Pasta Primavera is an easy way to get veggies into dinnertime. This tasty one pot pasta dish is cooked in a light cream sauce and perfect for springtime dinners.
I’ve been eating pasta primavera since before I even knew what it was. We used to call it “Grandpa’s pasta.” He’d have a big party every summer and we’d all eat big bowls filled with pasta, vegetables, and garlicky olive oil outside on his giant screened-in porch. It was one of the highlights of my summers growing up. It was also how I learned to love zucchini.
If you’re looking for a way to increase the amount of veggies you eat, tossing them in pasta is a great way to go about it. Pasta and vegetables are so good together that it’s easy to forget you’re also getting a hearty dose of vitamins.
This pasta with Brussels sprouts and pecorino is another great pasta and vegetables option.
What does primavera mean?
Primavera is the Italian word for Spring. So “pasta primavera” might sound fancy but it literally means “Spring pasta.” The origins of the dish are frequently disputed, but it’s generally known to be a combination of pasta and spring vegetables. It can be as simple as that, or you can dress it up with oil and garlic, cream, or sharp cheese.
What kind of sauce is used in this recipe?
This one pot pasta primavera recipe has a light cream sauce flavored with mozzarella and Parmesan. It’s definitely rich and cheesy, but not quite full-on macaroni and cheese. A sprinkling of lemon zest and Parmesan keeps the flavors in this recipe light and bright.
Can you make vegetarian pasta primavera?
As written, this recipe includes chicken. You can definitely make a vegetarian version though. Leave the chicken out or substitute 1 cup of cannellini beans for an extra protein boost.
What kind of pasta should you use?
Bowtie pasta is perfect for pasta primavera. It has the perfect shape and texture to mix in with the diced vegetables so you have a great balance of flavors in every bite. Plus bowties are just so fun. This recipe uses our One Pot Pasta Formula, so there’s no need to boil the pasta first – it will cook right along with the sauce.Print
- 2 Tbsp. cooking oil, divided
- 1 cup cubed chicken breast, approx. 1/2 lb.
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. pepper
- 2 red onions, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 12 oz. dried bowtie pasta
- 2 cups raw broccoli florets
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup Parmesan
- 1 lemon, zested
- Additional Parmesan, for garnish
- Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through. Transfer it to a plate.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot. Add the onion, bell pepper, and zucchini. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the garlic and Italian seasoning. Cook 30 seconds. Remove the vegetables from the pot.
- Add stock, cream, diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Heat to a simmer, stirring frequently, and then immediately add the pasta and broccoli.
- Reduce the temperature to keep it at a low simmer, stirring often, until the pasta is cooked, 13-15 minutes. If the pasta has soaked up a lot of the liquid and seems dry, add an extra 1/2 cup of stock.
- Once the pasta is cooked, return the chicken and vegetables to the pan. Heat through. Add the cheese and stir until it melts.
- Garnish with lemon zest and additional Parmesan.