One Pot Creamy Pasta Primavera is an easy meatless meal, ready in less than 30 minutes. Fresh seasonal vegetables and pasta are coated in a creamy herb sauce.
Creamy pasta primavera is easy to make with just a handful of simple ingredients. The cream sauce is filled with with light, fresh flavor from a squeeze of lemon juice and Italian herbs.
This dish is perfect for spring and summer, when your pantry is filled with fresh vegetables. Ready in about 20 minutes, it's ideal as a weeknight meal or quick weekend lunch.
Plus, it's easy to customize with any pasta and vegetables you have on hand. No fresh vegetables? No problem. Toss in a bag or two of thawed frozen veggies instead.
Ingredients and substitutions
For this recipe, I'd suggest a medium-sized tube pasta like penne, rigatoni, or ziti, or a strand pasta like spaghetti or fettuccine.
Keep in mind that for whatever pasta you use, you'll want to look at the box's cooking directions and adjust the times shown in the recipe card. You want to cook your pasta, whatever shape or size, to al dente.
If you'd like to make this dish vegetarian, substitute the parmesan cheese with a rennet-free/vegetarian parmesan cheese (the cheese will be labeled as such) or other hard Italian cheese similar to parmesan.
Vegetable broth can be substituted with chicken broth or beef broth if you are not concerned with making this dish vegetarian friendly.
The great part about pasta primavera is that you can use any seasonal vegetables you have on hand. My favorite choices? Zucchini, squash, bell pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cherry tomatoes, peas, mushrooms, and onions.
If you don't have any fresh vegetables on hand, thaw some frozen vegetables to toss in. For example, I used thawed frozen peas in combination with the fresh vegetables I had available. Or, try tossing in a bag of thawed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
Pasta cook times
Since this entire meal is made in a single pan, you'll start your pasta, then partway through add your seasonal vegetables.
Check your pasta's package directions for cook times. Different sizes of pasta take different amounts of time to cook, so it's important to check before beginning. Otherwise, your pasta may be over-cooked by the time your vegetables cook through.
For example, my fettuccine takes 12 minutes to cook to al dente. So, I cooked my pasta for 5 minutes, added my vegetables, then allowed everything to cook for another 7 minutes.
If your pasta takes 9 minutes to cook to al dente, you'll want to add your vegetables after 2 minutes, so that they still have 7 minutes to cook through.
If you have a pasta that takes less than 7 minutes to cook, add your vegetables first, then add your pasta at the time needed to cook it to al dente.
One Pot Creamy Pasta Primavera
- 18 ounces vegetable broth
- 8 ounces pasta
- 4 cups seasonal vegetables cut into bite size pieces, if needed
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese *
- In a saute pan over medium heat, add broth and pasta. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low.
- Consult pasta's cooking directions for al dente pasta. Cook pasta until 7 minutes remain, then add vegetables, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir, cover, and cook for remaining 7 minutes. Pasta and vegetables should be cooked through and most of liquid should be absorbed.(ex: if pasta takes 12 minutes to cook to al dente, cook for 5 minutes, add vegetables, then cook for remaining 7 minutes).
- Uncover pan and add heavy cream, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese. Stir and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
- Remove from heat and allow to set for 5 minutes before serving. Sauce will continue to thicken as it stands.
- * To make vegetarian, substitute parmesan cheese with a rennet-free parmesan, vegetarian parmesan, or other Italian hard cheese that is labeled as vegetarian or vegan.
- 18 ounces of broth = 2 ¼ liquid cups
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice = juice from 1 lemon
- Recommended seasonal vegetables: Zucchini, squash, bell pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cherry tomatoes, peas, mushrooms, onions.
- If using frozen vegetables, thaw before cooking.