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Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes the Whole Family Will Love

Quick and easy pasta recipes make mealtimes a breeze

In honor of National Pasta Month, your Food Town has been on the lookout for quick and easy pasta recipes that don’t just taste great, but feature budget-friendly ingredients you can find at your local grocery store. Of course, even though pasta is one of those dishes many of us eat all the time, there’s still a bit of mystery surrounding the many available sizes and shapes.

Before we dive into a few of our top-rated pasta dishes, let’s go back to basics about the pasta itself. Here’s a handy rundown of various noodle shapes — and which ones to serve with which sauces.

Long-cut Noodles:

  • Capellini: Commonly referred to as “angel hair”, this long, very thin pasta is perfect for light or creamy sauces.
  • Spaghetti: Used in heartier meat sauces or cream sauces, this noodle so many of us grew up with is an iconic pasta shape with incredible range.
  • Fettuccine: A flat, thick variety that works well with cream-based sauces. If this noodle had a spouse, it would be an alfredo.
  • Linguine: Similar to fettuccine, but with a bit more bulk, this noodle is perfect for seafood pasta dishes or light tomato sauces.
  • Pappardelle: These egg noodles are thick and flat, which makes them perfect for sauces with large bits of tomato or mushrooms.

Bite-sized Pasta:

  • Penne & Rigatoni: Although their shapes differ slightly, these varieties are larger, tube-shaped pastas. They’re the go-to shapes for any dish with a medley of chopped ingredients, including heavier meat sauces.
  • Farfalle: You can use bow tie pasta in lighter sauces or mixtures with roughly chopped vegetables.
  • Rotini & Fusilli: These spiral-shaped noodles catch and hold creamier sauces or add texture to a classic pasta salad.
  • Pearl & Melon Seed Pasta: Aptly named because of their small round shapes, these pasta varieties cook up quickly and are right at home in tasty soups. (But if you don’t see them alongside the other pastas, don’t get discouraged. You’ll find nearby, in our International aisle!)

Made-to-Fill Pasta:

  • Lasagna & Ziti: Though very different in shape (lasagna noodles are wide and flat, while ziti takes on a tube-like shape), both varieties work well in pasta casseroles with heavy layers and thicker meat sauces.
  • Shells: This versatile shape with the self-explanatory name is great for creamier sauces, but the larger version can be used to bake cheesy stuffing mixtures.
  • Cannelloni & Manicotti: Think of these guys like penne on a grander scale. Both of these pasta shapes are used to stuff cheese or meat filling inside their larger tube-shaped structure, and are then covered with a heavy tomato or white sauce.

Now that we’ve got the basics covered, what do you say we dive into a few fun recipe ideas for that pasta?

With the holidays right around the corner, we know cooking quality meals on a budget can become a bit of a challenge. Oftentimes, it’s difficult to find alternatives to pricier ingredients without spending too much time searching through coupons and cookbooks.

This is where your neighborhood Food Town comes in to help you cut costs and substitute spices without sacrificing flavor. Read on for the rundown on quick and easy pasta recipes the whole family’s sure to love!

TikTok Baked Feta Pasta

TikTok Baked Feta Pasta
Here’s one pasta trend that took the internet (and especially TikTok) by storm in early 2022, and for good reason. This baked feta pasta recipe is easy to cook, full of flavor and serves around four to six people at a time. As an added bonus, it only calls for a handful of ingredients and offers multiple substitutions.

All you have to do is put all your tomatoes and feta cheese in one cooking dish, then place it in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. The recipe calls for the pasta to be cooked separately, but that process typically takes less than 15 minutes.  So, you’re ready to mix, season and serve by the time your dish comes out!


  • Feta cheese or queso fresco
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Bite-sized pasta
  • Garlic
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Basil
  • Parsley

As far as shelf life goes, fresh basil might be the most expensive ingredient on your list. Luckily, you can substitute spinach, dried basil or any Italian seasoning you have in your pantry. While fresh basil has a more distinct and herbal flavor, spinach has an earthier taste that pairs well with cheese and tomatoes. Popeye’s favorite snack is also an excellent source of nutrients, especially protein, which can keep growing kids and their parents satisfied.

And if feta cheese doesn’t typically make it on your grocery list, queso fresco or cream cheese can make for a great substitute! (Even better? They’re regularly on sale at your Food Town!)

Easy One-Pan Pasta

Easy One-Pan Pasta
Looking for a crowd-pleaser that’s easy to make (and soft on the budget, too)? We’ve got you covered, friends! Our one-pan pasta takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and feeds the entire family. This recipe calls for ingredients that are easy to source — and all you need to do is mix everything together in one pot with water, then let it simmer. (Talk about easy!)


  • Long-cut noodles (linguine)
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan
  • Water


  • Red pepper flakes
  • Basil

You won’t find a long list of substitutions with this recipe, because the ingredients are easy to find at the grocery store. (And you have the flexibility to purchase your tomato of choice.) If some of these items aren’t typically on your shopping list, make sure to check out Food Town’s weekly ads.

Mushroom and Garlic Fettuccine

Mushroom and Garlic Butter Fettuccine
Don’t have the time (or desire) to shop tons of ingredients? This yummy dish has YOU written all over it. Our mushroom and garlic butter fettuccine doesn’t just feature low-budget ingredients, but it also allows for all sorts of substitutions. That means you can work with what you like — or with whatever you already happen to have in the pantry.

Any dried Italian blend seasoning will work with this dish and help you avoid spending extra on products with a short shelf life. And this recipe works with nearly every pasta shape, including stuffed pasta! Additionally, you can use almost any mushroom. (But there’s a chance a mushroom you haven’t tried is featured in one of your Food Town’s in-store ads or digital deals. Why not branch out and taste something new?)


  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Fresh herbs (oregano and basil are recommended)
  • Mushrooms
  • Baby spinach or kale
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Fettuccine
  • Queso fresco

Not sure where to start when it comes to the mushrooms? Not to worry! Because these ingredients are easy to use and compliment most fungi flavors, we’ve pulled together a list of the best mushrooms for pasta, and ingredients that pair well with them.

  • White button mushrooms are extremely mild and work well in more robust sauces and herbal seasonings.
  • Cremini (baby bella) mushrooms are among the most popular varieties for pasta dishes, thanks to their robust flavor. These mushrooms compliment almost any sauce and pair well with most proteins.
  • Portabella mushrooms are the grown-up version of baby bellas. These caps are dense and rich, so they pair well with most sauces.
  • Oyster mushrooms have a mild, briny flavor that pairs well with light pasta sauces and seafood.
  • Maitake mushrooms have a unique earthy flavor that works well with garlic and white wine-reduced sauces.

Many of these recipes have variations with additional ingredients you might already have in your kitchen, so you can put your own twist on the dishes. (And that’s half the fun of cooking, if you ask us!)

We hope these quick and easy pasta recipes inspire you to try something new in the kitchen — and helped you learn a few ways you can save on ingredients. Remember, our shelves are stocked with all of your favorite pasta brands — Anatina, No Yolks, Barilla, La Moderna and Pagasa, to name a few.  (And our Recipes page is filled with all sorts of other dishes and flavors to explore!)

When you’re pulling together your next grocery list, make sure to check out Food Town’s weekly grocery ads and consult your Food Town+ app for digital coupons and other ways to save! Swift Savings yellow coupons, located all throughout your Food Town, also make it easy to fill your cart for less. We look forward to seeing you soon, neighbor!

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