We’re always on the hunt for quick and delicious recipes to help streamline our meal prep. I’m not sure about you, but with kids in the house, temps warming up, and trying to navigate the come-to-expect-’em grocery shortages, pasta dishes are always a good, and oftentimes easy, idea. So we’ve done our due diligence and tracked down some truly tasty and simple pasta recipes to jazz up our usual dinner routine.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take a bowl of mac and cheese any day of the week, but as they say, variety is the spice of life! These days, there are so many wonderful pasta recipes to choose from that are unexpected and flavorful without being overly complicated. And there’s just something so satisfying about ending the day with a bowl full of pasta, and thankfully it’s the perfect canvas for celebrating bright, in-season produce. Few things are as delightful as colorful spring and summertime veggies, and we want to take every advantage.
Today we’ve rounded up 20 of our favorites simple pasta recipes—all with less than 10 ingredients. Scroll on, and let us know in the comments if you’ve tried these, or have other faves to recommend.
Pesto Pasta Primavera
Why We Love It: This is the ultimate spring pasta dish. Judging by the color alone, you’ll quickly be able to tell that the flavor is fresh and bright. Camille makes this recipe at least once a week and everyone on Team CS is right there with her keeping this in our go-to rotation.
Hero Ingredient: Nothing brings (even more) flavor to your favorite seasonal veggies than a good garnish of lemon zest.
Get the recipe for Pesto Pasta Primavera.
Kale Pesto With Whole Wheat Pasta from Bon Appétit
Why We Love It: One of our favorites, Joshua McFadden, created this gorgeous vivid green dish using his famous kale pesto and whole wheat pasta. Pesto pasta is always a good idea (see above), and this kale version is as nutritious as it is tasty.
Hero Ingredient: Hearty and healthy, kale can do no wrong.
Get the recipe for Kale Pesto With Whole Wheat Pasta.
One-Pot Summertime Pasta
Why We Love It: A couldn’t-be-easier, couldn’t-be-tastier meal for when you want some pasta at home without too much heat in the kitchen. Simply toss everything in the pot and enjoy!
Hero Ingredient: Inspired by the viral Martha Stewart recipe, this recipe makes the most of all the warm-weather flavors. But if I had to pick just one key ingredient, it’s those golden-hued corn kernels that put this dish over the top.
Get the recipe for One-Pot Summertime Pasta.
Caramelized Shiitake Mushroom Risotto from Minimalist Baker
Why We Love It: The easiest vegan risotto infused with sautéed shallot and caramelized shiitake mushrooms. Hearty, flavorful, and beyond tasty. Risotto counts as pasta-adjacent, right? It’s just too good a recipe to pass up!
Hero Ingredient: Mushrooms are the seriously underrated ingredient that bring meat-like texture to the best plant-based dishes. Here, the shiitakes get sautéed with the shallots until they’re the prettiest (and tastiest) perfect golden brown delights.
Get the recipe for Caramelized Shiitake Mushroom Risotto.
30-Minute Cashew Alfredo from Minimalist Baker
Why We Love It: A vegan and gluten-free bowl of goodness, you’ll barely believe that this alfredo sauce is made with cashews instead of cream. Plus, it’s the perfect way to use up all that zucchini that’s well on its way to a garden near you. Use as your noodle base or add the zucchini spirals in addition to your favorite pasta.
Hero Ingredient: And the trophy goes to nutritional yeast for helping this sauce reach blow-your-mind levels of cheesiness.
Get the recipe for 30-Minute Cashew Alfredo.
Pasta With Brown Butter, Whole Lemon, and Parmesan from Bon Appétit
Why We Love It: This luxurious dish is deceivingly simple. We love that it makes the most of just a few ingredients you likely already have on hand. And if you’re wary of using the whole lemon, don’t be. The flavor you get from the fruit’s skin, pith, and flesh is unmatched.
Hero Ingredient: A whole lemon is the perfect zesty foil for brown butter and parmesan. YUM.
Get the recipe for Pasta With Brown Butter, Whole Lemon, and Parmesan.
Bucatini With Spicy Tomatoes from EyeSwoon
Why We Love It: Tomatoes, fresh chile, and a bright punch of lemon… need we say more? The strange bucatini shortages (anyone else experiencing them?) might necessitate a pasta substitution, but it’s still a near-perfect dish, regardless.
Hero Ingredient: Nothing beats jammy tomatoes bursting with flavor.
Get the recipe for Bucatini With Spicy Tomatoes.
One-Pot Pasta Primavera With Summer Veggies & Ricotta
Why We Love It: I read the words “one pot” and know immediately that I need to make the dish. This one does the recipe moniker justice. It leans on the super simple method for flavor that’s fresh from Italy. Trust me: It could never disappoint.
Hero Ingredient: Full-fat ricotta takes this classic recipe’s creaminess to new heights.
Get the recipe for One-Pot Pasta Primavera With Summer Veggies & Ricotta.
Cheesy Kale Pasta from What’s Gaby Cooking
Why We Love It: Get your greens on—in the tastiest way possible. You won’t even realize how much kale you’re mainlining with this absolutely delicious and ultra-cheesy pasta. This recipe’s a win on all counts.
Hero Ingredient: The ingredient responsible for all the goodness? While 12 cloves of garlic sounds like a lot, it infuses the kale with a slightly sweet, buttery flavor that can’t be beat.
Get the recipe for Cheesy Kale Pasta.
