh and delicious flavor boost that will take this recipe to the next level.
Food journalist and author Mark Bittman retooled classic bolognese sauce giving it less meat, more flavor, and the same luxurious creaminess as the traditional version.
Truffled Mac and Cheese
White truffle oil has an intense earthy flavor that wakes up ordinary mac and cheese. We also get extra flavor by steeping the milk with onion and bay leaf.
This one-dish Italian-style meal with olives, red bell peppers, and prosciutto is sure to hit the spot tonight.
Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo
Refrigerated pasta is a time-pressed cook's secret weapon, cooking up in a flash. Reserved pasta water will give your alfredo sauce the right consistency.
Spring Linguine with Basil
Seek out the freshest produce you can find. The success of simple dishes depends on the quality of their ingredients.
Wild Mushroom Pastitsio
Quick-Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce with Spaghetti
Sweet, sun-ripened tomatoes collapse into a beautifully rustic sauce. For the prettiest dish, use multicolored tomatoes from the farmers' market or, if you're lucky, your backyard.
Fontina and Mascarpone Baked Pasta
This is mac and cheese for adults. It's got all the creamy comfort of the original, with the sophisticated flavors of Italian cheeses standing in for the traditional cheddar. The garlicky breadcrumb topping adds crunch and visual interest.
Baked Pasta with Spinach, Lemon, and Cheese
This dish makes use of casarecce pasta—a short noodle with a curled edge that provides a large groove to hold the creamy sauce. If you can't find it, use fusilli, campanelle, or radiatore. Use a large, deep pot for the pasta so the spinach will fit inside, as well.
Orecchiette with Peas, Shrimp, and Buttermilk-Herb Dressing
This herby pasta salad is perfect for a picnic or potluck gathering; you can easily double the recipe to serve a crowd. Can't find orecchiette? Medium shell-shaped pasta will also work in its place.
Truffled Wild Mushroom Lasagna
You don't have to spend a lot on truffle oil; look for small 2- or 3-ounce bottles, which are less likely to go bad before you use up the oil.
Pasta with Fresh Tomato-Basil Sauce
Though we paired this chunky sauce with fettuccine, it would also be nice with short pasta shapes, like penne, gemelli, or farfalle. For a more dramatic presentation, use multicolored cherry tomatoes, or a combination of cherry and pear (or teardrop-shaped) tomatoes.
Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion, and Spinach Lasagna
Full of warm flavors—butternut squash, sweet caramelized onion, fresh sage, and even a hint of nutmeg—this is the perfect company-worthy dish if you want to impress. Serve with a fresh salad of grapefruit and fennel, and sip our Pomegranate Fizz.
Peppery Monterey Jack Pasta Salad
This 20-minute pasta salad is great as either an entrée or side and is packed with tons of flavor. Readers rave about the dish's versatility; you can customize it easily by using whatever veggies you have on hand. For the pasta, we use acini di pepe [ah-CHEE-nee dee-PAY-pay]: tiny pasta rounds resembling peppercorns. Feel free to use ditalini (very short tube-shaped macaroni) or any other small pasta shape if you can't find acini di pepe in your supermarket.
Chorizo-Mussel Noodle Bowl
For this filling dish, mussels are joined by big chunks of smoky Spanish chorizo (don't use spicy Mexican chorizo) and lots of noodles in a big bowl of goodness. It's a fine meal by itself, but a small salad or garlic bread would make great sides.
Orzo Salad with Radish and Fennel
Lemony dressing and fresh mint add vibrant flavor to this pasta salad. Serve chilled or at room temperature, and garnish with pretty mint leaves, if desired.
Penne with Sausage, Eggplant, and Feta
Meaty breakfast sausage, earthy eggplant, and zesty feta complement each other in this hearty pasta dish.
Farfalle with Fava Beans, Morel Mushrooms, and Mascarpone
You can also use shiitake mushrooms and edamame, good year-round alternatives to morels and fava beans.
