Pasta Recipes That Are Dangerously Delicious

If you're craving carbs, red or white pasta sauce and chicken, shrimp or meatballs, look no further than this mashup of fantastic pasta dishes created by the Mashed team of amazing recipe developers. Some can be whipped up in a matter of minutes and on a budget while others cook deliciously for hours in the slow cooker. Some of these dishes are terrific for summertime picnics and others sound tantalizingly terrific for a crisp and cool fall or winter weekend.

These pasta dishes also use a variety of noodle shapes and sizes, mixing it up for mealtime. Your best bet is to plan on fixing one of these each week and experiment with what your taste buds prefer. The versatility of these delightful pasta dishes also means they can be fixed for an intimate dinner or a larger gathering alike. Grab your apron and let's get cooking!

Perfect pasta puttanesca

With ripe red grape tomatoes, tangy kalamata olives, flavorful anchovies and crisp capers, this olive oil-based Puttanesca will be a permanent addition on your kitchen menu. The spicy and easy-to-fix dish is brimming with flavor and will fill you up in no time at all. Red chili flakes and black pepper also give it quite the kick. It's also fantastic warmed up as leftovers, as the noodles have more time to soak up the myriad flavors.

It can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days, according to the recipe developer and nutritionist, Kristen Carli. The puttanesca may need a drizzle of olive oil to freshen it up, but it tastes wonderful dished up cold.

Satisfying shrimp alfredo

Set aside the classic fettuccine alfredo recipe you've been using for years and instead perk it up with this twist on the traditional alfredo dish. With the addition of fresh shrimp and crunchy broccoli, you won't believe how amazing this Shrimp Alfredo recipe tastes. While most fettuccine alfredo recipes call for heavy cream, this recipe uses whole milk to maintain the creamy consistency while cutting down on calories and fat. Black peppercorns, Parmesan cheese and minced garlic give this shrimp alfredo dish a complex flavor that will have you returning for seconds. You could swap out the shrimp for chicken if you'd rather, but if you love seafood, this recipe should be next on your list of dishes to try.

Super easy one-pot spaghetti

Instead of using a pot for the noodles, a pot for the sauce and a strainer to boot, try the technique used in this One-Pot Spaghetti recipe. It's super easy, affordable, and perfect for busy nights after work. With just five minutes to prep and 15 minutes to cook, you'll have dinner on the table in no time at all. This particular spaghetti recipe doesn't use red sauce, but instead a chicken broth base blended with delicious dried basil, tomatoes, an onion, minced garlic, a hint of salt and pepper, plus the zest of a lemon along with lemon juice. After dusting with Parmesan cheese, you might devour this delicous dish in less time than it took to prepare it.

Amazing manicotti

A versatile and delicious pasta dish, the manicotti in this recipe can be stuffed with gooey cheese, flavorful herbs and spicy Italian sausage in any combination you choose. The dish calls for such ingredients as garlic powder, nutmeg, chopped fresh spinach, Parmesan cheese, shredded mozzarella, ricotta and pasta sauce. But feel free to swap out the spinach for chopped broccoli and select a pasta sauce brimming with veggies or herbs. You can also boost the protein content by infusing it with shredded chicken, Italian sausage or ground beef. Even better is that this dish can be prepared during the weekend and then popped into the freezer to be baked on a busy weeknight.

Hearty pasta carbonara

It might be one of the most popular pasta dishes at most Italian restaurants, but this pasta carbonara recipe requires only a few ingredients at home to whip up. This particular dish utilizes Italian cooking techniques and is ready to serve in less than 30 minutes to boot. It doesn't use heavy cream but instead mixes eggs and Parmesan with the pasta water to create the lightly hearty sauce. While spaghetti noodles are traditionally used for carbonara, other long noodles can be swapped out in a pinch. With crispy fried bacon, hearty Parmesan cheese and pungent garlic blended in, it's no wonder why this dish is so wildly popular.

