Easy, clean-eating pasta recipes for busy people

a close up of a bowl of food

8. Pasta

A good pasta dinner is one of those comfort meals we all need from time to time. Nothing satisfies quite the way a good bowl of pasta does. If you’re in the mood for a nice, big, family-friendly, pasta dinner that’s both healthy and easy to make, this collection of pasta recipes should definitely satisfy!

Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty, filling, one-pot meal or a light pasta side dish, this collection of healthy pasta dinner recipes is sure to please.
Try a delicious Vegetable Pasta Salad with Italian dressing, Lasagna Soup, Chickpea Orzo Salad, Baked Ziti, or a fabulous Artichoke Heart Chicken Pasta for a hearty dinner.

Need something on the lighter side? Try Olive Pasta, Easy Macaroni Salad, Garlicky Broccolini Pasta, or an Alfredo sauce.

Pair these with a green salad and some crusty garlic bread, and you’ve got an easy, complete meal the whole family will love!

food, easy, clean-eating pasta recipes for busy people

1. Chickpea orzo salad

Orzo is delicious stuff. While often mistaken for a grain, this pasta is a wonderful way to make a fun salad. Like most pastas, you can find it made with either white, processed flour or whole grain flour. So look for the box of whole grain orzo.

a dish is filled with pasta and vegetables

5. Ina Garten’s best-ever pasta salad

Pasta salad is easy to throw together, even last minute. The only part that requires cooking here is cooking the pasta. This recipe assumes you’ve already done that. But I will give you this hint. Salt your pasta water with at least 1 tbsp. salt. It gives your pasta wonderful flavor.

food, easy, clean-eating pasta recipes for busy people

3. Garlicky broccolini pasta

My mom made this dish for me recently and I all but died and went to heaven. Even my son couldn’t stop eating it. It has simple flavors that meld beautifully in one, tasty dish. It’s also one of the quickest and simplest pasta dishes I’ve ever made. It’s definitely a great meal for anyone who is short on time for making dinner.

food, easy, clean-eating pasta recipes for busy people

Lasagna Soup

This delicious lasagna soup recipe is warm, comforting and very filling. It can be made gluten free with gluten-free pasta (and other ingredients), and you can easily substitute beef for turkey if that’s your preference.

Get the recipe here.

a close up of a bowl of food

8. Pasta

This baked ziti recipe is a quick and easy casserole you can put together last minute and the whole family will love it!. It’s a no-fail crowd pleaser regardless of whom I’m serving.

It’s a very versatile dish. Add veggies, different meats, even change up the spices if you like. You can, of course, also use other cheese as well. I’ve made this with mozzarella several times and it’s delicious. But I try not to get carried away with the cheese as often as I’d like, so I stick with the parmesan the majority of the time. Either way, it’s pretty darn tasty and doesn’t take too long to assemble either!

food, easy, clean-eating pasta recipes for busy people

6. Traditional macaroni salad

I thought I’d try my hand at making a more traditional macaroni salad since my previous attempts tended to definitely NOT be traditional. I know most people really value their macaroni salad and want it to taste like macaroni salad is supposed to taste. Not to mention, you guys want it to be good enough to share with friends and not have anybody be the wiser that you are serving something clean!

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5. Ordering an appetizer as your meal

These easy bake meatballs are prepped in minutes and pair well with any type of pasta you prefer!

I won’t lie, this low-carb thing has been a challenge. I’ve definitely had a bumpy start. But more and more, it’s simply becoming the way I eat. And as long as I eat at home, I do pretty well.

food, easy, clean-eating pasta recipes for busy people

8. Simple spaghetti sauce

This Simple Spaghetti Sauce will save the day, or at least dinner when you run out of your favorite spaghetti sauce.

I’m working hard to get Mini Chef in the kitchen with me as much as possible lately. I want to inspire him and teach him confidence in the kitchen while he’s at an age where he’s interested in it. This sauce is a simple one. It uses basic herbs and spices and comes together very quickly. It’s a wonderful, quick and easy pasta sauce for kids and adults alike to through together on a busy weekday evening.

food, easy, clean-eating pasta recipes for busy people

9. Chili Mac

This chili mac recipe is a great family meal. One the whole family will love without any complaints. Can’t go wrong with this one!

Chili mac is not a dish I grew up with. In fact, it’s not a dish I had ever experienced before this. I was kind of shooting in the dark on this one, but I have to say, I think my aim was pretty good.

Click here for recipe.

a bowl of food on a table

47. Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

This easy crock pot chicken cacciatore recipe is delicious and family friendly. It’s perfect over rice or pasta!

