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50 Easy Recipes That Start with a Box of Pasta

These easy pasta recipes call for an entire box of noodles—16 ounces of pure al dente goodness—in addition to mouthwatering sauces, lively spices, hearty meats and luscious veggies.

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Sausage Manicotti

This classic Italian entree comes together in a snap but tastes as if it took hours. It's so tasty and easy to fix. My family always enjoys it. —Carolyn Henderson, Maple Plain, Minnesota
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Skillet Mac & Cheese

This creamy mac and cheese is so simple it’s almost too easy! Kids always go for the rich cheese flavor, but I’ve never met an adult who didn’t love it just as much. —Ann Bowers, Rockport, Texas
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Chicken Pesto with Pasta

Prepared sauce accents this warm chicken pesto pasta. Keep pesto in the freezer for the next time you have leftover chicken. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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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
5 / 50
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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
6 / 50
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Asparagus Ham Dinner

I've been making this low-fat ham dinner for my family for years, and we always look forward to it. With asparagus, tomato, pasta and chunks of ham, it's a tempting blend of tastes and textures. —Rhonda Zavodny, David City, Nebraska
7 / 50
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Traditional Italian Wedding Soup

You don’t have to be Italian to love this easy-to-make soup with tiny round pasta! Add homemade meatballs but use ready-made stock and rotisserie chicken.—Mary Sheetz, Carmel, Indiana
8 / 50
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Olive and Red Pepper Linguine

With 16 grandchildren, I find that someone is always hungry. This is a quick dish to fix when I'm busy. I sometimes serve it along with garlic bread for an easy meatless meal. —Betty Carpenter, Hookstown, Pennsylvania
9 / 50
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Decadent Spinach-Stuffed Shells

I created this comforting stuffed shells dish to serve on Christmas Eve, but it’s so good we enjoy it all year long. It can easily be assembled and frozen to bake at a later date. If you have any leftover cheese mixture, it can be served as a dip, either cold or spooned into ramekins and baked until browned. If you don’t like roasted red peppers, feel free to substitute chopped sun-dried tomatoes in the filling and any other pasta sauce. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, CO
10 / 50
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Peas & Pasta Carbonara

Using cream cheese to fortify the sauce speeds up cooking time and will have you eating my take on this old-time classic carbonara recipe in about 30 minutes. —Celeste Brantolino, Lenoir, North Carolina
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Southwest Pasta Bake

Fat-free cream cheese and reduced-fat cheddar make this creamy casserole lower in fat and calories. It's a good way to get our kids to eat spinach in "disguise". —Carol Lepak of Sheboygan, Wisconsin
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Pretty Penne Ham Skillet

I'm a busy nurse, so fast meals are a must. This pasta is a tasty change of pace from potato-ham casseroles. —Kathy Stephan, West Seneca, New York
13 / 50
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Favorite Baked Spaghetti

This baked spaghetti is my grandchildren's most-loved dish. It feels like such a special dinner and is so cozy for winter. —Louise Miller, Westminster, Maryland
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Mediterranean Pork and Orzo

On a really busy day, this meal in a bowl is one of my top picks. It's quick to put together, leaving a lot more time to relax at the table. —Mary Relyea, Canastota, New York
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Mexican Pasta Bake

This casserole makes a delicious change of pace from ordinary pasta casseroles. The corkscrew noodles? They make it fun! —Joy Smith, Bigfork, Minnesota
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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
17 / 50
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Makeover Traditional Lasagna

I’ve never been quick to pass along my special recipes, but this one is so good that it’s become our family’s Christmas Eve tradition! —Michelle Behan, Littleton, Colorado
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Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup

A good friend made us this rich, comforting, creamy chicken noodle soup after the birth of our son. It was such a help to have dinner taken care of until I was back on my feet. This yummy dish is so simple to fix that now I give a pot of it (along with the recipe) to other new mothers. —Joanna Sargent, Sandy, Utah
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Lasagna Casserole

