This One-Pot Lentil Pasta Primavera is a gluten-free, vegan, flavorful, springtime pasta dish that's so easy you don't even need to boil the pasta separately!
I'm feeling pretty glad this One-Pot Lentil Pasta Primavera recipe makes six servings, because we're going to call the leftovers meal prep for the whole family's lunches tomorrow. 😉
Also feeling pretty glad about how gosh darn great this recipe turned out. I've seen one-pot pasta dishes on Pinterest and around the web, where all ingredients, including water and dry pasta, are added to one pot where they cook together and do their thing - no bringing water to a boil and cooking pasta separately.
This is SO appealing to me, because while pasta often gets a reputation as being an easy meal, I have never loved how many dishes it makes! Anyone else feel the same? I always end up with the pot and lid from boiling water and pasta, at least one spoon, a pot or pan that you're cooking your meat/ veggies/ sauce in, measuring cups and utensils, a colander to strain the pasta, etc. Plus your dinner dishes! Now, I still can't help you with the dinner dishes, but I can help with everything else. You need minimal utensils and just one pot with this One-Pot Lentil Pasta Primavera. That's it!
I'm happy to say one-pot pastas work well with at least one type of gluten-free pasta, too! Now I can't speak to every gluten-free pasta available on the market, but if it's a pasta that you normally use and it tends to hold it's shape well, I'd imagine you can use it (you may just need to alter the cooking time slightly). For this One-Pot Lentil Pasta Primavera dish, I used my favorite staple pasta: red lentil pasta (specifically Trader Joe's Organic Red Lentil Sedanini Pasta - the only ingredient is 100% organic red lentil flour and it's pretty inexpensive).
This One-Pot Lentil Pasta Primavera is also a great meal to make when you haven't gone grocery shopping, as the majority of the produce comes from frozen vegetables. I added a lone carrot sliced into matchsticks that I had in the fridge, and you could also add a cup of sliced grape or cherry tomatoes if you'd prefer, too. I used a bag of frozen rainbow cauliflower from Trader Joe's, but any frozen broccoli, cauliflower, or broccoli/ cauliflower blend would work. I also added frozen spinach and frozen peas, but you could always sub or add kale or other greens, green beans, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, or whatever else you have on hand or works for you. If you're adding fresh produce, just wait a couple extra minutes after the water/ pasta is boiling before adding them to the pan.
And that's that! The only other ingredients are to add flavor (garlic, herbs, salt, pepper) and a little creaminess (olive oil). If you're not vegan, feel free to add some grated parmigiana, or even some nutritional yeast for a vegan-friendly "cheesy" flavor full of vitamin B12 and protein.
Looking for more simple, fresh, and easy dinners? Check out these other NTF faves:
- Lemon Sesame Salmon
- Vegetable Herb Quinoa Pilaf with Roasted Turmeric Chickpeas
- 5-Minute Avo Green Sauce (also a fave on red lentil pasta!)
- Strawberry Salmon Salad
- Sheet Pan Chicken & Veggies
If you make this One-Pot Lentil Pasta Primavera, let me know you enjoy it! Please share a comment below or snap a pic and share it to your social media channels, tagging #nutritiontofit and @nutritiontofit. Live well!
One-Pot Lentil Pasta Primavera
- 3.5 cups water
- 12 ounces red lentil pasta
- 16 oz frozen cauliflower broccoli, or cauliflower/broccoli blend
- 1 c. frozen peas
- 2 c. frozen chopped spinach
- 1 large carrot sliced into matchsticks (optional)
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes (halved; optional)
- 2 Tbsp garlic (minced; about 3 large cloves)
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup fresh basil finely chopped (I used fresh basil and parsley, plus more for garnish)
- In a wide-brimmed large pan or large pot, combine water and red lentil pasta. Cover pan, place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
- When water is starting to simmer and gently boil, uncover and stir pasta, breaking up any pasta clumps.
- Add all remaining ingredients, except the herbs. Stir to combine, cover, and allow to cook 7-8 minutes.
- Uncover, stir in fresh herbs, and continue to finish cooking uncovered until pasta is al dente and all water has been absorbed or evaporated (about 1 minute).
- If desired, garnish with additional fresh herbs and serve immediately.