One-Pot Penne with Creamy Basil-Garlic Sauce

published Jun 5, 2023
One-Pot Penne with Creamy Basil-Garlic Sauce Recipe

This creamy basil garlic pasta with green vegetables and crispy breadcrumbs is a weeknight dinner crowd-pleaser.

ServesServes 4

Prep5 minutes

Cook15 minutes to 20 minutes

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overhead photo of One-Pot Creamy Pasta with Vegetables and Basil-Garlic Sauce in dutch oven
Credit: Kelli Foster

If you love a good low-effort, high-reward meal as much as I do, it’s time to slide this one-pot pasta into your dinner rotation — it’s fresh and bright with a touch of richness and an herby flavor that screams summer. There’s a generous medley of green vegetables that make it feel just as much about the veggies as it is about the pasta, and it’s all tossed with a creamy garlic-basil sauce that feels luxe and light at the same time. Best of all, you can leave your knife where it is because there’s no chopping necessary. And, true to its name, the whole meal cooks together in a single pot.

Credit: Kelli Foster

A Frozen Vegetable Blend Is the Secret to This Impressive One-Pot Pasta

There are a lot of ways to mix veggies into a one-pot pasta or to make them into a luxurious creamy sauce. But when ease and simplicity are the name of the game, the best solution is to start in the freezer aisle. The MVP of this one-pot pasta is Whole Foods European Greens Frozen Vegetable Blend. It includes bite-size broccoli and romanesco florets, green beans, peas, and frozen bits of garlic and basil sauce that melt as the vegetables cook. 

You’ll find this frozen vegetable blend in the freezer aisle at Whole Foods stores. More specifically, look for it near the 365-brand frozen vegetables and protein blends, towards the outskirts of the brand’s offerings (at my store it’s on an upper shelf next to the protein blends).

One-Pot Penne with Creamy Basil-Garlic Sauce Recipe

This creamy basil garlic pasta with green vegetables and crispy breadcrumbs is a weeknight dinner crowd-pleaser.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Serves Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 1/4 cup

    panko breadcrumbs

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons

    plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 3 1/2 cups

    water

  • 1/2 cup

    plain Greek yogurt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 12 ounces

    dried penne pasta (about 4 cups)

  • 1 ounce

    Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup finely grated or 1/3 cup store-bought grated)

  • 1

    (12-ounce) bag Whole Foods European Greens Frozen Vegetable Blend (do not thaw)

  • Chopped fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 12-inch high-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs and 1/8 teaspoon of the kosher salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and wipe the skillet clean with paper towels.

  2. Add 3 1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the skillet. Stir to combine. Add 12 ounces dried penne pasta and stir to combine.

  3. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Boil uncovered, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for 7 minutes. Meanwhile, finely grate 1 ounce Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup lightly packed) if needed, or measure out 1/3 cup store-bought.

  4. Add 1 (12-ounce) bag Whole Foods European Greens Frozen Vegetable Blend to the skillet and stir to combine. Cook until the pasta is al dente, almost all the liquid has evaporated, and the vegetables are tender, 3 to 4 minutes more.

  5. Remove from the heat and stir in Parmesan cheese. Divide the pasta among bowls, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and top with chopped fresh basil leaves if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.