15 Budget-Friendly Recipes Starring Pasta

15 Budget-Friendly Recipes Starring Pasta

Ariel Knutson
Sep 20, 2016
(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

Eating on a budget can be easy when you have pasta in your pantry. With a little sauce, cheese, some protein (maybe), and some veggies (maybe), you can have a delicious meal in very little time. Here are our favorite budget-friendly pasta recipes that can work for lunch, dinner, and all your leftover needs.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

1. Pasta and Potatoes with Cabbage (Pizzoccheri)

This recipe uses hearty (and generally cheap) vegetables — potatoes and cabbage — to create a satisfying meal. It's perfect for winter, but also something that's nice to just cozy up to when you're in the mood.

(Image credit: Coco Morante)

2. Pasta Salad with Roasted Peppers, Tuna & Oregano

This pantry-friendly pasta salad gets dressed up with canned tuna and roasted peppers. The dish also includes a delicious oregano vinaigrette.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

3. Chicken and Broccoli Penne Pasta

Pasta, sauce, chicken, and vegetable — it's an easy combination that, when done right, can be both cheap and delicious. This chicken and broccoli number comes together with an indulgent cream sauce.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

4. Chili with Pasta and Cheddar

Chili and pasta are a pretty delicious pair. This recipe calls for making chili from scratch before you add it to pasta, but I think just about any chili recipe will do. Go ahead and try this pumpkin chili if you're up to it.

(Image credit: Karla Conrad)

5. 20-Minute Spicy Tomato-Mushroom Tortellini

Cheese tortellini holds a special place in my heart. It feels so fancy — like you made it from scratch — but it's pretty cheap and the easiest thing in the world to make. Pair this classic with tomatoes and even more cheese because life is short.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

6. Creamy One-Pot Pumpkin Pasta

Turn one can of pumpkin purée into a delicious pasta sauce. Top the whole thing with some pumpkin seeds, Parmesan, and sage.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

7. Pan-Roasted Cauliflower & Pasta with Tomato-Cream Sauce

This pasta gets a hearty lift from roasted cauliflower. The whole dish is laced with breadcrumbs, tomatoes, and basil.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

8. Vegan Beet Pesto Pasta

This gorgeous pasta looks fancy as hell, but it's actually super easy to make and requires very few ingredients. The pink color of the pasta is made from beets, obviously. I like that this recipe uses almonds instead of pine nuts to make the pesto.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

9. Skillet Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is the classic budget pasta dish to make at home. This recipe switches things up a little by using Dijon mustard for a classic, rich dish.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

10. Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake

This dish will be there for you if you're having a rough day. There's cream cheese and hot sauce and chicken to keep you happy.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

11. Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad

This recipe uses purchased basil pesto, store-bought pasta, and cherry tomatoes. You can cut down on the price of pesto by making your own and subbing in another, cheaper nut for pine nuts (which tend to be on the pricier side of things).

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

12. Broccoli and Feta Pasta Salad

This is great for lunch or dinner with a little grilled chicken mixed in.

(Image credit: Karla Conrad)

13. Garlicky Shrimp Scampi

Grab a bag of frozen shrimp at the grocery store and make this easy pasta recipe.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

14. Lighter Baked Mac and Cheese

This mac and cheese recipe uses cottage cheese to lighten the classic dish. It's all loaded with roasted red peppers.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

15. Feta & Eggplant Pasta Salad

Savor the last days of summer with this delicious recipe. It uses eggplant, fresh herbs, and tangy feta.

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