While growing up, this was the meal I always wanted on my birthday. Mother made the sauce from scratch, but I use store-bought spaghetti sauce to save time. Replace the ground beef with Italian sausage if you want more spice. —Deb Morrison, Skiatook, Oklahoma
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Barbecue Pork and Penne Skillet

I'm the proud mother of wonderful and active children. Simple, delicious and quick meals like this BBQ pork skillet are perfect for us to enjoy together after school activities, especially if I have leftover pulled pork. —Judy Armstrong, Prairieville, Louisiana
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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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Spinach-Beef Spaghetti Pie

With its angel hair pasta crust, this cheesy ground beef, tomato and spinach pie is always a hit when I serve it. Each neat slice has layers of pasta, cream cheese filling and spinach topping. —Carol Hicks Pensacola, Florida
23 / 50
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Slow-Simmered Meat Ragu

After a day of simmering in the slow-cooker, this ragu is not your typical spaghetti sauce. It's almost like a stew, so feel free to skip the pasta. —Laurie LaClair, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Mini Mac & Cheese Bites

Young relatives were coming for a Christmas party, so I wanted something fun for them to eat. Instead, the adults devoured my mini mac and cheese. —Kate Mainiero, Elizaville, New York
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Lemon Chicken Pasta

My grandmother made chicken wings and served them over rice. To speed things up, I cook lemony chicken breasts and serve them over capellini pasta. —Aileen Rivera, Bronx, New York
26 / 50

Spicy Veggie Pasta Bake

My dad cooked with cast-iron skillets, so when I do, I remember his amazing culinary skills. I keep the tradition going with my veggie pasta. —Sonya Goergen, Moorhead, Minnesota
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Parmesan Bow Tie Pasta with Chicken

On lazy summer weekends, we like chicken and yellow squash tossed with bow tie pasta. Add extra fresh grated Parmesan for a Sunday touch. —Sarah Smiley, Bangor, Maine
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Sausage Spaghetti Spirals

My family loves this flavorful casserole with hearty chunks of sausage and green pepper. The recipe makes a big pan, so it's nicely sized for a potluck. —Carol Carolton, Wheaton, Illinois
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Creamy Paprika Pork

When I was little, I would often ask my mom to make "favorite meat." She knew I was requesting this homey pork recipe. It's been in my family for more than 30 years and it's still a favorite! —Alexandra Barnett, Forest, Virginia
30 / 50
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Contest-Winning Greek Pasta Bake

I've taken this hot dish to potlucks and it's received rave reviews. There's never a morsel left. Best of all, it's a simple, healthy and hearty supper made with ingredients that are easy to find. —Anne Taglienti, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
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Sea Scallops and Fettuccine

This luscious and lemony pasta dish is so easy, it's become one of our weekly meal mainstays. But it's also elegant enough to serve to guests. —Donna Thompson, Laramie, Wyoming
32 / 50
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Italian Sausage with Bow Ties

We often have our favorite pasta when company comes over, and I’ve shared this Italian sausage recipe several times. Now many of my friends make it for their families, too. —Janelle Moore, Auburn, Washington
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Potluck Antipasto Pasta Salad

I love trying new recipes, and this one for Italian pasta salad tops all other varieties I've tried. With beans, cheese, sausage and vegetables, it's a hearty complement to any meal. —Bernadette Nelson, Arcadia, California
34 / 50

Pasta Squiggles with Pumpkin Sauce

My family loves this spiral pasta in a tasty pumpkin sauce. Make it for Halloween and call it Creepy-Crawly Noodles! —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
35 / 50
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School-Night Sausage Stroganoff

I found this recipe in an old church cookbook about 25 years ago and tweaked it to fit my family's tastes. It's a savory, creamy dish that's quick to fix on a busy school night. —Kristine Chayes, Smithtown, New York
36 / 50

