99 Easy Italian Dinners

When you're looking for a weeknight recipe that doesn't require much work, try these easy Italian dinners. Old-school favorites like chicken piccata and new favorites like Italian Texas toast will have Nonna's nod of approval!

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Weeknight Lazy Lasagna

On hectic nights, no one has time to stack several layers of lasagna. My version combines a few steps to cut down on prep, but keeps all the cheesy, saucy, noodle-y goodness that makes lasagna an all-time favorite. —Nancy Foust, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania

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Chicken Provolone

Chicken Provolone, though one of my simplest dishes, is one of my husband’s favorites. It is easy to prepare and looks fancy served on a dark plate with a garnish of fresh parsley or basil. Add some buttered noodles for an easy side dish. —Dawn Bryant, Thedford, Nebraska
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Hot Antipasto Sandwiches

I usually make this popular dish as an appetizer for holiday get-togethers. But I also like to serve it with salad as a satisfying meal. —Lisa Berry, Fayetteville, West Virginia
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Sausage-Topped White Pizza

I love cooking, and I learned from Nana and Mom. Pizza is easily one of my favorite dishes to prepare. I switched up this recipe to make it my own. —Tracy Brown, River Edge, New Jersey
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Grilled Eggplant Parmesan Stacks

We love eggplant Parmesan, but when it’s hot outside, the dish feels too heavy. Grilled eggplant slices topped with tomato, mozzarella and Parm satisfy everyone. —Joann Parlin, Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey
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Loaded Chicken Carbonara Cups

Spaghetti cupcakes with a chicken carbonara twist make for a tasty, fun family dinner. Whole wheat pasta and reduced-fat ingredients make these quick and easy little pasta cakes nutritional winners, too. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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Tuscan Grapes and Sausages

This recipe is one of my go-tos when entertaining. It's simple, elegant and you can entertain your guests instead of spending the entire time in the kitchen. It is always a crowd pleaser and everyone always asks for the recipe. The whole pieces of garlic in this dish become so sweet, a lovely complement to the sweet grapes and spicy sausage. I serve this over rustic hand-mashed red potatoes. —Melissa Zienter, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Italian Chicken and Penne

This easy stir-fry combines the pasta with green pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes in an Italian-style sauce. I made up this recipe one evening, and it was a big hit with my family. —Janeen Longfellow, Wolcottville, Indiana
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Chicken Parmesan Slider Bake

Sliders are the perfect finger food for any get-together, and this flavorful chicken Parmesan version won’t disappoint. —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
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Lasagna Cups

I love lasagna and garlic bread, so it only made sense to put them together in these fun little cups. Have one as an appetizer or two for a meal! —Angelique Douglas, Maryville, Illinois
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Easy Stuffed Shells

I threw this recipe together one day when we had unexpected guests. It was an immediate hit and is now a family favorite. Get the kids involved when putting together this simple, savory dish. —Dolores Betchner, Cudahy, Wisconsin
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Tasty-Italian Vegetable Soup

Here's a dish that will warm you up fast. It takes just 25 minutes until you can sit down and start sipping on this soup. —Janet Frieman, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Chicken Pesto Meatballs

These tender, pesto-stuffed meatballs get gobbled up in our house. They're short on ingredients, but packed with flavor. I always make a double batch, freezing the other half for a busy night. —Ally Billhorn, Wilton, Iowa
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Hearty Minestrone Soup

This fresh-tasting minestrone soup gets its zesty flavor from Italian sausage. When you want to use up your garden bounty of zucchini, try this recipe. If your family likes food extra spicy, use hot bulk Italian sausage instead. —Donna Smith, Fairport, New York
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Italian Meat Loaves

We raise hogs, so pork is something I cook with a lot. These miniature meat loaves made with ground pork and Italian herbs are full of flavor. Our children especially like the topping of ketchup and Parmesan cheese. -Patricia Staudt, Marble Rock, Iowa
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Stuffed Pasta Shells

These savory shells never fail to make a big impression, even though the recipe is very easy. One or two of these shells makes a great individual serving at a potluck, so a single batch goes a long way. —Jena Coffey, St. Louis, Missouri
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Sausage Bean Soup

You’re moments away from a flavor-packed soup that keeps you warm on even the chilliest nights. It's just the kind of recipe we Minnesotans love. —Marlene Muckenhirn, Delano, Minnesota
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Pepper Ricotta Primavera

Garlic, peppers and herbs top creamy ricotta cheese in this meatless skillet meal you can make in just 20 minutes. —Janet Boulger, Botwood, Newfoundland and Labrador
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Antipasto Kabobs

