20 Favorite Fall Pasta Dishes That Will Keep You Cozy

Lasagna, Spaghetti, and So Much More

Vegetarian Spinach and Ricotta Pasta

The Spruce

When the temperatures start to dip, our cravings for cozy carbs heat up. This time of year, we love pasta for after the kids' football games, weekend leaf-peeping excursions, or for bringing the whole family together over one of the most traditional comfort foods around. Whatever your tastes, you're sure to find a new favorite.

  • 01 of 20

    Bacon Alfredo Pasta Bake

    Bacon Alfredo Pasta Casserole recipe

    The Spruce

    This easy baked dish features all of the bacon, egg, and cheesy goodness of a classic Carbonara, without standing over the stove. Because it uses cream cheese in the sauce, you'll find this version even richer. Serve it with a glass of white wine or sparkling grape juice, to really kick up the class.

  • 02 of 20

    Easy Creamy Tomato Sauce Spaghetti

    Creamy Tomato Pasta

    The Spruce

    If you usually just open a jar of red sauce over your spaghetti, get ready to level up. This simple recipe adds cream cheese and onions for extra flavor and velvety texture, without getting complicated. Put your own spin on it by adding sliced mushrooms, spinach, ground beef or sausage, or other meat and veggies for extra oomph.

  • 03 of 20

    Tortellini and Meatball Casserole

    Tricolor Tortellini
    sbossert / Getty Images

    It just doesn't get any easier than this. When you're pressed for time, too tired to cook, or need a casserole the kids can make themselves, turn to this one. Just defrost a package of ravioli or tortellini and one of frozen meatballs, then add a jar each of Alfredo and red sauce and a little milk. Top that with a little shredded cheese, bake, and you're done!

  • 04 of 20

    The Creamiest Pasta Alfredo

    Pasta Alfredo


    LauriPatterson / Getty Images

    If you're still using jarred Alfredo sauce for your pasta, you obviously haven't tried this version. You won't find a silkier, creamier, heartier version anywhere. Eat this stick-to-your-ribs dish right away, because the sauce continues to thicken as it stands. Feel free to make it with spaghetti or any other long pasta.

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  • 05 of 20

    Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

    Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

    The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo

    Swap out squash for pasta in this gluten-free spaghetti squash alfredo dish. Cheesy, rich, and creamy as an alfredo should be, this dish is studded with broccoli, while the squash provides an extra boost of wholesome vegetable goodness. 

  • 06 of 20

    Lemony Chicken Pesto Pasta

    Lemony chicken pesto pasta

    Lauri Patterson / Getty Images

    Don't relegate fresh flavors to spring and summer. Just add lemon zest and juice to packaged pesto and cream, then toss it with this pasta and chicken for a quick dinner that's impressive enough for dinner guests. Add peas or your favorite frozen vegetables to round it out, and serve alongside a green salad for a simple, beautiful meal.

  • 07 of 20

    Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

    Artichoke sundried tomato pasta

    The Spruce

    Not only is this dish simple to make with jarred ingredients, but it also tastes like autumn. Toss salty, sweet sun-dried tomatoes and umami artichokes, and fresh or roasted red peppers with bow-tie pasta for an easy but lovely dinner. For a little pizzazz, drizzle with good balsamic vinegar just before serving.

  • 08 of 20

    Chicken Carbonara

    Chicken carbonara in a serving bowl with parsley garnish

    The Spruce / Anita Schecter

    Chicken carbonara is a comforting meal that cooks up fast in one skillet except for the pasta which is boiled separately. The pasta is rewarmed at the end in the same pan with the creamy, cheesy sauce studded with bacon.

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  • 09 of 20

    Super Easy Cacio e Pepe Pasta

    A serving of cacio e pepe pasta in a bowl with a spoon

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

    This three-ingredient cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) pasta recipe can be on the table in 15 minutes. Simply boil a pot of spaghetti, grate a chunk of cheese, and mix in crushed toasted peppercorns. The result is a creamy pasta sauce that packs a punch.

  • 10 of 20

    Vegan Pumpkin Pasta

    Vegan pumpkin pasta recipe

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    Go full-throttle on fall with this vegan pumpkin pasta. You don't need animal products to make this creamy, low-fat sauce, and can make the dish with pasta shells, bow-ties or any shape you prefer. Carnivores can also add sausage for that little extra something. Whip this up after carving your Jack-o-Lanterns or to rev up for Thanksgiving.