Fresh Tomato, Sausage, and Pecorino Pasta
Put ripe tomatoes to good use and make a fresh tomato sauce to top sweet Italian sausage and penne pasta. Reviewer sillybluestarr raves, "I didn't change a thing about the recipe and it's so amazing. I make this for guests when they come over!"
This spicy tomato sauce’s name is Italian for “angry,” but the delicious dish is so easy, it’ll put a smile on your face any night of the week. If you like to mix things up, try it with a short pasta like farfalle or penne instead of linguine, and if you’re a real shellfish lover, try our just-as-easy Shrimp and Scallop Arrabbiata recipe.
Bucatini with Green Peas and Pancetta
Use frozen, thawed green peas if fresh are unavailable. Linguine can substitute for bucatini, which is a thick, spaghetti-like pasta with a hollow center.
Ravioli with Herbed Ricotta Filling
The delicate sauce allows the ravioli to be the star of this recipe. You can shape the pasta and freeze it for up to a month before cooking.
This recipe combines cooked vermicelli, chicken, and mushrooms with a rich sherry–Parmesan cheese sauce. The mixture is sprinkled with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and baked until bubbly and golden.
Warm Pasta Salad with Shrimp
If you prefer to serve this salad chilled, make it up to a day ahead, toss, and refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
Farfalle with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce
This farfalle recipe scored high in our Test Kitchen for its rich flavor and ultracreamy texture. The exotic mushroom blend, a combination of shiitake, cremini, and oyster mushrooms, is sold in eight-ounce packages. If unavailable, you can use all cremini mushrooms.
Italian Sausage Puttanesca
If you're in the mood for something spicy rather than creamy, this is it. For a little less heat, use mild turkey Italian sausage instead of hot.
Penne with Asparagus, Spinach, and Bacon
This is a ridiculously easy dish that manages to incorporate a range of great flavors―crisp, salty bacon, fresh, sweet asparagus, savory Parmesan―in less than 10 minutes. The bacon and veggies take about as long to cook as the pasta, and you just toss everything together to serve. Swap in whatever vegetables are on hand to create a quick meal anytime.
Cavatappi with Prosciutto and Parmesan
The spiral shape and grooved texture of cavatappi lets it hold on to lots of sauce and toppings, ensuring every bite of this dish is full of cheesy, porky, garlicky flavor and extra-virgin-olive-oil richness.
Pasta Pork Bolognese
Fettuccine Alfredo with Bacon
When you’re short on time and the ingredient list is short, make every ingredient the freshest and best you can find. A real wood-smoked bacon imparts lots of flavor: Applewood is mild and slightly sweet, while hardwood, such as hickory, is more assertive.
Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese
There are more than 50 user reviews of this casserole recipe, but nobody could have given it a higher compliment than Lauren. "This is the recipe that made my boyfriend fall in love with me. I am a huge fan of making dinners ahead of time and this recipe lent itself well to that. The longer it sits and melds, the better it is. Yummy!"
Shrimp Pad Thai
Pad Thai is the chop suey of Thai takeout, the "safe" choice. But it's also a delicious version of a real Thai dish. Its flavors are complex—salty, slightly fishy-fermenty, a tad sweet. The main nutrition killer here is sodium (well over a full-day's worth in a single serving), found mostly in the fish sauce that's key to the flavor. But a small amount of this fragrant staple provides the right notes without overpowering the American palate. We keep the palate intrigued with an interesting interplay of textures: silky noodles, crisp bean sprouts, and crunchy nuts.
Chicken with Lemon-Leek Linguine
Add fresh flavors to a weeknight staple with this family-friendly recipe. Prep tip: Leeks can be full of grit, so it's a good idea to rinse well after slicing.
This Egyptian street food is a starch lover’s dream: Rice, pasta, and legumes crowned with a spicy-sweet tomato sauce and creamy caramelized onions.
Pasta with Anchovy-Walnut Sauce
This delicious pasta is full of bright colors that mirror the bright flavors of the dish. Fresh parsley and black pepper are two simple ingredients that make all the difference in this recipe.
