16 Easy Pasta Recipes You'll Have on the Table in Just 20 Minutes

Ham and Pea Tortellini
Photo: Blaine Moats

Making dinner doesn't have to take all night. These quick and easy pasta recipes can be on your table in 20 minutes—or less—so browse these classics, like aglio e olio, juicy shrimp scampi, and fettuccine Alfredo. We have an easy pasta recipe for everyone.

01 of 16

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi
Blaine Moats

Garlic, parsley, and lemon coat each bite of shrimp and fettuccine with fresh flavors, while a half-and-half mix of butter and olive oil brings everything together. One bite will have you asking, "Wait, this was made in 20 minutes?"

02 of 16

Mushroom and Beef Ravioli Soup

Mushroom and Beef Ravioli Soup
Andy Lyons

Who says your bowl of pasta needs a fork? Start with frozen beef ravioli and you can have a speedy soup ready to be spooned up. Fresh thyme and mini red peppers freshen up each comforting bowl.

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03 of 16

Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach

Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach
Andy Lyons

This simple pasta recipe is full of fresh spinach and tender mushrooms. Toss in last night's leftover chicken or steak and you'll transform this bowtie side dish into an entrée.

04 of 16

One-Pot Ham and Greens Pasta

One-Pot Ham and Greens Pasta
Andy Lyons

This recipe will save you time both before and after dinner—the meal is ready in just 20 minutes, and there's only one pot to clean. To make this recipe your own, customize it with your favorite leafy greens and cheese (we love Asiago or Parmesan).

05 of 16

Pesto Penne with Deli-Roasted Chicken

Pesto Penne Deli-Roasted Chicken
Blaine Moats

This fast and easy pasta dish is loaded with fresh broccoli and roasted red peppers. Using deli-roasted chicken as the protein also cuts down on the preparation time.

Test Kitchen Tip: Don't forget to save a bit of the pasta water before draining. The starchy water will help the pesto stick to the pasta.

06 of 16

Ham and Pea Tortellini

Ham and Pea Tortellini
Blaine Moats

Here's a seven-ingredient supper you can't beat. Using refrigerated cheese tortellini and pre-cooked ham means the recipe only requires 10 minutes of hands-on time. To make it a balanced meal, we added a few handfuls of fresh arugula and peas—and don't forget to top it with extra Parmesan.

07 of 16

Aglio e Olio

Aglio e olio in white bowl
Blaine Moats

Sure, this bowl of noodles looks simple, but watch out—it's hot. The garlicky, cheesy pasta has a healthy dose of red pepper flakes, giving it an unexpected burst of flavor. Of course, you can cut down on the amount of pepper, or serve extra for those who love the heat.

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08 of 16

Copycat Pesto Cavatappi

Copycat Pesto Cavatappi
Culinary Hill

This delicious and easy copycat cavatappi recipe is even faster than takeout. You'll need only 15 minutes to whip up a batch of this pasta with pesto. To please heartier appetites, add quick-cooking chicken breast or shrimp.

09 of 16

Gnocchi, Sweet Corn, and Arugula in Cream Sauce

Gnocchi, Sweet Corn, and Arugula in Cream Sauce
Andy Lyons

Gnocchi, a mash-up of mashed potatoes and pasta, is the perfect quick recipe for an easy weeknight dinner, since you can stock it in your pantry. Trust us, use this recipe and you'll always want to have a box of dried gnocchi on hand. Boil the pasta, add cream cheese, stir in some fresh sweet corn, and finish it with arugula for a bright and delicious meal.

Buy It: DeLallo Potato Gnocchi ($3.50, Target)

10 of 16

Sesame Chicken and Noodles

Sesame Chicken Noodles
Andy Lyons

Soy sauce, fresh ginger, and garlic-chili sauce create this simple pasta recipe's signature flavors. Refrigerated grilled chicken breast reduces the time needed to prepare this recipe. If you don't have udon noodles, whole-wheat spaghetti works perfectly, and it adds some extra whole-grains to your meal.

11 of 16

Lemon-Caper Tuna and Noodles with Alfredo

Lemon Caper Tuna and Noodles with Alfredo
Karla Conrad

Five ingredients. Twenty minutes. We've found the ultimate easy pasta dinner—it's a speedy, skinnier take on fettuccine Alfredo that offers 41 grams of filling protein via canned tuna.

12 of 16

Fettuccine Alfredo with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Veggies

Fettuccine Alfredo with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Veggies
Blaine Moats

Fettuccine Alfredo in just 15 minutes? Believe it—this fast pasta is loaded with asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and fresh mushrooms, and it's ready in a snap. It's a vegetarian pasta recipe so rich and delicious, even meat-eaters will love it.

13 of 16

Chicken and Pasta in Peanut Sauce

Chicken Pasta Peanut Sauce
Andy Lyons

Broccolini and red bell peppers add freshness, chicken breasts crank up the protein, and bottled peanut sauce infuses each bite of this quick pasta dish with a pleasant nutty quality. Bonus: This is a one-pot dinner recipe, so cleanup will be minimal.

14 of 16

Smoky Mushroom Stroganoff

Smoky Mushroom Stroganoff
Andy Lyons

If you're trying to go more plant-based with your protein options, look no further than this fast pasta recipe. A creamy mushroom sauce gives this easy dinner a meaty, umami flavor, but minus the meat. Quick, comforting, and delicious, the whole family will rave over this meal.

15 of 16

Chicken with Parmesan Noodles

Chicken Parmesan Noodles
Blaine Moats

No one is going to believe a dinner that looks this fancy only took 20 minutes to prepare. A dash of pesto adds a burst of flavor to this quick chicken and pasta recipe. Add carrots for a serving of vegetables and a pop of color.

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Fast Chicken Fettuccine

Fast Chicken Fettuccine
Blaine Moats

You need just five ingredients to create this veggie-filled dinner masterpiece. For a restaurant-style finish, top it with a sprinkle of freshly shredded cheese and a bit of cracked black pepper.

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