15 Quick and Easy Italian Dinners Ready in 45 Minutes or Less
We can't get enough Italian food. Sure, some Italian recipes are a little worky or time-consuming -- like layered lasagna's and long-simmering tomato and meat sauces. But there's another side of Italian cuisine that features the quick and easy. These are the dishes that favor simple preparations. They cook in a flash, with quick sauces, using ingredients that don't require too much fussing. We've gathered some of our favorite quick Italian recipes, so you can eat Italian food every night of the week, even on the busiest days!
A quick-and-easy Italian pork dinner with a simple wine sauce; it's ready in 30 minutes. "An excellent dish," says Libby Glenn. "I've never had Marsala as good in a restaurant! Very easy to make! Everyone at my house loves mushrooms, so I doubled the amount called for."
Spaghetti Alla Carbonara Tradizionali
A "true Italian" carbonara recipe, it's ready in about 30 minutes. "You can't get more authentic than this recipe," says Andry008. "There's no cream, just eggs, and Pecorino Romano cheese, not Parmesan. Top with extra Pecorino-Romano cheese, salt, and pepper."
Italian Sausage, Peppers, and Onions
A quick skillet meal that's ready in about 40 minutes. "This is always a treat," says naples34012. "I think every Italian family makes this dish, with slight variations of course, within their own family traditions. Great on Italian rolls or over a sturdy pasta."
Chef John's Shrimp Fra Diavolo
This southern Italian shrimp dish is devilishly delicious shrimp dinner. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh chopped herbs. "This meal is simply exceptional," says Chris Weaver. "I found it a joy to make for dinner." Substitution suggestion: "I didn't have shrimp on hand," says Christine Shepard," so I used leftover steamed lobster tail and fresh clams to substitute for the shrimp."
Sausage and Farro Skillet with Mushrooms and Delicata Squash
Here's a simple, one-pan skillet supper with Italian sausage, farro, and vegetables that's ready in about 35 mintues. "I like the savory flavor that mushrooms and winter squash lend to this dish, but you could use almost any vegetables here with great results!" says Diana Moutsopoulos.
A real family favorite, this recipe is ready in about 45 minutes. It's super versatile; Top the chicken with your favorite toppings! Several reviewers added red peppers, mushrooms, etc. Others switched from pizza sauce to spaghetti sauce and from pepperoni to salami. But it was a 5-star favorite for all! "My family went nuts for this chicke!" raves missrochester. "Very, very good! I used my own homemade pasta with cubed pepperoni in it."
Shrimp Scampi with Pasta
This scampi is easy enough for a quick weeknight meal but elegant enough for special occasions. It's on the table in about 40 minutes. You'll add shrimp to a rich sauce of butter, olive oil, shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes, deglazing the pan with white wine and lemon juice. "Delicious and so easy to cook," says Christina Lazarou. "My family loved it. This dish will definitely be apart of my routine."
"A delicious, classic chicken dish," says Lisa. "Lightly coated chicken breasts braised with Marsala wine and mushrooms. Easy and ideal for both a quick weeknight entree AND serving to company."
Penne with Chicken and Pesto
This quick pesto pasta dish is ready in about 30 minutes. So simple. You'll saute chicken and garlic and then stir in cream, pesto, and Parmesan cheese. "I sometimes substitute chicken broth for half the heavy cream called for in the recipe,' says MARYSTEVE, who submitted the recipe.
Manicotti Italian Casserole
A baked manicotti dish that's ready in about 40 minutes! You'll add browned ground beef and Italian sausage to a baking dish, along with mushrooms, spaghetti sauce, and cooked pasta. Sprinkle cheese and pepperoni over the top and bake to bubbly. "A great, quick meal option," says Jenna F. "I don't have very much time and this was just what I needed."
An "easy and light pasta with tomatoes and garlic" that's ready in about 30 minutes. "Cooked chicken breast chunks or shrimp can also be added to sauce for a great main dish," recommends DEBNJAMES.
Ready in less than an hour. "My husband and I love shrimp scampi," says JasnsWif. "Since tilapia is usually cheaper than shrimp at the store, I concocted this easy recipe to enjoy the flavor of scampi at the price of tilapia!
Pasta Fazool (Pasta e Fagioli)
Easy and extra meaty, this Italian-American version of Pasta e Fagioli is one of the world's best comfort foods. Chef John says, "This classic Italian-American comfort food works with any kind of sausage, but I like the fennel and anise flavors of sweet Italian sausage with the beans--it's a hearty soup that's fast and easy to put together."
Spaghetti with Tuna and Capers
It's ready in about 25 minutes. The recipe submitter, Kim's Cooking Now, says, "With a few simple ingredients, you can have a delicious meal! My husband came up with this recipe while we are on "stay at home" orders due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It was quick, easy, and delicious!"
Flatbread lasagna is ready in about 40 minutes. It features ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses, Italian seasoning, sausage, and marinara sauce. "I love this simple recipe!" raves MeddlingMonkeys. "I used garlic naan instead of flatbread."