Farfalle with Lamb Ragù, Ricotta, and Mint
A classic flavor combination, lamb and mint meet bow-tie pasta for a hearty weeknight meal. Serve with Baby Greens Salad.
Porcini and cremini mushrooms plus three types of cheese elevate weeknight Chicken Spaghetti to a higher level. Kids will love the creaminess and parents will appreciate the added English peas.
Pasta with Asparagus, Pancetta, and Pine Nuts
This pasta toss comes together in a snap on busy weeknights. Complement it with a glass of white wine, such as sauvignon blanc, or a rosé. Top off the dish with a garlic-Parmesan breadstick and you will have a winning meal.
Fettuccine with Mushrooms and Hazelnuts
Fresh pasta pairs well with a simple, barely-there sauce that will gently coat each noodle, highlighting the fresh pasta's uniquely soft, smooth texture without overwhelming it or stealing its shine. This dish makes for a satisfying meatless meal that is sure to please your taste buds.
Linguine and Spinach with Gorgonzola Sauce
If you like gorgonzola, there's nothing better than this thick, creamy sauce, flavored with tons of the stuff. If you don't, try this recipe and you'll be converted anyway. There are two different types of gorgonzola available: sweet, or dolce, which is softer and milder; and aged, or naturale, which has a stronger flavor. Choose whichever most appeals to you for this dish―either works beautifully.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta
Smoky bacon compliments the richness of butternut squash in this casserole to create a dish that can be enjoyed right away or prepared ahead for a party or weeknight meals.
Spaghetti with Sausage and Simple Tomato Sauce
This versatile Italian dish goes from stovetop to table in less than 30 minutes. Serve with a simple salad for a filling weeknight meal.
Baked Vegetable Lasagna
Don't press out extra water from the tofu for this recipe; that way, the cheesy layer will remain moist and creamy.
Roasting tomatoes intensifies their sweetness. We also tested this recipe with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano—it’s a splurge that makes the difference.
Linguine with Garlicky Clams and Peas
When pairing clams with pasta, Italians almost always choose linguine―it must be something about the pleasing contrast between the long, flat noodles, and the round, fat morsels of shellfish. You'll be amazed at the difference in taste and texture between dried and fresh pasta, which you can find in the refrigerated section of most supermarkets, so definitely give it a whirl here. A chunk of nice crusty bread really makes the meal.
Soba Noodle Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
Who says pasta is exclusively Italian? This fresh and healthy salad uses soba, chewy Japanese buckwheat noodles, along with edamame for soy protein and shrimp for color and and flavor. The orange-lime-sesame dressing is a great alternative to plain old vinaigrette on any salad. Can't find soba? Use a rice- or wheat-based Asian noodle like somen, lo mein, or udon.
Roasted Chicken and Bow Tie Pasta Salad
The flavor and contrasting textures―crunchy celery, onion, and walnut, chewy pasta, tender chicken, and juicy grapes―make an easy salad that can be made ahead and travels well, either for a dinner on the go or a workday lunch. Leftover chicken, or deli ham or turkey can take the place of the store-bought rotisserie bird if you prefer.
Bow Ties with Tomatoes, Feta, and Balsamic Dressing
You're reading the recipe correctly: There are green grapes in this dish. Their juicy, crisp, and bright sweetness complements the tomatoes and provides a nice contrast to feta's creamy tang. Besides the pan-grilled asparagus shown, any green vegetable sautéed or grilled with a little garlic, salt, and pepper makes a good side―try spinach, broccoli, or even kale.
Linguine with Two-Cheese Sauce
This pasta will come together quickly and might just become a household favorite. Parmigiano-Reggiano and mascarpone cheese make a creamy and flavorful combination.
Farfalle with Tomatoes, Onions, and Spinach
Give your family a taste of the Mediterranean with this simple pasta recipe. Add grilled chicken for an even heartier meal.
