When it comes to recipes that are easy to make, delicious and budget-friendly, a trusty pasta dish is hard to beat. One of the best things about pasta recipes is that they often taste just as good the next day, and tucking into leftovers for lunch saves time and money.
It’s no secret that we love to batch cook – making our favourite dishes in bulk and freezing leftovers for a rainy day. There are lots of really tasty pasta recipes that are perfect for batch cooking, with sauces that deepen in flavour when the dish is stored and reheated.
If you’re looking to stock up your freezer with handy options for busy days, we’ve got you covered with this list of the best pasta recipes for batch cooking.
Chilli Meatball Orzo
This Chilli Meatball Orzo is a batch-cook dream. Like any chilli recipe, the flavour only gets better with time, so whether you cook extra for lunch the next day or freeze a few portions for a busy week, it’ll be rich and savoury.
This recipe is made with orzo; small pasta grains that remind us of rice, and they give the dish a risotto-like texture when it’s cooked. Paired with juicy homemade meatballs and a vegetable-packed sauce, this is the best of all worlds!
Like with any recipe you plan to batch cook, make sure you let it cool completely before refrigerating or freezing in a suitable container.
Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
One of the best things about this Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta recipe is that you can use up all of your leftover veggies. We’ve used peppers, baby corn, carrots, spring onions, mushrooms and tomatoes, but anything goes!
Mix and match whichever vegetables you have going spare in the fridge and throw them in with your chicken pieces and seasonings. When everything’s cooked through, it’s just a case of mixing in your cooked pasta and stirring through the creamy, cheesy sauce.
The leftovers of this dish will keep well in the fridge for 2 days, but you can also freeze it for a ready-to-reheat meal another day. If you do plan to freeze it, you may need to add extra stock when cooking as it could dry out a little when reheating.
Pasta Bolognese Bake
You can never go wrong with a classic pasta bake, especially when it borrows the flavours from another much-loved pasta dish. That’s precisely what you get from this Pasta Bolognese Bake.
Beautifully simple to make, it’s ideal for making in big batches. You can easily double or triple the ingredients list to make the portions go a little further, and package up extra servings for your future self to enjoy.
Topped with cheese and baked in the oven until it’s golden and bubbling, few recipes smell as delicious as this one does!
Spicy Sausage Pasta
It only takes 25 minutes to make this slimming-friendly Spicy Sausage Pasta from scratch, and it also tastes great when you reheat it. Imagine finding a portion of this in your freezer on a day when you’re not sure what you fancy!
We love that this recipe works with just about any kind of sausage – try it with low fat chicken, pork or veggie sausages. Bulked out with vegetables and a hearty portion of pasta, it’s a whole, balanced meal that’s super filling and only 396 calories per serving.
Reheat it from chilled until it’s piping hot and treat yourself to a bowl of spicy comfort food anytime you fancy it.
Chicken Fajita Pasta
If you feel like you could eat chicken fajitas every day, you’ll love this Chicken Fajita Pasta recipe. We’ve swapped wraps for fusilli, and made our own spice mix to add the perfect smoky, spicy seasoning.
This is a family-sized, freezer-friendly dinner that will come in handy time and time again. Make more than you need and pop the extra servings in the freezer as soon as they’re cold enough. It’ll feel like such a treat when you crack out the leftovers on a rainy day!
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper & Chicken Pasta
This next recipe was such a website favourite that it earned itself a spot in our Comfort Food cookbook. We’re talking about perfectly cooked pasta. succulent, tender chicken and sweet, smoky red peppers cooked in a rich tomato sauce.
That’s right – it’s our super popular Creamy Roasted Red Pepper & Chicken Pasta recipe, and it’s just as batch-cook friendly as it is delicious. A proper crowd-pleaser, it’s quick and easy to make, and it serves 6 people, for just 297 calories per portion.
Squirrel away a few spare servings in the fridge or freezer for a heat-and-eat meal option on busier days.
Hunters Chicken Pasta Bake
Classic pub grub meets hearty comfort food, this Hunters Chicken Pasta Bake will tick all the boxes when you need an easy dinner recipe that’s big on flavour. The restaurant version of the cheesy, barbecue dish isn’t known for being particularly slimming friendly, but with a few clever swaps, this filling recipe is only 284 calories per portion.
Finished with a crispy, melted cheese crust, you’ll get 6 servings out of this recipe, so you can cook it in advance and freeze it in individual portions to keep you going through the week. Defrost your portion overnight in the fridge and then reheat it in the microwave in just a few minutes for a super satisfying dinner.
Baked Spaghetti with Chicken
Baked spaghetti might sound unusual, but trust the process! This Baked Spaghetti with Chicken recipe is finished off in the oven so that all your ingredients can mingle and absorb extra flavour.
We love to use chicken thighs in this dish as they’re so tender when roasted in our rich tomato sauce with all the veggies. It’s important to slightly undercook the pasta when you boil it, so that it doesn’t become mushy when it’s transferred into the oven dish.
If you want to come home to a warm bowl of pasta, you can also make this recipe in a slow cooker – either way, it freezes well, making it perfect for batch cooking.
We can’t talk about the best pasta recipes for batch cooking without mentioning the humble Lasagne. Whether you store your leftovers in the fridge for a couple of days, or tuck them away in the freezer drawer, one thing’s for certain – you’ll be glad you made plenty! Leftover lasagne for lunch or dinner is always a winner.
Our slimming-friendly recipe might be a lighter take on this much-loved layered pasta dish, but it definitely delivers all the familiar flavour. Our top tip for this one is to cut it up and leave the individual portions to cool – they’ll cool much more quickly and you’ll be able to package them up and get them chilled sooner.
Sneaky Mac and Cheese
What if one of the most indulgent pasta dishes could be turned into a low-calorie family meal, packed with loads and loads of vegetables? The answer is this Sneaky Mac and Cheese, and it’s a batch cook staple in our house!
For just 293 calories per portion, you can tuck into cheesy macaroni, and even the fussiest eaters would never guess how many veggies we’ve sneaked into the sauce. In fact, you can add in whatever vegetables you want, or chuck in any leftover ham or chicken if you fancy making a meaty version.
What are your favourite pasta recipes?
We’d love to hear what recipes you love to cook and eat. Pop on over to our Facebook group where you’ll find a whole community sharing recipe ideas and inspiration. With almost 1 million members in the group, it’s the place to be anytime you have a question or need a little moral support.
Stuck for what to make for dinner tonight? Have a scroll through the Pinch of Nom Gallery and take a look at what everyone else has been making lately. Don’t forget, there’s SWAG up for grabs if you share photos or tips!