17 Healthy Pasta and Vegetable Recipes that Are Ready Fast

Triple-Veggie Pasta
Photo: Jason Donnelly

You may hear the word "pasta" and automatically think of a heavy meal. But minus the cream-laden sauces and rich meats, pasta can actually be a perfect light lunch or dinner when it incorporates lots of healthy produce. Looking for healthy pasta with veggies recipes? You've come to the right place. The best part is that all of these pasta and vegetables recipes come together quickly so you can get a nutritious dinner on the table faster, even on your most jam-packed days.

01 of 17

Orecchiette with Ricotta and Chard Pan Sauce

Orecchiette with Ricotta and Chard Pan Sauce
Andy Lyons

Because orecchiette (which means "little ears") is shaped like tiny scoops, it's great for soaking up the delectable sauce—made with just a little butter to add richness—in this healthy pasta with veggies dish. Cooking Swiss chard in olive oil before adding it to the pasta helps release some of its juices, making this simple recipe extra flavorful.

02 of 17

One-Pot Ham and Greens Pasta

One-Pot Ham and Greens Pasta
Andy Lyons

If you're pressed for time on a weeknight and need dinner fast, be sure to keep this recipe handy. This one-pot wonder is a total lifesaver when things start to get hectic—it's ready in just 20 minutes, and cleanup is a breeze. It's hard to beat how tasty ham, kale, and pasta can be when served together in a garlicky, buttery sauce.

Buy It: Martha Stewart 4-Quart Dutch Oven ($164, Macy's)

03 of 17

Noodles and "Zoodles" with Saffron and Cream

Noodles and “Zoodles” with Saffron and Cream
Blaine Moats

If you've never made "zoodles" (aka, zucchini noodles), this is a great dish to give them a try. They're mixed in with regular spaghetti so you won't miss out on the pasta in this recipe. Once you add the savory, crisped-up pancetta to your bowl, you might never notice you're eating veggies.

04 of 17

Chickpea Alfredo with Spring Veggies

Chickpea Alfredo with Spring Veggies
Blaine Moats

If you're hosting vegan friends for dinner or exploring a vegan diet yourself, this chickpea Alfredo sauce is sure to be a winner. You start by soaking cashews, which act as the "cream" when blended with chickpea flour and water. Trust us: Once you pour the sauce over fettuccine, fresh asparagus, spinach, and peas, you'll never be able to tell this recipe is dairy free.

05 of 17

Pesto Pasta with Charred Radicchio

Pesto Pasta with Charred Radicchio
Carson Downing

This restaurant-quality dish is one you'll want to add to your regular rotation of healthy pasta with veggies recipes. Rigatoni or your favorite other tube-shape pasta makes a perfect vessel for lots of fresh herb pesto (make your own, or buy it—we won't tell). Paired with spicy radicchio, it's a meal you'll feel good about serving to company.

Buy It: Rao's Basil Pesto ($6, Target)

06 of 17

Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad

Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad
Karla Conrad

Give plain pasta a smoky kick by stirring in a variety of veggies fresh off the grill. Red peppers, zucchini, asparagus, and red onion make this unique pasta salad healthy and tasty. Since the veggies are the real star of the show, it makes sense to let them shine on their own—so the only sauce this healthy pasta with veggies needs is a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

07 of 17

Spaghetti with Seared Asparagus

spaghetti with seared asparagus
Andy Lyons

You might be used to seeing green asparagus on your plate, but white asparagus—commonly eaten in Europe—is equally as tasty and healthy. Shake up your plate by swapping this green veggie for its white counterpart (if you can find it) and searing it in a skillet. Serve over spaghetti with breadcrumbs and hazelnuts for crunch, and you'll be adding this healthy dinner to your menu over and over again.

08 of 17

Macaroni Alfredo with Pumpkin and Kale

Macaroni Alfredo with Pumpkin and Kale
Hannah Bigot

When pumpkin goes savory instead of sweet, the result is utterly delicious and makes for great comfort food on chilly nights. Pumpkin adds not only creaminess to this easy pasta dish, but also a healthy boost of vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Stir in plenty of fresh kale at the end, which will make your macaroni taste even more bright and fresh.

