No More Boring Dinners, Here Are The 20 Best Pasta Dishes

No More Boring Dinners, Here Are The 20 Best Pasta Dishes

Who doesn’t love a good pasta dish? Dozens of dishes that range from different noodles and stuffing are just waiting for you to dig in—and we’ve narrowed down some of the best to rip into first.

1. Lemon Pasta

Vibrant and bursting with flavor, lemon pasta takes hardly any time to make. Better still, it takes very few ingredients to bring this dish to life, often calling for no more than some spaghetti, parmesan cheese, butter, and pepper—in addition to the lemon zest, of course! 

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2. Creamy Chicken Alfredo

Chicken fettuccine is a simple staple that’s graced tables for years. Even if you made the sauce from scratch, the entire process is pretty foolproof. Its versatility is appreciated, too, because meat-free versions simply forego the chicken. 

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3. Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs

Just about every dinner plate has seen spaghetti and meatballs before, and it isn’t going anywhere! Recipes for this delicious dish may differ across families, but it’s a go-to for rumbling stomachs.

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4. Spaghetti Carbonara

Amp up your standard spaghetti meal with a bit of diced bacon. A bit of fresh parmesan cheese, some pepper, and eggs are all you need to make the sauce, but you’ll be surprised how far a few ingredients can take you.

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5. Seafood Pasta

If chicken or beef aren’t your thing, there’s always seafood! Shrimp, scallops, clams, or mussels are all tasty options. Though you can choose whichever you like best, seafood pasta is well paired with a thin noodle like linguine or spaghetti. 

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6. Lasagna

There’s never a bad time for lasagna. All that cheese and meat stuffed between baked noodles? Talk about a hearty meal that never fails to impress. 

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7. Low-Fat Fettuccine Alfredo

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention this low-fat alternative. One of the best things about fettuccine alfredo is that you can swap out heavy cream for skim milk or chicken broth, or swap the parm for a low-fat version.  

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8. Mac and Cheese

Step aside, Kraft because we’re talking about the real stuff! Homemade mac and cheese is simple, versatile, and widely sought-after. Make it your own by tossing in some meat or adding a dash of spices. 

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9. Chicken Parmesan

It’s in the name, so the chicken is often considered the star. But many overlook the importance of its mouth-watering partner: the pasta! Chicken parm can be enjoyed with an alfredo or tomato sauce, but either way you’re getting a hearty meal. 

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10. Tomato Rigatoni

Well-known noodles like linguine or penne shouldn’t steal the spotlight from thick boys like rigatoni. Most tomato rigatoni recipes call for less than 10 ingredients, too, so you’re getting all that good stuff for very little.

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11. Tortellini

What’s better than pasta? Stuffed pasta! Tortellini is a filling (pun intended) pasta that’s packed with anything from meat to spinach to cheese. Just be warned—you may need a nap after this one. 

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12. Stuffed Shells

These pasta shells are often stuffed with ricotta cheese and doused in sauce, and they make for an incredible dinner. While it does take longer to make than some other dishes on this list, you won’t leave the table hungry.

Stuffed Shells 002Adam S. Keck on Wikimedia Commons

13. Pasta Primavera

Just in time for summer! Pasta primavera usually consists of penne noodles, though you can switch it up, and an assortment of veggies tossed in creamy sauce. It’s as colorful as it is flavorful.

Pasta Primavera (1)Stacy Spensley on Wikimedia Commons

14. Chicken Pesto Pasta

Penne noodles and a juicy chicken breast are the main attractions to your pesto. It’s optional to add sundried tomatoes or shred cheese over everything, but both bring out the best of this dish. Even better, it can be whipped up in under 30 minutes!

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15. Pasta Bolognese

Pasta bolognese requires quite a bit of time (upwards of two hours), but the final result makes it all worth it. The reason why is that the sauce is either slow cooked or left to simmer to enhance the flavor. 

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16. Penne Alla Vodka

On the other hand, this little number takes roughly 20 minutes and doesn’t need much outside of penne noodles, vodka, and tomato sauce. Heavy cream really helps your sauce achieve its goal consistency, and you can top it all off with fresh herbs.

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17. Baked Ziti

Looking for something to pop in the oven? Baked ziti is the perfect solution! Lots of cheese, ground beef, and ziti pasta are the main ingredients you’ll need, as well as onion and some fresh herbs. 

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18. Pasta all’Arrabbiata

Kick things up a notch with this spicy pasta dish. On the surface this looks like a regular plate of penne, but one bite reveals the cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes often added to bring the heat!

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19. Cacio e Pepe

Moving in the complete opposite direction, cacio e pepe simply translates to “cheese and pepper,” and it’s one of the easiest pasta dishes to make. Not only that, but it’s far safer for sensitive palettes. 

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20. Ravioli

Though raviolis are often stuffed with ricotta or meat, the noodle is thinner and thereby a bit easier to indulge in. You’ll get your money’s worth on taste without feeling like you ate too much!

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