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. 

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. 

Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce!

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Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce is creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!  And it really could not be an easier dinner.  After just a bit of prep, it comes together so quickly on the stove. 

You get the creaminess from the ricotta that is infused with a fantastic garlic backdrop.  The mushrooms give a meaty and earthy bite.  Then the bacon adds smokey and salty highlights.  For a bit of color and texture, I also added Soy beans – or shelled edamame!  My family all hate peas, so this was the perfect fresh substitute. 

Quick Stovetop Dinners

Having some quick stovetop dinners on your go-to list can be a lifesaver for busy families.  I love to have different types too, so some rice, pasta, quinoa, veggie, or just fillings for tacos or sandwiches.  Here are some of my family’s favorite Easy Stovetop Dinners!

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

You need a large skillet/frying pan for making the sauce and mixing in the pasta. 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 YOUR PASTA WITH RICOTTA, BACON, & MUSHROOMS

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) 

To prep for this you simply need to dice the bacon.  If you need to, mince the garlic and slice the mushrooms.  Also, make sure that your shelled edamame are thawed if needed.

That’s it!  

Can I replace the edamame?

Of course.  The edamame (soy beans) add more protein to this recipe if you are planning to make it the main dish.  However, if you want to make it a side or add in chicken or other protein, you can add any veggies you like!  Peas are great in this, or diced carrots, zucchini, spinach, kale, broccoli, or sweet peppers.

Can I use turkey bacon or pancetta?

Of course, however, you may not get the amount of fat as you would with bacon for cooking the mushrooms.  If you use turkey bacon, you are likely to get no fat rendering, so just add in olive oil for the mushrooms.  Pancetta will render some fat, but supplement as needed.

COOK YOUR PASTA WITH RICOTTA, BACON, & MUSHROOMS

While the pasta cooks, preheat a large skillet or frying pan on medium heat. Add the diced bacon. Separate the pieces into a single layer using a spatula. Let the fat render and the bacon start to crisp – about 10 minutes.

To the bacon, add the mushroom slices and spread out into a single layer. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the mushrooms have a nice sear on both sides. Add the edamame beans and garlic to the mushrooms and stir to combine.

Mushroom slices and Bacon bits cooking in pan for Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce on stove. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!

Turn the heat to the lowest setting and add the half and half to deglaze the pan and scrape up any of the browned bits. Then add the ricotta cheese, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine the sauce. Add the pasta to the sauce (or sauce to the pasta) and toss to combine. Add in 1/4 of the reserved pasta water to the pasta and toss again. Transfer to a serving platter or plates and garnish with fresh parsley.

Cream, mushrooms, edamame, and Bacon bits cooking in pan for Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce on stove. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!

Spatula mixing Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce in pan on stove. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!Pasta added to pan with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce on stove. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!

What to serve with this Pasta?

This pasta is really the star, so you can go very simple with any added protein.  I like to add a very simple grilled, seared, or roasted Mediterranean Chicken breast.  You can also serve sauteed or grilled shrimp.  Or how about these amazing Healthy Meatballs with Zucchini!!

Can you make this entirely ahead?  Can you freeze it?

Yes, you can make this entire dish ahead, mix the sauce with the pasta, and then warm up up to 5 days later.  To warm it, you may want to add a touch of half and half or milk to loosen it up.  Then warm it on the stove in a covered pot on low heat, stirring often to ensure it doesn’t brown.  Or you can reheat it in the oven covered at 350 F degrees for 20 minutes or until warmed in the center.  Or you can reheat it in the microwave.

You can freeze the entire dish, though it may get mushy upon reheating.  Rather, I would freeze just the sauce and after thawing, mixing it with fresh pasta and warming it all up as mentioned above.  

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce on a plate with fork and pan in background. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious! Finally, shelled edamame for a bit of color and texture!
Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce on a plate with fork and pan in background. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious! Finally, shelled edamame for a bit of color and texture!
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Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce

Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce is creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!  And it really could not be an easier 30-minute dinner.  You get the creaminess from the ricotta with a fantastic garlic backdrop.  The mushrooms give a meaty and earthy bite.  Then the bacon adds smokey and salty highlights.  Finally, shelled edamame for a bit of color and texture!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword Bacon, mushrooms, pasta, ricotta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 4 strips Bacon
  • 6 ounces White Button Mushrooms, Sliced
  • 6 ounces Cooked Shelled Edamame
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced 1 teaspoon
  • 1/2 cup Half and Half
  • 16 oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces Uncooked Rigatoni or other short cut pasta

Instructions

Pre-Ahead Steps

  1. Dice the bacon strips. Chop the parsley. Mince the garlic, if needed. Slice the mushrooms, if needed.

  2. If your edamame is frozen, soak in warm water or put into the microwave to thaw.

Cooking Steps

  1. 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 add it back to the pot and cover while you finish the sauce.

  2. While the pasta cooks, preheat a large skillet or frying pan on medium heat. Add the diced bacon. Separate the pieces into a single layer using a spatula. Let the fat render and the bacon start to crisp – about 10 minutes.

    Bacon bits cooking in pan for Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce on stove. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!
  3. To the bacon, add the mushroom slices and spread out into a single layer. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the mushrooms have a nice sear on both sides. Add the edamame beans and garlic to the mushrooms and stir to combine.

    Mushroom slices and Bacon bits cooking in pan for Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce on stove. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!
  4. Turn the heat to the lowest setting and add the half and half to deglaze the pan and scrape up any of the browned bits. Then add the ricotta cheese, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine the sauce. Add the pasta to the sauce (or sauce to the pasta) and toss to combine. Add in 1/4 of the reserved pasta water to the pasta and toss again. Transfer to a serving platter or plates and garnish with fresh parsley.

    Spatula mixing Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce in pan on stove. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!