It's 7 p.m. on a Wednesday. You're searching the shelves of your pantry for ingredients that you can somehow toss together into an edible meal. You spot a bag of pasta and reach for a pot to start boiling water knowing that you have all the makings of a simple sauce (aka butter and parmesan) in the fridge. Sound familiar?
The next time you need to whip up a delicious dinner fast, turn to one of these 30-minute pasta meals. Spanning garlic butter pasta topped with an herbed pork bolognese to rigatoni cooked in a creamy tomato sauce so good you'll want to swear off the store-bought stuff for good, these recipes are as satisfying as they are simple. Keep scrolling for cheesy, carb-y, delicious pasta recipes take less than 30 minutes flat to prepare.
Skillet-Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta With Lemony Breadcrumbs
The Standout Ingredient: The lemony breadcrumbs seasoned with red pepper chili flakes give this 30-minute pasta meal a spicy kick.
The Pro Tip: The sauce for this dish couldn't be simpler. "Add the tomatoes to a screaming hot skillet with lots of garlic and herbs, and cook them until they burst" before adding the wine, writes recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest.
Artichoke and Pea Rigatoni Pasta
The Recipe: Artichoke and Pea Rigatoni Pasta
The Standout Ingredient: The marinated artichoke hearts infuse this 30-minute pasta dish with tons of delicious Mediterranean flavor.
The Pro Tip: Although fresh vegetables are always preferable, this dish can be made year-round with frozen peas, notes recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest.
Garlic Butter Pasta With Herbed Pork Bolognese
The Recipe: Garlic Butter Pasta With Herbed Pork Bolognese
The Standout Ingredient: The store-bought, pre-marinated pork sirloin "can be a real lifesaver on busy nights when you need to get dinner on the table ASAP, but don't want to compromise on flavor and wholesome ingredients," suggests recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest.
The Pro Tip: Add peeled garlic cloves to the pot of pasta while it's cooking to infuse the noodles with extra flavor, suggests Tieghan.
Pasta With Tomato Cream Sauce
The Recipe: Pasta With Tomato Cream Sauce
The Standout Ingredient: The cream "intensifies the tomato flavor and sets this dish apart from being 'just another tomato sauce,'" notes recipe creator Natalie of The Modern Proper. Honestly, we couldn't say it better ourselves.
The Pro Tip: "Don't skimp on the salt," recommends Natalie of The Modern Proper. "Tomatoes need a lot of salt to bring out their flavor, so a pinch just isn't going to cut it."
Champagne and Cream Clams with Linguini
The Recipe: Champagne and Cream Clams with Linguini
The Standout Ingredient: The champagne sauce, which is made with flavorful chicken stock, fresh thyme, and aromatic tarragon.
The Pro Tip: Garnish with parsley and finely grated Parmesan cheese before serving. It never hurts to serve this dish with a side of crusty French bread, notes recipe creator Natalie of The Modern Proper.
Chicken Penne Pasta With Lightened-Up Parmesan Cream Sauce
The Standout Ingredient: The sun-dried tomatoes. Marinated in olive oil, herbs, and spices, this flavorful ingredient counterbalances the creaminess of the sauce.
The Pro Tip: While this is technically a one-pot recipe, you can get dinner on the table faster if you use two pots: One to cook the pasta and the other to simultaneously prepare the mushrooms, tomatoes, and then the cream sauce, recommends recipe creator Chelsea of Chelsea's Messy Apron.
The Recipe: Bruschetta Pasta
The Standout Ingredient: The bruschetta, of course. Inspired by the Italian appetizer, the garlicky, tomato, basil topping steals the show in this 30-minute pasta meal.
The Pro Tip: Before you drain all the pasta water (aka the liquid gold), reserve about a cup of it for making the sauce, notes recipe creator Chelsea of Chelsea's Messy Apron.