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Vegan Pasta Primavera

By Thepickyeater @pickyeaterblog

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Delicious vegan pasta primavera will knock your socks off with its incredible flavors. Tender pasta is combined with loads of fresh veggies, tossed in a rich marinara sauce, and is seasoned to perfection. The best part: you can whip up this family-friendly meal in just 25 minutes!

Vegan primavera is one of my favorite recipes to make. Whether you grow your own veggies, or love to hit the farmers market, this easy vegan pasta primavera recipe is simple to make and easy to customize based on whatever you find in season! It's also a great way to use up a variety of veggies chilling in your fridge at the end of the week before grocery shopping.

Pasta Primavera, though it sounds Italian, is actually an American dish that appeared on the menu at Le Cirque in New York City in the 1970s. Sirio Maccioni, the restaurant's owner, takes credit for the original recipe and idea, and was quoted in the New York Times in 1991, saying "It seemed like a good idea and people still like it."

Veggies and pasta seem like a good idea to me too, and this vegan vegetable pasta (my version) is truly delicious. If you've ever wondered how to make a pasta primavera recipe vegan, this recipe is for you!

Pasta, in general, is a great meal for batch cooking or serving a crowd because it's just so easy to make! And I guarantee my vegan version of traditional pasta primavera will satisfy even the pickiest eaters in your house! Bonus: You will love sharing this healthy vegan pasta with your family (because they will gobble it up!).

My family seems to want to eat pasta every week, and this is the perfect recipe for satisfying their pasta craving, while still giving them something that's healthy and tasty. This vegan pasta primavera features tender pasta and loads of fresh veggies. I hope you love this plant based pasta recipe as much as we do!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why You'll Love Vegan Pasta Primavera

  • Versatile: This easy recipe works with basically any seasonal vegetables. Pick your favorite veggies and chop them in similar sizes to make this delicious dish.
  • Family Friendly: Even though this classic pasta dish is loaded with vegetables, most picky eaters will love this vegan pasta recipe because it has a mild flavor and great texture.
  • Quick And Easy: This vegan pasta with vegetables is ready in under 30 minutes (5 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes of cooking time), making it great for those busy weeknights.
  • Healthy And Delicious: No matter which vegetables you use, this recipe is packed with tons of vitamins and minerals yet it is super delicious! Be prepared: you might not have leftovers because your family might demolish the whole pot!

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🥘 Ingredients

This vegan pasta primavera combines pasta and fresh vegetables in an amazing, flavorful recipe. See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for nutritional information.

Vegan Pasta Primavera

  • Pasta: I used whole wheat penne pasta, but you can use any pasta shape you like!
  • Olive Oil: For cooking the veggies
  • Veggies: Red bell pepper, red onion, zucchini, summer squash, and baby spinach were my choices, but you can literally put any of your favorite veggies into this simple pasta dish!
  • Garlic: Because you can't have Italian food without garlic!
  • Spices: I used dried Italian seasoning, dried oregano, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to give this healthy pasta primavera its rich flavor.
  • Vegan Parmesan Cheese: As a topping!
  • Marinara Sauce: Feel free to make homemade marinara sauce, or use your favorite low-sugar jarred variety. I chose to go with the jarred version to save time.

🍲 Ingredient Substitutions

  • Pasta: If you're gluten-free, just substitute gluten-free pasta. If you want more protein, try a chickpea or lentil based pasta! It doesn't matter what type of pasta you use, just follow package directions and cook 1-2 minutes less than the package recommends. We want our pasta cooked till al dente (still a little firm) so it doesn't overcook when mixed with the cooked vegetables and warm sauce.
  • Olive Oil: If you don't have olive oil, other good choices are avocado oil or grapeseed oil. Alternatively, cook your veggies in a splash of water or vegetable broth. Add a little bit more (like a tablespoon or two) if the veggies start to stick. I recommend cooking the vegetables over medium heat if cooking with veggie broth or water instead of oil.
  • Veggies: Depending on what time of the year it is, use in-season vegetables that you and your family enjoy. For example, if it's spring, use fresh spring vegetables like fresh asparagus, broccoli florets, and snap peas or snow peas. If it's summer, go with cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes), yellow squash and/or zucchini, bell peppers (yellow bell pepper or any of the warmer colors are sweeter than green peppers), and green beans.
  • Garlic: If you don't have fresh garlic, you can add a little garlic powder to the spice blend.
  • Spices: Substitute your favorite dried spices and/or seasonings if you prefer. Any fresh herbs like fresh basil, thyme, or rosemary would also taste great in this dish. Also a little lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice at the end would be a nice addition.
  • Vegan Parmesan Cheese: You can also use nutritional yeast, or leave off the cheese altogether. If you're just looking to make pasta primavera vegetarian, you can use dairy parmesan cheese.
  • Marinara Sauce: Any marinara sauce will work but you can also experiment with pesto or another sauce of your choice! Pesto would actually go great with the fresh spring veggies.

🔪 How To Make Vegan Pasta Primavera

Even if this is your first time making a dish like this vegan primavera, this recipe is truly simple and easy. Make as written, enjoy, and the next time you will feel confident to try experimenting with the recipe. I am sure this will be your new go-to for pasta night! Here is how to make this healthy vegan pasta primavera:

Make The Pasta And The Veggies

Cook Your Pasta: Cook pasta in a large pot of water according to package directions (on high or medium-high heat) until it's al dente. Drain the cooked pasta.

