30+ Simple Pasta Dishes Everyone Will Love

spaghetti carbonara is a classic pasta recipe Bruna Branco via Unsplash

The whole family will love the one-pot pasta recipe and the slow cooker lasagna

As the age-old saying goes: kids cannot live on buttered noodles alone. Well, not if you can help it. That’s why we’ve combed through oodles of pasta recipes so you can keep your carb-loving crowd happy and mix up your dinner routine. Get the water boiling, and check out 50+ recipes that put a new twist on classic pasta. If you’re looking for something a little cozier, be sure to bookmark some of our favorite slow cooker recipes or sheet pan dinners.

Slow Cooker 12-Layer Lasagna

slow cooker lasagna is an easy pasta recipe

Catherine McCord of Weelicious is a wealth of information when it comes to kid-friendly recipes. Her slow cooker 12-layer lasagna exemplifies her ability to come up with tasty dishes that will please the picky palate and the busy mom. This pasta recipe is a must-make for any parent pressed on time and with hungry stomachs lying in wait. 


Thai Chicken Pasta Salad

Thai chicken pasta salad recipe
I Wash You Dry

This pasta salad from I Wash You Dry calls for ramen noodles and rotisserie chicken—extra easy!—and sports crisp veggies and a flavorful sauce. 

Broccoli Sausage Pasta Salad

Broccoli sausage pasta recipe
Boulder Locavore

Bring on the broccoli with this dish from Boulder Locavore! Not only is it a great way to eat your green veggies, but it also skips the usual pasta salad mayo for a zesty dressing.  

Butternut Squash & Bacon Pasta

Dinner at the Zoo

The secret to this pasta from Dinner at the Zoo? Creamy butternut squash sauce and a smattering of bacon. It’s a hearty dish that your family will go gaga over. 


One Pot Tomato Chicken Pasta

Sweet Potato Chronicles

The phrase “one pot meal” is music to our ears, and this delish dish is no exception. With cheese, chicken, and mushrooms, we’re pretty sure this one will be an instant hit in your house. To grab the recipe, click here.

Sesame Soy Noodle Bowl

Life Made Simple

Mix it up on pasta night with a bowl of sesame soy noodles. Not only can this dish be made in a snap, but it also only calls for a few simple (but tasty) ingredients and can be served hot or cold. Plus, you’ll love the leftovers. For the recipe, head on over to Life Made Simple.

Marinara Soup

The Seasoned Mom

Did you know that a jar of marinara sauce can turn into a comforting bowl of vegetarian soup in about 20 minutes? It’s better than any magic trick and the best way to turn a chilly weeknight into a warm and toasty good time. Even better: You probably have all the ingredients right now. Get the recipe from The Seasoned Mom.

Related: 13 Instant Pot Freezer Meals For Busy Nights

Spaghetti and Meatball Soup

Damn Delicious

The genius of this idea from Damn Delicious is that it takes your favorite pasta dish and turns it into an irresistible creamy soup. All it takes is 20 minutes to make, and you can always use store-bought meatballs. 

Chicken Manicotti

Daniel Herron via Unsplash

Talk about a quick weeknight solution! You can prep this chicken manicotti in 10 minutes, and then help the kids for the hour it takes to cook in the oven. #parentingwin!

Cheesy Hamburger Pasta Skillet

Boulder Locavore

This one’s a winner! Courtesy of Boulder Locavore, this recipe only takes 25 minutes and one pot to make. Plus, it’s like a cheeseburger in pasta form and guaranteed to be a kid hit. 


Broccoli Pasta Bake

A Taste of Madness

Say cheese! Not only does this pasta bake from A Taste of Madness sneak some green stuff into your kiddo’s diet, but it also uses ingredients you probably have on hand.

Salmon with Creamy Lemon Spaghetti

Kitchen Sanctuary

Love lemon and salmon? Kitchen Sanctuary combines those divine flavors into a quick and easy meal! Tangy and refreshing, it even includes some sugar snap peas for an added health kick.


Ham and Cheese Pasta Rollup Gratin

The View from Great Island

Get your hands on fresh pasta sheets (you can usually find them in the refrigerator section of your grocery store) and whip up these creative pasta rollups from The View from Great Island. Add your favorite deli meat and top everything off with a cheesy gratin! 


Japanese Vegetable Noodle Soup

The Scramble

This warm-you-up soup, courtesy of The Six O'Clock Scramble, is just the thing for ramen-loving youngsters. Your little chef can even help squeeze lime juice into the broth. 


One Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta

Honey and Birch

Give your pasta a buffalo twist with a little help from Honey and Birch. This dish sports tangy buffalo sauce and can easily be customized to suit your family’s tastes. 

Related: 18 Easy One-Pot Dinners Perfect for Busy Weeknights

Creamy Parmesan Orzo

orzo pasta recipes are good for families
Life Made Simple

You’d better bookmark this recipe from Life Made Simple because we guarantee it’s the orzo of your dreams. Creamy, garlic-y, and made in 30 minutes, it’s gonna be your new go-to pasta. 


Spaghetti Carbonara

This revamped spaghetti carbonara is the ultimate creamy comfort food. You can omit the wine for your littlest eaters or even add extra cheese for an extra yummy meal. Get the recipe here.

One-Pot Black Bean Enchilada Pasta

Savory Nothings

Pressed for time? This recipe from Savory Nothings only requires a little bit of time and one pot—but the results are oh-so-tasty. It’s the perfect way to spice up Taco Tuesday! 


