Bursting with fresh vegetables, a light lemon sauce, and parmesan cheese, this simple recipe for Pasta Primavera is full of flavor and ready in under 30 minutes. It is a simple, versatile, light pasta recipe that can be made using any vegetables you have on hand.
Pasta primavera is one of my favorite ways to incorporate more vegetables into my family's diet.
There is something about the crisp-tender veggies and pasta tossed together with parmesan cheese. It hooks me every time! And surprisingly, it is a favorite with my picky kids as well.
While, they love eating baked rotini with a side of steamed veggies, or lasagna with a side salad with ranch dressing, they often turn their noses up if I mix vegetables into pasta. However, they devour this Pasta Primavera.
The vegetables are cooked until just crisp-tender, so they retain some crunch, which makes this dish so much more appealing to not just kids, but adults as well. Throw in some cheese for good measure, and this dish feels decadent, while still remaining lighter in calories and fat.
This recipe for pasta primavera is fresh, cheesy, comforting, easy to make, and good for you! Talk about a winning combination!
Key Ingredients Needed
- Pasta: Rotini, penne, bowtie, or linguine work best for Pasta Primavera. Feel free to use whole wheat, regular, or gluten-free noodles.
- Vegetables: You can use any mixture of fresh vegetables you have on hand, that are in season, or that your family likes. I personally recommend asparagus, bell peppers, zucchini, and broccoli.
- Shallots: A shallot gives this dish a more delicate onion flavor, but feel free to use a minced onion of your choice in place of the shallot.
- Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated parmesan cheese is best, as the flavor is superior to that of pre-grated parmesan cheese. I store a large wedge in my fridge in a storage bag and use a microplane to grate from the wedge as needed.
- Wine: A dry white wine, such as Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio really adds a lot of flavor to this simple dish. If you don't drink, or prefer to keep the alcohol out, use additional vegetable broth.
- Lemon: A fresh lemon is ESSENTIAL for the Pasta Primavera Sauce. The zest and juice of the lemon give this dish a bright, fresh finish.
How to Make Pasta Primavera
- Bring water to a rapid boil in a large stock pan.
- Once boiling, add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to the water, along with the pasta.
- Cook the pasta 1 minute LESS than the cooking time suggests, stirring well o keep the pasta from sticking together.
- Drain the pasta and be sure to reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water to make the sauce.
- While the pasta is boiling, heat olive oil in a large skillet.
- Once the oil is heated, add in shallots, peppers, asparagus, broccoli, sugar snap peas, zucchini and Italian Seasoning.
- Saute for 4-5 minutes, or until vegetables are beginning to become tender, but still crisp.
- If using wine, add into the skillet and allow the wine to cook off for 1-2 minutes.
- Once the wine has eavporated, add in the broth and ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water. Season with pepper.
- Add the pasta to the skillet and toss together.
- Add in the additional ¼ cup of reserved pasta cooking liquid if the sauce appears dry.
- Add in the lemon juice, lemon zest, grape tomatoes, and parmesan cheese.
- Taste the pasta and season with additional salt if needed.
- Dish the pasta out and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and additional parmesan cheese.
Leftover pasta primavera can be stored in a sealed airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Due to the fresh vegetables and light sauce, I don't recommend freezing the leftovers.
To reheat this pasta primavera add 1-2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable stock to the pasta BEFORE reheating in the microwave for 1-2 minute intervals or in a skillet over medium-low heat. The noodles will have absorbed the broth as they sat, so it is best to add a splash of broth to add some moisture to the pasta.
More Favorite Pasta Recipes
- Pasta Puttanesca
- White Bean Pasta
- Creamy Cajun Pasta
- Instant Pot Creamy Italian Pasta
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Kale Pasta
- Taco Pasta
I hope you enjoy this simple vegetable pasta recipe! Be sure to leave a comment below with how much your family enjoys it--I love to hear from you!
- 1 pound penne or bow-tie pasta
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 small shallot diced
- 1 small zucchini cut into ½ inch chunks
- 1 yellow pepper thinly sliced
- 1 cup asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cups fresh broccoli florets chopped
- 1 cup fresh sugar snap peas
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup vegetable or chicken broth
- ¼-1/2 cup reserved pasta water
- pepper to taste
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
- ½ cup grape tomatoes halved
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- Bring water to a rapid boil in a large 6 quart pan.
- Drop pasta into rapidly boiling water and stir well the first minute to keep the pasta from sticking together. Cook for 1 minute LESS than package time indicates.
- Drain pasta, being sure to reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid for the sauce.
- Heat olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add in shallots, peppers, asparagus, broccoli, sugar snap peas, zucchini and Italian Seasoning. Saute for 4-5 minutes, or until vegetables are beginning to become tender, but still crisp.
- Add in the white wine and allow the wine to cook off for 1-2 minutes.
- Add in stock and ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water. Season with pepper.
- Add the pasta to the sauce and vegetables and toss to coat. Add in the additional ¼ cup of reserved pasta cooking liquid if the sauce appears dry. Continue to heat on medium heat until warmed through, just a minute or two.
- Turn off the heat and add in the tomatoes, lemon juice, zest, and Parmesan cheese. Toss to coat and serve.
- Use gluten-free pasta for a gluten free pasta primavera recipe. You can also use any shape of noodle you like for this recipe.
- For dry white wine, use Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. If you do not use wine, use additional chicken or vegetable broth.
- Feel free to mix and match the vegetables as desired.
- If using frozen vegetables, steam the vegetables and then add when adding in the Parmesan cheese.
- If you would like to use cream cheese, add 2- 4 ounces softened cream cheese when you add the stock and and pasta water. This would make this a creamy pasta primavera--more like a vegetable alfredo.
This post was originally published in 2018 but has been updated in 2020 with a new video and pictures.
Definitely easy- love all of the veggies!
Glad you enjoyed.
We loved this pasta! Full of veggies and so good and easy to make. Thanks for sharing!!
I am so glad you enjoyed Eden!
This was so great! I love that it has all the awesome veggies in it and I'm going to add it to my menu again for next week.
This is such a delicious dinner idea. And adding in our favorite veggies give it a "custom" flavor 🙂
And you have to love when you can add in custom flavors that your family will actually enjoy 😉
This pasta is the perfect meal for summer!
I agree--perfect for those farm stand veggies (or home grown if you don't have a black thumb as I do!!) Enjoy!
I love pasta primavera! I can't wait to try this version out for dinner!
Let me know how you enjoy it Madi!