16 Best Budget-Friendly Pasta Recipes
Looking for great-tasting pasta recipes that won't boil away your food budget? We've got 'em! These top-rated pasta recipes are taste-tested and overwhelmingly approved by the Allrecipes community. Stock up your pantry for these weeknight pasta dinners that are simple to prep, inexpensive, and delicious.
Karen's Taco Pasta
You probably already have most of the ingredients for this quick and easy pasta/taco combo in your pantry. Ground beef is flavored with taco seasoning and tossed with cooked pasta, cheese, and tomatoes. So simple! "I made a slight change by using pepper Jack cheese instead of the Parmesan. This is a keeper folks and easily adaptable to your tastes," says bd.weld.
Spaghetti Carbonara II
Here's a rich, classic with bacon, egg, and spaghetti dish. It's always there when you don't want to run out to the store for extra ingredients. "My kids ate this like it was going out of style! One of those fantastic dinners that you can fix from what is on hand! I used turkey bacon though! A little less fat!" says lola.
Greek Pasta with Tomatoes and White Beans
Ready in 25 minutes, this quick dish features spinach, tomatoes, and feta cheese tossed with canned cannellini beans and cooked pasta. "Good recipe as is, affordable and tasty. We used whole wheat penne and reduced fat feta. My 14 month old loved it, it was the first time she's had spinach. Thanks for the recipe, this will be in our regular dinner rotation now," says hardrockgirl.
Chef John's Spaghetti al Tonno
"Spaghetti al tonno is one of my all-time favorite go-to pasta dishes," says Chef John. "I love a classic meat sauce as much as the next half-Italian, but when I want something quick and easy for a weeknight meal, I reach for the tuna. What if you don't like fish? Then this is perfect. The taste and texture is really closer to a veal sauce than one made with fish."
Creamy Pasta Bake with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil
Here's a vegetarian main dish that's ready in less than an hour. "One of my favorite midweek pasta bakes," says Julian. "My whole family loves it and there is not much prep. Once the pasta bake is in the oven, you can make a salad or set the table and then it's time to eat."
Broccoli, carrots, and peas get cozy with penne pasta that's been simmered in broth for extra flavor. "This is fantastic!" raves MAZZO. "I have made this twice now and love how flavorful it is without having it coated in red sauce. The Parmesan puts this dish over the top."
Baked Ziti II
It takes only 15 minutes to prep this super simple 5-ingredient dish and a mere 30 minutes to bake. "This was great. Easy to make, cheap, and great reviews. I added leftover baked chicken. Will be making it again," says Donata.
Macaroni and Cheese V
You know the drill: An easy, creamy homemade cheese sauce coats pasta. "Good old-fashioned comfort food!" says FRIDAGIRL_36. "I used whole-wheat pasta for a healthier kick, and instead of bread crumbs, I crushed whole-wheat crackers. I served it with a salad and it was great!"
Tuna Noodle Casserole from Scratch
"Great recipe, the only one I make because it is truly from scratch, no canned soups!" says t_jones. "I add olives and cream cheese on occasion and lots of onion, garlic and crumb topping. I don't use butter (olive oil instead), peas or mushrooms (carrots instead). Always great, I have doubled the tuna for more protein."
Penne Pasta with Spinach and Bacon
Ready in just 25 minutes! "This is the perfect busy night meal," says AUSSIEAMERICAN. "Its quick, easy, inexpensive and LIGHT (I used whole wheat penne and substituted turkey bacon)."
Hearty Vegetable Lasagna
Feel free to substitute any vegetables you like in this easy, hearty lasagna. "Loved it!" raves LUCKYKEL. "I have turned to a new process for the lasagna noodles: lay hard noodles on sheet pan. Pour boiling water over to soften. Layer as usual. Works every time. I also like spinach (frozen pkg. thawed & drained) in with the ricotta mix."
Rich Pasta for the Poor Kitchen
"A quick, simple pasta tossed with butter, parsley, and Parmesan cheese," says VAMPYRELADY. "A wonderful recipe to make when you don't feel like making a trip to the grocery store. I used what I had on hand and it worked like a charm! Add summer vine-ripened tomatoes for an extra dash of flavor!"
Broken Pasta with Mushroom, Onion, and Crispy SPAM®
"I love crispy SPAM®, caramelized onions, and button mushrooms," says JFL. "All in one dish! Sprinkle some more Parmesan cheese and black pepper on top to serve."
Cabbage and Noodles
The recipe submitter Katherine calls cabbage and noodles cooked with bacon "comfort food supreme."
Auntkimmie22 agrees: "This is a very tasty simple and easy-to-make comfort food. I've been making this for years, but we add sliced zucchini to it and saute that along with the onion. Doesn't change the flavor much but adds some color and maybe a few extra nutrients."
This hearty, classic tomato sauce has a spicy kick -- and it's ready in less than 30 minutes. "Pair it with hot pasta, and a fresh tasting, wholesome dinner will be on the table in no time," says Julie Filips.
Tuna Stroganoff Casserole
A twist on tuna casserole and classic stroganoff. This baked dish is a creamy mixture of sour cream, mayonnaise, milk, cream of celery soup, Cheddar cheese, tuna, and cooked pasta, topped with bread crumbs. You might also try it with cream of mushroom soup and/or a cracker crumb topping. "Very good recipe," says Patti3ds. "I added one more can of tuna and chopped fresh spinach. The spinach didn’t add anything special to the recipe, but didn’t take away from the taste, so was a great way to add greens."