Let dinner cook itself tonight. My favorite way to eat this is over some pasta. This is an Italian dish, so pasta is a perfect pairing. However, rice is equally good.

a bowl of food sitting on top of a wooden table

11. One-Pot 20 Minute Greek Pasta

Few foods make a delicious, filling dinner the way pasta does. Served hot or cold, pasta is a great addition to the dinner table. And if you have any vegans or vegetarians in the house, this is a perfectly versatile dish for them as well as meat eaters.

Serve as is for vegans and vegetarians, and mix in some cooked, chopped chicken for meat eaters. It’s a great way to make everyone happy!

food, easy, clean-eating pasta recipes for busy people

12. Artichoke chicken pasta

This artichoke chicken pasta is a deliciously different option for dinner tonight!

Artichoke hearts are something I personally love. Mini Chef doesn’t care for them, but for me, they are a delicious treat from time to time.

food, easy, clean-eating pasta recipes for busy people

13. Homemade lasagna

This homemade lasagna recipe is absolute comfort food in a casserole dish.

At some point, we all need some comfort food. Like it or not, food can feel reassuring and relaxing when life goes sideways. If life is throwing you a curveball right now, a good, cheesy, homemade lasagna can be just the thing to help out in that department.

Get the recipe here.

food, easy, clean-eating pasta recipes for busy people

14. Homemade pasta

Wondering how to make homemade pasta? This super simple recipe shows you two ways to make it!

food, easy, clean-eating pasta recipes for busy people

15. Olive pasta

This olive pasta is so crazy simple to make and totally hits the spot!

a bunch of green bananas

4. Asparagus

This clean eating garlic asparagus penne pasta makes a wonderful, 30 minute meal for busy weeknights!

There are some nights when I get home and cooking is the last thing I have time for. Between helping Mini Chef with homework and taking care of all those little, every day things that need doing, time can sometimes run out on me. So I have a handful of recipes that I can make, spur-of-the-moment. They are lifesavers!

food, easy, clean-eating pasta recipes for busy people

17. Roasted red pepper pesto

This roasted red pepper pesto is a delicious condiment, dipping sauce or pasta sauce that cooks up fast and easy!

I’m still very much in the process of figuring out what makes my body happy. But I do know one thing… no matter how much I love dairy in all it’s many shapes, sizes and flavors, my tummy just does NOT feel the same way. So even though I “break the rules” and have some from time to time, I always pay the price for it. So more and more, I’m looking for alternatives to the foods I love that normally have dairy in them. Alternatives such as this roasted red pepper pesto recipe. Delish!

food, easy, clean-eating pasta recipes for busy people

18. Baked chicken marinara

This baked chicken marinara is quick, simple and super quick to put together. Perfect for a busy weeknight or last minute lunch!

Okay. Don’t shoot me. This is beyond simple and involves…. a jar.

food, easy, clean-eating pasta recipes for busy people

19. Chicken carbonara

This chicken carbonara recipe is simply to die for. I can’t get enough!

I am officially a carbonara convert. I simply had no idea how good it was until I made it!

food, easy, clean-eating pasta recipes for busy people

20. Shrimp scampi

Your favorite pasta dish gets a deliciously healthy makeover with this clean eating shrimp scampi recipe!

On a recent trip to the grocery store, I read Women’s Health Rx Magazine while I was standing in the checkout line. I was pleased to read that a new study done here in the states shows that eating shrimp and other fish associated with high cholesterol has absolutely no effect on heart health. Apparently, you can eat all the shrimp you want, and it will not have any impact on your heart!

Click here for the recipe.

a close up of a plate of food

28. Easy Vegetable Lasagna with Alfredo Sauce

This vegetarian lasagna recipe is a delicious alternative to meat-based lasagnas!

This recipe uses TVP (texturized vegetable protein), but it’s totally optional. So don’t worry if you don’t have it or can’t find it. Just use a little extra cheese between your layers! You can’t go wrong with cheese.

a close up of pasta in a bowl

Olive Garden

Yes!!! I finally did it! I created a delicious, healthy alfredo sauce recipe!!!

Did you know that Alfredo sauce as we know it today in America, actually isn’t Italian at all? The sauce we know and love here is actually and American creation!

food, easy, clean-eating pasta recipes for busy people

23. Ground turkey spaghetti

This ground turkey spaghetti is the perfect, quick and easy dinner for busy weeknights!

I don’t know about you, but as a busy mom and business owner, there are just some nights when I absolutely do not want to have to think about what to make for dinner. Nights when the last thing I want to do is stand at my stove again or do more dishes. It’s on nights like this, I turn to my simplest of recipes. Recipes I can have on the table in 30 minutes or less, from prep to plate.

This article originally appeared on The Gracious Pantry and was syndicated on

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20. White Horse Tavern (Newport, Rhode Island)

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