My husband and I met at a cooking class. We have loved creating menus and entertaining ever since. These make-ahead antipasto skewers are always a hit. —Denise Hazen, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Deep-Dish Sausage Pizza

My grandma made the tastiest snacks for us when we stayed the night at her farm. Her wonderful pizza, hot from the oven, was covered with cheese and had fragrant herbs in the crust. Now this pizza is frequently a meal for my husband, our family and me. —Michele Madden, Washington Court House, Ohio
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Quick Carbonara

Carbonara is a dinnertime classic, but my version cuts down on the time it takes to make. Loaded with ham, bacon, olives, garlic and Parmesan, it certainly doesn't skimp on flavor. —Carole Martin, Tallahassee, Florida
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Watermelon Gazpacho

My refreshing gazpacho is a delightfully simple, elegant dish. Serve as a side or with pita and hummus for a meal. —Nicole Deelah, Nashville, Tennessee
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Pancetta and Mushroom-Stuffed Chicken Breast

I was inspired by a stuffed chicken Marsala dish I had at a restaurant and wanted to come up with my own version using a different flavor profile. —Ashley Laymon, Lititz, Pennsylvania
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Vegetarian Linguine

Looking for a tasty alternative to a meat-and-potatoes meal? Try this colorful pasta dish, which is the brainchild of my oldest son. It’s a stick-to-your-ribs meal that includes loads of fresh veggies as well as basil and provolone. —Jane Bone, Cape Coral, Florida
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Giant Meatball Sub

As either a hearty party sandwich or a filling lunch or dinner, this sub will rise to the top of your list of favorites. It's also a perfect contribution to a potluck...but don't expect to have any leftovers! —Deana Paul, San Dimas, California
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Italian Turkey Cutlets

"Because I'm watching my weight, I've used this recipe for years," writes Janet Bumb of Beallsville, Maryland. "Served with a flavorful tomato sauce, these cutlets taste so good that my son, who is thin and doesn't need to worry about his weight, requests them for his birthday dinner!"
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Gnocchi with White Beans

Here’s one of those no-fuss recipes you can toss together and cook in one skillet. Ideal for a busy weeknight, it’s also good with crumbled Italian chicken sausage if you need to please meat lovers. —Julianne Meyers, Hinesville, Georgia
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Chicken Piccata with Lemon Sauce

Once you've tried this tangy, yet delicate lemon chicken piccata, you won't hesitate to make it for company. Seasoned with parmesan and parsley, the chicken cooks up golden brown, then is drizzled with a light lemon sauce. —Susan Pursell, Fountain Valley, California
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Meatball Pizza

I always keep meatballs and pizza crusts in the freezer to make this specialty on the spur of the moment. Add a tossed salad and you have a delicious dinner. —Mary Humeniuk-Smith, Perry Hall, Maryland
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Calzone Rolls

Big pizza flavor comes through in these rolls. My recipe makes two pans because you'll need 'em! It’s so easy to make the dough in my bread machine. —Barb Downie, Peterborough, Ontario
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Creamy Prosciutto Pasta

I'm always looking for dinners that I can put together quickly. I re-created a favorite pasta dish from an Italian restaurant by using grocery store convenience products. Add crusty bread and a salad for a complete meal. —Christine Ward, Austin, Texas
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Pesto Gnocchi

Perk up gnocchi and vegetables with a flavorful pesto sauce. If you don't have pine nuts to top the pesto gnocchi, skip or substitute any nut you like. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Italian Chicken Tenderloins

My friend made this meal for my husband and me after our first child was born. Since chicken tenderloin recipes can be so caloric, I trimmed down the fat and carbs, but we love it just the same. —Beth Ann Stein, Richmond, Indiana
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Pressure-Cooker Risotto with Chicken and Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms add an earthy flavor to this creamy classic, while shredded rotisserie chicken makes it a snap to prepare. You'll savor every bite. —Charlene Chambers, Ormond Beach, Florida
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Fire-Roasted Ziti with Sausage

We punch up our pasta with smoked sausage and fire-roasted tomato sauce. It's an easy recipe to switch up—use whatever noodles and spaghetti sauce are in your pantry. —Jean Komlos, Plymouth, Michigan
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Saucy Skillet Lasagna

Thanks to no-cook noodles, this skillet lasagna makes a fresh, filling, flavorful and fast entree for any Italian meal. —Meghan Crihfield, Ripley, West Virginia
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Blushing Penne Pasta

