It doesn’t get easier than one pot pasta recipes, and this Creamy Pasta Primavera is living proof! It’s packed with peas, asparagus, mushrooms and leeks, and a splash of heavy cream makes for an ultra creamy sauce. It’s on the table in 30 minutes and the entire family will love it!

creamy pasta primavera skillet overhead shot

**This post was originally published March 19, 2015.  I updated the photos and recipe slightly and added a video.

Back when my oldest son was a baby some 15 long years ago, I became a stay-at-home mom.  Food Network had just gotten popular, and Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals show was one of my favorite shows.  I marveled at how quickly she cooked, and I wondered if I could ever be that fast.

I am faster in the kitchen today, but I hate doing dishes.  Do you remember how many dirty pots and pans Rachel Ray racked up cooking that food in 30 minutes?  I figured it would take a clean up crew 30 minutes just to do the dishes.  

She has a clean up crew, but I certainly don’t, so one pot meals like skillet lasagna and Mexican rice casserole are staples for me!

creamy pasta primavera being scooped up by a wooden spoon

The big surprise about one pot pasta meals is how creamy they are.  If you think about it, it makes perfect sense.  

You’ve encountered recipes that instruct you to reserve some of the pasta water to add back into the dish after you’ve drained the pasta, right?  The water contains starch from the pasta, which helps coat the pasta and give the dish a silky, creaminess.

The sauce in this easy pasta primavera is just that — creamy — but it’s not from a huge amount of heavy cream that most pasta primavera dishes have.  

I only added 1/4 cup of half ‘n half here (you can use heavy cream instead), to keep things healthy and because I don’t like overly rich food.  If you do, you can definitely swap out some of the water for more cream.

vegetable pasta primavera skillet front view

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • This is a satisfying vegetarian dish that’s on the table in 30 minutes with only one pot to wash!  You just can’t beat that.
  • It’s packed with fresh spring vegetables, but the recipe can be customized with whatever you have on hand.
  • Add white beans or your favorite protein source.

Recipe ingredients

This vegetable pasta primavera is packed with spring veggies, which can be customized with whatever is in season.  I also added some lemon juice, lemon zest, and fresh basil to make the flavors shine.  And don’t forget the parmesan!

Ingredient notes

  • Asparagus. Remove the tough ends before chopping them up.
  • Peas. Fresh or frozen peas may be used. If using frozen, thaw them first.
  • Pasta. Any short, sturdy pasta will work in this creamy pasta primavera. Use whole wheat for added fiber!
  • Heavy cream. May be substituted with half and half, if desired.
  • Fresh basil. If you don’t have any on hand, substitute with your favorite fresh or dried herb.
wooden spoon with creamy pasta primavera over skillet

How to make this recipe

This easy pasta primavera recipe comes together in 30 minutes in just one pot.

Pro tip: Prep your veggies in advance to make this meal come together even faster.

  1. Heat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and pinch of salt and sauté until browned and somewhat softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, and add the asparagus, leek, peas, and garlic, and sauté until the asparagus is crisp tender, about 2-3 minutes. Place the veggies in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the stock or water to the pot and scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the pasta, heavy cream, and stir. Bring to a boil, and cook at a high simmer until the pasta is tender, about 12 minutes depending on the type of pasta used. Stir in the lemon juice, zest and veggies into the pot during the last few minutes of cooking time so the flavors can meld together. When the pasta is finished cooking, there will still be some liquid that hasn’t been absorbed — it will be absorbed as the pasta sits after cooking.
  4. Stir in the parmesan cheese and basil and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Enjoy!

FAQs

Can I omit the heavy cream?

Yes, it can be replaced with half and half or coconut milk for a dairy free option. You may omit the cream altogether and simply add extra water or stock, but the sauce won’t be creamy.

What is primavera sauce made of?

Pasta primavera sauce includes chicken or vegetable broth, heavy cream and a bit of lemon juice and zest to brighten up the flavors.

Does pasta primavera reheat well?

Pasta primavera reheats very well, so it makes great leftovers to enjoy for lunch or weeknight dinners. Simply reheat in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or in a skillet over medium heat for 5-10 minutes.

How long does pasta last in the fridge?

Leftover pasta will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days in an air tight container.

Recipe substitutions

  • Veggies. You can swap out any of the vegetables I’ve used for others that are in season or your favorites.  
  • Protein. Add chicken or another animal protein to the creamy pasta primavera if desired!
  • Heavy cream. May be substituted with half and half, stock, or water. It just depends on how creamy you want the pasta sauce to be.

Recipe notes

  • Pro tip: Prep your veggies in advance to make this meal come together even faster.
  • If you like a richer pasta, substitute more of the stock with half and half or cream.
  • I remove the veggies from the pot before adding the liquid and pasta to keep them from overcooking.  This also helps them retain their pretty green color!
  • Leftover pasta primavera will keep in an air tight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.

More one pot pasta recipes:

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you!  Leave a comment and rating below, or tag me @flavorthemoments on Instagram!

pasta primavera skillet overhead shot

30 Minute Skillet Pasta Primavera Skillet

One Pot Pasta Primavera is packed with veggies, fresh basil and cooks up in a creamy sauce. It's a vegetarian dinner the family will love, and it's on the table in 30 minutes!
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms stems removed and sliced
  • 1/2 lb. asparagus tough stems removed, cut into 1″ pieces on the bias
  • 1 large leek white and light green parts only, sliced into half moons
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas thawed if frozen
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 8 ounces dried pasta
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Heat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and pinch of salt and sauté until browned and somewhat softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, and add the asparagus, leek, peas, and garlic, and sauté until the asparagus is crisp tender, about 2-3 minutes. Place the veggies in a bowl and set aside.
  • Add the stock or water to the pot and scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the pasta, heavy cream, and stir. Bring to a boil, and cook at a high simmer until the pasta is tender, about 12 minutes depending on the type of pasta used. Stir in the lemon juice, zest and veggies into the pot during the last few minutes of cooking time so the flavors can meld together. When the pasta is finished cooking, there will still be some liquid that hasn't been absorbed — it will be absorbed as the pasta sits after cooking.
  • Stir in the parmesan cheese and lemon zest, and taste. Stir in the basil and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Pro tip:  Prep the veggies beforehand to make this meal go even more quickly!
  • I separated the veggies from the dish until the end of cooking time to prevent them from being overcooked. They retain a greener color this way as well!
  • You can swap out the pasta and veggies I’ve used for your favorite! For a protein boost, add white beans or your favorite protein source.
  • Leftover pasta primavera will keep in an air tight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 219kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 282mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Tried this recipe?Mention @flavorthemoments or tag #flavorthemoments!

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