Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta

Share on social!

With its creamy texture and delicious flavor, you won’t be able to tell this Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta is a healthy dish. You can eat a hearty bowl without the guilt. This recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and only calls for a few ingredients, so it makes for a perfect weeknight dinner option.

Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta - Cooking With Fudge

CREAMY GOODNESS IN A BOWL

If you’re looking for a simple and tasty recipe to whip up after a long day, this is it. Simply cook your pasta, sauté your vegetables, and you’ve got yourself a nutritious meal in minutes!

This recipe also provides a great way to sneak vegetables into a dish if you happen to have a picky eater at home. (Toddler moms, I’m looking at you!) I fondly like to refer to this dish as “adult mac and cheese” because it’s just as comforting as the boxed varieties, yet it seems just *slightly* more sophisticated. 😉

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS CREAMY GARDEN VEGETABLE PASTA

  • It has a creamy, rich flavor while still being nutritious.
  • Only a few simple ingredients are needed, and they are widely available year-round.
  • It’s incredibly easy to put together, taking less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
  • Both adults and children love this dish.
  • It’s an easy way to incorporate vegetables into your diet, and it’s a great way to sneak in a variety of vegetables for picky eaters.

Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta - Cooking With Fudge

WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE CREAMY GARDEN VEGETABLE PASTA

EQUIPMENT

  • Large stock pot
  • Frying pan
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Spoon
  • Colander or strainer

INGREDIENTS

  • Pasta: Any type of pasta will do! I like using Barilla Protein Plus Penne.
  • Avocado oil spray: I prefer to use avocado oil spray due to its high smoke point, but any type of cooking spray will do.
  • Onion: I like using a red onion for extra color, but any onion will do in this recipe.
  • Mushrooms: Any type of sliced fresh mushrooms are perfect in this dish. If you don’t have any fresh mushrooms on hand, you can use canned mushrooms instead. There will be a difference in consistency between fresh mushrooms and canned mushrooms, so just be sure to keep that in mind.
  • Grape tomatoes: If you don’t have cherry tomatoes on hand, cherry, roma, or really any type of tomato will do.
  • Baby spinach: Pack in the nutrients with this vitamin-rich green!
  • Garlic: While fresh garlic is my preference, you can use jarred minced garlic or garlic powder as a substitute.
  • Reduced fat cream cheese: I like to use Philadelphia 1/3 less fat cream cheese. You can use nonfat plain Greek yogurt or reduced fat cottage cheese as a substitute as well.
  • Basil: While fresh basil will give you the ultimate flavor, dried basil will also work instead.
  • Seasonings: I like to keep it simple with salt and pepper, but feel free to get creative with any type of seasonings you enjoy! For a bit of heat, try adding red pepper flakes.

Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta - Cooking With Fudge

HOW TO MAKE CREAMY GARDEN VEGETABLE PASTA

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Boil a large stock pot of water and cook the pasta according to package directions, about 8-10 minutes.
    Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta - Cooking With Fudge
  • While the pasta is cooking, dice the onion, slice the mushrooms if they aren’t pre-sliced, halve the grape tomatoes, and mince the garlic. 
  • In a frying pan over medium heat, sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes until it becomes soft and translucent.
    Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta - Cooking With Fudge
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the mushrooms and grape tomatoes and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
    Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta - Cooking With FudgeCreamy Garden Vegetable Pasta - Cooking With Fudge
  • Finally, add the spinach and garlic and turn off the heat and stir occasionally for 1 minute until the spinach cooks down slightly and the garlic becomes fragrant.
    • This will allow the spinach to slightly wilt and stay a vibrant shade of green, and it will also ensure that the garlic doesn’t burn.
      Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta - Cooking With FudgeCreamy Garden Vegetable Pasta - Cooking With Fudge
  • Once the pasta is cooked, reserve some of the starchy cooking water and drain the pasta.
    Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta - Cooking With Fudge
  • Add the cooked pasta to the sautéed vegetables and stir in the cream cheese until it softens to form a sauce.
    • TIP: I like to break up the cream cheese into little “dollops” to help it incorporate easily.
      Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta - Cooking With FudgeCreamy Garden Vegetable Pasta - Cooking With Fudge
  • If the sauce is too thick, add a little bit of the reserved pasta cooking water at a time until it gets to the consistency you want.
    • TIP #1: Save any extra pasta cooking water in your fridge for an easy way to bring leftovers back to life.
    • TIP #2: If you forget to save any of the cooking water (it’s easy to do in the moment!), don’t worry! You can use vegetable or chicken stock instead. If you don’t have either of those items on hand, plain water will work in a pinch; you’ll just want to check that the seasoning is to your preference at the end since the water won’t be adding any additional flavor like the pasta water or stock would.
  • Add the basil and season with more salt and pepper if needed, and red pepper flakes if desired.

VARIATIONS TO THIS RECIPE

If you’d like to try something different for this recipe, there are endless possibilities. You can…

  • Add shredded roasted chicken or turkey breast for additional protein. Shrimp would be delicious as well!
  • Add or substitute your favorite vegetables for the ones in this recipe. In fact, this is a great way to use up any vegetables in your refrigerator that are nearing their expiration date.
  • Substitute nonfat plain Greek yogurt or reduced fat cottage cheese in place of the reduced fat cream cheese.

Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta - Cooking With Fudge

TIPS AND TRICKS

  • When adding the cream cheese into the dish, make sure the heat isn’t turned up too high. High heat has the potential to cause the cream cheese to curdle during the cooking process. Keep an eye on it to ensure that it does not become overcooked.
  • If you’re able, allow the cream cheese to sit out on your kitchen counter to come to room temperature. This will cause the cream cheese to soften, and you will be able to incorporate it easily. I typically take it out of the refrigerator as I’m getting all of my other ingredients so it has time to soften up while I prep.
  • Another great tip is to reserve some of your pasta water to the side. As you’re creating your cream cheese sauce, the starchy, salty pasta water is a wonderful way to thin the consistency when needed. If you forget to save some of it (I have totally done this more than I care to admit!), you can use vegetable or chicken stock instead.
  • Speaking of the pasta water, save any extra in the refrigerator. This is a wonderful way to bring your leftovers back to life as you reheat.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

CAN YOU MAKE CREAMY GARDEN VEGETABLE PASTA AHEAD OF TIME?

This dish can be prepared in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat the dish on the stove, adding the reserved pasta water or stock until it’s the right consistency.

WHAT CAN YOU SERVE CREAMY GARDEN VEGETABLE PASTA WITH?

Roasted meat, soup, sandwiches, salads, and more all go well with this Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta. It can be served as a main dish or a side dish.

HOW LONG CAN YOU LEAVE CREAM-BASED PASTA DISHES OUT FOR?

The USDA refers to the temperature range between 40°F and 140°F as the “danger zone” for cooked food. If you leave food out for more than two hours at this temperature, bacteria can grow rapidly and it will then be unsafe to eat. As soon as you’re done serving this dish, it’s best to store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta - Cooking With Fudge

STORAGE, REHEATING, AND FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO STORE LEFTOVER PASTA?

This dish should not be left out for more than two hours. To preserve the quality and freshness, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

HOW DO YOU REHEAT THIS DISH?

To reheat the pasta, simply place it in a pan and sauté. If the sauce has thickened more than you prefer, you can thin it out with the pasta cooking water, vegetable cooking stock, or water until it reaches your desired consistency. If the dish was frozen, it’s best to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then sauté it in a pan as described.

CAN YOU FREEZE CREAMY GARDEN VEGETABLE PASTA?

You can absolutely freeze this dish! Simply place in an airtight container and freeze up to six months. When you’re ready to use it, follow the thawing and reheating instructions above.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

This Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta makes 8 servings at 1 cup each. Each serving comes out to 211 calories, 7 WW Green SmartPoints®, 7 WW Blue SmartPoints®, and 3 WW Purple SmartPoints® (if you use whole wheat pasta). 

Go here to calculate your own WW PersonalPoints™ for this recipe.

MORE PASTA AND HOMEMADE SAUCE RECIPES

If you’re looking for more recipes for pasta and homemade sauce, be sure to check these out…

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below, or post a picture and tag me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, or Twitter with @cookingwithfudge or #cookingwithfudge.

Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta - Cooking With Fudge

Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta - Cooking With Fudge

Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta

With its creamy texture and delicious flavor, you won’t be able to tell this is a healthy dish. You can eat a hearty bowl without the guilt. This recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and only calls for a few ingredients, so it makes for a perfect weeknight dinner option.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keywords: Baby Bella Mushrooms, Basil, Cream Cheese, Garlic, Grape Tomatoes, Onion, Pasta, Red Pepper Flakes, Spinach
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 211kcal
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes
5 from 39 votes
Print Facebook Pinterest Rate
Adjustable Servings: 8 servings

Equipment

  • Large stock pot
  • Frying pan
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Spoon
  • Colander or strainer

Ingredients

  • Avocado oil spray or any cooking spray of your choice
  • 14 ounces pasta
  • 1/2 large red onion diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
  • 6 ounces baby spinach
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 block (8 ounces) reduced fat cream cheese
  • 3-4 leaves basil julienned
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional

Instructions

  • Boil a large stock pot of water and cook the pasta according to package directions, about 8-10 minutes.
  • While the pasta is cooking, dice the onion, slice the mushrooms if they aren’t pre-sliced, halve the grape tomatoes, and mince the garlic.
  • In a frying pan over medium heat, sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes until it becomes soft and translucent.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the mushrooms and grape tomatoes and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Finally, add the spinach and garlic and turn off the heat and stir occasionally for 1 minute until the spinach cooks down slightly and the garlic becomes fragrant. This will allow the spinach to slightly wilt and stay a vibrant shade of green, and it will also ensure that the garlic doesn’t burn.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, reserve some of the starchy cooking water and drain the pasta.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the sautéed vegetables and stir in the cream cheese until it softens to form a sauce. I like to break up the cream cheese into little “dollops” to help it incorporate easily. If the sauce is too thick, add a little bit of the reserved pasta cooking water at a time until it gets to the consistency you want. Save any extra pasta cooking water in your fridge for an easy way to bring leftovers back to life. If you forget to save any of the cooking water (it’s easy to do in the moment!), don’t worry! You can use vegetable or chicken stock instead. If you don’t have either of those items on hand, plain water will work in a pinch; you’ll just want to check that the seasoning is to your preference at the end since the water won’t be adding any additional flavor like the pasta water or stock would.
  • Add the basil and season with more salt and pepper if needed, and red pepper flakes if desired.

Notes

This Creamy Garden Vegetable Pasta makes 8 servings at 1 cup each. Each serving comes out to 211 calories, 7 WW Green SmartPoints®, 7 WW Blue SmartPoints®, and 3 WW Purple SmartPoints® (if you use whole wheat pasta). 
Recipe URL: https://cookingwithfudge.com/creamy-garden-vegetable-pasta/

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 211kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 318mg | Potassium: 478mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2535IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookingWithFudge or tag #CookingWithFudge!

Share on social!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.