09 of 17

Italian-Style Turkey and Penne Toss

Italian Style Turkey and Penne Toss
Andy Lyons

Plenty of spices, fresh spinach, and lean ground turkey lend this pasta and veggies recipe a major kick of flavor. You'll use the same pot to cook both your meat sauce and your multigrain penne pasta, making cleanup a breeze. Be sure to add the spinach at the very end so it doesn't get mushy.

10 of 17

Roasted Tomato and Artichoke Pasta

Roasted Tomato and Artichoke Pasta
Blaine Moats

Think roasting veggies is too time consuming for a busy night? Think again. To make a juicy, delicious sauce for this pasta, you only need to roast cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and artichoke hearts for less than 10 minutes. Then have your fork ready—after roasting , just pour the veggie mixture over cooked pasta and dig in.

11 of 17

Garden Veggie Linguine with Cilantro Pesto

Garden Veggie Linguine with Cilantro Pesto
Andy Lyons

Why limit yourself to basil pesto when there are so many other herbs out there that make excellent pesto? Cilantro adds a complex, citrusy flavor to this pesto alternative, which covers linguine noodles and loads of fresh zucchini and baby carrots in this healthy pasta and veggies recipe.

12 of 17

Buffalo "Chicken" Pasta

bowl of Buffalo "Chicken" Pasta topped with celery and bleu cheese
Blaine Moats

This recipe uses mock "chicken" strips or fillets (instead of meat) to bring the protein to 11 grams per serving while still remaining vegetarian. Jarred light Alfredo sauce with chopped bell pepper and onion create a flavorful sauce, while accoutrements like blue cheese, hot sauce, and celery give us all the buffalo vibes.

13 of 17

Chicken and Vegetable Spaghetti

Chicken & Vegetable Spaghetti
Andy Lyons

Branch out from spaghetti with jarred pasta sauce: This fresh spaghetti gets a new look (and plenty of protein) with bite-sized pieces of chicken breast, plus a boost of nutrition from broccolini, pearl onions, and cherry tomatoes. The total time from cooking your pasta to sitting down to eat is about 20 minutes.

14 of 17

Fettuccine Alfredo with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Veggies

Fettuccine Alfredo with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Veggies
Blaine Moats

If we told you that you could make a healthier version of fettuccine Alfredo in only 15 minutes, would you believe it? The proof is in this pasta and veggies recipe. Instead of using cream, you'll make a lighter sauce using butter, milk, and Parmesan cheese—then load it up with fresh veggies including asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and mushrooms.

15 of 17

Triple-Veggie Pasta

Triple-Veggie Pasta
Jason Donnelly

There are actually six different veggies hiding in this healthy pasta and veggies dish! Instead of using regular pasta, we used a trio of spiralized veggies—zucchini, summer squash, and carrots—to act as the "noodles" in this dish. But don't worry about it being less than satisfying. This recipe gets a little bit of decadence thanks to creamy light Alfredo sauce.

16 of 17

Spaghetti with Two Tomato Toss

Spaghetti with Two-Tomato Toss
Andy Lyons

You'll know your baby tomatoes are done and ready to top a plate of gluten-free spaghetti (this recipe calls for corn spaghetti, but you can use any variety you prefer) when they "pop" and release all of their bright juices. Tiny little balls of bocconcini (mozzarella) make this feel like an extra-special dish, though it all comes together in about half an hour.

17 of 17

Summer Pasta Salad

Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad
Tina Rupp

Fresh cherry tomatoes, snap peas, and zucchini are briefly cooked in garlic and then tossed into this pasta salad recipe, creating the perfect side dish to grilled meat—but you could also make this healthy pasta and veggies recipe a main dish by adding in white beans, grilled chicken, or shrimp right into the bowl.

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