20 Light and Delicious Pasta Recipes for Spring
Stick-to-your-ribs pasta recipes seem like fall and winter meals, right? Sure, pasta salad knows no season. But come spring, we love main-dish recipes that amp up the flavors of hearty greens like spinach, broccoli, and asparagus — and fresh produce in general — while letting actual pasta take a bit of a back seat. These recipes do just that. They may even put a bit of, ahem, spring in your step.
Creamy Shrimp Pasta Primavera
This colorful pasta includes red bell pepper, mushrooms, and fresh basil. "You can swap out ingredients and change measurements to your liking," recipe creator Littlechef writes.
Linguini with Roasted Broccoli Pesto
"Roasting the veggies in the oven makes all the difference," recipe creator caterwauler says. Toasted pine nuts add a satisfying crunch.
Lemon Asparagus Pasta
"Yum, yum, and more yum," says reviewer France C. "Simple and delicious. The cooking times are spot on. I liked that the asparagus were still a bit crisp. The lemon really makes the recipe, so don't skimp!"
Pasta Primavera with Cauliflower Sauce
"Kids absolutely loved this," Eddy Glover says. Don't let the silky sauce fool you. It's made from cauliflower, garlic, veggie broth, and Parmesan. No heavy cream here.
High-Protein Spaghetti with Spinach and Tomato Sauce
This vegetarian recipe gets its flavor from pine nuts, spinach, tomatoes, lemons, and grated Parmesan. Enriched thin spaghetti adds protein.
Gnocchetti Sardi in Pesto Leggero di Zucchine (Zucchini Pesto Pasta)
"Che buoni! I had to use gluten free penne. Regardless of the pasta shape, this pesto is simple and delicious. I added some extra zucchini wheels at the end, for extra nutrition and fun." -- Buckwheat Queen
Whole-Family Pasta with Broccoli and Cauliflower
Ready in just 25 minutes, this easy pasta dish features cannellini beans for protein and two kinds of good-for-you vegetables. "Picky kids loved this," said nycmom.
Penne Pasta with Spinach and Bacon
Allrecipes member Jean Tagliere calls this "a quick light meal. Wilted spinach, bacon and tomatoes are tossed with penne pasta. Good for any season and will complement anything." "I knew this recipe was a winner when my husband exclaimed, 'Wow! This tastes like restaurant food!'" raves Allrecipes member treycamey. "It tastes very good the next day, stays moist, and reheats well."
Pasta with Broccoli Rabe (Cima di Rapa)
Recipe creator Buckwheat Queen received this recipe from a Sicilian friend. Though Cima di Rapa is a popular winter dish in Italy, spring's abundance of in-season broccoli rabe should be reason enough to cook it now.
Ribbons of pappardelle taste even more delicious with fresh spinach, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and red bell pepper. Simmering the dish in tomato sauce, herbes de Provence, and dry red wine add the flavors of a true ratatouille.
You can't go wrong with simple Pasta Pomodoro. "I have made this recipe many times. I use fresh tomatoes and add red wine. I also use lots of fresh grated Romano," Dawn Fronius says.
Chef John's Pasta Primavera
Snap peas, asparagus, and zucchini play starring roles in this nod to warmer months from Chef John. "This is one of the year's great seasonal recipes; it looks, smells, and tastes like a cool, sunny spring day," he notes.
No-Cream Pasta Primavera
This take on pasta primavera calls for yellow squash, zucchini, carrot, red bell peppers, grape tomatoes, green beans, and asparagus. Reviewers rave that it also tastes excellent with additions like broccoli, cauliflower, peas, mushrooms, and spinach.
Penne with Chicken and Asparagus
"A light but super-tasty pasta dish with fresh asparagus cooked in broth, sauteed garlic, and seasoned chicken," writes Allrecipes member LAUREL B of her popular recipe.
Easy Vegan Pasta with Kale and Chickpeas
"This is one of my go-to recipes for a quick, healthy midweek meal, though it's good enough for guests, too," recipe creator Rita says. Garlic packs a punch of flavor, while nutritional yeast gives this vegan dish a subtle cheesy flavor.
Italian Vegetable Fusilli with Basil Mint Pesto
Mint brings a vibrant spring flavor to this vegetarian dish. Though the recipe calls for fusilli, you can make it with farfalle (as pictured) and other types of pasta.
Instant Pot® Linguine with Pesto and Peas
Pesto, peas, and fresh parsley liven up linguine. Though this dish looks impressive, cooking it in the Instant Pot couldn't be easier.
Shrimp Scampi with Pasta
Angel hair pasta, bright lemon, fresh parsley, and a little spice make this dish lighter for the season. "Loved it!" raves Allrecipes member kjpatter. "I like my food a little spicy, so I added more red pepper and salt. Easy and delicious. Try it, you won't regret it!"
Veggie Penne Alfredo
This light take on pasta with Alfredo features in-season sugar snap peas, zucchini, and yellow squash. "This could be a meal with pieces of cooked chicken," reviewer thedailygourmet writes.
Pasta with Arugula and Tomatoes
"Light, fresh, delicious! I love the peppery flavor of arugula," home cook Saveur writes.