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vegetarian pasta on plate with wine
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4.93 from 14 votes

Easy Vegetarian Pasta Recipe (for all seasons)

This is one of my favorite non-meat meals. Its a light, healthy, zesty, Easy Vegetarian Pasta Recipe and perfect for and season.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings (change as needed): 4 (or 3 larger portions)
Author: Cheryl


  • 8 ounce spaghettini or other pasta (225 grams) assumes moderate 2 oz per person
  • 1/4 cup Optional garnishes: chopped parsley, fresh chopped basil, grated Parmesan cheese

Vegetable Sauce

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 cup vegetables, diced 1-2 inches (e.g. onion, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, eggplant)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (3 tsp)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped (or 1 can 375 ml diced tomatoes, drained - about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup olives, chopped or 3 tablespoons olive tepanade (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (or to taste)
  • 1 lemon (2 tsp zest, juice from 1/2 lemon)
  • 4 cup fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • BEGIN SAUCE: Heat a large saucepan to medium high. Add olive oil. Add chopped vegetables and saute about 8 minutes until tender. Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic, olives (if using), capers, lemon juice, tomatoes and chili flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3-5 minutes.
  • COOK PASTA: While sauteing vegetables, bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions Drain, RESERVING 1 cup of the pasta liquid. Put spaghetti back in the warm pot.  Add 1/4 cup of the liquid and cover. Set aside. 
  • FINISH PASTA: Add spinach to vegetable mixture. Stir until wilted, about 1 minute. Add lemon zest. Add cooked pasta to vegetable mixture and stir to combine well.  Add pasta water a little at a time to get the consistency you like. Taste and adjust seasonings including salt and pepper if needed. 
  • SERVE: Transfer to a serving platter or serve straight from the pan. Add a drizzle of olive oil if desired as well as the garnishes you like. Pass extra Parmesan. 


Vegetables: If using vegetables that cook very quickly such as asparagus, zucchini or snow peas, add them toward the end of sauteing the vegetables to avoid over cooking.
Make Ahead:
  • You can make the vegetable 'sauce' ahead, but I suggest you only add the chopped fresh spinach when you reheat it to serve so that it stays a vibrant green. Cook the pasta just before serving and add to the vegetables.
  • Alternatively, make the whole thing and just rewarm it on the stove with some extra pasta water or plane water. I absolutely love leftovers of this dish too!
Nutrition Values are estimates and do not contain garnishes like Parmesan cheese. 
Calories: 472kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 461mg | Potassium: 1004mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 15274IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 4mg