  • 11 of 20

    Pork Ragu

    Pork Ragu

    Jennifer Perillo 

    This slow-cooked sauce is the perfect recipe for a chilly fall day. The pork shoulder is browned on the stove and then cooked in the oven for a few hours along with aromatics, wine, and tomatoes. The pork is then shredded, making a hearty, satisfying ragu to spoon over pasta.

  • 12 of 20

    Penne all' Amatriciana

    Penne all’ Amatriciana Recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Elaine Lemm

    Named for the Italian town of Amatrice, this pork pasta dish is quick and comforting. Penne all' Amatriciana features cubed guanciale or pancetta. The tomato-based sauce is a flavorful mix of onion, garlic, red wine, and chili flakes that can be frozen so your next meal is quicker. Tossed with penne, it's a dish the whole family will enjoy.

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  • 13 of 20

    Spicy Penne al'Arrabbiata

    Penne Allarrabbiata

    The Spruce

    This classic Italian dish's name means "angry" because it's made with spicy red peppers and plenty of garlic. You can adjust the spice level to taste and add basil, onions, or oregano, too. Use penne, ziti, or whichever pasta shape you like best. It comes together in about the time it takes to boil water, making it perfect for taking the chill off after a long day playing in the leaves.

  • 14 of 20

    Cheesy Pasta Frittata

    Pasta frittata

    Jim Scherer / Getty Images

    Pasta for breakfast? You bet! Use up leftover pasta in this simple casserole that works as well for breakfast or brunch as it does for a unique dinner. In addition to pasta, you can add any vegetables, cheese, meat, or herbs you have in the fridge. Get creative with this dish, that also reheats well.

  • 15 of 20

    Vegetarian Spinach and Ricotta Pasta

    Vegetarian spinach and ricotta pasta

    The Spruce

    When you need a dish that's fancy enough for company, but satisfies dietary restrictions, look no further than this spinach and ricotta pasta. Use good-quality olive oil and freshly grated parmesan to punch it up even further. Even beginner cooks can create this party-worthy favorite, which also works well with gluten-free pasta and dairy substitutes. Serve with a nice white wine and crusty bread for a classy meal.

  • 16 of 20

    Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

    Crock pot mac and cheese

    The Spruce 

    Football Sundays call for slow cooker recipes, and we've got a great dinner one for you. This macaroni and cheese only takes a few hours, which means you can toss it in while watching the big game and have it ready by the last touchdown. Add ground beef and tomatoes for a goulash version, or sprinkle in some crushed red pepper for spice.

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  • 17 of 20

    Sneaky Vegetable Lasagna

    Vegetable lasagna

    tovfla / Getty Images 

    This veggie-loaded lasagna takes some time, but it'll make your house smell amazing on one of those crisp days. Picky eaters will even love the vegetables hiding in every layer. Add ground beef or sausage for extra heft, or mix up the veggie blend to match your family's favorites. Don't forget to give yourself a solid few hours to put it all together, plus plenty of time to cool.

  • 18 of 20

    Super Cheesy Stuffed Shells

    Super cheesy stuffed shells

    Jim Norton / Getty Images

    Cheese fans, meet your new go-to. Warm up in peak sweater weather with these comfortingly gooey pasta shells. Add more garlic or other spices to taste and feel free to play with the cheese mixture. Pair this recipe with garlic bread and a green salad for a complete meal. You'll want to have seconds, for sure.

  • 19 of 20

    Meaty Rigatoni Meal

    Meaty rigatoni meal

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    A hearty, meaty bolognese sauce is the star of the show in this old-school Italian standard. You can either eat it right away off the stove, or top with shredded parmesan or mozzarella cheese and bake until bubbly. Depending on your tastes, use sweet, hot, or mild sausage. This dish will make you swear off jarred meat sauce forever, so don't say we didn't warn you.

  • 20 of 20

    Simple Skillet Spaghetti

    Simple skillet spaghetti

    The Picture Pantry / Getty Images

    Break out the cast iron for a change from boiled pasta. This skillet spaghetti lends itself to variation. Add the meat of your choice, chopped vegetables from the fridge, and the cheese of your choice to customize the flavors for your family. Add a green salad and some garlic bread and you've got a dinner for your brood or a dinner party.