In this Pasta Primavera recipe, I swap the heavy cream for a lighter lemony sauce that lets the colorful seasonal vegetables shine. This vegetarian pasta is easy, healthy, and very weeknight-friendly–it’s ready in 40 minutes!

overhead photo of pasta primavera in a green bowl.
Photo Credits: Andrea Gralow

I make pasta primavera sheet pan-style to make things as easy as possible. I simply toss the veggies with olive oil and herbs and roast until they’re just tender, sweet, and a little bit crisped at the edges. Meanwhile, I boil some pasta and throw together a bright fresh salad, like lemon parmesan lettuce salad or panzanella

This versatile primavera recipe is a delicious way to celebrate fresh vegetables no matter the season. That means it’s never boring! I rarely make it with the same ingredients twice.

Table of Contents
  1. Pasta Primavera Ingredients
  2. How to Make Pasta Primavera
  3. Getting Ahead, Leftovers, and Storage
  4. What to Serve with Pasta Primavera
  5. More Vegetarian Pasta Recipes
  6. Easy Pasta Primavera Recipe Recipe
ingredients for pasta primavera including bow tie pasta, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, orange bell pepper, red bell pepper, lemon, red onion, cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, oregano, and thyme.

Pasta Primavera Ingredients

Pasta primavera comes from the Italian word for “spring.” Traditionally, the Italian-American dish was used to make the most of a garden bursting with spring veggies. But I love it year-round with whatever seasonal vegetables I have on hand. Feel free to substitute with what you have on hand and what is in season.

  • Fresh veggies: Zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, bell peppers, red onion, and grape tomatoes.
  • Flavor-makers: Garlic, dried oregano, fresh thyme, salt, and pepper, and fresh lemon zest. 
  • Pasta: A short pasta is best for making sure everything is bite-sized. I used farfalle, but rigatoni or any short pasta you like would also work well. 
  • Oil: Use a full flavor yet smooth extra virgin olive oil. I love our buttery Italian Nocellara.
  • Parmesan: Adds a savory-salty-nutty quality. Feel free to skip this part if you’d like a vegan or dairy-free primavera.
two green bowls of pasta primavera with forks next to a serving bowl with pasta primavera, a cup of olive oil and a bowl of lemon wedges.

How to Make Pasta Primavera

To make this pasta primavera recipe, grab a pot, sheet pan, knife, grater, peeler, cutting board, and a bowl.

  • Get ready. Preheat your oven to 450°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then season generously with kosher salt.
  • While your oven heats, grab a large bowl to add the prepared veggies as you go. Slice the zucchini, yellow squash, and onion into half moons. Peel and cut the carrots into short sticks. Slice the bell peppers into strips. Mince the garlic.
  • Season the vegetables. Add 1 tablespoon of dried oregano and 1 ½ teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves. Season with a big pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Drizzle enough extra virgin olive oil to coat the veggies (about 3 tablespoons). Toss to coat.pieces of zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, red onion plus salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, thyme and a drizzle of olive oil in a white mixing bowl.
  • Roast the veggies. Spread the vegetables on a large sheet pan so they’re in one layer. (You may need to use two pans.) Roast on the middle rack for 10 minutes. Give them a good stir, spread them out again, and continue to roast until they’re tender and starting to brown at the edges, about 10 minutes more.roasted vegetable for pasta primavera on a sheet pan.
  • Boil the pasta. While the vegetables roast, cook the pasta according to the package (about 10 to 12 minutes). Reserve one cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain. Halve the grape tomatoes and zest the lemon. Grate the parmesan.
  • Finish the pasta. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl. Add the roast vegetables, tomatoes, and lemon zest. Add a splash of the pasta cooking water and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you’d like, add a sprinkle more of oregano and fresh thyme. a serving bowl with roasted vegetables and bow tie pasta.
  • Serve. Divide among shallow serving bowls and sprinkle on the parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
pasta primavera in a green bowl, next to another green bowl and a serving bowl with pasta primavera.

Getting Ahead, Leftovers, and Storage

To get ahead on your pasta primavera, chop all of the vegetables the night before. Add them to a large bowl, cover, and store them in your refrigerator. Simply add the oils and seasonings and roast the next day. 

If you have leftovers, allow them to cool completely. Store, covered in your refrigerator, for up to 4 days. To reheat, add the pasta primavera to a saucepan on medium heat on the stovetop. Add a small amount of water and cook until warmed through. Or, serve at room temperature pasta salad-style. You can even dress it up a little with fresh greens like arugula or spinach, a big squeeze of lemon, and a drizzle of olive oil. 

pasta primavera web story poster image.

What to Serve with Pasta Primavera

This pasta primavera recipe is satisfying and nutritious enough to stand alone. You can happily stop there, but if you’d like extra protein, try our grilled garlic-parmesan shrimp or grilled chicken breast.

A crunchy side salad also goes well with the silky roast vegetables. Try lemon parmesan lettuce salad or panzanella to keep the Italian flavor party going. 

