Lunchtime is a catch-22 for a lot of workers. Do you shell out big bucks for a tasty (sometimes healthy) 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.
Here are our favorite lunchtime pasta recipes.
1. 20-minute creamy Meyer lemon pasta recipe
Creamy pasta doesn’t have to taste heavy. Here, sunny Meyer lemon brightens things up.
2. Tortellini chili recipe
Tired of the same old pasta with red sauce? Jazz things up with plump tortellini and hearty chili.
3. Pasta with sausage, spinach & creamy Gorgonzola recipe
Full of flavor thanks to sausage and Gorgonzola, this pasta is a great midday pick-me-up.
4. Red pepper & butternut squash pasta recipe
This creamy pasta sauce is actually vegan — or vegetarian if you garnish with a sprinkle of cheese.
5. One-skillet spicy sausage pasta recipe
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
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
Delightfully creamy with a garlicky punch, this hearty pasta will keep you going all day long.
8. Pasta with pumpkin cream sauce & crispy sage recipe
Enjoy a taste of fall all year-round with this luscious pumpkin and sage pasta.
9. Baked pasta with Sriracha cream sauce recipe
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.
10. Cheesy pesto-chicken-stuffed shells recipe
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 & bacon recipe
Hearty greens pack a nutritional wallop while smoky bacon keeps things fun in this tasty dish.
12. One-pot chicken enchilada pasta recipe
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
Simple and classic, this one-skillet meal will fill your lunchbox all week long.
14. Chili spaghetti recipe
Repurpose some leftover chili or create it from scratch in this unique spaghetti recipe.
A version of this article was originally published in March 2015.