How to Add Vegetables to Pasta

Finding creative ways of adding vegetables to your food can be challenging, especially if you are trying to please fussy eaters. A main entrée that pairs naturally with vegetables is pasta, and there are many creative ways to combine them. You can learn how to add vegetables to pasta by following a few key ideas and learning some simple cooking techniques.


  • Vegetables, fresh or frozen
  • Olive oil
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves
  • Butter
  • Blender or food processor
  • Low-fat ricotta cheese


  1. Image titled Add Vegetables to Pasta Step 1
    Boil heartier fresh vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots in the same pot as your pasta noodles. For best results, add the vegetables to the water approximately 5 minutes before the pasta is done. This will minimize your cooking time because you prepare everything at once and has the added benefit of eliminating another dirty pan.
    • For additional flavor, you can sauté approximately 1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 ml) of olive oil and 1 to 2 cloves of minced garlic while the pasta is cooking. Pour it atop the dish and mix well just before serving.
  2. Image titled Add Vegetables to Pasta Step 2
    Allow vegetables to roast in a slow cooker. Choose an assortment of vegetables you enjoy, and set the slow cooker on low. Place the vegetables inside and let them sit for 1 to 3 hours, depending on how tender you prefer. Once they are done, pour them atop a bed of cooked pasta, which you can coat with some butter or olive oil.
  3. Image titled Add Vegetables to Pasta Step 3
    Pour approximately 1 tsp (5 ml) of olive oil into a frying pan, and sauté vegetables such as green or bell peppers, onions, or eggplant while your pasta is cooking. Remove the pasta from the water just before it is completely cooked, and drain in a colander. Toss the noodles into the pan with your vegetables, and sauté another minute. Make sure to mix the pasta and roasted vegetables well before serving.
  4. Image titled Add Vegetables to Pasta Step 4
    Add 1 or 2 handfuls of frozen peas, carrots, or onions to a cold pasta salad. This can help keep the salad colder longer, which is a great trick for outdoor events. It can also save on preparation time.
  5. Image titled Add Vegetables to Pasta Step 5
    Replace the meat in your favorite lasagna recipe with finely chopped vegetables such as bell or red peppers, celery, and onions. Stir the pieces with a few ounces of low-fat ricotta cheese, and you'll have a healthy alternative to the traditional version.
  6. Image titled Add Vegetables to Pasta Step 6
    Puree your favorite vegetables, and pour the mixture into your pasta sauce. This will thicken up your sauce and may add a bold flavor, depending on the vegetables you choose.
  7. Image titled Add Vegetables to Pasta Step 7
    Add less traditional vegetables to your pasta, such as freshly sautèed asparagus, fennel, or leeks. Sauté them in a frying pan until tender, and then cut them into bite-sized pieces to add to your dish.
  8. Image titled Add Vegetables to Pasta Step 8
    Microwave the fresh vegetables. Use enough water to cover the bottom of the container the vegetables are in. Set the timer for approximately one minute, and check the vegetables for doneness. Prepare your favorite pasta dish, and combine vegetables and pasta together.


  • Adding vegetables to pasta does not have to be complicated or follow a rigid guideline. Do not be afraid to experiment with your favorite pasta dish, even if the recipe does not call specifically for vegetables. Try adding a vegetable you like to the dish, and see if they work well together.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Frying pan
  • Slow cooker
  • Microwave

Article Info

Categories: Pasta and Noodles