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Pasta Primavera

This restaurant-quality pasta primavera has a delicious herb cream sauce with penne pasta and a ton of fresh vegetables. This is the best way to get your family to eat their veggies!

Pasta primavera in a skillet with a cream sauce and vegetables.

Pasta Primavera

This Pasta Primavera recipe has savory pasta tossed in a delicious parmesan cream sauce with a fresh, vibrant assortment of vegetables, including broccoli, peppers, onions, zucchini, carrots, peas, and more! 

Some pasta primavera recipes don’t include a cream sauce, but you better believe this one does. (But it’s on the lighter side, made with 50% chicken broth and 50% half and half.) This dish originated at a fancy restaurant in New York called Le Cirque, and their version contained lots of heavy cream, butter, and parmesan. So we’re paying a little homage to the original. 

I can’t wait for you to try this. Be sure to check out my pro tips below!

How to Make It

Note: This is just an overview. See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Sauté the broccoli, onions, carrots, and peppers in olive oil over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, tomatoes, and peas. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Remove and set aside.

A skillet of vegetables next to a skillet of even more vegetables for pasta primavera.

Melt butter and garlic in the same skillet and add the flour. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the sauce mixture in small splashes, stirring continuously. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Stir the Parmesan cheese into the sauce over low heat, followed by the lemon juice. Add cooked pasta and toss to combine.

Adding penne pasta to a cream sauce for pasta primavera.

 Add the vegetables and toss to combine and heat through. Serve!

Adding cooked vegetables to a skillet of pasta primavera.

Pro Tips

  • This recipe uses 7 cups of vegetables, feel free to utilize whatever veggies you have on hand.
  • Other vegetable options include: Squash, Asparagus, Cauliflower, Mushrooms, Spinach, Eggplant, Green Beans, and Corn. 
  • Pasta options include: Penne, Ziti, Farfalle, and Fusilli.
  • Vegetable broth can be used instead of chicken broth to make this vegetarian. 
  • Grate the cheese from a block for the best consistency and taste. Packaged grated cheese contains cellulose, which prevents it from melting as well. I use Belgioioso Parmesan.
  • Be sure to add the cheese and lemon juice over low heat. If the heat is too high, the dairy can separate and create a grainy consistency.
  • The hot sauce in this recipe is a flavor enhancer that doesn’t make it spicy. I use Frank’s Hot Sauce.

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 
  • Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave (I use “melt” mode which is lower power), or in a makeshift double boiler on the stovetop, which is an even better way to reheat.
  • Cream sauces don’t always reheat quite back to their original consistency, but this one comes close.

Pasta Primavera in a skillet with penne in a cream sauce with colorful vegetables.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links*)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

  • 3-Quart Stainless Steel Sauté Pan– The same size as pictured in this recipe.
  • 1 quart measuring cup with a spout This is what I use to combine the gravy ingredients at the beginning. The spout makes it easy to add it to the roux in small splashes. 
  • Spice Rack– This is the one I have, it’s a snap to measure out your seasonings quickly and easily. (Big time saver.)
  • Measuring Spoons– I have these magnetic ones which stay nice and organized in my utensil drawer.
  • Box Cheese Grater– Always grate cheese from a block, it melts and tastes much better. 
  • Pasta Strainer– This is the one I have.
  • Better Than Bouillon This is what I always use for broth/bouillon in my recipes. It takes very little space and makes it easy to measure out customized amounts of broth.

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Pasta primavera in a skillet with a cream sauce and vegetables.

Pasta Primavera

5 from 10 ratings
This restaurant-quality pasta primavera has a delicious herb cream sauce with penne pasta and a ton of fresh vegetables. There's no better way to get your family to eat their veggies!

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 1 ¼ cups chicken broth
  • 1 ¼ cups half and half
  • ½ chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • ¾ teaspoons EACH: dried parsley, basil, oregano, mustard powder
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes

Vegetables and Pasta

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ cup carrots, julienned
  • ½ cup red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ zucchini, cut into chunks (equal to 1 ½ cups)
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ lb. ziti
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  • Combine the sauce ingredients in a large measuring cup with a spout and set aside. Measure out remaining ingredients before beginning.
  • Begin boiling a large pot of water for the pasta. Once a boil is reached, stir in ½ tablespoon salt.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli, onions, carrots, and bell peppers and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add the zucchini, peas, and tomatoes. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  • Add the butter and garlic in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and stir continuously for 2 minutes.
  • Add the sauce mixture (from step 1) in small splashes, stirring continuously. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Cover partially while you cook the pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Drain once cooked.
  • Reduce heat of the sauce to low and gradually sprinkle in the parmesan cheese until combined, then stir in the lemon juice.
  • Add the drained pasta and stir to combine. Add the vegetables back and toss to combine and heat through.
  • Remove from heat and serve with freshly cracked pepper and fresh lemon slices.

Notes

Pro Tips:
  • This recipe makes a lot of sauce, which is great for coating all of those vegetables as well. Feel free to use up to ¾ lb. pasta instead of ½ if preferred.
  • This recipe uses 7 cups of vegetables, feel free to utilize whatever veggies you have on hand.
  • Other vegetable options include: Squash, Asparagus, Cauliflower, Mushrooms, Spinach, Eggplant, Green Beans, and Corn. 
  • Pasta options include: Penne, Ziti, Farfalle, and Fusilli.
  • Vegetable broth can be used instead of chicken broth to make this vegetarian. 
  • Grate the cheese from a block for the best consistency and taste. Packaged grated cheese contains cellulose, which prevents it from melting as well. I use Belgioioso Parmesan.
  • Be sure to add the cheese and lemon juice over low heat. If the heat is too high, the dairy can separate and create a grainy consistency.
  • The hot sauce in this recipe is a flavor enhancer that doesn't make it spicy. I use Frank's Hot Sauce.

Storage:
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 
  • Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave (I use "melt" mode which is lower power), or in a makeshift double boiler on the stovetop, which is an even better way to reheat.
  • Cream sauces don't always reheat quite back to their original consistency, but this one comes close.

Nutritional information is an estimate and is per serving. There are 6 servings in this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 433kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 729mg, Potassium: 540mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 3500IU, Vitamin C: 77mg, Calcium: 248mg, Iron: 2mg
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38 comments on “Pasta Primavera”

  1. I followed this recipe and it was delicious. Tasted like something you could get at a restaurant. Thanks!

  2. Best pasta primavera ever! Everyone loved it! It’s fun to pick and choose the veggies, lots of options and combinations to try. I added one large chicken breast that I sauteed in olive oil and lemon pepper seasoning. Can’t wait to make this again, it’s a new favorite!

  3. I’m going to be trying this tonight! I may use a rigatoni instead since I think it’s saucy enough to hold up. I’m also going to add chicken. Really excited!

  4. This was so delicious! Love, love, love everything about it and so did everyone else.

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