5-Ingredient shrimp scampi

In just 15 minutes in the kitchen, you can have an amazing pan of Shrimp Scampi ready to serve over warm over tender spaghetti or angel hair pasta for a quick dinner. All you will need is 12 ounces of shrimp, butter, four garlic cloves, a hint of white wine and a tablespoon of fresh parsley. You can also grab a lemon to slice up into wedges if you prefer drizzling lemon juice over the top of your shrimp scampi. Take it up a notch by sprinkling red pepper flakes to the dish before ladling it over pasta and digging right in.

Fantastic fettuccini alfredo

It takes just eight ingredients — many of which you probably already have on hand — to whip up a batch of fettuccini alfredo so amazing your mouth will water. This creamy dish is perfect on its own as a full meal, but you can of course add chunks of chicken to dress it up while adding a bit of protein. It takes only 10 minutes to make this alfredo, but it tastes as if you've been in the kitchen all day toiling over the stove, thanks to its heartiness and flavor. All it takes is fettuccine noodle, salted butter, heavy cream, nutmeg, pepper, Parmesan cheese, an egg and, as an optional flavor, red wine vinegar. Heavy cream gives the alfredo its richness, but you could swap it out for oat milk or a thicker non-dairy alternative for a vegan version, recipe developer Maren Epstein advises. No matter your version, this dish will surely impress others.

5-Ingredient meatball pasta bake

There's just something about a pasta bake that really brings out the flavors of the dish. Even better is that this meatball pasta bake recipe requires a mere five ingredients, making prep time a breeze — and it can be modified for vegans. You'll simply need pasta noodles of your choice, a red sauce, meatballs, mozzarella cheese and milk. 

Of course, you can adapt this highly versatile dish to meet your preferences: Feel free to infuse veggies into the bake by using a red sauce with chopped up bits of onion, diced tomatoes and other ingredients in it or finely chop some spinach to add in yourself. You also can modify this meal by using meatballs and cheese, if you prefer the vegan version. No matter how you prepare this dish, it will be a hearty treat.

Easy yummy tortellini

Not only is this dish quick and easy to fix, it requires only one pan, making for an easy cleanup after enjoying a hearty dinner classic. This tortellini recipe creates the perfect cross between a filling pasta and a hearty stew. To gather your ingredients, just grab ground Italian sausage (or vegetarian sausage) and frozen tortellini, then grab the minced garlic, chicken broth, a can of crushed tomatoes, heavy whipping cream, frozen spinach and shredded Parmesan cheese. 

Like other pasta recipes, this tortellini can be modified to leave out the spinach and substitute broccoli florets, for example, and you can also use ground Italian turkey or a vegan substitute. While the recipe does call for a Dutch oven, simply use a large pot and throw yourself into making this delectable dish, with ample leftovers for lunch the next day. This tortellini bursts with so much flavor and you won't regret one second of the time spent in the kitchen fixing it. 

Veggie-filled pasta primavera

This recipe for pasta primavera is brimming with healthy veggies, and you can truly customize it to fit your palate and dietary requirements. This particular Mashed recipe calls for asparagus, yellow squash, zucchini and grape tomatoes that are bound together with a red wine vinegar sauce and olive oil base. 

On top of picking your veggies, you can even boost the health impact of this primavera by swapping out your wheat noodles for bean or veggie pastas. Even sweeter than the healthy angle of this yummy recipe is the fact that it takes just 15 minutes to prepare and only 15 minutes to cook, making it perfect for a quick at-home lunch or after-work dinner.

Bountiful baked ziti

If you're looking for a pasta dish that produces a big bounty of deliciousness, look no further than this baked ziti recipe that can be modified depending on the time available. The basis of this baked ziti recipe is the marina sauce: You can whip up a roasted garlic marinara that takes just 15 minutes or opt for the day-long process of a slow-simmer sauce, or even more efficiently, buy a quality red sauce at the store. 

Tubular pasta is idea for this dish, which allows the flavors to flow over, under and through the noodle. Of course, penne or rigatoni will work, too, Sher Castellano, the recipe developer, advises. Ricotta cheese provides the hearty base for the baked ziti, which is blended with an egg, salt, pepper, parsley and Parmesan cheese. When all of these flavors come together for this casserole-type dish, your taste buds will thank you.