More Vegetarian Pasta Recipes

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4.84 from 134 votes

Easy Pasta Primavera Recipe

Suzy Karadsheh of The Mediterranean Dish. In the kitchenSuzy Karadsheh
overhead photo of pasta primavera in a green bowl.
This pasta primavera recipe features a light, lemony sauce (no cream!) and a medley of fresh vegetables. Feel free to adjust the produce depending on what is in season! If you’d like extra protein, throw in some quick lemon chicken or grilled shrimp skewers.
Prep – 20 minutes
Cook – 20 minutes
Total – 40 minutes
Cuisine:
American, Italian
Serves – 6 people
Course:
Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 2 zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 2 yellow squash, sliced into half moons
  • 2 to 3 carrots, peeled and cut into short sticks
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 red onion, sliced into half moons
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, plus more for garnish
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces short pasta of your choice (I like farfalle)
  • 8 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large lemon, zested
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Get ready. Preheat your oven to 450°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then season generously with kosher salt.
  • Season the vegetables. Place the zucchini, squash, carrots, bell peppers, and onion in a large mixing bowl (save the tomatoes for later). Add the garlic, oregano, and thyme. Season with a big pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Drizzle enough extra virgin olive oil to coat the veggies (about 3 tablespoons). Toss to coat.
  • Roast the veggies. Spread the vegetables on a large sheet pan so they’re in one layer (you may need to use two pans). Roast on the middle rack for 10 minutes. Give them a good stir, spread them out again, and continue to roast until they’re tender and starting to brown at the edges, about 10 minutes more.
  • Boil the pasta. While the vegetables roast, cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to the package (about 10 to 12 minutes). Just before it’s cooked to your liking, reserve one cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain.
  • Finish the pasta. Transfer pasta to a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. If you’d like, add a sprinkle more of oregano and fresh thyme. Add the roast vegetables, tomatoes, and lemon zest. Add a splash of the pasta cooking water and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Toss to combine.

Video

Notes

  • Leftovers: Allow the pasta to cool completely, then cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 4 days. 
  • Other vegetable options: Change up the vegetables according to what you have on hand. Broccoli, green beans, and asparagus will also work in this recipe.
  • Add protein: Cut up some of this quick lemon chicken or grilled chicken and toss in the pasta. Or make this grilled shrimp (remove the shrimp from the skewers and toss in the pasta)
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams, and spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 307.5kcalCarbohydrates: 57.2gProtein: 13.5gFat: 3.7gSaturated Fat: 1.7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.6gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.8gCholesterol: 5.7mgSodium: 162.5mgPotassium: 785.3mgFiber: 6.3gSugar: 9.5gVitamin A: 5322.5IUVitamin C: 92.1mgCalcium: 171mgIron: 2.2mg
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*This post originally appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2016 and has been updated with new information and media for readers' benefit.

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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4.84 from 134 votes (94 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. Jean says:

    Thank you all the great recipes on your site, a reliable source of creative and eclectic dishes. Definitely one of favorite recipe sites.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet note, Jean!

  2. Lauren K says:

    5 stars
    Fabulous recipe! Pretty much followed it to the letter. Used asparagus and only 1 summer squash along with the rest already in recipe. For added protein I used the linked grilled shrimp recipe. This meal was an instant hit and is now on rotation (to coincide with the local farmers market). Even got a resounding “delicious” from the grandkid! Doesn’t get much better than that! Will be checking out more of your recipes! Outstanding!

  3. Michelle Acon says:

    5

  4. Ron Johnson says:

    5 stars
    My lovely bride gave me a 5 star review so all credit goes to you! Can't wait to have it again!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Yay! We love hearing that, Ron! Thank you!

  5. Beatrice Baldwin says:

    5 stars
    Added tomatoes and garlic to roasted vegetables in last five minutes. Used combo of chicken broth and dry white wine instead of pasta water. You could also use this recipe to make a variation of pasta alla Norma with eggplant, black olives, capers. I cut the amount of pasta to 8 ounces. It’s plenty.

  6. Pam says:

    5 stars
    We love this recipe with grilled chicken or shrimp. Fabulous the next day! thanks for a wonderful, healthy meal!

  7. Carol says:

    I give this recipe 5 stars. I made it last week as a meatless Friday meal for Lent. It was so good that I’m making it again tonight. It’s a fantastic way to get lots of healthy vegetables into one meal. The possibilities are endless.

  8. Jan says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe!! Super delicious and so simple to make! Will be making this again (and again). Thank you!!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Our pleasure, Jan! Thanks for stopping by to leave a review!

  9. dorothy says:

    5 stars
    excellent flavor . easy to make. inexpensive

  10. Julie says:

    Excellent dish and easy to make! Thank you!

  11. Brenda says:

    5 stars
    Made this for lunch today and the family loved it! Didn't have the cherry tomatoes so used roma. Also added the tomatoes to the vegetables for the last 5 minutes. Was delicious! Will be adding the lemon chicken to the leftovers for dinner tonight.