I reworked this recipe from an original that called for vodka and heavy whipping cream. My friends and family had a hard time believing a sauce this rich, flavorful and creamy could be light. —Margaret Wilson, Hemet, California
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Tomato Baguette Pizza

When my tomatoes ripen all at once, I use them up in simple recipes like this one. Cheesy baguette pizzas, served with a salad, make an ideal lunch. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Sheet-Pan Chicken Parmesan

Saucy chicken, melty mozzarella and crisp-tender broccoli—all in one pan. What could be better? —Becky Hardin, St. Peters, Missouri
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Turkey Scallopini with Marsala Sauce

My family requests this entree at least once a month. The slightly sweet Marsala sauce is yummy over the turkey slices and hot cooked noodles. —Briana Knight, Ferndale, Washington
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Weeknight Ravioli Lasagna

My husband and I love lasagna, but it's time-consuming to build and we always end up with too much. Using frozen ravioli fixes the problem! —Pamela Nicholson, Festus, Missouri
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Sausage & Spinach Calzones

These comforting calzones are perfect for quick meals—or even midnight snacks. My nurse co-workers always ask me to make them when it's my turn to bring in lunch. —Kourtney Williams, Mechanicsville, Virginia
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Simple Sausage Pasta Toss

For a flash of tasty inspiration, grab a skillet and stir up turkey sausage with tomatoes, garlic and olives. Toss everything with spaghetti, and sprinkle with Parmesan. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Elegant Pork Marsala

Wine and mushrooms lend elegance to this oh-so-simple pork dish. Use pre-sliced mushrooms and minced garlic to save time. Cleanup is one-pan easy. —Kim Gillis, High Falls, New York
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How to Make Pesto Pasta in Just 15 Minutes

Have pesto sitting in the fridge? Put it to use in pesto pasta for a quick and easy dinner.
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Chicken Florentine Meatballs

Served over squash and a chunky, mushroom-tomato sauce, these tender meatballs are tops when it comes to great flavor. —Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan
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Chicken Florentine Casserole

Creamy and comforting, this chicken and spinach bake is sure to be a hit at dinnertime. The toasty bread crumb topping delivers a bit of a crunch. —Dori Jackson, Gulf Breeze, Florida
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Chicken Gnocchi Pesto Soup

After tasting a similar soup at a restaurant, I created this quick and tasty version. It’s rich and creamy, and couldn’t be easier to make! —Deanna Smith, Des Moines, Iowa
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Personal Margherita Pizzas

This family-friendly supper is simplicity at its finest. Golden-brown, melted fresh mozzarella and a sprinkling of fresh basil give these personal pies Italian-inspired flavors. —Jerry Gulley, San Francisco, CA
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Penne alla Vodka

This easy and impressive pasta is always on the menu when my husband and I invite first-time guests over for dinner. Many friends have asked me to make the recipe again years after they first tried it. —Cara Langer, Overland Park, Kansas
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Penne with Tomatoes & White Beans

I learned how to make this dish from friends in Genoa, Italy, where they're known for creating tasty combinations of veggies, pasta and beans. You can sub feta cheese to give this a Greek twist. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Grilled Sausage-Basil Pizzas

We love basil recipes, and these easy little pizzas are a wonderful change of pace from the classic cookout menu. Let everybody go crazy with the toppings. —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida
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Caprese Chicken

I love a Caprese salad of tomatoes, basil and cheese, so why not try a chicken caprese? You can grill this dish, but my family agrees it’s juicier straight from the oven. —Dana Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Honeydew & Prosciutto Salad

For parties, I turn melon and prosciutto into an easy salad with a honey mustard dressing. To add zip, stir in fresh basil and mint. —Julie Merriman, Seattle, Washington
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Basil-Lemon Crab Linguine

I always add herbs to pasta to really punch up the flavor. This linguine looks and tastes like it's from a five-star restaurant. We love it. —Tonya Burkhard, Palm Coast, Florida
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Italian Sausage and Provolone Skewers

My husband made sausage and veggie kabobs when we didn't have buns to make classic sausage bombers. Grill ‘em up, then add cheese cubes. —Cindy Hilliard, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Rustic Summer Vegetable Pasta

My veggie pasta proves you can’t have too much of a good thing. Feel free to change it up with whatever fresh veggies are in the garden or farmers market. —Bryn Namavari, Chicago, Illinois
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Italian Sausage and Zucchini Soup

Everyone in my family likes this soup recipe. Sometimes I add mini farfalle because my grandchildren say the noodles look like tiny butterflies. This recipe also works in a slow cooker. —Nancy Murphy, Mount Dora, Florida
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Light & Lemony Scampi

