7 Best No Sauce Pasta Recipes

Most of the time when we think about pasta dishes, we picture a heaping plate of noodles swimming in a delicious sauce. What about those people who simply don’t like sauce? The answer is no sauce pasta recipes! Continue reading to learn about our favorite no-sauce pasta recipes that are satisfying to eat and easy to make. 

1. Buttery Parmesan and Tomato Spaghetti with No Sauce Recipe

Buttery Parmesan and Tomato Spaghetti with No Sauce
Buttery Parmesan and Tomato Spaghetti with No Sauce

This first no sauce pasta recipe only calls for five ingredients and a few seasonings, so virtually anyone can make this. Boil the spaghetti noodles (or other pasta variety of your choice), melt some butter, sauté minced garlic, add halved cherry tomatoes, and stir in Italian seasoning, black pepper, and salt. Mix all of this with some of the pasta cooking water. Lastly, add your noodles, sprinkle the top with a generous amount of grated parmesan cheese and you’re done!

If you want to add some more color to this dish, feel free to include some fresh basil or spinach leaves. You can also substitute grape or regular tomatoes in place of cherry tomatoes. To make it heartier, add some protein, such as shrimp or chicken. For those of you that want a little spice, add a dash of red chili flakes just before serving. 

Get the full recipe and directions here.

2. Garlic, Peas, Basil, and Pecorino Bucatini with No Sauce Recipe

Garlic Peas Basil and Pecorino Bucatini with No Sauce
Garlic Peas Basil and Pecorino Bucatini with No Sauce

Our next no sauce pasta dish calls for bucatini or perciatelli noodles, which are long noodles that look like spaghetti but are hollow in the center like macaroni elbows. It is not your typical “macaroni dish” because it comes with homemade basil pesto. Be aware that pesto includes pine nuts (in case there are any allergies in your family).

To make the basil pesto, you’ll need fresh basil leaves, olive oil, garlic, fresh lemon juice, pecorino cheese, pine nuts, salt, and pepper. Cook peas (fresh or frozen), stir in the pesto and add your cooked noodles to assemble the dish. If you use frozen peas, make sure you thaw them first to get rid of excess moisture. You can add green beans for more veggies and season with other Italian herbs for additional flavor. Don’t forget to sprinkle some cheese on top to finish off this healthy no sauce dish!

Get the full recipe and directions here

3. Buttery Spinach Fusilli with No Sauce Recipe

Buttery Spinach Fusilli Pasta with No Sauce
Buttery Spinach Fusilli Pasta with No Sauce

If you like butter, garlic, and spinach, then this no sauce pasta recipe is for you! You can make this dish as a main course or a side dish. Start off by cooking your fusilli pasta, which is similar to a corkscrew noodle. Next, sauté some garlic, add spinach, black pepper, salt, and lemon juice for seasoning, and then stir in the cooked noodles. To garnish, sprinkle some pine nuts, crumbled feta, or parmesan cheese on top. 

Frozen spinach leaves will have a lot of moisture, so make sure you thaw and squeeze out as much water as possible before cooking them. If you want a heartier dish, feel free to add other vegetables, shrimp, or grilled chicken breast to enhance the flavor.  

Get the full recipe and directions here.

4. Bucatini Cacio e Pepe

Bucatini Cacio E Pepe
Bucatini Cacio E Pepe

Calling all cheese and spice lovers, you will love the creamy yet spicy flavors found in this no sauce pasta recipe! Fiery black pepper and pecorino romano cheese are the stars of this dish. Pecorino cheese is a hard, salty cheese made from sheep’s milk. Combining this with parmesan will make your tastebuds sing!

First, cook your bucatini noodles (spaghetti or linguine noodles also work well). Melt butter, toast some freshly cracked black pepper in your pan, and simmer it with pasta cooking water. Toss in your noodles, pecorino, and parmesan, and stir together to melt all the cheese. This no sauce pasta recipe is a delicious, quick dish that is ideal for a light lunch or appetizer.

Get the full recipe and directions here.

5. Pasta with Zucchini

Pasta with Zucchini
Pasta with Zucchini

Have you been trying to get your family to eat more vegetables? Try making this no sauce pasta dish for dinner tonight. First, you will fry zucchini in olive oil along with garlic, until golden. You can use any noodle in this meal, but the recipe notes say that using a shorter-cut noodle makes it easier to eat. Once your noodles and zucchini are ready, add parmesan, and cream cheese (or ricotta cheese), and stir over medium-high heat. Serve with grated parmesan cheese on top.

There are several ways to cut zucchini, but slicing or cubing them works well in this dish, as long as they’re all about the same-sized pieces. You are welcome to serve this with more veggies than noodles, but make sure to use a big pan to cook the zucchini so they don’t end up getting steamed. 

Get the full recipe and directions from The Clever Meal

6. Spaghettini with Mushrooms

Spaghettini with Mushrooms
Spaghettini with Mushrooms

Fun guys will love this recipe… because it calls for fungi. We couldn’t resist adding the pun, but seriously, if you love mushrooms, you’ll definitely want to try this no sauce pasta recipe. Regular button mushrooms work well, but you could also opt for portobellos or wild mushrooms. Make the dish by browning some mushrooms in a pan with garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt. Cook the spaghettini noodles and drain them. Toss them in with your mushroom mixture, parsley, and pepper. It’s just that easy!

You can make this recipe without mushrooms too. Use less oil and cook the garlic and red-pepper flakes before tossing them with spaghettini. You can also add crushed walnuts or salami in lieu of the mushrooms. 

 Get the full recipe and directions from Food and Wine.

7. Spaghetti Aglio E Olio

Spaghetti Aglio E Olio
Spaghetti Aglio E Olio

The name of this recipe sounds super fancy (at least to some people), but it is super easy to make! All you need is seven ingredients to create this no sauce pasta entree.

First, cook the noodles and reserve some of the pasta water before draining. This recipe works best with long noodles, like spaghetti or linguine. Next, finely chop parsley and cut garlic into slices. Sauté garlic in oil and mix with your pasta water. Add the cooked noodles to the garlic oil mixture, add parsley, and season to taste. Sprinkle your noodles with your parmesan cheese and voilà, dinner is served! 

Get the full recipe and directions from Kitchen Stories

Who knew there were so many delicious pasta dishes you can make without sauce?! We absolutely love the variety found in these recipes. They are simple enough to whip up a quick weeknight meal yet impressive enough to wow your weekend dinner guests. Pull out your pans and get cooking some of these no sauce pasta recipes. Tell us about your favorite no sauce pasta creations in the comments!


If you like this post, we think you’ll really like our Best Pasta Queen Recipes post.

No Sauce Pasta Recipes
No Sauce Pasta Recipes

Leave a Comment