Hawaiian Pasta Salad

This delicious pasta salad pairs perfectly with burgers and barbecue food, but we’re pretty sure kids will be glad to gobble it up with any main. To grab the full recipe, click here.

Baked Penne Pasta

Creme de la Crumb

Warm up with this delish recipe for baked pasta. A base of Alfredo sauce is the perfect blank canvas for chicken, veggies, and whatever other mix-ins your fam likes. Click here for the full recipe.

Pasta with Cream and Ham

this pasta recipe is a huge hit with kids
Travel for Taste

Instead of plain buttered pasta, go for this super simple recipe that comes together in just 20 minutes. Find out how it’s done by clicking here.

Chicken & Veggie Pasta Casserole

Jo Cooks

Use red peppers, zucchini, and chicken in this yummy casserole that’s perfect for a busy week. It makes enough for leftovers, too! Click here to grab the recipe.

Fresh Tomato Basil Pasta

tomato basil pasta recipe

Whip up this guaranteed crowd-pleaser using fresh tomatoes and basil, and add zucchini, chicken, or anything else you’ve got in the fridge to round out the meal. Click here for the full recipe.

Pasta with Peas and Bacon

pasta recipe for peas and bacon

Go back to basics with a tried-and-true, kid-approved recipe. For those nights when the tots are fussing, and the clock is ticking, you can’t go wrong with this 30-minute meal. To see the full recipe, click here.

Baked Cheesy Winter Squash Pasta

Five and Spice

Take advantage of in-season squash to warm up with this amazing dish. The cheesy crust makes it an instant kid fave. To grab the recipe, click here.

Related: Soup, Stew & Chili Recipes to Warm You Up This Winter

Pasta Jambalaya

jambalaya pasta is a good pasta recipe for familiess

This yummy take on the classic jambalaya packs an extra punch of healthiness with the addition of veggie puree. Even picky kiddos will love noshing on the yummy sausage and shrimp. Click here to get the recipe.

Pasta al Pastore

This comforting dish comes together in a flash using just five ingredients. Flavorful Italian sausage and ricotta cheese are the stars of the show. Get the full recipe by clicking here.

Pasta Carbonara

spaghetti carbonara is a classic pasta recipe
Bruna Branco via Unsplash

Bacon, eggs, and parmesan cheese—what more could you need? Keep things simple with a delicious bowl of pasta carbonara. Find out how it’s done by clicking here.

Pesto Chicken Pasta


Our kiddos go crazy for pesto, and this yummy recipe is a weeknight savior—the addition of chicken breast makes it a filling but quick meal. To find out how it’s done, click here.

Skillet Lasagna

Our Family Eats

Have you ever read the list of ingredients on one of those “helper” boxes? We can honestly say that we don’t know what half of those words mean. That’s not the case here. This skillet lasagna, which comes to us from Our Family Eats, is full of wholesome, nutritious ingredients that come together to create a creamy, comforting plate of deliciousness. 

Baked Ravioli

baked ravioli is a great pasta recipe for families

Give your ravioli a flavor boost with a heaping of yummy meat sauce. After making the ravioli and pasta sauce like you normally would, stick everything in the oven in a baking dish. The outcome is a tasty twist on your traditional ravioli dish. Get the recipe here.

Related: 50+ Slow Cooker Recipes We’re Obsessed With

Chicken Pizza Pasta Bake

photo credit: Abbe's Cooking Antics
Abbe's Cooking Antics

It can be tough to convince kids to eat anything beyond their beloved pizza or pasta. Combine these two popular meals and add healthy chicken to create a tasty, simple single-dish meal like this one. Get the recipe here. 

Nut-Free Basil Pesto Pasta

nut-free basil pesto pasta salad recipe
The 52 New Foods Challenge

If your kids have nut allergies, or their school is a nut-free zone, then this easy basil pesto pasta dish is just what lunchtime ordered. This pasta recipe is easy to whip up and features sunflower seeds instead of the standard pine nuts. Get the recipe here.

Baked Ziti

baked ziti is a popular pasta recipe
Sisters' Gourmet

If your kids love Italian food as much as ours do, then this baked ziti pasta recipe is sure to be a hit. Think of it like a lasagna, but with more cheese and more creamy goodness. This is a great dish to make in advance and bake when needed. Get the recipe here.

Pasta Primavera

pasta primavera is a classic pasta recipe

Sometimes nothing hits the spot more than a no-frills vegetable pasta dish. We like that the veggies can always be switched out for whatever you have on hand. Served hot or cold, this pasta recipe is delicious either way. Get the recipe here. 


One Pot Wonder: Tomato Basil Pasta

the best one-pot pasta recipe
Apron Strings

It’s no wonder this one-pot pasta recipe won us over. Who wouldn’t want an awesome pasta dish that only gets one pot dirty? Bonus: It's got kid-friendly ingredients and isn't too fancy. Get the details here. 


Mac and Cheese


You'll never go back to boxed mac and cheese again, thanks to this recipe from The Culinary Dude. This recipe features three kinds of cheese and after one bite of this dish, you'll be hooked. Get the recipe here.


Baked Penne Pasta with Roasted Chicken & Tomatoes

Jenny Steffens Hobick

Baked pasta can be a welcome change from your normal go-to boiled bowl of goodness. This pasta recipe still asks for your usual cheese but also mixes in roasted chicken and tomatoes for a dish that’s easy to make and great any time of the year. Get the recipe here. 

Quick & Easy Pasta Salad

Veggies Don't Bite

A quick and easy veggie pasta salad that is perfect for a BBQ side dish or a light and refreshing main meal. It may be gluten-free, but it tastes great even the next day!


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