10 Pasta Recipes That Are Heavy on Vegetables

10 Pasta Recipes That Are Heavy on Vegetables

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Sheela Prakash
Mar 19, 2018
(Image credit: Guy Ambrosino)

My mantra for pasta has always been that it can be a wholesome, well-balanced meal if you make it that way. I hate that the carb gets such a bad rap because, well, if you load it with vegetables and eat the portion size that's right for you, it's a dish you can feel good about. These 10 recipes, which are more vegetable than noodle, prove it. They are full of so much color and flavor, you'll want to dig right into them.

1. Farmers Market Pasta

This recipe is really more of a template: Sauté all the fresh veggies you have and boil up your favorite shape of pasta, make a quick white wine sauce, toss everything together, and dig in.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

2. Pan-Roasted Cauliflower Pasta with Smoky Tomato Sauce

This dish is more about the smoky, tender cauliflower than the noodles, which is exactly why we love it. You can skip the crispy prosciutto if you'd like to keep this meatless, but it does add a nice, salty crunch so you'll want to sprinkle over some asiago or Parm for a similar effect.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

3. Lemony Broccoli Pasta

This simple pasta is not only loaded with broccoli, but it's also finished with a cup of peas that are stirred in at the end to add a bit more color and veggie power.

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

4. One-Pot Cabbage & Sausage Pasta

Cabbage used to be the underdog of the veggie world, but it seems like we're finally catching on to its greatness. Here, wilted ribbons of cabbage sneak their way into the mess of egg noodles to add bulk, texture, and earthy flavor.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

5. Orzo with Caramelized Fall Vegetables & Ginger

Kale, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and onion join forces in this colorful, ginger-spiked pasta. It's worth cooking up a little extra, as leftovers make a great lunch.

(Image credit: Andrea Monzo)

6. Mushroom and Garlic Spaghetti Dinner

A whole pound of mushrooms goes into this easy spaghetti dinner, which not only adds nutrition but also gives it serious umami flavor.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

7. Broccolini, Chicken Sausage, and Orzo Skillet

Since orzo is so quick-cooking, it makes a great contender for a simple, one-skillet dinner. If you can't get your hands on Broccolini, the same amount of broccoli florets can easily be substituted.

(Image credit: Eric Wolfinger)

8. Rigatoni with Winter Squash and Kale

Both winter squash and kale can have a tendency to feel a bit heavy if they aren't seasoned properly. Here, a big splash of white wine solves that problem by adding acidity and brightness.

(Image credit: Diana Yen)

9. Pasta with Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta

Shaved Brussels sprouts and salty pancetta make up the bulk of this spaghetti dish rather than the other way around. Don't forget to finish each bowl with a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts for a bit of buttery crunch.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

10. Creamy Zucchini Fettuccine

This lightened-up version of the classic cuts back on the butter and cream and adds plenty of diced zucchini to the mix to lend color and nutrition to the pot.

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