Quick Italian Recipes
Spinach and Prosciutto Lasagna
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.
Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs
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.
Chicken with Tomatoes and Mushrooms
In this easy version of chicken cacciatore, chicken breasts are simmered in a rich tomato, garlic, and mushroom sauce. Serve over rice, noodles, or with Italian bread to mop up the sauce.
Tortellini with Mushroom Sauce
Shiitake mushrooms in an easy garlic-Parmesan sauce add satisfying flavor to this vegetarian dinner. Frozen cheese tortellini is the secret to getting this meal on the table in no time.
Pasta puttanesca is an excellent quick pantry meal, because it's possible to keep the ingredients on hand at all times. Garlic, red-pepper flakes, anchovies, capers, kalamata olives, and a can of tomatoes make a richly flavored and satisfying sauce.Get the Spaghetti Puttanesca Recipe
Chicken Tenders Parmesan with Penne and Broccoli
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.
Shrimp, Tomato, and Basil Pasta
Canned diced tomatoes and fresh cherry tomatoes make a richly flavored sauce for linguine. Sweet shrimp and lots of fresh basil add brightness to this easy main dish.
Three-Cheese Skillet Lasagna
Canned plum tomatoes and fresh garlic make an easy, flavorful marinara sauce. Baking the lasagna in the same skillet used to simmer the tomato sauce makes this lasagna extra quick to make.
Lighter Eggplant Parmesan
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.
Orecchiette with Sausage and Roasted Peppers
Homemade roasted bell peppers are easy to make and add an exquisitely smoky-sweet flavor to this pasta dish. Sweet Italian sausage and Parmesan cheese make this meal satisfying and savory.
Spinach Risotto with Peas
Chopped fresh spinach and frozen peas bring their bright-green color and mild flavor to this risotto. The secret to creamy, perfectly tender risotto is to add the broth gradually.
Penne alla Norma
This spicy Sicilian pasta dish combines onion, garlic, eggplant, tomatoes, basil, and ricotta cheese. Penne rigate (rigate means "ridged") is the perfect pasta shape to hold this chunky vegetarian sauce.
Marsala Chicken with Sage and Cremini Mushrooms
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.
This classic Italian dish is traditionally made with pancetta, but any kind of bacon will serve perfectly well. Beaten eggs, half-and-half, and Parmesan cheese form a creamy sauce when stirred into the hot cooked spaghetti.
Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Fennel and Garlic
Tender pork loin is seasoned simply with olive oil and oregano. Sliced fresh fennel bulbs and whole garlic cloves roast alongside the pork, becoming caramelized and sweet.
Thanks to no-boil noodles, this vegetarian lasagna takes just 15 minutes to assemble. A creamy, slightly tangy mixture of reduced-fat cream cheese and ricotta cheese is spread between layers of oregano-seasoned zucchini.
Purchased ravioli is at the base of this easy baked pasta dinner that kids will love. Vary the kind of ravioli you use, from cheese to beef to pumpkin, to introduce endless variety to the dish.
Tomato and Olive Penne
With the intense flavors of garlic, sauteed cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and Parmesan cheese, you won't even notice that this dish is meatless. Amp up the flavor even further by adding capers and chopped anchovies.
Creamy Fettuccine with Two Cheeses
Pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheeses blend with half-and-half to make an easy, rich sauce for fettuccine or any other pasta shape you choose. Add vegetables and shrimp, scallops, or chicken to make this a complete meal.
Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Spinach and Ricotta
A mixture of ricotta cheese, minced garlic, and frozen chopped spinach is stuffed between the meat and skin of large, bone-in chicken breasts. Plum tomatoes are roasted alongside the chicken for an easy, flavorful side dish.
Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas
Salty prosciutto, sweet green peas, and zingy lemon zest complement one another in a Parmesan-cream sauce. Hint: Prosciutto is easiest to slice when cold.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Onion, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan cheese flavor great big meatballs made from lean ground beef. The easy tomato sauce gets a hint of sweetness from grated carrot.
Butternut Squash Risotto
As a timesaving measure, chunks of fresh butternut squash cook right along with the rice in this easy risotto. For easy preparation of the squash, make sure your peeler and your knife are nice and sharp.
Penne with Ricotta and Pine Nuts
In this super-quick pasta dish, fresh spinach cooks with the penne. Toasted pine nuts and a dollop of ricotta cheese make a sophisticated finish.
Pork Cutlets Parmesan
We cut the fat and kept the flavor in this recipe for the Italian classic, pork cutlets Parmesan. Serve the breadcrumb-coated, pan-fried cutlets with sauteed greens and pasta in a simple tomato sauce.
Baked Ziti with Crunchy Italian Salad and Garlic Bread
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.
Bucatini with Pancetta, Tomatoes, and Onion
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.
Thin chicken breast cutlets coated in a Parmesan-breadcrumb mixture are pan-fried in olive oil just until crisp and juicy. The cutlets are arranged on a bed of tomato sauce, topped with fresh mozzarella, and broiled briefly to make the cheese melted and bubbly.
Gemelli with Sausage, Swiss Chard, and Pine Nuts
Gemelli is a short, spiral-shaped pasta that's satisfyingly chewy. It stands up well in this hearty sauce of Italian sausage, Swiss chard, raisins, and pine nuts.
Orecchiette with Cauliflower
Cauliflower, anchovies, parsley, and red-pepper flakes are a classic Southern Italian pairing with pasta. Dial up the flavor even more by roasting the cauliflower, or adding raisins and toasted pine nuts to the mixture.
Broccoli, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stromboli
Similar to rolled-up pizzas, these stromboli are stuffed with broccoli, salami, and mozzarella cheese. Using purchased pizza dough and marinara sauce makes this kid-pleasing dinner quick to prepare.
Chicken with Prosciutto and Sage
This easy version of the Italian dish known as Saltimbocca alla Romana replaces the traditional veal with chicken breasts. A sage leaf and a slice of prosciutto wrap each chicken breast, which is then drizzled with a quick white wine sauce.