Pasta is one of our favorite weekday and weekend meals alike, because it’s cheap, easy, and versatile (oh, and absolutely delicious). From delicious, cheesy baked goods to light, veggie-based dishes, pasta works well in every situation. Scroll through this post for 20 easy and satisfying pasta recipes that come together in less than 45 minutes.

Caprese Mac and Cheese

Fred Hardy

Mac and cheese can be very rich, but this rendition is on the lighter side thanks to a fresh touch of tomatoes and basil. To complete the caprese trio, there’s also plenty of creamy mozzarella.

Summer vegetable lasagna without bread

Fred Hardy.

There’s no béchamel in this bright vegetable lasagna: just seasoned ricotta and fresh summer vegetables with oregano and garlic.

Instant Pot Risotto with Peas and Crispy Salami

Greg Dupree

The Instant Pot may be the easiest way to make risotto at home, and it gets the job done in just 35 minutes. This recipe has a Spanish flair thanks to the salami and smoked paprika.

Skillet Gnocchi with Sausage and Broccoli

Greg Dupree

Sausage and broccoli are a delicious combination—flavorful and satisfying—and quick-cooking gnocchi are the perfect accompaniment to them.

Tortellini and vegetables in broth

Greg Dupree

This recipe is a lively version of the classic Italian recipe. The zest of lemon and green vegetables lift and brighten a wintery tortellini-filled broth.

Mushroom and burrata orzoto

Greg Dupree

Yes, you can make risotto with orzo, and it takes much less time than classic risotto. Grilled mushrooms, shredded burrata, and chopped parsley bring the wow factor.

Spaghetti noodle salad with avocado and basil dressing

Victor Protasius

Pasta salads aren’t usually made with spaghetti, but there’s no real reason why they shouldn’t be. This version is topped with a delicious avocado and basil sauce that is quickly combined in a blender.

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Leeks

Victor Protasius

Here, a creamy pasta sauce is made with pureed and halved butternut squash. Combined with the pumpkin sauce, shallots and sage give this dish a warm, autumnal flavor.

Easy to toss artichoke pasta

Grace Elkus

Marinated artichokes are the secret to this easy pasta dish, which pairs well with Parmesan walnuts and crushed red pepper.

Pasta with broccoli and roasted pesto

Caitlin Bensel

Instead of throwing away broccoli stems, chop them, roast them, and then mix them into pesto. We love using whole wheat pasta with an earthy pesto sauce, but any type of pasta works.

Whole wheat pasta with chard and pine nuts

Victor Protasius

This recipe reduces food waste by using Swiss chard leaves and stems. Garlic and anchovies add flavor to the dish, while toasted pine nuts are an excellent finishing touch.

Cheese and black pepper

Getty Images

Transport yourself to Italy with classic Roman pasta cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper). Although cacio e pepe tastes great, it actually only requires five ingredients and 25 minutes of your time.

Pasta with chicken and mushrooms in cream

Caitlin Bensel

Sherry vinegar and fresh tarragon balance the richness of the creamy chicken and mushroom pasta.

Linguine with cherry tomato sauce

Greg Dupree

This simple cherry tomato sauce starts with served pancetta, giving it a deep, meaty flavour.

Lemon pasta with sardines and bread crumbs

Greg Dupree

Canned fish lovers will love this elegant pasta recipe, which uses a can of sardines packed in olive oil with plenty of herbs and breadcrumbs. Sardines love lemons, so this recipe includes lemon juice and zest.

Swiss Chard Mac and Cheese

Caitlin Bensel

This creamy macaroni and cheese has a generous amount of Swiss chard sautéed in butter for color and nutritional value.

Quick Linguine and Clam Sauce

Greg Dupree

Linguine with clams may seem complicated, but it couldn’t be easier thanks to canned clams and clam juice, which deliver salty flavor without any of the fuss.

Spring pasta salad

Caitlin Bensel

On a spring day, this colorful pasta salad is just the thing to make. The vinaigrette includes shallots and Dijon mustard, and the pasta is studded with crunchy peas and radishes.

Pasta with bacon and caramelized cauliflower

Greg Dupree

There are not many ingredients in this recipe, but each one has its effect. Cook the cauliflower in the fat left over from cooking the bacon to deepen its flavor, then toss everything at the end with butter, pecorino Romano, and reserved pasta water to make a silky sauce.

Spicy shrimp with angel hair pasta

Anna Williams

Thin, quick-cooking angel hair pasta pairs well with tender shrimp and garlic for an elegant dinner that’s ready in no time.

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