This super simple one-pot pasta primavera is a quick dinner everyone is sure to love!
The entire meal is cooked in one large pot so it makes for a quick dinner and clean-up.
Packed with veggies, pasta and parmesan cheese, it’s a tasty dish that everyone will love.
Fall is in the air and that means back to school; back to routine; and, back to quick weeknight dinners. This creamy pasta primavera is just that – easy and quick!
I am always here for a one pot meal. I love that I can make something super tasty without the fuss of too many dishes and there’s less cleanup! This one pot pasta is going to be a hit for the whole family.
Instead of using cream, the creamy sauce that envelops the pasta in this easy meal comes from the starchy pasta water as the pasta cooks in one pot. Having the noodles simmer together with all of the veggies in the pot allows for serious flavour. And, while the pasta cooks it releases some starch which gives you a lovely creamy sauce that isn’t too rich.
I would totally consider serving this one pot pasta at a dinner party too; especially since you don’t have to spend a ton of time cooking. I bet it would be a crowd-pleaser!
It’s the perfect weeknight meal and ideal for late Summer nights or cozy Fall evenings!
Why you’ll love this one pot pasta primavera
One pot meals like this means minimal cleanup! I love having something simple to make during the week which doesn’t create a ton of leftover dishes.
This dish is packed with all the seasonal fresh veggies you could ever want but I’ve got some swaps you can make too!
This is a weeknight friendly meal since it only takes 30 minutes to make and is made in just 1 pot!
This one pot pasta is perfect cozy weeknights after work, but is also great to serve at a dinner party.
Fresh vegetables: I’m using a mix of zucchini, yellow squash, red pepper, onions and cherry tomatoes. Feel free to swap out the squash and zucchini for 1-2 cups of defrosted peas, corn or fresh spinach!
Pasta: I recommend using spaghetti for this recipe.
Seasonings: add a burst of flavor with garlic, salt, black pepper and dried oregano! Finish the pasta with a zing of lemon zest and if you’d like a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Broth: you can use vegetable broth or just water; you can even opt for chicken broth if that’s all you have on hand.
Milk: instead of heavy cream this recipe uses milk and parmesan cheese to create a creamy sauce.
Fresh basil: I love garnishing this one pot pasta with some fresh basil!
Step by Step Process to make this delicious one pot dinner
Step 1: In a large pot or saucepan, add the olive oil over medium heat. Once the pan is warm, add the onions and cook until soft, about 3-5 minutes, stirring often.
Step 2: Add the minced garlic, red pepper slices, zucchini and/or yellow squash, dried oregano, salt and a pinch of pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 3: Add the water or vegetable broth, milk and dried pasta (spaghetti noodles). Bring to the boil. At this point, the pasta should have softened slightly.
Step 4: Once boiling, turn to medium-low heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Make sure you stir every 2 minutes so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Step 5: If there isn’t a lot of liquid left and the pasta isn’t quite done yet, add ½ cup more of water or broth at a time until the pasta is done. When finished the pasta will be cooked and there should be some liquid / sauce left covering the noodles.
Step 6: Turn the heat off and stir in the lemon zest, tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Top with fresh basil and additional parmesan cheese, serve with a loaf of crusty bread if desired and enjoy!
Expert Tips for making this easy one-pot pasta
If you want a more tomato-forward pasta dish you can double the tomatoes and omit the zucchini.
Up the protein in this one pot pasta primavera by adding some roasted chicken or shrimp.
Save some time by chopping up the veggies the night before and storing in the fridge in an airtight container.
If your pasta hasn’t finished cooking but there isn’t a ton of liquid left, you can add ½ cup of water or broth at a time until the pasta has finished cooking. Just note that you don’t want to add a ton of extra liquid since there shouldn’t be any left when the pasta has cooked!
Can I substitute gluten-free pasta for regular pasta?
I haven’t tested this recipe with gluten-free pasta, however, you should be able to use a gluten-free spaghetti or linguine to replace the regular pasta. Gluten free pasta can sometimes absorb more liquid than regular pasta so just note you may have to add an extra 1/2 cup of water or broth to finish cooking this recipe.
Is this one pot pasta primavera recipe healthy?
This pasta dish is absolutely packed with nutritious vegetables, and most traditional primavera recipes have cream in them but I’ve swapped it out for milk to keep it on the lighter.
Can I use different veggies for this dish?
You can swap out the zucchini for extra tomatoes, or swap out the squash and zucchini for frozen vegetables like green peas or corn or try fresh spinach!
What if I want to add protein to this pasta dinner?
You could add cooked shrimp or chicken to this primavera pasta recipe.
Store any leftover pasta from this one-pot pasta dish in an airtight container for up to 2 days in the fridge. If reheating on the stove-top, add splash of broth and reheat on medium-low until warmed to desired temperature.
More one pot pasta ideas to love from the blog:
Easy One Pot Pasta Primavera (Quick 30 minute meal!)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 small zucchini and/or yellow squash, cut into half-moons
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 340-350 g dried pasta (spaghetti) about 3/4 lb of pasta
- 3 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup milk
- ground pepper
- zest from one lemon
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- fresh basil for garnish
- To a large pot or pan with high sides add 2 tbsp olive oil and bring to medium heat. Once the pot is hot, add the onions and cook stirring often until softened, 3-5 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic, red pepper slices, zucchini and/or yellow squash, dried oregano, salt and a pinch of ground pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Next add the water or vegetable broth, milk and spaghetti. Bring to a boil and once boiling, the spaghetti noodles should have softenend slightly so you can stir them into the pot entirely.
- Once boiling, turn the heat to medium-low and keep at a simmer and cook the pasta for about 10 minutes. Stir about every 2 minutes to keep the pasta from sitcking to the bottom of the pot. (Note: Cooking times will vary based on the brand of pasta used. Start checking the pasta for doneness based on the cook time on the pasta package).
- If you find your pasta is not quite done yet and there isn't much liquid left, add 1/2 cup more water or broth at a time and keep cooking until done. There should be minimal liquid left once done.
- Once done, turn off the heat and stir in the lemon zest, tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Top with fresh basil and serve!