This easy One Pot Pasta Primavera is a creamy, veggie-loaded meal that comes together in just 30 minutes! With spinach, peas, broccoli, peppers, carrots, zucchini, it’s a vibrant, healthy meal packed with nutrients! Includes a step-by-step recipe video.
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Now, maybe you all already know that I’m not a huge fan of raw vegetables. Roast them, throw them in a pot of soup or pasta sauce, and I’m good.
But when they’re tossed in creamy Pasta Primavera? It’s one of my favorite ways to load up!
No matter the dish, I know I can always sneak in some finely chopped fresh vegetables. In this one-pot pasta, they really become the star.
What we love about this Primavera Pasta:
- It’s quick to make! It’s ready in 30 minutes.
- It’s a versatile dish that will taste amazing with basically any fresh veggies, use your house favorites, or any that need to be used from your garden!
- It’s got loads of nutritional value, and is perfect if you’re trying to get in more meatless meals.
- Oil: you’ll need cooking oil to sauté some of the veggies and seasonings before adding the rest of the ingredients. Use olive oil, canola oil, or another neutral-flavored oil.
- Vegetables: use chopped red bell pepper, carrot matchsticks, zucchini, broccoli florets, and frozen peas for a medley of fresh flavors. You can easily swap these out for your favorites, just pay attention to cook time.
- Salt & Pepper: use salt to enhance all the flavors here. You’ll need to reduce the amount you use if you’re using a salted broth.
- Seasoning: freshly minced garlic cloves and Italian seasoning will add a classic Italian flavor to this dish.
- Broth: low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth is the base of the creamy sauce, adding a depth of flavor, while also allowing you to control the salt content of the dish.
- Heavy cream: this will thicken the sauce and give the dish a creamy flavor, Use full-fat for the best results, but a lower-fat cream or milk would work well too.
- Pasta: I’ve found that short, white pasta, like penne pasta, works better in this dish. Use dried, regular pasta, I haven’t tried this recipe with fresh pasta.
- Leaves: I like to use some chopped fresh spinach leaves as well for an extra burst of color and nutrients.
- Cheese: freshly grated Parmesan cheese (omit for vegetarians).
How to Make Pasta Primavera
This recipe is quick and easy to make. Full instructions are included in the recipe card below.
- Sauté veg and season: Sauté the pepper and carrots, then add in salt, garlic, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Add broth and cream, and bring to a boil.
- Add pasta and other veggies: Stir in the pasta, zucchini, and broccoli.
- Cook: Cook and stir, uncovered, then cover and continue cooking until the pasta is al dente.
- Add parmesan, spinach, and peas: Remove from heat and stir in the peas, spinach, and Parmesan. Cover and let it sit for 2 minutes until the peas are warmed through and the spinach is wilted.
Pasta Primavera FAQs
Primavera means ‘Spring’ in Italian, and Pasta Primavera is a classic pasta dish that is filled with lots of veggies and is a favorite for warm weather when there are lots of fresh green veggies in season. It’s great any time of the year though, when you’re in the mood for a healthy but comforting and filling pasta dinner!
Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
You can freeze this pasta dish, so it’s a handy one to keep on hand for meal-prepping. Store in a freezer-safe container or portioned in freezer bags in the freezer for up to 3 months. Keep in mind that the pasta and the vegetables will soften after being frozen, so although you can freeze it, you might prefer to eat it fresh.
Tips and Notes
- Sauce thickening. Since the pasta releases its starch into the sauce, it will thicken considerably in the first 10-15 minutes after it’s removed from the heat. If you find the sauce too thin for your liking, you can always combine 1 teaspoon of cold water and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and stir them into the sauce while it’s simmering.
- Adding liquid in Pasta Primavera sauce. I used 3 cups of broth and 1 ½ cups of heavy cream. I find that using a combination of high-fat dairy and broth creates a smooth sauce that doesn’t break with the high heat.
- Pasta too dry? Any short cut of pasta will work here, but the cooking time may be different depending on the type, and it may absorb more or less liquid (especially whole grain varieties). Keep an eye on it, and if your pasta needs more liquid to finish cooking, just stir in ¼ cup at a time until it reaches al dente.
Pasta Primavera Variations
Add some protein. I didn’t use any meat in this dish, but chicken would work really well if you wanted! If your chicken is uncooked, sear it in the pan before adding your vegetables.
Swap the vegetables. Feel free to swap these vegetables out for what’s in season or what you have on hand: snap peas, snow peas, kale, green or yellow bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, hot peppers, cauliflower, and green beans are all great options. Vegetables that need longer to cook will be sauteed at the beginning, and those that cook quickly can be stirred in with the pasta.
Cream. I don’t recommend swapping the heavy cream for a lighter variety or milk because there’s a chance it will curdle. Heavy cream also makes for a richer and more flavorful sauce.
Optional additions. Add some red pepper flakes for a kick, sun-dried tomatoes or roasted vegetables for extra flavor, or fresh herbs if you have them on hand.
This Spring pasta dish is delightful and filling on its own, but you can always add a protein on the side.
More Easy One-Pot Pasta Recipes You’ll Love
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One Pot Pasta Primavera
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 cup carrot matchsticks
- 1½ teaspoons salt (reduce if using salted broth)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 4½ cups penne pasta (about 410 grams or 14.5 ounces)
- 1 small zucchini (halved lengthwise and sliced)
- 1 cup small broccoli florets
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (omit for vegetarian)
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add pepper and carrots and sauté until crisp-tender.
- Add salt, garlic, Italian seasoning, and pepper, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add broth and cream, and bring to a gentle boil. Stir in pasta, zucchini, and broccoli.
- Reduce to medium heat and continue cooking and stirring, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Cover and continue cooking until the pasta is al dente (stirring occasionally).
- Remove from heat and stir in peas, spinach, and Parmesan. Cover and let it sit for 2 minutes until the peas are warmed through and the spinach is wilted.
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