Vegan Pasta Primavera

While The Pasta Cooks, Make The Cooked Veggies: Heat a generous drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic, sauté 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, squash, baby spinach, Italian seasoning, oregano, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.

Sauté 10 minutes or until the veggies have cooked through but are still slightly crisp.

Putting It All Together

Mix The Pasta With The Sauce And Cooked Veggies: Stir gently and fold everything together. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately sprinkle with a little vegan parmesan and fresh herbs if desired.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Use Fresh Vegetables Of Any Kind: Use fresh vegetables whenever possible-just buy whatever is in season and customize as needed!
  • Cut Vegetables Consistently: When cutting the veggies, try to make them all the same size-this will make it much easier to eat and they will cook more evenly. Cook the veggies until they are just tender (you don't want to overcook them!)
  • Salt Your Pasta Water: For better pasta flavor, cook it in a large pot of salted water. Add less salt (to taste) to the veggies to compensate.
  • Cook Till Al Dente: When cooking dry pasta, I recommend cooking it about 1-2 minutes less than what's written on the box. That will make it perfectly al dente (an Italian word meaning "to the tooth," or a little firm bite), and then the pasta won't get overcooked when you combine it with the warm sauce and veggies.

📖 Variations

  • Make It For Kids: Most kids love pasta, even picky eaters! This easy recipe is super kid friendly because it's mild in flavor and has great texture. If you have especially picky eaters, I recommend adding the veggies into a food processor with the marinara sauce and blending it all together, so they don't realize they're actually eating veggies when you serve this classic pasta dish!
  • Creamy Vegan Pasta Primavera: If you're looking for more of a creamy sauce experience, try a delightful lemon cream sauce. Instead of heavy cream, try blending soaked raw cashews (or white beans or even coconut milk) and hot water (or even better, reserve a cup of the pasta water and add as needed) with salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, and a little garlic. Taste and adjust as necessary and use the light cream sauce in place of the marinara. Add a little sprinkle of fresh parsley at the end.
  • One-Pot Pasta Primavera: Cook the veggies, set aside in a bowl, and cook the pasta in the same pot. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and return it to the pot. Fold in the cooked vegetables and the sauce. Serve immediately.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Roasted veggies won't save you time (it still takes 15-20 minutes or so to cook pasta, depending on how long it takes for the pot of water to come to a boil), but they will add nice flavor to this dish, since they get a chance to caramelize a little in the oven. Chop your veggies in similar sizes and drizzle with olive oil. Toss with seasonings and add to a lined baking dish. Roast until lightly golden brown and are tender enough to your liking. Toss with the sauce and cooked pasta.
  • Add More Protein: There are tons of good options for protein in this dish. To keep the pasta primavera vegan friendly, try adding some tofu or tempeh crumbles. If you aren't vegetarian or vegan, you can always add meat to this recipe-diced chicken breasts, grilled shrimp, shredded rotisserie chicken, or even bacon would all be tasty in this dish.

🍽 Serving Suggestions

Here are a few of my favorite ways to pair this easy delicious vegan pasta primavera:

🙌 Dietary Adaptations

Gluten-Free Option: Simply swap the pasta with the certified gluten-free pasta of your choice! The brown rice and quinoa blends are very nice, but so are bean and legume-based pastas!

🫙 Storage Directions

  • Refrigerating: This vegetarian pasta primavera will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge in an airtight container! If using wheat pasta, this pasta will taste the same the next day and for a few days after. Gluten-free pastas tend to deteriorate a little faster after being cooked.
  • Freezing: Transfer the pasta to a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. This main dish is great for meal prep too! You can make a big batch of this vegan pasta primavera and store it in individual containers (so it's ready to be reheated in portions).
  • Reheating: Place the pasta in the fridge the night before to thaw. If heating directly from frozen (without thawing), defrost in the microwave using the defrost setting. If heating from the fridge, warm the pasta in the microwave or in a medium pot, on medium heat, with a drizzle of olive oil. Stir frequently and remove from the stove as soon as it's hot.
  • Make Ahead: You can either make the entire pasta dish for meal prep, or you can just chop the veggies ahead of time and make the pasta fresh. I would not chop them more than a day or two in advance, and store them in the fridge in an airtight container with a paper towel inside to absorb moisture. Proceed with the recipe when ready.

❓Recipe FAQs


Not all recipes are! The best part about this recipe is that it is naturally healthy. There's no heavy cream sauce, just a simple vegan pasta dish with tons of veggies and a light marinara sauce. This vegan pasta primavera recipe is low in fat, low in calories, loaded with nutrients, and incredibly flavorful.


I say this recipe you can use any vegetables, and I believe in that. The only thing I would caution you about is that there are some vegetables that will take longer to cook than others. If you're going to use those, you can cut them in much smaller pieces or you can cook them separately, or start them first and add the quicker-cooking vegetables later. Examples of vegetables that take longer to cook: sweet potatoes or regular potatoes, winter squash, carrots, parsnips, and other root vegetables.


The best pasta shapes for vegan primavera tend to be medium pasta shapes such as penne, farfalle (bowties), ziti, rigatoni, medium shells, fusilli, gemelli, etc.

🍝More Healthy Vegan Pasta Recipes!

And if you love pasta as much as I do, check out all my Vegetarian Italian Recipes, all with vegan options!

📋 Recipe Card

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