Food & Drink

27 Easy Pasta Recipes That Don't Use Sauce From A Jar, Because You Deserve Better

There's a time and a place for jarred tomato sauce. This is not it.
03/20/2018 05:45am ET
How Sweet Eats Completely Delicious Half Baked Harvest

You want to make dinner with your eyes closed and both hands tied behind your back, right? It’s just a guess, based on the internet’s mass hysteria over sheet pan dinner recipes and 3-ingredient weeknight wonders.

There’s only one problem with recipes prepared by blindfolded, shackled cooks: They usually taste like they were prepared by blindfolded, shackled cooks. Recipes that are too easy can tend to be a bit of a letdown in the flavor department.

Take pasta, for instance. In the desperation of a busy weeknight, you’ve probably popped open a jar of red sauce and dumped it on some freshly boiled dried pasta. If you were feeling extra energetic, you might’ve sprinkled on some of that powdered “Parmesan” cheese stuff that’s not actually Parmesan, but smells like feet. It’s good enough, but you’re worth more.

We’re going to offer a compromise. We’ve picked 27 of our favorite pasta recipes that are low-maintenance but actually use real ingredients and lots of vegetables, meaning they taste like something you’ll look forward to eating. They all start off with dried pasta, which many chefs argue is better than fresh, but not a single one of these recipes call for a jar of sauce. Get that stuff out of here.

We’ve taken it easy on you and avoided any recipes that call for pesto, because no one wants to get out their food processor at night. There ARE are couple of recipes that require a sauce that can be made a day in advance, because they were just too delicious to leave off the list. And if you’re not in the mood for hot pasta, we’ve also got some pasta salad recipes for you too. They’re perfect for packing up for lunch the next day.

Get that water boiling (make sure you add plenty of salt, of course) and start cooking.

1
Spring Mafalda Pasta with Blistered Tomatoes and Eggs
How Sweet Eats
2
Lemony Spinach and Artichoke Brie Penne Pasta
Half Baked Harvest
Get the Lemon Spinach and Artichoke Brie Penne Pasta recipe from Half Baked Harvest
3
Lemon Pasta With Tomatoes And Basil
Completely Delicious
Get the Lemon Pasta With Tomatoes And Basil recipe from Completely Delicious
4
Quick and Simple Pasta "Risotto" With Herbed Roasted Chickpeas
Half Baked Harvest
5
Caramelized Shallot, Spinach And Goat Cheese Garlic Butter Pasta
How Sweet It Is
6
Farmers Market Goat Cheese Pasta Primavera
Half Baked Harvest
Get the Farmers Market Goat Cheese Pasta Primavera recipe from Half Baked Harvest
7
Kale Caesar Pasta Salad
Foodie Crush
Get the Kale Caesar Pasta Salad recipe from Foodie Crush
8
Simple Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
Half Baked Harvest
Get the Simple Roasted Red Pepper Pasta recipe from Half Baked Harvest
9
Orecchiette with Brussels Sprouts, Walnuts & Brown Butter
Alexandras Kitchen
10
One-Pot Penne Pasta with Turkey and Spinach
Foodie Crush
Get the One-Pot Penne Pasta with Turkey and Spinach recipe from Foodie Crush
11
Simple Buttery Spring Pea and Burrata Pasta With Prosciutto
Half Baked Harvest
12
30-Minute Artichoke And Pea Rigatoni Pasta
Half Baked Harvest
Get the 30-Minute Artichoke And Pea Rigatoni Pasta recipe from Half Baked Harvest
13
No-Guilt Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo
Half Baked Harvest
Surprise: This recipe uses hummus in the sauce, for a lighter take on Alfredo.Get the No-Guilt Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo recipe from Half Baked Harvest
14
Spring Pasta with Shaved Asparagus
Naturally Ella
Get the Spring Pasta with Shaved Asparagus recipe from Naturally Ella
15
Spring Pea and Asparagus Pasta Shells
Cookie and Kate
16
Creamy Mushroom Asparagus Pasta
Minimalist Baker
Get the Creamy Mushroom Asparagus Pasta recipe from Minimalist Baker
17
Easy Italian Spaghetti Pasta Salad
Foodie Crush
Get the Easy Italian Spaghetti Pasta Salad recipe from Foodie Crush
18
Garlic and White Wine Pasta with Brussels Sprouts
Minimalist Baker
Get the Garlic and White Wine Pasta with Brussels Sprouts recipe from Minimalist Baker
19
Garlic Chili Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower
Minimalist Baker
Roast the cauliflower ahead of time, and toss it in when you're in a hurry.Get the Garlic Chili Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower recipe from Minimalist Baker
20
Creamy Pasta with Salmon and Asparagus
Foodie Crush
Get the Creamy Pasta with Salmon and Asparagus recipe from Foodie Crush
21
Creamy Pea And Fresh Herb Fettuccine
A Beautiful Mess
Get the Creamy Pea and Fresh Herb Fettuccine recipe from A Beautiful Mess
22
Greek Pasta Salad
Foodie Crush
Get the Greek Pasta Salad recipe from Foodie Crush
23
Browned Butter Scallop And Burst Tomato Basil Pasta
Half Baked Harvest
Get the Browned Butter Scallop And Burst Tomato Basil Pasta recipe from Half Baked Harvest
24
Summer Vegetable Pasta
Naturally Ella
Get the Summer Vegetable Pasta recipe from Naturally Ella
25
Spinach And Artichoke Linguine
How Sweet It Is
Get the Spinach and Artichoke Linguine recipe from How Sweet It Is
26
Five-Ingredient Spinach Parmesan Pasta
Two Peas and their Pod
Get the Five-Ingredient Spinach Parmesan Pasta recipe from Two Peas and their Pod
27
Cavatelli Pasta with Spring Vegetables
Bev Cooks
Get the Cavatelli Pasta with Spring Vegetables recipe from Bev Cooks
Spaghetti And Meatballs
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