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Vegan Pasta Primavera is a classic American pasta dish made in a lemon cream sauce with a variety of fresh, colorful, and crunchy vegetables! This vegan recipe is deliciously healthy and completely dairy-free!

Close up hero shot of a top view of a pasta plate filled with pasta and veggies in a creamy sauce with a fork in the side.
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“Primavera” means “spring” in Italian, but don’t let its name fool you. This pasta dish originates from America’s very own New York City, becoming famous in the 1970s at New York’s Le Cirque restaurant. It quickly gained popularity and was soon being served across the country and internationally!

This popular pasta dish is so creamy, herb-filled, and packed with fresh flavors, similar to my Creamy Asparagus Alfredo Pasta. Pasta, vegetables, and a tasty sauce are always a winning combination in my house!

Close-up hero shot of a top view of a pan filled with pasta and veggies in a creamy sauce.

Made with a plant-based cream and an elegant blend of dried herbs and fresh vegetables, this vegan Pasta Primavera recipe is healthy and comforting. It is a quick and easy dish, making it perfect for a weeknight family dinner or a filling make-ahead lunch! 

This dish is packed full of vitamins, especially when using all plant-based ingredients. You can add even more fresh spring vegetables into the mix for even more nutrients. These vegetables will be briefly fried for extra flavor, but they will still stay nice and crunchy for a great texture throughout the dish. It’s a great way to get more healthy food on the menu for kids! 😉

Baked vegan mac and cheese is a delicious comfort food favorite that is also good for you, and this creamy one pot broccoli pasta is a great recipe for kids too!

Ingredients

See recipe card for quantities.

Top view of vegan Pasta Primavera Ingredients including a metal bowl filled with zucchini, bell pepper, red onion, cherry tomatoes and carrots,  and smaller bowls with garlic, olive oil, pasta, herbs, and dairy-free cream.
  • Pasta → penne or rigatoni are ideal. You can also use spaghetti or noodles of your choice! For gluten-free Pasta Primavera, use a gluten-free type of pasta (e.g. from Barilla).
  • Olive oil → You can use your favorite cooking oil like avocado oil or almond oil. As this oil is for briefly frying the vegetables, it doesn’t need to have a very high smoke point. 
  • Red onion, garlic, carrots, zucchini, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes → A colorful mix of veggies will provide lots of vitamins and important nutrients. Feel free to adjust this recipe’s vegetables to suit your preference, use your favorite ones or those that are currently in season. Vegetables with little water content should be fried first, and vegetables containing water should be added at the end.
  • Cream → I use plant-based cream (soy or oat cream) For non-vegans, heavy cream can be used too.
  • Dried herbs → A mix of dried herbs makes for a great aroma. I use thyme, basil, sage, oregano, and rosemary. Dried herbs are more potent than fresh herbs, but you can add a pinch of fresh herbs to garnish if you want to dress up your meal. 

Optional: Parmesan & Red Pepper Flakes → Vegans can cook the pasta without this or just use a vegan parmesan cheese alternative. Don’t worry, with or without cheese, it tastes delicious!

Other vegetables you can use:

  • Broccoli Florets
  • Green Asparagus
  • Fresh or Frozen Peas
  • Green Beans
  • Spinach
  • Snow Peas
  • Yellow Zucchini

Instructions

This visual step-by-step instruction will help you along the way – definitely recommended if you’re a cooking beginner! The exact quantities and everything else you need to know for the recipe can be found in the recipe card below.

  • Cook the pasta: Put the pasta in a large pot of boiling salt water and cook until al dente. Keep 4 tbsp of pasta water aside. Drain over a sieve. 
  • Sauté vegetables: Heat a large skillet over medium heat with olive oil. Add onion, garlic, and carrot, sauté for 3 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add bell pepper and zucchini, cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add cherry tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes.
Three photo gallery. Top left is a top view of a pan with sliced onion and sliced carrots, top right picture is a pan with more chopped vegetables in it and the bottom picture is a top view of a pan with chopped vegetables as well as sliced cherry tomatoes on top.
  • Add sauce ingredients: Stir in dairy-free cream, vegan cheese, pasta water, lemon juice, and dried herbs. Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (optional).
Top view of a pan filled with chopped vegetables in a creamy sauce.
  • Add the pasta and mix: Add the drained cooked pasta, toss for one minute, and serve!
Close up hero shot of a top view of a pan filled with pasta and veggies in a creamy sauce.

Tips and Variations

  • Use a vegetable broth instead of pasta water for more flavor.  
  • Add lemon zest into the vegetable mix along with the lemon juice for added fresh citrus flavor. 
  • When adding the vegetables fry the ones with little water content first. Vegetables containing more water should be added at the end of the cooking time. 
  • Garnish with fresh basil for an extra special finish. 
  • Easily make this recipe Gluten-Free, use a gluten-free pasta alternative.
  • You can use any plant-based cream (preferably heavy cream) to make this recipe, even coconut cream. I love to use this homemade vegan cashew cream.
  • Vegetarians can use regular heavy cream and parmesan!

Storage & Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover pasta and vegetables in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 3 days. 

Reheat the whole dish, or a portion of it, in a microwave-safe container in the microwave or in a frying pan with some water!

FAQs

What is a primavera sauce made of?

This classic creamy sauce is made with heavy cream and parmesan cheese. For this vegan Pasta Primavera recipe, use oat or soy cream and then simply omit the Parmesan or replace it with a vegan cheese alternative.

What to serve with Primavera Pasta?

Serve this creamy pasta dish with some focaccia garlic bread or additional veggies on the side, like green beans almondine.

More Creamy Pasta Recipes You Will Love

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📖 Recipe

pasta primavera in einem teller

Vegan Pasta Primavera

Vegan Pasta Primavera is a classic American pasta dish made in a lemon cream sauce with a variety of fresh, colorful, and crunchy vegetables!
Author : Aline Cueni
5 from 1 vote

Click on the stars to leave a vote!

Prep Time :5 minutes
Cook Time :15 minutes
Total Time :20 minutes
Servings : 3
Calories : 534kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 10.5 oz (300 g) pasta penne, rigatoni, or pasta of choice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion chopped in rings
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 carrot in julienne strips
  • 1 bell pepper yellow or orange, cut into cubes
  • 1 zucchini sliced
  • 1 ½ cups (200 g) cherry tomatoes halved
  • cup + 1 tbsp (100 ml) dairy-free cream
  • cup (40 g) vegan cheese optional
  • 4 tbsp pasta water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs
  • salt & pepper
  • red pepper flakes optional

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salt water until al dente. Keep 4 tbsp of pasta water aside. Drain over a sieve.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat with olive oil. Add onion, garlic, and carrot, sauté for 3 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add bell pepper and zucchini, cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add cherry tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Stir in dairy-free cream, vegan cheese, pasta water, lemon juice, and dried herbs. Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (optional).
  • Add drained pasta, toss for one minute, and serve!

Notes

  • When adding the vegetables: Fry the veggies with little water content first, and veggies containing water should be added at the end.
  • Keeps fresh for 3 days. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Gluten-Free: Regular pasta can be replaced with gluten-free pasta.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Omit if you don’t like hot food or don’t have them at home.
  • Plant-Based Cream: You can use any plant-based cream (preferably heavy cream) to make this recipe, even coconut cream. I love to use this homemade vegan cashew cream.
  • Vegetarians can use regular heavy cream and parmesan!

Nutrition

Calories: 534kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 272mg | Potassium: 825mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 5218IU | Vitamin C: 82mg | Calcium: 226mg | Iron: 3mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @aline_made on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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