Unique Pasta Recipes That Will Have Your Mouth Watering

Whether it's a quick weeknight dinner or a full-blown Sunday feast, classic spaghetti and meatballs or rich, creamy fettuccine alfredo, pasta is one versatile food. You need only stroll down the grocery aisle to witness firsthand just how diverse pasta's shape and size offerings are. But we're probably not giving pasta enough credit for its versatility. It can be the star ingredient in a meal, but it can also be added to countless casseroles and other dishes to provide the perfectly chewy, starchy bite.

All this is good news to Italian cuisine aficionados. After all, no matter how much you adore grandma's lasagna, sometimes your taste buds crave some different flavors. If that's the case, you came to the right place. Whether it's an Italian-Mexican fusion dish, pizza in a pan, or a new take on classic macaroni and cheese, these are a few unique pasta recipes that you need to try now.

Chicken fajita pasta

No, you did not read that headline wrong. This chicken fajita pasta recipe melds two unique cuisines into one dish that takes fusion dining to another level. The dish takes the delectable fajita filling — onions, peppers, shredded chicken, and Mexican cheese — and mixes it with a bowlful of al dente penne pasta.

If you think dealing with two cuisines will take twice the effort, think again. The dish can be prepped and cooked in less than 30 minutes. Chicken fajita pasta is certainly hearty enough for a meal as is, but feel free to pair it with sides or even use it as a side itself.

One-pot spinach and feta mac and cheese

Mac and cheese is always a good idea, but if you want to take this treat to the next level, try incorporating more flavors, such as spinach and feta cheese. Spinach may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when thinking of mac and cheese additions, but the vegetable pairs well with the cheese and pasta and adds some much-needed nutrients to the indulgent dish.

Although feta is the headlining cheese in our one-pot spinach and feta mac and cheese recipe, it's actually used as more of a garnish since it doesn't melt well, so it looks nice. To get that gooey cheesiness, the dish also includes shredded Swiss or white cheddar cheese. You can incorporate the feta toward the end of the cooking and then sprinkle it on top right before digging in for a potent pop of cheesy goodness.

One-pot pizza rigatoni

While we believe it's perfectly acceptable to eat pizza every day of your life, sometimes you just want to mix it up a bit. That's where this one-pot pizza rigatoni recipe comes in, which combines two delicious Italian meals into one: a heaping bowl of pasta and a hot, cheesy pepperoni pizza. Furthermore, the recipe is nearly as easy as getting pizza delivered to your doorstep. It takes just 30 minutes to prepare and, as the name implies, there's very little cleanup afterward.

All you need to do in order to bring this dish to life is cook the pasta noodles, marinara sauce, and Italian seasoning in a pot with minced garlic, diced onions, bell peppers, and pepperoni pieces. Top with a generous serving of melted mozzarella cheese, and you're ready to serve. Just like a slice from the local pizza joint, diners can add any other toppings they'd like.


Pasta puttanesca has a colorful history and a flavorful taste. In case you've never tried it before, puttanesca is a pasta dish with olives, capers, tomatoes, and red chili flakes. The ingredients combine to create a perfectly delectable salty and spicy meal. Like most pasta dishes, puttanesca can be prepared in mere minutes, making it the perfect unique twist to put on a typical weeknight pasta dinner.

There are just four easy steps to follow when preparing our pasta puttanesca recipe. Simply cook the olive oil, anchovies, cherry tomatoes, and olives in a Dutch oven. Add penne, capers, red chili flakes, parsley, water, salt, and pepper, then bring to a boil. After just 10 minutes of cook time, you'll be ready to serve!

Chicken casserole

A casserole isn't a traditional pasta dish, but the pasta in this chicken casserole recipe adds a hearty bite to the meal and is a nice starchy complement to the other cheesy, creamy, and savory ingredients. For this casserole, we recommend using either penne or fusilli, which hold up better throughout the cooking process, ensuring the dish doesn't get overly mushy. You'll cook your pasta and chicken on the stovetop separately to start, then bring all the ingredients together in an oven-safe pan. After 20 minutes of baking, take the casserole out and top it off with a layer of breadcrumbs. Another 10 minutes in the oven, and viola! Go ahead and serve it up while it's hot.

One-pot ground beef stroganoff

Beef stroganoff is a Russian dish, so it might not immediately come to mind when you think "pasta." But this fact only makes it a more perfect meal when you're looking for a unique twist on a traditional pasta dinner.

The pasta in this one-pot ground beef stroganoff recipe calls for egg noodles, and one of the beautiful parts of the recipe is that, as the name implies, you don't need to cook the noodles separately. Simply add them to the ground beef mixture, and let them cook in the beef broth. The whole dish can be completed in 35 minutes, and the end result is a hearty, creamy, savory, and all around delicious pasta dinner.