A touch more lemon helped me trim the calories in our favorite shrimp scampi recipe. For those who want to indulge, pass around the Parmesan. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Chicken Alfredo with Grilled Apples

If you've never grilled apples before, here's your excuse to start. I created this Alfredo-style chicken for a party. By the number of recipe requests, I knew it was a hit. —Richard Robinson, Park Forest, Illinois
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Mushroom Bolognese with Whole Wheat Pasta

A traditional Bolognese sauce is meat-based with everything from pork to pancetta. Skipping the meat, I loaded this pasta dish with baby portobellos and veggies. —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas
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Baby Kale Salad with Avocado-Lime Dressing

We pull a bunch of ingredients from our garden when we make this baby kale salad with zucchini and sweet onion. The yogurt dressing layers on big lime flavor. —Suzanna Esther, State College, Pennsylvania
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Artichoke Florentine Pasta

Pasta loaded with artichokes and creamy cheese is everything a Sunday dinner should be: rich, tasty and memorable. Add cooked chicken, shrimp or crab if you like. —Nancy Beckman, Helena, Montana
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One-Pot Spinach Beef Soup

My idea of a winning weeknight meal is this beefy soup simmering in one big pot. Grate some Parmesan and pass the saltines. —Julie Davis, Jacksonville, Florida
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Three-Cheese Meatball Mostaccioli

When my husband travels for work, I make a special dinner for my kids to keep their minds off missing Daddy. This tasty mostaccioli is meatball magic. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan
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One-Pot Chicken Pesto Pasta

When my garden basil goes nuts, I make pesto and keep it frozen in small containers for the right opportunity, like this saucy one-pot chicken pesto pasta recipe. —Kimberly Fenwick, Hobart, Indiana
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Spicy Sausage Rigatoni

My inspiration for this recipe came from a Cajun pasta dish I make with blackened chicken, but here I substitute Italian sausage. I love this dish. It makes a hearty meal that warms you up all over. —Toni Dishman, Mooresville, North Carolina
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Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Shells

When chicken Parmesan meets stuffed shells, it's love at first bite. The texture of the chicken holds up in the deliciously creamy and cheesy mixture. —Cynthia Gerken, Naples, Florida
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Chard & Bacon Linguine

I use Swiss chard every way I can, and that includes stirring it into this breezy linguine. When you’re short on time, this dish keeps life simple. —Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan
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Italian Sausage Orzo

This light dish is perfect for any night of the week, and it looks as good as it tastes! If you have leftover sauteed mushrooms or other vegetables, toss them in as well. —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida
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Zucchini-Crusted Pizza

Flavorful, nutritious and versatile, this pizza is easy to prep ahead and freeze—and fun to make with kids. It also quadruples nicely. What's not to like? —Ruth Hartunian-Alumbaugh, Willimantic, Connecticut
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Chicken Pesto Roll-Ups

One night I looked in the refrigerator and pondered what I could make with chicken, cheese, mushrooms and pesto. This pretty dish was the result. Add Italian bread and a fruit salad for a complete meal! —Melissa Nordmann, Mobile, AL
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Spicy Shrimp & Penne Pasta

I created this creamy pasta dish when I needed to use up some marinara. Red pepper flakes give it a little heat, which my family loves. It's super versatile, so try it with chicken, or simply stir in some fresh basil, too. —Lorri Stout, Gaithersburg, Maryland
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Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce

This Italian classic takes on a distinctive Latin American flourish with the addition of chorizo. The sausage adds an extra kick and awesome flavor to a dish that's already a favorite. —Crystal McDuffy, Fairfax, Virginia.
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Meatball Submarine Casserole

We were hosting a bunch of friends, and after a comedy of errors, I had to come up with a plan B for dinner. I realized that much-loved meatball subs are even better as a hearty casserole—so delicious! —Rick Friedman, Palm Springs, California
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Garlic Tilapia with Mushroom Risotto

Boxed risotto makes it quick; mushrooms, shallots and cheese make it tasty. Serve the risotto alongside seasoned fish for a weeknight supper in a hurry. —Lynn Moretti, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
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Bacon-Wrapped Pesto Pork Tenderloin

I love to serve this family-favorite tenderloin—maybe because of the compliments that come with it! When the weather warms up, we grill it instead. —Megan Riofski, Frankfort, Illinois
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Bucatini with Sausage & Kale

