Kid-Friendly Creamy Pasta Primavera Recipe

Fresh, Creamy Pasta Primavera Recipe on a plate with fork on counter. It has fettuccine, parmesan cheese, roasted asparagus, carrots, tomatoes and fresh corn kernels.
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Fresh, Creamy Pasta Primavera Recipe on a plate with fork and pot in background on counter.  It has fettuccine, parmesan cheese, roasted asparagus, carrots, tomatoes and fresh corn kernels.

What better way to eat your veggies than to bathe them in a garlic and parmesan cream sauce and then wrap them in fettuccine!  That’s right, this is my Kid-friendly Creamy Pasta Primavera Recipe and it’s marvelous.  This version has kid-friendly veggies asparagus, carrots, and fresh corn kernels that get simply roasted in the oven for a toasty flavor.  Then a 5-minute garlic, grape tomato, half and half, and pasta water sauce comes together.  Cooked pasta is added with lots of parmesan cheese to create a creamy and luxurious sauce.  Finally, the roasted veggies are mixed into all this goodness.  In every cheesy pasta bite, you get earthiness from the asparagus, sweetness from the corn kernels and carrots, and fresh juiciness from the tomatoes. 

If you’re feeling really ambitious…try my Easy Homemade Pasta to take this dinner over the top!

USE VEGGIES YOUR FAMILY LIKES 

My biggest advice when it comes to getting kids to eat veggies, is don’t sweat it.  If your kids don’t like asparagus, swap in broccoli or another veggie they will eat.  That’s what I did here, I used veggies that I know my kids would eat, such as corn and carrots.  These may not be traditional in this recipe, but who cares!  Make it your own! 

Another tip for veggies, is to incorporate them into other recipes.  I do this A LOT!  I’m not necessarily trying to hide the veggies, but rather, trying to give them another flavor so that my daughters will see that they can be yummy.  Here are some of the most successful ways that I’ve done this.  My Easy One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake with Zucchini cooks all in one casserole dish in the oven, so it really could not be any easier!  It’s layered with pasta and sauce on the bottom, then chicken, zucchini, and cheese on top!  Or my  White Enchilada Casserole with Chicken and Veggies which layers in corn tortillas topped with chicken, onions, peppers, and zucchini, then cheese!  How about a Creamy Chicken Sausage and Tortellini Soup with lots of veggies!  Finally, try these delicious Lean Beef Meatballs with Zucchini!

Fresh, Creamy Pasta Primavera Recipe in a pot on counter with fettuccine, parmesan cheese, roasted asparagus, carrots, tomatoes and fresh corn kernels.

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For roasting the veggies, you need a large sheet pan (I use a 17×11) and a large pot for cooking the pasta and then mixing everything together. I used a dutch oven for this, but any large pot or good quality enameled cast iron 5-6 quart dutch oven is fine.

You will also need a cutting board and knife. And mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR THIS CREAMY PASTA PRIMAVERA RECIPE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below)

Prep all of the Veggies: clean and cut the asparagus, slice the carrots, prep the corn kernels, cut the tomatoes in halves, mince the garlic.

While roasting the veggies is technically a cooking step, you can definitely do this step 2-3 days ahead.  NOTE: If you do this ahead, you will want to give them a quick toss in the pot after you drain the pasta, but before you start the sauce, so take the chill off of them before adding them to the pasta at the end. 

Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees.  To a large sheet pan, add the carrots, asparagus, and corn kernels.

Raw cut asparagus, corn kernels, and sliced carrots on a sheet pan for Creamy Pasta Primavera. It has fettuccine, parmesan cheese, roasted asparagus, carrots, tomatoes and fresh corn kernels.

Drizzle with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss with your hands to coat everything with the oil and seasoning. Roast on the center rack for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and either set aside or store sealed in the fridge until ready to cook the dinner.

What other vegetables can I add?

The short answer is: whatever your family/kids will eat!  The longer answer is:  try to find a variety of colors and textures, but within the range of what your family will actually eat.  Veggies that work with the roasting instructions here are red pepper, peas, zucchini, yellow squash, radishes, broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, green beans, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, parsnips, beets, eggplant, or even radicchio.  Cut up the veggies into similar sizes and total quantity as the ones in my recipe and enjoy!