Appetizing antipasto salad

This may not be the traditional pasta dish you envision, but it's still a noteworthy antipasto salad recipe to try. If you prefer your antipasto salad to have a bit more kick, throw in some spicy jalapenos. Need some protein? Toss in some chopped chicken and spinach. Before you modify it, though, you'll need a half pound of dry rotini or similar short, thick pasta, and then, you'll want to add sharp provolone or asiago cheese, some diced banana pepper rings, a red onion, black olives, cherry tomatoes and artichokes. With an olive oil and red wine vinegar base, fresh parsley, Dijon mustard, garlic powder and dried oregano add an extra flavorful punch. When blended together, this antipasto salad not only presents as a colorful dish, but it's bursting with flavor. It's the kind of pasta dish where you look forward to having leftovers for lunch the next day.

Super easy slow cooker mac and cheese

Whether you leave the slow cooker on while you're at work or all day during a weekend project, you can't go wrong with this slow cooker mac and cheese that simply sits in the slow cooker and cooks without needing much help from you. The recipe calls for three cheeses, macaroni noodles, evaporated and whole milk, butter, garlic powder, ground paprika, black pepper, salt and ground mustard. It only requires periodic stirring while nestled in the slow cooker, but believe us, the wait will be worth it in the end. This extra cheesy recipe will be one of the best meals you make and likely a huge hit with kiddos, too.

Scrumptious cacio de pepe

This 15-minutes dish can be a bit complex, but when you sit down to enjoy this cacio e pepe, you won't regret the extra effort — especially considering the quickness with which you'll have dinner. 

You'll start off by hand grating Pecorino Romano cheese and then boiling the pasta noodles before making the sauce. The sauce for cacio e pepe is quite easy, requiring only pasta water, cheese, black pepper and butter. Once the sauce is ready and magnifico, you add in the pasta to the sauce and grate a bit more cheese on top. For a pasta dish without traditional red sauce, this is incredibly tasty while being a efreshing change of pace.

Luscious 5-ingredient lasagna

Some people balk at baking a hearty pan of lasagna, believing it's just too time consuming. But this 5-Ingredient lasagna takes hardly any time at all. The comfort food recipe calls for layers upon layers of a rich red sauce, creamy cheese, spinach, cheese-filled ravioli instead of flat traditional lasagna noodles and ground beef, although ground turkey can be used instead. Brown the meat or leave it out altogether, and then start layering your lasagna before baking for 30 to 45 minutes and in just the time it takes to tidy up and set the table, the oven will buzz and this delicious dish will be ready to dive into.

Succulent spaghetti and meatballs

Who can forget the iconic moment in Disney's Lady and the Tramp, when an adorable eight-legged couple dine on a romantic meal of spaghetti and meatballs. While this comfort food may seem a bit messy to eat on a date, this spaghetti and meatballs recipe is a cinch to make — minus the mess, as it's all prepared and baked in a single casserole dish. 

Our version of spaghetti and meatballs takes just 45 minutes from counter to kitchen table, even after making meatballs from scratch that utilizes two types of meat. Of course, if you're short on time, you can just buy premade meatballs at the store. And once the pasta is cooked and the meatballs are ready, all you have to do is combine them and bake and that's it! Movie magic can be had in your own kitchen after all.

Gratifying grilled vegetable pasta salad

For lighter pasta fare — especially if you're trying to up your veggie intake — try this pleasantly gratifying and satisfying grilled vegetable pasta salad. All you'll have to do is boil one box of penne pasta and grill a variety of vegetables you love, such as asparagus, red bell peppers, summer squash, zucchini, onion and cherry tomatoes. 

Once your veggies are diced and sliced, season them with a drizzle of olive oil and some garlic salt, oregano and cumin. Use a grill-safe basket and cook the seasoned vegetables until they're tender. After merging the boiled pasta and grilled veggies, add in more olive oil, along with balsamic vinegar, more garlic salt, oregano and cumin along with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. This refreshing and healthy dish will taste fantastic on its own or as a side.

Creative copycat Panera mac and cheese

If you're a fan of Panera's rich and creamy mac and cheese, look no further than this delightful copycat Panera mac and cheese recipe. While some copycat recipes fall short, this replica one is right on the mark with its white cheddar and buttery roux.  

