For me, this creamy vegetable pasta is an indulgent yet somehow fresh-tasting meal that can be customized to the season. You can also use pretty much any frozen veggies you have on hand and throw them in here to get them used up.
This recipe is delicious because the pasta is cooked al dente and coated in a creamy, flavorful sauce made with heavy cream, white wine, garlic, and mushrooms. The broccoli and spinach add a nice pop of green color and freshness. The Parmesan cheese adds a salty and nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with the lemon zest. The toasted hazelnuts really take this from good to gourmet. And, if you like some heat, hot pepper flakes are a great addition. Overall, it's a satisfying and comforting dish that's easy to make and tastes amazing!
This dish is a creamy vegetable pasta made with mushrooms, broccoli, baby spinach, and a delicious sauce of white wine, heavy cream, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. It's great because it's easy to make, packed with flavor, and makes for a satisfying and comforting meal that everyone will love.
Frequently Asked Questions
Linguine, fettuccine, or spaghetti are all good options for this dish. But really, you can use anything you want (as you can see, I'm using rigatoni because I love it).
Yes, you can use other vegetables, such as zucchini, bell peppers, or asparagus. Pretty much anything you have on hand - keep in mind the cooking times might be different depending on the vegetable.
While milk can be used as a substitute, it will result in a thinner and less creamy sauce.
You can make the sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. When you're ready to serve, cook and toss the pasta with the sauce. You might need to add a little extra reserved pasta water to loosen up the sauce.
It's not recommended to freeze this dish as the sauce may separate when thawed and reheated.
Yes, you can use a non-dairy milk or cream substitute and omit the Parmesan cheese to make this dish vegan.
Why You're Going to Love This Recipe
- Creamy and flavorful: The sauce made with heavy cream, white wine, garlic, and parmesan cheese creates a rich and creamy flavor that's hard to resist.
- Vegetarian-friendly: This dish is packed with veggies like mushrooms, broccoli, and spinach, making it a great option for vegetarians.
- Easy to make: With just a few simple ingredients, this dish is easy to whip up on a weeknight.
- Customizable: You can swap out the vegetables or pasta to suit your taste preferences.
- Satisfying and comforting: This pasta dish is filling and satisfying, making it a great comfort food option.
- Perfect for leftovers: The leftovers of this pasta dish can be reheated and enjoyed for a quick and easy lunch or dinner the next day.
Can I Make it Vegan?
You can make a few substitutions to make this creamy vegetable pasta dish vegan. Instead of using heavy cream, you can use non-dairy milk such as almond milk or coconut milk. You can also use a vegan Parmesan cheese or omit it altogether if you prefer. You can use the same vegetables as in the original recipe or swap them out for other veggies, such as zucchini or bell peppers. Finally, be sure to use vegan-friendly pasta such as one made with whole wheat or rice.
Olive oil: This ingredient is used to sauté the onion and garlic and provides a rich flavor.
Onion: Chopped onions are used to add flavor and texture.
Garlic: Minced garlic is used to add flavor - can't make pasta without it.
Mushrooms: Sliced mushrooms are here for their earthy flavor and meaty texture.
White wine: White wine is used to deglaze the pan and adds a subtle, fruity flavor to the sauce.
Broccoli: Broccoli is a nutrient-dense vegetable that adds color, texture, and flavor.
Heavy cream: Heavy cream is used to create a rich, creamy sauce that coats the pasta and vegetables.
Lemon zest: Lemon zest for a bright, citrusy flavor.
Baby spinach: Baby spinach for its mild flavor and nutritional value.
Parmesan cheese: Grated Parmesan cheese is here for its savory, nutty flavor and to help thicken the sauce.
Salt and pepper: Salt and pepper are added to the dish to enhance the flavors and season to taste.
Toasted Hazelnuts: The perfect topper for this dish, with delicate nutty flavors and a great texture.
Hot pepper flakes (optional): Hot pepper flakes can be added for a spicy kick if desired.
How to Make Veggie Pasta
First, grab a large skillet and heat up some olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add in some chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté them until they're fragrant and soft.
Next, add in some sliced mushrooms and sauté them until they're tender and slightly browned. Pour in some white wine to deglaze the pan and cook until the liquid has reduced by half.
Add in some broccoli florets and continue to cook until the broccoli is tender but still has a bit of crunch. Pour in some heavy cream and stir until it's fully incorporated into the sauce.
Add in some lemon zest, baby spinach, and grated Parmesan cheese, and continue to stir until the spinach is wilted and the cheese is melted. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste, and add in some hot pepper flakes if you like things spicy.
Finally, drain the cooked pasta and add it to the skillet with the sauce. Toss everything together until the pasta is coated in the creamy sauce. Serve the pasta hot, garnished with some extra Parmesan cheese, toasted hazelnuts and a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes if desired. Enjoy!
Other Veggie Combos to Make This With
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Spinach: Roast some cherry tomatoes until they burst with sweetness, and then mix them with baby spinach for a vibrant and flavorful addition to the pasta.
