This pasta primavera recipe is quick, easy and tastes like heaven in a bowl! Fresh tomatoes, savory onions and garlic, bright carrots and crunchy broccoli make for a healthy, plant-based pasta meal.
Whether it's a chilly winter night or a hot summer afternoon, there's something so comforting about a bowl of pasta studded with seasonal vegetables. Today I'm sharing my go-to pasta recipe. This pasta primavera recipe is made with plump cherry tomatoes, crisp-tender broccoli florets, bright carrot matchsticks, and plenty of onions and garlic for flavor.
Here are the best tips and tricks to make this healthy plant-based meal at home.
How to Make Homemade Pasta Primavera
For this pasta primavera recipe, I like to roast cherry tomatoes in the oven while I cook the pasta on the stove. Roasting tomatoes gives them a whole new level of flavor. It transforms the plump fresh fruits into umami-packed gems that liven up this pasta dish or really anything you add them to.
While the tomatoes roast in the oven and the pasta cooks, soften up some garlic and onions in a skillet. These tasty vegetables build the flavor base of your pasta dish. When they're nice and soft, add in your carrot matchsticks and broccoli florets along with a dash of white wine to steam the veggies.
Finally, bring everything together by stirring in the cooked pasta and roasted cherry tomatoes to complete the dish right in the skillet. There you have it: quick, easy, and nutritious Pasta Primavera for a weeknight.
What Kind of Pasta is Best for Pasta Primavera?
This Pasta Primavera recipe isn't fussy. You can use whatever kind of pasta you have on hand. I love fusilli because all the nooks and crannies in the twists soak up a ton of flavor. The noodles are about the same size as the veggies too, which adds a nice balance to the dish.
Plus, this is one of my daughter's favorite dinners, and there's something just more fun about spiral-shaped pasta.
The recipe can easily be made gluten-free by using your favorite gluten-free pasta. There are several great options that also provide a good amount of protein, such as chickpea pasta and other options made with mung beans or lentils.
Ingredient Substitutions and Swaps
Just like you can swap in your favorite pasta shape in this recipe, you can also make some easy ingredient substitutions. This is a very fridge-and pantry-friendly recipe, so don't fret if you don't have every ingredient listed!
If you don't have broccoli, carrots, and/or cherry tomatoes at home, this Pasta Primavera recipe is just as tasty with other fresh veggies. Try any leafy green vegetables, such as kale, chard, or spinach. For color, red, yellow, or orange bell peppers would add a nice pop and some natural sweetness. Even zucchini or summer squash work! Feel free to experiment and if you find a vegetable combination you love, be sure to let me know in the comments!
For flavorings, if you don't have dried basil and oregano on hand, the fresh stuff will work just as well. You'll need about 3 times as much of each herb if you're using fresh oregano and basil. I like to save a few leaves to sprinkle on top of everyone's bowl just before serving to add freshness to the presentation.
Other dried herbs also work well for this Pasta Primavera recipe, however. If you have dried Italian seasoning, that already contains plenty of basil and oregano. Marjoram, thyme, and parsley are also delicious substitutions.
More Deliciously Light Recipes
Now that the weather has brought a new vibrant crop of fresh fruits and vegetables to market, there's no reason not to add more to your plate! Here are some more of my favorite recipes to enjoy alongside your Pasta Primavera:
- Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus pairs creamy new potatoes with crunchy roasted asparagus, one of the star crops of the season.
- Vegetarian Sushi features a rainbow of colors in a light and refreshing plant-based meal.
- Japanese-Inspired Cucumber Salad from The Kitchn is a perfect complement to any pasta dish.
Satisfying plant-based pasta primavera is healthy and packed with fresh vegetables for an easy plant-based dinner.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook fusilli pasta according to package directions. When finished cooking, drain well and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil plus sea salt and pepper to taste.
Please cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a couple of teaspoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with some sea salt and black pepper. Bake for 20 minutes or until softened.
Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the onion and stir. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, then add the garlic, dried oregano and basil and a splash of white wine. Cook and stir for a few more minutes. Add the carrot match sticks and broccoli, another splash of wine and pinch of salt. Stir briefly then cover and cook until the broccoli is tender but still bright green.
To the bowl of cooked fusilli pasta, add the roasted cherry tomatoes, sautéed onion, and cooked carrot and broccoli. Squeeze the juice of ½ lemon (or more to taste) over the pasta and season with more sea salt and pepper to taste.
Delicious, a really nice fresh spring pasta salad!