Summer Spaghetti With Tomatoes, Burrata, & Basil
Why We Love It: Take a trip to Tuscany, and you’ll walk away with plenty of food revelations. The most important lesson? It’s the simplest dishes that are often the best. This one is no exception to the rule. Isn’t it absolutely gorgeous?
Hero Ingredient: Burrata takes the cheesy cake.
Get the recipe for Summer Spaghetti With Tomatoes, Burrata, & Basil.
Tagliatelle With Spicy Tomatoes, Shrimp and Aged Feta from Edible Living
Why We Love It: An unexpected riff on the Greek dish, Shrimp Saganaki. This recipe is family-friendly but feels (and tastes) like a step up from the spaghetti and marinara sauce many kiddos crave on repeat.
Hero Ingredient: San Marzano tomatoes are recommended. Be sure you add them to your next shopping list.
Get the recipe for Tagliatelle With Spicy Tomatoes, Shrimp and Aged Feta.
Mushroom Stroganoff from Evergreen Kitchen
Why We Love It: A lighter, vegetarian spin on stroganoff that’s just as satisfying. You could easily make this one dairy-free and vegan if you wish so that those with dietary restrictions can also enjoy this beautiful pasta recipe.
Hero Ingredient: Egg noodles cook up quickly and, nine times out of ten, always turn out soft and tender.
Get the recipe for Mushroom Stroganoff.
Lemony Pasta Carbonara With Peas & Zucchini
Why We Love It: Twirling a strand of perfectly al dente pasta has the power to send you straight to Italy. Well, that’s exactly what this silky, salty, and delicious dish does for Camille every time she makes it. She created this recipe so that everyone could have a little taste of the goodness.
Hero Ingredient: Frozen peas are the best simple pasta recipes’ secret weapon.
Get the recipe for Lemony Pasta Carbonara With Peas & Zucchini.
10-Ingredient Creamy Vegan Pantry Pasta from Rainbow Plant Life
Why We Love It: A crowd-pleaser for vegans and omnivores alike. This one calls for nothing more than a few pantry ingredients. Whip this up on a Wednesday, Saturday, or any night of the week—it’s that good (and easy).
Hero Ingredient: I love soy sauce’s salty punch.
Get the recipe for 10-Ingredient Creamy Vegan Pantry Pasta.
Spaghetti With Garlicky Shrimp, Asparagus, & Tomatoes
Why We Love It: “Garlicky shrimp” is my official favorite pairing of words. I often find that when pasta recipes include shrimp, the petite protein-packed shellfish lacks serious flavor. Here, four cloves of garlic does the trick and sends major punch all throughout this dish.
Hero Ingredient: I love the basil’s minty spring notes.
Get the recipe for Spaghetti With Garlicky Shrimp, Asparagus, & Tomatoes.
Simple Carbonara from Bon Appétit
Why We Love It: Carbonara is having a moment, and as Bon Appétit puts it, “It’s the no-food-in-the-house dinner of our dreams.” Once you get over your fear of making scrambled eggs, it comes together quickly, easily, and is one of the most delicious pasta recipes around.
Hero Ingredient: Leave it to the humble egg to create a richly-colored, high-addictive dish. I’ll give the pork second place. It adds a nice hearty touch to round out this reimagined version of the classic recipe.
Get the recipe for Simple Carbonara.
Simplest Zucchini Parmesan Pasta from Half-Baked Harvest
Why We Love It: I love a simple pasta that makes the most of in-season summer produce. Half-Baked Harvest has never failed to develop a recipe that doesn’t make us drool, and this showstopper is no exception. With a rainbow of veggies packed into every bowl, you’ll be satisfied without feeling weighed down.
Hero Ingredient: Finally, the perfect solution for the surplus of zucchini that crops up in my garden every summer. The veggie gets caramelized and turned into a silky sauce that stands in for cream. Genius!
Get the recipe for Simplest Zucchini Parmesan Pasta.
10-Ingredient Lentil Bolognese from Rainbow Plant Life
Why We Love It: Just one peek at the ingredients list and this recipe will seem far too good to be true. A bolognese that’s simple, gluten-free and vegan? Consider us floored. While bolognese is my favorite, go-to comfort food, it’s rare that I find myself with three hours to let the sauce simmer. This recipe takes only ten minutes to prep and less than an hour to go from pot to table.
Hero Ingredient: Who knew walnuts could create such a meaty taste and texture?
Get the recipe for 10-Ingredient Lentil Bolognese.
Garlic Butter Mushroom and Goat Cheese Fettuccine from Half-Baked Harvest
Why We Love It: Garlic, fresh herbs, mushrooms, and goat cheese…date night, sorted. This sumptuous dish looks decadent but it’s super easy to make, which is why it’s one of our favorite simple pasta recipes.
Hero Ingredient: Cheesy, creamy goodness—and it’s all thanks to the wonderfully tangy goat cheese.
Get the recipe for Garlic Butter Mushroom and Goat Cheese Fettuccine.
Pasta With Sausage and Arugula from Bon Appétit
Why We Love It: That presentation alone is drop-dead stunning. But take a second (or a bite) to get past the visuals of this dish, and you’ll discover a recipe that’s full of complex flavor. Gemelli is my go-to little chewy pasta shape. Tossed with satisfying sausage and bitter arugula, this will become a regular in your weeknight rotation.
Hero Ingredient: Arugula is hands down my favorite green. It’s spicy, bitter, and perfect served cold in a salad or warm like in this pasta that’s tasty all year round.
Get the recipe for Pasta With Sausage and Arugula.
This post was originally published on June 4, 2020, and has since been updated.
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