Can I add chicken or shrimp?

Absolutely!  If you want to add a protein to this, chicken or shrimp would both be terrific!  You would want to either cook them in the pot after draining the pasta and before adding the garlic and tomatoes.  Or roast it with the veggies.  If you go the roasting route for chicken, add the chicken to the pan first and roast for 10-15 before adding the veggies and roasting then another 15 minutes.  For the shrimp, they will roast for the same 15 minutes as the veggies.  You can also add strips of steak to this recipe or simply pair the pasta with a chicken breast or piece of grilled steak.

COOK & FINISH YOUR PASTA PRIMAVERA

To save on dishes, I cook everything in the same large pot.  Cook your pasta until al dente.

Save 1 cup of pasta water, drain the pasta and set it aside as you make the start of the sauce.

Using the same pasta pot on Medium-Low heat, add the olive oil, garlic, and halved tomatoes. Sautee for 4-5 minutes, stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the half and half and the reserved cup of pasta water, then stir to combine. Turn the heat off.

Halved grape tomatoes, half and half, and pasta water pouring in a pot for Creamy Pasta Primavera. It has fettuccine, parmesan cheese, roasted asparagus, carrots, tomatoes and fresh corn kernels.

With pot removed from the heat, add the pasta and stir to combine. Add the parmesan cheese while stirring it into the pasta to combine. The cheese should combine with the half and half and pasta water to create a creamy sauce. If the pan and pasta are too hot, it will clump, so be careful with the heat.

Fettuccine pasta mixed with creamy parmesan sauce and grape tomatoes for Creamy Pasta Primavera. It has fettuccine, parmesan cheese, roasted asparagus, carrots, tomatoes and fresh corn kernels.

Finally, add the roasted veggies into the pasta and stir to combine.

Wood spoon scraping asparagus, corn, and carrots from a sheet pan into the pot of Creamy Pasta Primavera. It has fettuccine, parmesan cheese, roasted asparagus, carrots, tomatoes and fresh corn kernels.

Can this recipe be made in advance?

Yes, but it will be MUCH better fresh.  The sauce will get dry out if made too far in advance (even an hour ahead).  If you do make it ahead, you can do so up to 4 days ahead.  However, I recommend adding liquid and reheating it slowly on the stove while stirring the liquid in to rehydrate and make it creamy again.  For the liquid, you can add 1/2 cup of half and half, milk, broth, or even just water.  Taste for seasoning and add a pinch of salt or a touch more parmesan cheese if needed.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Fresh, Creamy Pasta Primavera Recipe in a pot on counter with fettuccine, parmesan cheese, roasted asparagus, carrots, tomatoes and fresh corn kernels.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Kid-Friendly Creamy Pasta Primavera Recipe

What better way to eat your veggies than to bathe them in a garlic and parmesan cream sauce and then wrap them in fettuccine!  This Kid-Friendly Creamy Pasta Primavera Recipe is a marvelous and easy family dinner.  This version uses asparagus, carrots, and fresh corn kernels that get simply roasted in the oven for a toasty flavor.  A 5-minute garlic, grape tomato, half and half, and pasta water sauce is mixed with pasta and lots of parmesan cheese to create a creamy and luxurious sauce.  Finally, the roasted veggies are mixed into all this goodness.  In every cheesy pasta bite, you get earthiness from the asparagus, sweetness from the corn kernels and carrots, and fresh juiciness from the tomatoes. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword asparagus, corn, healthy dinner, meatless, pasta dinner, primavera recipe, vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Roasted Veggies

  • 2 cups Asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup Carrots, sliced
  • 3/4 cup Corn (2 ears of kernels)
  • 1 tablespoon Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Pasta and Other

  • 16 oz Fettuccine Pasta
  • 1 teaspoon Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 5 oz Grape Tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Half and Half
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Prep all of the Veggies: clean and cut the asparagus, slice the carrots, prep the corn kernels, cut the tomatoes in halves, mince the garlic.

