Everyone loves a hearty pasta dinner. Even better, these dishes are simple to make and easy on the wallet
Pasta is the perfect standby ingredient: It keeps for months in your pantry and is endlessly versatile. But why settle for the same old sauce? Branch out with these creative recipes, perfect for a family on a budget.
Cost per serving: $1.27
Substitute part-skim ricotta for regular and you’ll save 25 calories and 3 grams of fat per serving. Another healthy move: Swap in whole-wheat pasta to increase the fiber and nutrients.
See recipe: Pasta with Ricotta and Edamame
Cost per serving: $1.40
Olives, feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes star in this simple salad, perfect for an outdoor gathering.
See recipe: Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Cost per serving: $1.75
Take advantage of seasonal vegetables with this pasta salad recipe. It calls for a yogurt-mayonnaise dressing that cuts fat without sacrificing creaminess; chopped chives give it punch.
See recipe: Garden Pasta Salad
Cost per serving: $1.32
To make this dish even more economical, in place of proscuitto, use bacon (just cook it before adding to the pan).
See recipe: Penne with Sweet Peas and Prosciutto
Cost per serving: $1.46
This classic pasta recipe combines fresh vegetables and family-pleasing cheese in one dish. If you don’t like lima beans, swap in frozen shelled edamame.
See recipe: Cheesy Pasta Primavera
Cost per serving: $1.60
It’s easy to be green! This fresh pasta recipe uses nonfat yogurt to make the pesto lighter. Serve with any short, curly pasta, and save leftovers to use as a cracker dip or on a sandwich.
See Recipe: Pasta with Yogurt Pesto
Cost per serving: $1.05
This budget meal dresses up frozen tortellini in a cheesy cream sauce. Use frozen peas, and don’t bother to defrost them―just throw them in the pot with the tortellini 30 seconds before draining. Don’t like peas? Swap in any frozen veggie, such as broccoli florets, asparagus tips or mixed vegetables.
See recipe: Tortellini with Ham and Peas