Creamy Chicken Fettuccine

Convenient canned soup and process American cheese hurry along the assembly of this creamy sauce loaded with delicious chunks of chicken. —Melissa Cowser, Greenville, Texas
37 / 50

White Cheddar Mac & Cheese

My mac and cheese is simple and has lots of flavor from the cheeses and ground chipotle chile. I use conchiglie pasta because its shape allows more melted cheese to pool inside. Yum! —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
38 / 50

Slow-Cooker Pizza Casserole

A comforting casserole with mass appeal is just what you need when cooking for a crowd. For added convenience, it stays warm in a slow cooker. —Virginia Krites, Cridersville, Ohio
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Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese

This classic casserole is a rich and cheesy meatless main dish. I've never met anyone who didn't ask for a second helping. —Bernice Glascoe, Roxboro, North Carolina
40 / 50
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Cashew-Chicken Rotini Salad

I’ve tried many chicken salad recipes over the years, but this is my very favorite. It’s fresh, fruity and refreshing, and the cashews add wonderful crunch. Every time I serve it at a potluck or picnic, I get rave reviews—and ( always come home with an empty bowl! —Kara Cook, Elk Ridge, Utah
41 / 50
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Easy Swedish Meatballs

This recipe relies on ingredients we always have on hand. While the tender homemade meatballs cook in the microwave, make your favorite noodles on the stovetop to get this saucy entree on the table in minutes. —Sheryl Ludeman, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Garden Vegetable Primavera

Although I enjoy this dish throughout the year, it's even more special when I use my garden to supply the vegetables. A splash of white wine and a sprinkle of fresh basil really add flavor. I have also roasted the vegetables and mixed in chicken breasts with scrumptious results. —Carly Curtin, Ellicott City, Maryland
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Easy Chicken Tetrazzini

This easy chicken tetrazzini is made with leftover cooked chicken and canned soup. It's the perfect recipe for busy weeknights because it's so easy to assemble. Once you pop the dish in the oven, you'll have time to take care of other things on your to-do list. —Martha Sue Stroud, Clarksville, Texas
44 / 50

Triple Cheese Twists

Our stovetop macaroni and cheese is extra special, thanks to the buttery crumb topping. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Eggplant Sausage Casserole

If you want your kids to happily eat their eggplant, serve it in this lovely layered casserole. Our whole family enjoys it. Always a popular potluck item, it's a great company dish, as well. —Carol Mieske, Red Bluff, California
46 / 50

Hay and Straw

This recipe is not only quick and easy to prepare, it's pretty, too. This colorful pasta dish combines julienned ham, Parmesan cheese, peas and linguine.—Priscilla Weaver, Hagerstown, Maryland
47 / 50

Sweet Macaroni Salad

A sweet out-of-the-ordinary dressing makes this macaroni salad special. My aunt gave me the recipe and it has become one of my favorites. I occasionally leave out the green pepper if I know that people don't like it, and it still tastes great. —Idalee Scholz, Cocoa Beach, Florida
48 / 50
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Eggplant Zucchini Bolognese

I roast the veggies while the pasta cooks, making this a quick dish. This meal in one blends rustic comfort with fresh flavors. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Grandma's Cajun Chicken & Spaghetti

I’m originally from Louisiana, where my grandma spoke Cajun French as she taught me her spicy chicken spaghetti. —Brenda Melancon, McComb, Mississippi
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Lemon Mushroom Orzo

Sometimes I serve this side dish chilled and other times we enjoy it hot. It has a pleasant tinge of lemon and a nice crunch from pecans. —Shelly Nelson, Akeley, Minnesota

Ceara Milligan
Ceara “Kiwi” Milligan is a professional marketing strategist and copywriter who is proud to call Milwaukee home. She loves baking, cooking, writing, listening to music, dancing, playing and hosting trivia, watching college basketball (Go Marquette!), telling lame jokes, and petting every dog that crosses her path.

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