Healthy Pasta Primavera

Last Updated on July 21, 2022 by Kayla Berman

Pasta is literally my love language. I could eat it almost every day, and honestly, pretty much do! However, I think we all know that pasta can be quite the heavy dish, so you can’t really be having cheesy gnocchi or an indulgent spaghetti bolognese everyday. You have to to throw in some lighter dishes like this veggie packed Healthy Pasta Primavera. It’s a delicious pasta recipe that won’t bog you down. What could be better than that?!

Healthy Pasta Primavera is made with penne pasta and is packed with tons of colorful and fresh vegetables like broccoli, bell pepper, tomatoes, and squash! It’s finished with a light and lemony butter sauce made with parmesan cheese and real lemon juice. You can enjoy this veggie packed dish on its own, or with some grilled chicken, for the perfect easy weeknight dinner!

For more pasta recipes check out my creamy lemon chicken pasta or sun dried tomato pasta.

healthy pasta primavera

What is Pasta Primavera?

Pasta Primavera is pretty much a simple pasta dish loaded with tons of fresh & colorful vegetables! Which makes sense because “primavera” literally means spring in Spanish, and even Italian I believe. Some versions of this pasta dish include a red sauce and others a cream sauce, but this Healthy Pasta Primavera has a light & lemony butter sauce. It truly just screams spring!

But it really is the perfect recipe for all year round, not just the spring or summer. I mean who doesn’t want a pasta dish that is both veggie-packed & delicious?!

easy pasta primavera

Ingredients needed for Healthy Pasta Primavera…

This recipe calls for all simple and healthy ingredients! It is also super customizable … throw in whatever vegetables you like and add cheese, butter, & lemon juice until the sauce tastes just right for you.

  • Pasta: You of course need pasta for pasta primavera! You will need 1 lb and I recommend penne.
  • Vegetables: This healthy pasta dish is truly veggie packed. Add 1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash, 1 cup of grape tomatoes, 1 broccoli crown, and 1 orange bell pepper. Or whatever vegetables you enjoy most!
  • Garlic & Onion: Are garlic & onion vegetables? Honestly, I’m not sure so I gave the flavor packed ingredients their own bullet. You’ll need 1/2 red onion and 3 garlic cloves.
  • Olive Oil: Extra Virgin Olive Oil is used to sauté the garlic, onion, and vegetables here. You will need 3 tbsp total!
  • Butter: Butter is the base of the light creamy sauce of this pasta primavera dish. Add 6 tbsp.
  • Lemon Juice: The juice of 1 lemon adds a bright and delicious taste to this healthy dinner.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan cheese! The true star of any pasta dish in my opinion. This recipe calls for at least 1/2 cup, but more would of course be extra delicious!
  • Pasta Water: Make sure to save your pasta water. You will ned 3/4 cup to create the pasta sauce!
  • Italian Seasoning: 2 tsp of Italian seasoning adds lots of flavor to this recipe.
  • Salt & Pepper: Add salt & pepper to taste to this healthy pasta primavera.
vegetable pasta primavera

How to make this easy dinner…

Healthy Pasta Primavera is such a simple recipe! It makes for the perfect easy weeknight dinner.

  1. Start by preparing all your vegetables.  Chop, slice, or mince according to the ingredient list.
  2. Then cook your pasta according to the package instructions.  Make sure to save the pasta water!
  3. Next add 2 tbsp of the olive oil, the minced garlic, and the chopped onion to a large pan on the stove over medium heat.  Sauté for about 5 minutes until soft and fragrant.
  4. Add all of the veggies into the pan – zucchini, squash, broccoli, tomatoes, and bell pepper.  Add the Italian  seasoning, remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil, and lots of salt & pepper to taste.  Sauté for about 10 minutes until all the vegetables are just cooked.  You don’t want them to be too mushy, they should still have a bit of crunch!
  5. Next turn the heat to low.  Add the cooked pasta to the vegetables with the pasta water, butter, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and more salt & pepper.  Combine everything evenly.
  6. Top with extra parmesan cheese and enjoy!
veggie packed pasta dish

Can I use different vegetables in Easy Pasta Primavera?

Yes, of course! I think the vegetables listed here work deliciously together. Not to mention look beautiful with the wide color range. But feel free to add any vegetable you love to this recipe, and leave out any you don’t!

Can I add a protein source to this veggie packed dish?

Yes, totally! Grilled chicken or shrimp would be delicious.

You could even try a vegetarian option … I’m thinking cannellini beans would be super tasty.

healthy & easy dinner recipe

Perfect Pasta Primavera tips…

Follow the tips below for the perfect pasta primavera everytime!

  • Al dente pasta! No one likes mushy, soggy pasta. Make sure you don’t overcook it!
  • Cook to your own taste! I think recipes like this are so up to personal preference. Add lemon, salt, pepper, and most importantly cheese to your heart’s delight! This way, you’ll have your personal perfect pasta primavera.
  • Save your pasta water! You really cannot forget this step because it forms the pasta sauce.
  • Don’t overcook the veggies! For the best pasta primavera, I recommend vegetables that still have a bit of crunch and bite to them. It makes for such a better texture!

Storing Vegetable Pasta Primavera…

You can store this recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 week. It makes for perfect leftovers and even meal prep!

Simply add some to a bowl, pop in the microwave, add some extra cheese, and enjoy.

healthy pasta primavera

Looking for more healthy & delicious dinner recipes? I’ve got you covered…

Connect with me!

If you make Healthy Pasta Primavera or any of my other recipes I would absolutely love to know! Tag me @wellnessbykay on instagram, so I can see and share your recreation.

easy pasta primavera
pasta primavera

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Print

Healthy Pasta Primavera

Healthy Pasta Primavera is made with penne pasta and is packed with tons of colorful and fresh vegetables like broccoli, bell pepper, tomatoes, and squash! It’s finished with a light and lemony butter sauce made with parmesan cheese and real lemon juice. You can enjoy this veggie packed dish on its own, or with some grilled chicken, for the perfect easy weeknight dinner!

  • Author: Kayla Berman
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb pasta
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 orange bell pepper, slices
  • 1 crown broccoli, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 6 tbsp butter, salted
  • 3/4 cup pasta water
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  1. Start by preparing all your vegetables.  Chop, slice, or mince according to the ingredient list.
  2. Then cook your pasta according to the package instructions.  Make sure to save the pasta water!
  3. Next add 2 tbsp of the olive oil, the minced garlic, and the chopped onion to a large pan on the stove over medium heat.  Sauté for about 5 minutes until soft and fragrant.
  4. Add all of the veggies into the pan – zucchini, squash, broccoli, tomatoes, and bell pepper.  Add the Italian  seasoning, remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil, and lots of salt & pepper to taste.  Sauté for about 10 minutes until all the vegetables are just cooked.  You don’t want them to be too mushy, they should still have a bit of crunch!
  5. Next turn the heat to low.  Add the cooked pasta to the vegetables with the pasta water, butter, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and more salt & pepper.  Combine everything evenly.
  6. Top with extra parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Keywords: Pasta Primavera, Healthy Pasta Primavera, Vegetable Pasta Primavera, Easy Pasta Primavera

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