Unlike your typical mac and cheese, this copycat recipe calls for pasta noodles, and it also requires high quality cheddar cheese like Cabot Vermont. (What you don't want to do is use shredded cheese!). 

If you want to experiment a bit, feel free to add in bacon, broccoli and other mix-ins to your linking. You'll be amazed at how fantastic, and customizable at that, this copycat recipe turns out to be.

Wonderful one-pot pizza rigatoni

Pizza fans rejoice! Here's a super easy one-pot pizza rigatoni dish that's easy to make and tastes like takeout. In just 30 minutes, this dish will be on the table and ready to enjoy — with no need to wait for delivery. 

Just like with homemade pizza, the recipe is flexible, so you can customize it for whoever will be at the table. Red onions, pepperonis, red bell peppers, Italian sausage, mushrooms — the topping possibilities are endless. Be sure to have on hand plenty of shredded mozzarella cheese, a rich red sauce and delicious seasonings for a kick. The best part? As this rigatoni only requires one pot, clean up will also be easier than the one during your average pizza night.

Super spaghetti squash lasagna casserole

If you love pasta with all of its carbs but your waistline doesn't, look no further than this spaghetti squash lasagna casserole recipe. To start, grab two hearty spaghetti squash, ground turkey, onion, garlic, marinara sauce, dried basil, dried oregano, fennel seeds and bay leaves. You'll also need cottage cheese, an egg, dried parsley and shredded mozzarella. After you bake the spaghetti squash, you'll use a fork and scrape the inside of the squash to make what look like noodles. You'll then layer the cheese mix, the sauce mix, the meat and the spaghetti squash noodles in a baking dish and pop it all in the oven. Trust us, you won't even taste how healthy this recipe is when it's done baking.

One-pot chicken Parm pasta

If you avoid making chicken Parmesan at home because it's a bit tedious and labor intensive, you will quickly fall in love with this easy recipe. This one-pot chicken Parm pasta recipe isn't traditional (and chicken parmesan might not be in general), but it sure is tasty. If you don't want to take the time to bread the chicken, you can substitute store-bought chicken tenders instead.  And if you want to boost the health factor of this dish, add some veggies, like broccoli florets or chopped spinach. Chopped tomatoes and onions would be a great add-in as well. With everything blended altogether in a pot, you won't believe how easy this recipe is!

Creamy butternut squash stuffed shells

For a healthier version of a popular pasta dish, try creamy butternut squash stuffed shells. The light yet creamy butternut squash blended with spinach, ricotta and Parmesan make for a filling that's less heavy. After adding basil, nutmeg, salt, pepper and an egg to the filling ingredients, you'll stuff the shells and then smother them with rich red sauce and cheese. Then, fill a baking dish with the stuffed shells, sauce and cheese, similarly to preparing and cooking layers of lasagna, and then bake. You can even freeze this dish to be cooked later in the week. Either way, this is an exceptional dish with some added health factor.

Veggie lover's one-pot pasta with spinach and tomatoes

Pasta dishes can be quick and easy or elaborate and time consuming, but either way, they usually turn out to be exceptionally tasty. This health-conscious one-pot Pasta with spinach and tomatoes is thankfully easy to whip up on a busy weeknight. It takes just one pot to cook the pasta, and then, you'll add in chicken broth for the base followed by spinach, tomatoes, a couple other ingredients before topping with cheese. The pasta is also perfect for a meatless meal, but you of course can infuse it with chicken for some extra protein. Whether it has meat or not, this dish is light, hearty and fantastic.

Copycat Olive Garden alfredo dish

The king of American Italian restaurant dining, Olive Garden, might or might not be the most authentic, but the chain does have a ton of pasta dishes from which you can choose, with one of the most popular ones being their rich and creamy alfredo, which you now can make at home. All you need for this copycat Olive Garden alfredo dish recipe is butter, garlic, flour, milk, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese and Romano cheese, and your pasta noodles. The secret behind capturing the taste of Olive Garden's signature alfredo sauce is the butter and real garlic, which infuse this sauce with a ton of creamy flavor. Once it's ready, just toss with noodles and dig in!