Cooking Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees

  2. To a large sheet pan, add the carrots, asparagus, and corn kernels. Drizzle with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss with your hands to coat everything with the oil and seasoning. Roast on the center rack for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and either set aside or store sealed in the fridge until ready to cook the dinner.

    Raw cut asparagus, corn kernels, and sliced carrots on a sheet pan for Creamy Pasta Primavera. It has fettuccine, parmesan cheese, roasted asparagus, carrots, tomatoes and fresh corn kernels.
  3. While the veggies roast, bring a large pot of water up to a boil. Add a tsp of salt to the water and then add the pasta to the boiling water and stir so they do not stick together. Bring back to a boil and cook for 7-8 minutes until al dente. Save 1 cup of pasta water, drain the pasta and set it aside until ready to add to the sauce.

  4. Using the same pasta pot on Medium-Low heat, add the olive oil, garlic, and halved tomatoes. Sautee for 4-5 minutes, stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the half and half and the reserved cup of pasta water, then stir to combine. Turn the heat off.

    Halved grape tomatoes, half and half, and pasta water pouring in a pot for Creamy Pasta Primavera. It has fettuccine, parmesan cheese, roasted asparagus, carrots, tomatoes and fresh corn kernels.
  5. With pot removed from the heat, add the pasta and stir to combine. Add the parmesan cheese while stirring it into the pasta to combine. The cheese should combine with the half and half and pasta water to create a creamy sauce. If the pan and pasta are too hot, it will clump, so make sure the pot is removed from the heat.

    Fettuccine pasta mixed with creamy parmesan sauce and grape tomatoes for Creamy Pasta Primavera. It has fettuccine, parmesan cheese, roasted asparagus, carrots, tomatoes and fresh corn kernels.
  6. Finally, add the roasted veggies into the pasta and stir to combine. Enjoy!

    Wood spoon scraping asparagus, corn, and carrots from a sheet pan into the pot of Creamy Pasta Primavera. It has fettuccine, parmesan cheese, roasted asparagus, carrots, tomatoes and fresh corn kernels.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  1. While roasting the veggies is technically a cooking step, you can definitely do this step 2-3 days ahead.  If you do this ahead, you will want to give them a quick toss in the pot after you drain the pasta, but before you start the sauce, so take the chill off of them before adding them to the pasta at the end. 

Quick Asparagus & Tomato Quinoa Risotto

Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto with parmesan on top on a plate with fork.
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Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto with parmesan on top on a plate with fork and pan in background.

I know you don’t have time to stand over the skillet adding broth to risotto every 5 minutes, so I have a quickie version for you today!  Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto is such a hearty, delicious, and healthy dinner.  This is yet another way to incorporate that fantastic superfood, Quinoa, into your dinner rotation!  The Quinoa beautifully absorbs and plumps up with all of the flavor from the broth, onions, garlic, tomato paste and oregano. Then cut asparagus is mixed in along with nutty and creamy parmesan cheese for a perfect finish.

WHY QUINOA IS SO SPECIAL

Quinoa is actually a seed, not a grain, but the texture is similar to a grain.  It has a mild, slightly nutty taste, but it’s mild, so it really absorbs any flavors you mix with it.  It’s a great side on it’s own or ingredient to bulk up other foods, such as stuffings.  It can replace pasta or rice in most recipes and adds more protein and fiber…

Which brings me to the health benefits of Quinoa.  1 cup of cooked quinoa has 8g of complete protein and 5g of fiber.  It also has Iron, Manganese, Lysine, and magnesium!  Combining quinoa with veggies, such as Asparagus here gives you a complete balanced meal with vitamins, fiber, protein, and other nutrients.

Try these other easy and delicious Quinoa Recipes!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this recipe, you need just a couple basic cooking items. A small-medium pot with lid for the quinoa.

Also a large skillet/frying pan for making the veggies and curry sauce. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning. 

And mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR THE ASPARAGUS & QUINOA RISOTTO

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

Start by rinsing the quinoa thoroughly in a strainer, then adding it to 3 cups of the Vegetable Broth in a pot with a fitting lid. Bring to a simmer, then turn it down to the lowest setting and cover. Cook covered for 20 minutes. You can do this step ahead and store in the fridge for up to 4 days ahead.

