Italian dishes have become an integral part of American cuisine. Many favorite family dinners are centered around Italian, and Italian-inspired, recipes. Pasta in its many shapes is always a hit with kids and has the added convenience of cooking quickly and having an almost infinite shelf life. So dig in here and choose from dozens of our best recipes for quick Italian meals, all of which can be made in 60 minutes or less.
With its layers of spinach, ricotta, tomato sauce, prosciutto, and mozzarella cheese, this lasagna tastes like it took a long time to make. However, using frozen spinach, jarred sauce, and no-boil lasagna noodles makes it fast enough for a weeknight dinner.
Proving that simplicity can be beautiful, this version of the family favorite begins with homemade meatballs comprised of flavorful ground beef chuck seasoned with fresh parsley, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. The spaghetti and meatballs are bathed in a sauce comprised simply of canned crushed tomatoes in puree.
In this lighter, simpler version of classic chicken parmesan, chicken breast tenders are coated in a Parmesan cheese and breadcrumb mixture, and then broiled, not fried. An easy side dish of penne pasta and broccoli makes this a complete meal that the whole family will love.
The breadcrumb-and-Parmesan-coated eggplant slices are baked, not fried, in this lighter version of the Italian American favorite. A bechamel sauce made with skim milk is mixed with homemade or store-bought marinara sauce to make a lightly creamy, garlicky pink sauce.
The amounts of butter and cream have been reduced to create a lighter version of the classic chicken Marsala, but you'll never know there's anything missing. Mushrooms, sage, shallots, and, of course, Marsala wine contribute lots of rich flavor to the chicken.
A soul-satisfying dinner of three-cheese baked ziti, garlic bread, and green salad with red-wine vinaigrette only takes 40 minutes, start to finish. Feel free to add browned sausage or thawed frozen spinach to the ziti mixture.
Based on traditional Italian amatriciana sauce, this short-cut version combines crisped pancetta with sauteed onion and garlic to make a simple, flavorful tomato sauce. If bucatini -- a long, hollow pasta shape -- isn't available, use spaghetti or penne.
An oven-baked version of eggplant Parmesan tops crusty Italian bread to make a satsifying vegetarian sandwich. For an extra treat, brush the halved loaf of bread with garlic butter and brown under the broiler before adding the layers of tomato sauce, eggplant, and mozzarella.
Spicy Italian sausage and broccoli rabe make perfect partners in this baked pasta dish. Fresh mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses form a bubbly topping.
Chicken thighs become rich and tender when braised in a flavorful tomato and white-wine sauce. Mushrooms, garlic, and green olives round out the flavors of this main dish, which becomes a complete meal when spooned over slices of crisp broiled polenta.
Lean chicken sausage and a high vegetable-to-pasta ratio cut down on calories but not flavor in this easy one-pot dinner. This recipe is a great base formula that can be easily adapted for any kind of green vegetable, such as kale or Swiss chard, and any kind of pasta, such as whole-wheat penne.