This Pasta Primavera recipe comes together in under 30 minutes so it’s perfect for busy weeknights. Best of all, you can serve it with or without chicken and it’s chock full of fresh lemon, asparagus, snap peas, carrots and cherry tomatoes. Plus step-by-step video.
Spring is in the air. I couldn’t be more excited because I am SO ready for longer days, warmer temps and fresh produce to become a regular thing again.
Pasta Primavera is a classic dish chock-full of colorful spring veggies and parmesan cheese. For this recipe, I lightened it up slightly by leaving out the butter and cream typically used and added a splash of lemon and herbs instead.
This dish comes together easily in about 30 minutes so it’s perfect for busy weeknights. The best part is, you can easily swap in your favorite veggies and use gluten free pasta if needed.
My Pasta Primavera starts off with some penne tossed with:
- bell peppers,
- cherry tomatoes,
- snap peas,
- grated Parmesan
For a complete meal, you can totally throw in some chicken or your favorite protein.
MAKE AHEAD-TIPS FOR THIS PASTA PRIMAVERA:
- prepare vegetables and store in the fridge the day before in an airtight container
- make pasta the night before, drain and store in a large zip-top freezer bag in the fridge
- great for Sunday meal prep or divide into lunch bowls for school or work
- 8 ounces dried penne pasta use gluten free if necessary
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 stalk asparagus ends trimmed, cut into 1" sections
- 5-6 snap peas
- 1/3 cup cauliflower florets
- 1 green onion sliced thinly
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup sweet bell peppers I used a mix of red and orange, cut into 1" chunks
- 6-8 cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1/4 cup frozen peas thawed
- juice from 1 lemon
- salt & black pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese optional
- Optional: Serve with cooked chicken breasts cut into strips
- Cook the pasta in a large pot filled with water according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1/3 cup pasta cooking water to thin out the pasta (or use cream if you prefer a creamier consistency). Set aside.
In a large pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil. Add the asparagus, snap peas and cauliflower and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but not too soft. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Return the same pan back to heat and drizzle in remaining oil. Add the garlic and green onions and sauté for about 15 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in the carrots and bell peppers and sauté for 2 minutes. Toss in the cherry tomatoes and the peas and cook for another minute. Add the cooked asparagus, snap peas and cauliflower back into the pan. Stir in the cooked pasta, lemon juice, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Add a little bit of pasta water or cream (as needed to thin out). Serve warm.
- To make the chicken
- Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in a pan on medium heat. Add chicken and cook until brown and cooked through, about 7-8 minutes on each side. Slice into strips and serve over pasta.
More spring time recipes: