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A skillet full of pesto coated vegetables and pasta to make this Penne Pesto Primavera recipe at home.

Penne Pesto Primavera

Penne Pesto Primavera is the ultimate comfort meal. You can make this incredible delicious pasta recipe in under 30 minutes. This pesto pasta recipe is kids approved and makes budget friendly restaurant quality meal at home.
Course dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword easy pasta recipe, gluten free pasta recipe, Italian pesto pasta, noodles and things style pesto cavatappi, penne pesto primavera, pesto pasta with vegetables, vegan pesto pasta, weeknight pasta dinner
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 cups
Calories 405kcal



Make the vegetables

  • Heat olive oil in a Sauté Pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms. Sprinkle some salt. Sauté and cook till they start to release the water. (2-4 minutes )
  • Add the broccoli and minced garlic; cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes until broccoli is tender. Add baby spinach and mix it well. Spinach wilts quickly. Turn off the heat and remove the vegetables from the skillet and set aside.

To Make Pasta

  • Make the pasta according to the package directions and cooking time. In the boiling water, I add tablespoon of oil and 1 teaspoon of salt so pasta gets the taste and doesn't stick together. 
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of cooked water and drain the pasta completely in the colander. Rinse it with cold water to prevent it from further cooking. Let water drain out completely. 

Mix It All Up

  • Add drained pasta in the pasta bowl. Mix it with the pesto sauce . Add the cooked vegetables along with the fresh basil; stir and toss well to combine. If the sauce needs a little more liquid, splash in a small amount of reserved cooking water. 
  • Serve it in bowls. Sprinkle with extra basil, and serve with grated Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast and freshly ground black pepper and chili flakes. Bon Appetit!

Instant Pot Instructions

  • Start the Instant Pot on SAUTE mode and add the oil. Once oil is heated, add mushrooms, broccoli and garlic. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and let them cook until mushrooms start to release the water. (3-5 minutes)
  • Once mushrooms have browned, add baby spinach and mix well. Cancel SAUTE. Remove cookedvegetables and set them aside.
  • Add water and deglaze the pot by scrapping the bits stuck at the bottom. Make sure nothing is stuck at the base. Add pasta, enough
    water to cover the pasta (about 2 cups..do NOT push the pasta down under water)
  • Add some salt and remaining olive oil. Close the lid. Valve at SEALING.
  • Check the cooking time mentioned on the pasta box. Now press MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK and choose half of the cooking time suggested on the box. (usually 4-5 minutes)
  • Once Instant Pot finishes cooking and goes to KEEP WARM timer, wait for 5 minutes and then release the leftover pressure by moving the valve from SEALING to VENTING. After the silver pin drops, open the lid.
  • Stir in sautéed vegetables and pesto sauce. Add salt and pepper. Gently mix everything well together. Garnish with fresh chopped basil, red chili flakes and black pepper and nutritional yeast (or parmesan if using) and serve. Bon Appetit !


Can I double this recipe?
Besides weeknight dinners,  this carbo-licious pasta recipe is perfect for special occasions or just for when company comes over. Afterall, who doesn’t like pasta, right?
With the amount of ingredients listed, this recipe makes 6 generous servings. You can however easily double or triple the amount to serve larger group. It stores well as well.
Is this Recipe vegan?
If you use nutritional yeast or vegan plant based cheese instead of regular parmesan cheese, this recipe is vegan. Do choose certified vegan pesto sauce as well.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 606mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g