Say so long to plain buttered noodles and instead try one of these fast, kid-friendly weeknight pastas from fun-shaped wagon wheels with broccoli to healthy carrot mac and cheese.

By F&W Editors
Updated June 13, 2017
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Muffin Cup Macaroni and Cheese
Credit: © Kate Winslow

Pleasing even the pickiest of eaters doesn't have to be a chore—and it definitely doesn't have to be boring. Say so long to plain buttered noodles and instead try one of these fast, kid-friendly weeknight pastas from fun-shaped wagon wheels with broccoli to healthy carrot mac and cheese.

1. Muffin Cup Macaroni and Cheese
These bite-size "muffins" are ready in just 30 minutes.

2. Wagon Wheels with Broccoli and Parmesan Cheese
Get kids to eat broccoli with this fun-shaped pasta.

Wagon Wheels with Broccoli and Parmesan Cheese
Credit: © James Baigrie

3. Baked Shells with Pesto, Mozzarella and Meat Sauce
This fast-baked pasta features a simple sauce of ground beef, tomatoes and pesto, layered with mozzarella and Parmesan.

Baked Shells with Pesto, Mozzarella, and Meat Sauce
Credit: © Bree Hester

4. Sauce-Simmered Spaghetti al Pomodoro
What's the secret to Top Chef alum Sarah Gruenberg's incredible spaghetti? She cooks it directly in the tomato sauce so it’s infused with flavor.

Sauce-Simmered Spaghetti al Pomodoro

5. Cheese Tortellini with Walnut Pesto
This terrific, ultraquick pesto is superb with cheese tortellini, but it's also great with any plain pasta.

Cheese Tortellini with Walnut Pesto
Credit: Christina Holmes

6. Pasta Shells with Peas and Ham
Salty country ham is the perfect accent for this homey pasta dish.

Pasta Shells with Peas and Ham
Credit: © Ngoc Minh Ngo

7. Speedy Baked Ziti
Adding ground meat, onion and garlic to good-quality jarred tomato sauce makes quick work of this delicious pasta recipe.

Speedy Baked Ziti
This is the fastest way to make really good baked ziti. The key is to doctor good-quality jarred tomato sauce with ground meat, onion, garlic and spices. Once the meat is browned, everything comes together quickly and the dish bakes up to gooey cheesy perfection in just 15 minutes.
| Credit: Pernille Pedersen

8. Carrot Macaroni and Cheese
This healthier version of the classic pasta features a silky carrot puree, which is rich in vitamin A.

Carrot Macaroni and Cheese

9. Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Sausage and Peppers
Make this updated classic with mild Italian sausage and any color of bell peppers.

Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Sausage and Peppers