Chicken-Peanut Chow Mein<br />
This quick and easy chow mein recipe is just as tasty as take-out, but better for you. Look for chow mein noodles (sometimes labeled as chuka soba) in the Asian section of the supermarket. If you can't find them, you can always substitute spaghetti or linguine.
Fresh Tortellini with Mushrooms and Pancetta
Packaged tortellini, available with a variety of cheese, vegetable, and meat fillings, are an excellent quick meal by themselves. But, a tiny bit of work to create a sauce elevates them into the taste stratosphere. The ten-minute mushroom, tomato, and spinach sauce with crunchy bits of pancetta is excellent with any kind of pasta, but the creaminess of cheese tortellini is its perfect match.
Semolina Lasagna with Spicy Amatriciana
Legendary Italian cook Lidia Bastianich shared her grandmother's surprisingly easy recipes for from-scratch homemade pasta, including this Semolina Lasagna with Spicy Amatriciana, whose tomato-and-bacon sauce packs a red-pepper punch, balanced by creamy melted mozzarella.
Asparagus and Chicken Carbonara
Pasta carbonara is traditionally made with raw egg yolks and whipping cream. This lighter version achieves the same texture with egg substitute and fat-free evaporated milk. Egg substitutes are excellent to use in recipes that traditionally call for raw eggs. Substitutes are pasteurized and have a low risk of containing bacteria.
Serve this dish immediately; if it stands, the sauce can become too thick.
Creamy Rigatoni with Gruyère and Brie
You can substitute your favorite Swiss cheese for the Gruyère, and most soft-ripened cheeses can work in place of the Brie—just be sure to remove the rind.
Baked Ziti and Summer Veggies
Add pops of color to baked ziti with fresh summer veggies like squash, zucchini, and tomato. This quick and versatile recipe can be easily adjusted based on your favorite veggies or what you have on hand.
Easy Meatless Manicotti
Filled with a satisfying blend of spinach and three cheeses, the stuffed shells simmer in tomato-basil pasta sauce as the dish bakes in the oven.
Rigatoni with Green Olive-Almond Pesto and Asiago Cheese
The procedure may be the same as for regular basil pesto, but the intensely flavored olive paste in this dish is closer to a tapenade. The briny, oily olives produce a smooth "pesto," which turns into a simple sauce with the addition of a little pasta cooking liquid.
Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine
Fresh spinach, chicken, and a combination of cheeses make this dish comforting enough for the last days of winter yet fresh enough for the first days of spring. You can also cook the pasta mixture in individual 8-ounce ramekins, and bake for 15 minutes.
Singapore Mai Fun
This dish flavors Chinese rice noodles with Indian curry powder to create a flavorful meal that's ready in a flash: You can have it on the table in about 15 minutes, including cooking the noodles and chopping the veggies.
Vegetable lasagna is a crowd-pleaser and a classic make-ahead dish. You can use precut onions, matchstick-cut carrots, and broccoli, in addition to precooked noodles, to speed up preparation. If you make it ahead, let it cool completely, then cover and chill. The next day, heat single servings in the microwave. Freeze leftovers for dinner.
Pappardelle with Baby Spinach, Herbs, and Ricotta
Fettuccine will also work if you can't find pappardelle. Have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go before beginning to cook—the pasta needs to be hot when mixed with the other ingredients to create a creamy consistency.
Greek Pasta with Meatballs
This riff on spaghetti and meatballs uses rice-shaped pasta, ground lamb, and feta cheese.
Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Feta Vinaigrette
Orzo pasta is a versatile base for dishes, and this one is chock-full of zesty ingredients. Red onions add crunch and the combination of artichoke hearts, feta cheese, and kalamata olives all add fresh brininess to the salad.
Cavatappi with Bacon and Summer Vegetables
A light, flavorful pasta toss, accented with crumbled bacon, is a quick and easy dinner solution for any night of the week. Use whatever veggies you have on hand to add to the colorful dish. Serve with a mixed greens salad.