Roasted Red Bell Peppers and Artichoke Hearts: Roast red bell peppers until they're tender and charred, and combine them with marinated artichoke hearts for a Mediterranean twist to the dish.
Sautéed Zucchini and Yellow Squash: Slice zucchini and yellow squash into rounds and sauté them until they're golden and tender. They add a light and fresh element to the pasta.
Roasted Eggplant and Red Onion: Roast cubes of eggplant and slices of red onion until they caramelize and become tender. These veggies bring a rich, smoky flavor to the dish.
Asparagus and Peas: Blanch fresh asparagus spears and toss in some sweet peas for a combination that adds vibrant green color and a delightful springtime touch.
Sautéed Kale and Caramelized Onions: Sauté hearty kale until it wilts slightly, and caramelize some onions for added sweetness. This combo provides earthy flavors and a satisfying texture. So. Good.
What to Serve it With
A simple green salad with a lemon vinaigrette: The bright, acidic flavors of the lemon vinaigrette complement the pasta dish's rich, creamy sauce and help cut through its richness.
Roasted or grilled vegetables, such as asparagus, bell pepper or zucchini: The smoky, caramelized flavors of the roasted or grilled vegetables contrast the soft, creamy texture of the pasta.
Garlic bread or breadsticks for dipping in the sauce: The warm, crusty bread provides a perfect vessel for soaking up the delicious sauce and adds an extra layer of texture to the meal.
A light soup or broth-based dish, such as a vegetable soup or minestrone: A light soup can be a nice contrast to the rich, creamy flavors of the pasta and help balance the meal.
Grilled shrimp or chicken: Adding a protein source to the meal helps to make it more filling and satisfying, and the smoky, charred flavors of the grilled chicken or shrimp work well with the other flavors in the dish.
Tofu or tempeh marinated in soy: This is a great vegan option that provides a protein boost and a nice savory flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients in the dish.
Chardonnay: A rich, buttery Chardonnay can complement the creamy sauce and earthy mushrooms.
Pinot Grigio: A light, crisp Pinot Grigio can provide a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of the pasta while also complementing the fresh vegetables and lemon zest.
Sauvignon Blanc: A Sauvignon Blanc with high acidity can help to cut through the richness while also complementing the herbal notes of the garlic and spinach.
Pinot Noir: For red wine lovers, a light-bodied Pinot Noir can work well with earthy mushrooms and bright lemon flavors.
Rosé: A dry, refreshing rosé can be a versatile pairing option that complements the fresh vegetables and creamy sauce while also standing up to the bold flavors.
Pro Tips & Tricks
Salt the pasta water generously: Salting the water before cooking the pasta helps infuse it with flavor and can make a big difference in the dish's overall taste.
Cook the pasta al dente: Be sure not to overcook the pasta, as it will continue to cook in the sauce and can become mushy. Cook it just until it's al dente or has a slight firmness to it when you bite into it.
Don't overcrowd the pan when sautéing the vegetables: To ensure that the vegetables cook evenly and get a nice sear, be sure not to overcrowd the pan. If necessary, sauté them in batches.
Use a mix of mushrooms for more depth of flavor: Using a combination of different types of mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, and oyster, can add more complexity and depth of flavor to the dish. My favorite is crimini, shiitake, and oyster.
Add the spinach at the end: To prevent the spinach from becoming overcooked and wilted, add it at the very end of cooking and stir it in just until it's wilted.
Taste and adjust seasoning as needed: Be sure to taste the dish before serving and adjust the seasoning as needed with additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice.
Serve with a generous sprinkle of parmesan cheese: The nutty, salty flavor of parmesan cheese complements the flavors of the pasta dish and adds an extra layer of richness.
Reheating & Storage
To store leftovers, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3-4 days. When reheating, you can either use the microwave or reheat it on the stove. Here's how to do it:
- Microwave: Place the pasta in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel or microwave-safe lid. Heat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's heated through.
- Stove: To reheat on the stove, add a splash of milk or cream to the pasta to help loosen the sauce and prevent it from drying out. Heat it over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it's heated through.
It's important to note that the texture of the pasta may change slightly upon reheating, as the sauce may become thicker or the vegetables may become softer. However, the flavor should still be delicious!
More Awesome Pasta Recipes
Creamy Vegetable Pasta
- 12 oz pasta pick your favorite
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 8 oz mushrooms
- ½ C white wine
- 1 head broccoli cut into small florets
- 1 C heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 C baby spinach
- ¾ C parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- hot pepper flakes optional
- toasted hazelnuts optional
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.
- In a large skillet or wok, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
- Add the minced garlic and sliced mushrooms and continue to sauté for another 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and slightly browned.
- Pour in the white wine and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes until it has reduced by half.
- Add the broccoli florets and cook for 5-7 minutes until they are tender.
- Pour in the heavy cream and lemon zest and stir until the sauce is heated through.
- Add the baby spinach and stir until it wilts.
- Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss to coat it with the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the pasta and toss again.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you like your pasta spicy, sprinkle some hot pepper flakes on top.
- Sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts, if desired.
- Serve hot and enjoy your creamy vegetable pasta!