I was short on time but wanted to make an elegant dinner for my husband and me. That night, we ate this simple pasta starring spicy sausage and our homegrown kale. —Angela Lemoine, Howell, New Jersery
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Shrimp Puttanesca

I throw together these bold ingredients for a feisty seafood pasta. —Lynda Balslev, Sausalito, California
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Ricotta, Tomato & Corn Pasta

I love to make healthy meals with produce from my latest farmers market trip. This pasta takes just 30 minutes from pantry to dinner table. You can easily make it a meat entree by adding cooked, shredded chicken. —Jerilyn Korver, Bellflower, California
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One-Pan Tuscan Ravioli

Sometimes I use chickpeas instead of cannellini beans, grated Asiago or Provolone instead of Parmesan, and all zucchini if I don’t have eggplant. Very flexible! —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
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Grilled Caprese Quesadillas

Here's a quick and easy summer lunch that makes great use of garden-grown tomatoes. Feel free to make your quesadillas heartier by adding grilled chicken. —Amy Mongiovi, Lititz, Pennsylvania
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Eggplant Flatbread Pizzas

I'm now a professional chef, but I loved making this recipe for the family on Friday nights as a home cook. We like to shake pizza up with unique, fresh toppings. —Christine Wendland, Browns Mills, New Jersey
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Pressure Cooker Rigatoni with Sausage & Peas

With a tomatoey meat sauce and tangy goat cheese, this weeknight wonder is my version of comfort food. You want to have bowl after bowl. —Lizzie Munro, Brooklyn, New York
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Italian Joes on Texas Toast

This is toasty-good for a weeknight on the go. If you double the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, meat and wine, you'll have enough sauce to freeze. —Ashley Armstrong, Kingsland, Georgia
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Turkey Linguine with Tomato Cream Sauce

I love an easy weeknight meal! This meal comes together quickly and uses up the half block of cream cheese that always ends up in my fridge. —Amy Lents, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Spaghetti & Meatball Skillet Supper

I developed this one-skillet spaghetti and meatball dish to cut down on cooking time on busy nights. The beans, artichokes and tomatoes bump up the nutrition factor, while the lemon and parsley make it pop with brightness. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Chicken Florentine Pizza

On pizza night, we like to switch things up with this version featuring chicken, spinach and ricotta cheese. One taste and you won't miss traditional sauce one bit. —Phil Corder, Monroe, Louisiana
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Pressure-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

My husband and I own and operate a busy farm. There are days when there's just no time left for cooking! It's really nice to be able to come into the house at night and have dinner ready in just a few minutes. —Aggie Arnold-Norman, Liberty, Pennsylvania
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Pressure-Cooker Red Clam Sauce

This recipe tastes as if you've been working on it all day. What a classy way to jazz up pasta sauce! —JoAnn Brown, LaTrobe, Pennsylvania
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Pressure-Cooker Italian Sausage & Kale Soup

The first time I made this colorful soup, our home smelled wonderful. We knew it was a keeper to see us through cold winter days. —Sarah Stombaugh, Chicago, Illinois
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Linguine with Fried Eggs and Garlic

This recipe is perfect for those nights when you want something quick, savory and healthy for your family. Even when the cupboard is bare, there are usually a couple of eggs and some cloves of garlic to work with. —E. Gelesky, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania
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Chicken Francese

I grew up on this tender, lemony chicken Francese recipe that's a classic in Italian cooking. It's delicious as is, but we sometimes add sauteed mushrooms. Serve it with pasta or crusty bread to mop up all that delicious pan sauce. —Joe Losardo, New York, New York
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Pasta with Creamy Fennel Sauce

When pureeing fennel one day, I realized its velvety texture would make for a creamy, delicious pasta sauce—without all the guilt. My experiment worked, and now I enjoy this good-for-you pasta sauce all the time. —Deb Schwab, Moraga, California
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Arugula Pizza

This arugula pizza is great served as an appetizer for get-togethers with family or friends. My girlfriends and I love it because it has that sophisticated gourmet touch, and it's healthy, too! This also serves four as a main course. —Annette Riva, Naperville, Illinois
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Arborio Rice and White Bean Soup

Soup is the ultimate comfort food. This hearty, satisfying soup with arborio rice is low in fat and comes together in less than 30 minutes. —Deanna McDonald, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Rashanda Cobbins
Rashanda is a former food editor for Taste of Home. While studying for her bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, Rashanda interned in Southern Living’s test kitchen and later spent nearly a decade developing recipes and food content at ConAgra Brands. In her spare time, she loves scoping out local farmers markets and having picnics in the park.