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26 pasta recipes that are easy to make and bring to work

Justina Huddleston is an editor and the head writer for TDmonthly Magazine. She has been a freelance writer for several years, though her real passion is cooking. You can see the recipes she creates on her vegan food blog, A Life of Litt...

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Lunchtime is a catch-22 for a lot of workers. Do you shell out big bucks for a tasty (but unhealthy) meal, or bring a sandwich from home that ends up soggy and squished by the time you get around to eating?

The answer, my friends, is neither! It turns out pasta is the perfect work lunch. Sauce and cheese keep things moist, while add-ins like Gorgonzola, Meyer lemon and sausage make for a much more exciting meal than anything you could get at the local coffee shop. Best of all, pasta freezes beautifully, so you can make a batch of pasta on Sunday, freeze it into individual portions and keep enjoying it all week long.

Creamy pasta

1. 20-Minute creamy Meyer lemon pasta recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Creamy pasta doesn't have to taste heavy. Here, sunny Meyer lemon brightens things up.

2. Tortellini chili recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Tired of the same old pasta with red sauce? Jazz things up with plump tortellini and hearty chili.

3. Pasta with sausage, spinach and creamy Gorgonzola recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Full of flavor thanks to sausage and Gorgonzola, this pasta is a great midday pick-me-up.

4. Red pepper and butternut squash pasta recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

This creamy pasta sauce is actually vegan — or vegetarian if you garnish with a sprinkle of cheese.

5. One-skillet spicy sausage pasta recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Make this quick meal the night before, and bring leftovers the next day. You'll get two satisfying meals without wasting a bunch of time in the kitchen.

6. Vegan "scallops" over pasta with creamy white wine sauce recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Microwaving seafood for lunch at the office is kind of a no-no, but these succulent vegan "scallops," made from mushrooms, are just as satisfying.

7. One-skillet creamy pasta with garlic chicken recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Delightfully creamy with a garlicky punch, this hearty pasta will keep you going all day long.

8. Pasta with pumpkin cream sauce and crispy sage recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Enjoy a taste of fall all year-round with this luscious pumpkin and sage pasta.

9. Baked pasta with Sriracha cream sauce recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

It's a little spicy and a lot delicious. Make this Sriracha pasta bake for dinner, and enjoy the leftovers at lunch all week long.

Hearty pasta

10. Cheesy pesto-chicken-stuffed shells recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

These pesto chicken shells are a dream when it comes to packing easy lunches. Freeze individual portions, then grab and go in the morning.

11. Pasta with collard greens and bacon recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Hearty greens pack a nutritional wallop while smoky bacon keeps things fun in this tasty dish.

12. One-pot chicken enchilada pasta recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Who said pasta has to be Italian? This warming pasta features the flavors of your favorite enchiladas.

13. One-skillet Italian sausage pasta with ricotta cheese recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Simple and classic, this one-skillet meal will fill your lunchbox all week long.

14. Chili spaghetti recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Repurpose some leftover chili, or create it from scratch in this unique spaghetti recipe.

Lighter pasta

15. Skinny roasted garlic tomato Alfredo recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Sometimes you don't want to get bogged down by a heavy lunch. That's when dishes like this skinny Alfredo come in handy.

16. Garlic kale pasta recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Kale is full of vitamins and fiber to help keep you full longer without putting you into a food coma.

17. Springtime pasta with pea pesto recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Fresh and light, this spring-y pesto pasta will brighten up your lunchtime.

18. Baked spaghetti squash casserole recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Craving pasta but avoiding carbs? This easy spaghetti squash casserole is for you.

19. Garlic chicken pasta with arugula recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Peppery arugula and moist chicken kick this simple pasta dish up a notch.

20. Ziti with broccoli rabe, pine nuts and pancetta recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Your lunch will be anything but boring with this pasta dish. I think we can all agree that bittersweet broccoli rabe, creamy pine nuts and salty pancetta are a cut above your standard cup-o-noodles.

21. Pasta and lentils with crispy bacon and zucchini recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

If you find yourself ravenous at lunch but are trying to be healthy, then this meal is perfect for you. Hearty protein- and fiber-rich lentils, zucchini and small pasta make for a hearty but healthy lunch.

Cold pasta

22. Cold pasta salad with asparagus, feta, blueberries and basil recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

We guarantee you won't find a meal like this in your office vending machine. This pasta salad with blueberries, asparagus and feta is straight-up gourmet.

23. Macaroni salad with bacon and cilantro recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Jazz up the classic macaroni salad with smoky, salty bacon and fresh cilantro. You'll be amazed at how two small ingredients can make such a big difference.

24. Asian pasta salad recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Full of crisp, colorful veggies, this pasta salad will give you the energy you need to finish your day strong.

25. Bruschetta pasta salad recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Bruschetta and pasta salad are a match made in heaven, bringing you a dish that's perfect for summer — or when you want to pretend it's not still winter.

26. Pasta salad without the mayo recipe

Who needs sandwiches when you could have one of these amazing lunch pastas instead?

Cool, fresh and light, pasta salad without mayo is the champion of lunchtime.

More lunch ideas

These 10 tricks make brown-bagging your lunch more exciting
Adults-only lunchbox: 4 Gourmet recipes for office lunches
Lunchbox trends: Not your mama's brown bag

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