Dice the onion, mince the garlic. Rinse the asparagus and pat it dry. Cut off the woody ends, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces on a bias (angle).

Raw Asparagus on counter being cut on a bias.

What kind of quinoa should I buy?

For this recipe, I find that white quinoa works best.  Red quinoa is not as soft and may take longer to cook and give you a more coarse texture.  You can find quinoa in the grain section of just about any grocery store these days.  If you missed all of the benefits of Quinoa up above, be sure to scroll back up!

What other vegetable can go into this?

If you are not an asparagus fan, then you can add peas straight from the freezer.  You can also add in green beans, broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, or mushrooms.  For each of these veggies, just follow the same instructions for cooking as the asparagus.

COOK YOUR ASPARAGUS QUINOA RISOTTO 

In a preheated (High Heat) large frying pan, add 1 tsp Olive Oil, the cut asparagus, 1/2 of the minced garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir everything together, spread out into an even layer, turn the heat down to medium, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a plate.

Cut cooked asparagus on a plate for Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto

To the same large pan on Medium heat, add another 1 tsp of olive oil plus the onions and the garlic. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring every couple minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the tomato paste, oregano, and the last 1 cup of vegetable broth. Whisk to combine.

Add the pre-cooked quinoa and stir to combine and then simmer uncovered until the quinoa absorbs all of the liquid, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the asparagus.

Adding cooked cut asparagus from a plate to risotto in pan for Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto
Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan a little at a time, so it doesn’t melt into a clump.

Parmesan cheese added to Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto in a pan.

Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto in a pan.

Can you make this ahead and reheat it?

Yes, you can make this ahead and store it in the fridge.  When you reheat it, you may need to add a splash of broth to help loosen it up again.  You can also garnish with fresh parmesan to bring it back to life.  This is not an ideal dish for the freezer, however.  The quinoa can do ok in the freezer, but the asparagus may get mushy.  If you do want to make the quinoa ahead and freeze, add the asparagus fresh once you reheat it for best results in texture and flavor.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto with parmesan on top on a plate with fork.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto with parmesan on top on a plate with fork.
5 from 1 vote
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Asparagus & Tomato Quinoa Risotto

This Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto is quickie-version that's such a hearty, delicious, and healthy dinner.  It's yet another way to incorporate that fantastic superfood, Quinoa, into your dinner rotation!  The Quinoa beautifully absorbs and plumps up with all of the flavor from the broth, onions, garlic, tomato paste and oregano. Then cut asparagus is mixed in along with nutty and creamy parmesan cheese for a perfect finish.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword asparagus, healthy dinner, quinoa, risotto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth (3 for cooking Quinoa, 1 for Risotto Sauce)
  • 1 ½ cups Quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano dried
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 bunch Asparagus
  • 1-2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Start by rinsing the quinoa thoroughly in a strainer, then adding it to 3 cups of the Vegetable Broth in a pot with a fitting lid. Bring to a simmer, then turn it down to the lowest setting and cover. Cook covered for 20 minutes. You can do this step ahead and store in the fridge for up to 4 days ahead.

  2. Dice the onion, mince the garlic. Rinse the asparagus and pat it dry. Cut off the woody ends, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces on a bias (angle).
    Raw Asparagus on counter being cut on a bias.

Cooking Steps

  1. In a preheated (High Heat) large frying pan, add 1 tsp Olive Oil, the cut asparagus, 1/2 of the minced garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir everything together, spread out into an even layer, turn the heat down to medium, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a plate.
    Cut cooked asparagus on a plate for Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto
  2. To the same large pan on Medium heat, add another 1 tsp of olive oil plus the onions and the garlic. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring every couple minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the tomato paste, oregano, and the last 1 cup of vegetable broth. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add the pre-cooked quinoa and stir to combine and then simmer uncovered until the quinoa absorbs all of the liquid, about 10 minutes. Stir in the asparagus.
    Adding cooked cut asparagus from a plate to risotto in pan for Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan a little at a time, so it doesn’t melt into a clump. Serve and enjoy!
    Parmesan cheese added to Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto in a pan.