Mushroom Rigatoni Bake
Two types of mushrooms along with a full cup of Italian Asiago cheese give body and flavor to the velvety sauce, which is laced with sherry.
Two-Pepper Rigatoni and Cheese
Red bell pepper and pickled jalapeño pepper get added to the mix in this grown-up baked mac and cheese. "This is a great basic recipe because there are many possibilities for variations with different pastas and cheeses," says reader and recipe creater, Jeff Towle. "You can also use individual gratin dishes if you want a special presentation."
Makaruni Pasta with Morel Mushroom Sauce
Hand-shaped pasta is complemented by fresh spring morels, fresh herbs, and truffle oil. It makes for one decidely rustic, yet divine, meal.
Shrimp and Pine Nut Spaghetti
Homemade cream sauce is a delicious and easy topper to this pasta toss. Not a shrimp fan? It's also good with rotisserie chicken.
Noodles with Roast Pork and Almond Sauce
Serve this delicious Thai-inspired pork dish over noodles or, if you prefer, rice.
Spanish Spaghetti with Olives
Update spaghetti night by adding a fresh new ingredient: pimiento-stuffed olives. To make this kid-friendly, sub chicken broth for sherry, and either omit the olives or change to milder black ones.
Kamut Spirals with Chicken-Artichoke Wine Sauce
Kamut pasta should be near the regular pastas at the supermarket―use whole-wheat or another whole-grain pasta like spelt or quinoa if you can't find it. The flavorful sauce, with acidic notes from the wine and grassy ones from the artichokes, combines with the noodles to make a hearty dish. A topping of fresh basil and lots of Parmesan seals the deal.
Spicy Malaysian-Style Stir-Fried Noodles
Blazing chile paste and sweet bean sauce, a salty-sugary brew of fermented soybeans, mix to render incomparable flavor. If you can’t find sweet bean sauce, try hoisin sauce.
Cheesy Pasta Bake
This recipe utilizes the classic formula of pasta plus sauce plus sausage plus cheese. Tasty!
Quick Bouillabaisse Pasta
As bivalves like mussels and clams cook, they open up and release a marvelously flavorful liquid, which you should never, ever let go to waste. This dish uses pasta to soak it up, but you could even leave out the pasta and serve the dish as a stew, with plenty of good bread for sopping. Like its Mediterranean namesake, this recipe can use any combination of seafood you have on hand: The simple herbs-and-tomato sauce works with lobster, crawfish, salmon, tilapia, oysters, scallops, and more.
Baked Rigatoni with Beef
Rigatoni is a great family weeknight meal. Slightly undercook the pasta for this classic hamburger casserole because it cooks again in the oven.
For those nights when you just don't have the 12 minutes to cook dried fettuccine, reach for refrigerated fresh pasta: It's done in about two minutes. The texture is deliciously different: more delicate, with a slightly springy bounce.
Sesame Noodles with Chicken
This tangy, creamy, and spicy Asian-flavored sauce is so delicious and easy, it might just replace tomato sauce as your go-to way to dress pasta. The depth of flavor is surprising for such a simple recipe. A salad dressed with rice vinegar and sesame oil or any kind of stir-fried or steamed vegetable, especially broccoli, would make a great side.
Pasta with Artichokes and Fresh Ricotta
A few of spring's finest ingredients star in this light and satisfying pasta. Serve with a leafy salad for a well-rounded meal.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta
We love the combination of ham, cheese, and chicken in this classic dish, but not so much the frying. So we turned it into a creamy cheese sauce with the chicken and ham mixed in, to be served over egg noodles. Serve with a very simple, very fresh green salad, dressed with a nice acidic vinaigrette to counteract the pasta's richness.
Zucchini and Basil Lasagna
The oven-ready noodles and bottled sauce make this a quick recipe to put together. Summer squash's mild taste and cool flavor make it a perfect for blending with other ingredients. Look for firm squash with little blemishing; refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to three days.