Skinny Pasta Primavera
Lately, I’ve noticed we haven’t eaten a lot of pasta for dinner.
Bathing suit season is here, and although I insist that I won’t allow the bathing suit season to control my habits… Sometimes it does.
It’s sad that pasta always gets the blame for excess baggage when we pull out our warm weather clothes and realize they fit a little too tight.
After all, if you visit Italy one of the most startling realizations is just how fit and trim Italians are, as a whole. They eat their pasta, bread, sausages, and cheese regularly. They just don’t overdo it! (Plus, they walk everywhere.)
We don’t have to view pasta as the enemy in the spring and summer. We just need to make our pasta dishes fresh and healthy. Then not eat massive plates full.
A Healthier Skinny Pasta Recipe
Today’s Skinny Pasta Primavera Recipe is a twist on a classic Italian-inspired recipe, with loads of fresh seasonal vegetables, a mindful cream sauce, and healthy-fried pasta.
While the traditional version typically includes a heavier parmesan-based sauce, we’ve used low-fat cream cheese to achieve that same tangy, creamy goodness that you love for our lighter pasta primavera.
This Skinny Pasta Primavera Recipe has not only less fat and calories than traditional pasta primavera, but it also offers vitamins and nutrients from all sorts of colorful fresh vegetables.
It is a vegetarian pasta dish that is both refreshing and rich and is perfect to enjoy on a warm evening for an easy dinner or as a satisfying lunch.
And BONUS: it’s super quick to make and is a perfect one-pot wonder!
What Ingredients You Will Need
We love using the freshest seasonal produce available in this easy Skinny Pasta Primavera recipe. We have included our favorites for the dish, but feel free to leave out or substitute any of the veggies you like.
Here is all that you need:
- Fusilli pasta – You can use any type of pasta you like
- Red bell pepper – Brings color and crunch to the salad
- Snow peas – Also brings color and crunch
- Broccoli florets – For more veggie goodness
- Carrots – To provide a touch of sweetness
- Cream cheese – To create a light creamy cheese sauce
- Garlic – To add zest
- Scallions – For color and additional zest
- Zucchini – To bring in a softer texture
- Fresh thyme – For a fresh herbaceous pop
- Salt and pepper – Always
- Parmesan cheese – Additional flavor!
I used organic whole grain pasta, but you can use any type of pasta you like, even gluten-free and high protein varieties made with legumes. To make this an even lighter, healthier Pasta Primavera recipe, use low fat or nonfat cream cheese for the sauce.
How to Make This A Vegetarian Pasta Primavera
Our Skinny Pasta Primavera Recipe is a low-fat and vegetarian dish you can feel good about serving your family. It is fresh, vibrant, and bursting with cozy appeal!
Your kids will gobble it down as if it were made with heavy Alfredo sauce!
Here’s how to make the BEST Healthy Pasta Primavera in less than 30 minutes:
- Start by boiling the pasta according to the package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, go ahead and prep all of the veggies.
- When the pasta is almost cooked to al dente, drop bell peppers, carrots, snow peas, and broccoli florets into the boiling water to blanch for one minute. *You don’t want the veggies to cook through, just to soften and brighten in color.
- Drain the pasta and veggies in a colander, making sure to reserve 2 cups of pasta water. Rinse the drained vegetables and pasta with cold water, and set aside.
- Then, using the same pot for cooking, make a quick creamy sauce using reserved pasta water, garlic, and cream cheese.
- Lastly, toss the pasta and sauce together with fresh scallions, raw zucchini slices, thyme, and grated parmesan cheese if you like.
Ta-da! Healthy never looked so good!
You can serve this dish warm or at room temperature.
Get the Complete (Printable) Skinny Pasta Primavera Recipe Below. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does This Recipe Last?
Leftovers are fantastic for up to 4 days kept in an airtight container in the fridge, and can be reheated or enjoyed cold.
Can I Make this a Gluten-Free Pasta Primavera Recipe?
Absolutely. Substitute whole-grain fusilli with your favorite gluten-free or low-carb pasta.
What Other Types of Pasta Can I Use?
While we recommend fusilli, you can use just about any hearty, medium-sized pasta for this recipe. Some similar shapes include rotini, penne, or elbow macaroni.
Do I Have To Use These Vegetables?
Primavera in Italian means “Spring Style” and the spring vegetables are squash, broccoli, carrots, and red peppers, but of course, you can add any vegetable that you would like to this pasta dish!
Looking for More Healthy Vegetarian Recipes?
- Zesty Greek Pasta Salad
- Grilled Vegetable Kebabs with Fajita Butter
- Chunky Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Grilled Fruit Salad with Creamy Lime Dressing
- Avocado Pesto Stuffed Shells
Skinny Pasta Primavera Recipe
- 1 pound dried whole grain fusilli pasta, can sub gluten-free or high-protein pasta
- 1 cup red bell pepper cut into small segments
- 1 cup snow peas, halved
- 1 cup small broccoli florets
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 2 cups reserved pasta water
- 4 ounce cream cheese low-fat or nonfat
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup chopped scallions
- 1 cup sliced zucchini, halved
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- salt and pepper
- grated parmesan for garnish
- Place a large stock pot of water over high heat. As the water begins to boil, add a tablespoon of salt. Stir in the pasta and cook according to package instructions.
- When the pasta is almost al dente, drop the red peppers, snow peas, broccoli, and carrots into the boiling water to blanche for one minute. Then drain the pasta and veggies in a colander, reserving 2 cups of pasta water. Set the pasta water aside and rinse the pasta and veggies with cold water.
- Using the same pot, place the pasta water, cream cheese, and garlic over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and whisk to create a thin smooth cream sauce. Once the sauce is completely smooth, add the pasta and blanched vegetables back to the pot. Stir well to coat the pasta.
- Toss in the chopped scallions, raw zucchini slices, and thyme. Stir to incorporate. Taste, then season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.