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12 Restaurant-Style Pasta Dinners

This roundup of 12 Restaurant-Style Pasta Dinners will make eating in feel like a night out! With fresh ingredients, creamy sauces, and pantry staples, there is something for everyone to love.

CLICK on each image to access the full post, and read more below!

Tips for Homemade Pasta Dishes Taste Like a Restaurant

Why does restaurant pasta taste so good?

Restaurants heavily salt their pasta water, and use a large amount of fat and salt in their actual dishes. Some of these tricks we can follow when making pasta at home.

How Can I Make Homemade pasta taste as good as a restaurant?

Use tender herbs when garnishing, such as basil and parsley. They pack a ton of flavor and can make any meal taste “fresh.”
Don’t forget acid. A squeeze of lemon juice instantly brightens things up and can help you better experience the other flavors of the dish.
Heavily salt your pasta water. This will season the noodles from the inside out, and you’ll drain most of the sodium away after cooking.
To mimic cream, blend soaked cashews and water for richness and body in a thicker sauce.
Where appropriate, use a heavy hand for extra virgin olive oil. It makes everything better!

12 of the Best Restaurant-Inspired Pasta Recipes

Read more about each of these recipes below!

1. Pasta with 12 Cloves of Garlic

Love pantry meals? Try this Simple Garlic Spaghetti, made with 12 whole cloves! While this sounds like a lot, we cook them in stages to ensure a pleasant (not biting) flavor. It’s the perfect healthy weeknight dish!

2. Sweet Corn Pasta with Basil and Tomatoes

This Creamy Sweet Corn Pasta with Basil and Tomatoes is a simple and healthy dinner that’s completely vegan! Instead of using cream, we’re boiling corn cobs to create a starchy, infused cooking water. Adding basil and tomatoes makes this the perfect summer meal.

3. French Onion Pasta Bake

Inspired by the classic soup, this French Onion Pasta Bake is a hearty and healthy weeknight dinner! Made with caramelized onions and a creamy dairy-free sauce, it’s a comforting meal with traditional flavors. It’s a high protein vegan meal everyone will enjoy!

4. Microwave Cacio e Pepe

Get dinner ready in 10 minutes with this easy microwave pasta: Cacio e Pepe ! Totally vegan and easily gluten-free, this affordable meal is great for a busy weeknight.

5. Pink Pasta with Rosé Cream Sauce

This creamy pink sauce pasta is a perfect summer meal; it’s totally vegan and decadently splashed with rose! Of course it’s a great excuse for a few glasses of wine while cooking, too. Ready in under an hour!

6. Skillet Vegetable Lasagna

Summer veggies take on a new life in this fresh skillet lasagna! Cashew ricotta keeps this dinner totally plant-based, and ready in under 30 minutes.

7. Crispy Orzo with Peas and Garlic Butter

This recipe for Crispy Orzo with Peas and Garlic Butter is a perfect pantry meal that is packed with flavor and so comforting! Ready in just 15 minutes, it’s a family-friendly healthy weeknight dinner that everyone will love. Totally vegan with gluten-free options!

8. Crispy Baked Ravioli

These Cheesy & Crispy Ravioli Bites are a baked (not fried) treat perfect for game day snacking! Store-bought ravioli coated in herby breadcrumbs and cheese, they’re great for dunking into warmed marinara sauce. They’re a vegan recipe that’s fun to make and ready in 20 minutes!

9. Ratatouille Couscous

This recipe Roasted Ratatouille Couscous is such a simple weeknight dinner, full of fresh summer vegetables including zucchini, eggplant, red peppers, and cherry tomatoes. Flavored with fresh herbs and roasted garlic, it’s a new take on a vegan grain salad the whole family can enjoy. Packs well for a picnic, too!

10. Sage Brown Butter Ravioli

This super-simple recipe for Sage Brown Butter Sauce is the perfect complement for butternut squash ravioli! This celebration of fall flavors makes for a perfect weeknight dinner that is ready in just about 15 minutes. Vegan and easily gluten-free!

11. Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad

This Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad Recipe is full of flavor from sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and cheesy breadcrumbs. Similar to a Romesco sauce, this dish is delicious hot or cold and great for picnics and cookouts. Vegan and easily gluten-free!

12. Sesame Ginger Noodles

Thought not a true “pasta,” these 15-Minute Sesame Ginger Noodles are ready in a flash and full of flavor! Inspired by takeout, this is an ideal quick dinner that’s full of nourishing ingredients like crunchy vegetables and protein-rich edamame. Since it’s totally customizable as well, this will be a new favorite!

Portrait of Emily, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Hi, I'm Emily! Garlic Head is a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets. My recipes focus on entertaining-style cuisine, perfect for celebrating all of life's little moments! Meet me here.

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Garlic Head is a plant-based community founded by me, Emily. I focus on providing affordable, simple, & healthy recipes for entertaining.

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