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8 Light Spring Pasta Recipes That Won’t Weigh You Down

by Ariel Knutson
April 14, 2023
Lemony Spring Pasta Salad with Vegetables and Herbs
Courtesy of The First Mess

We don’t know about you, but we are feeling the need to strip down — and we’re not just talking about our wardrobe. Spring has sprung and summer is nearly here, so why shouldn’t you switch up your pasta game? Think lots of greens, lemon, herbs, lean protein, and in-season vegetables. Need some inspiration? Here are eight bright and tasty spring pasta recipes that won’t put you in a food coma.

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1. Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Courtesy of Well Plated

This pasta salad has all the bright and briny flavors you’d expect in Mediterranean cuisine (I’m looking at you, feta and kalamata olives). I think it would be particularly great for weekday lunches because it will keep well in the fridge for a week and is great cold. Just make a big batch on Sunday and you’re set!

Try the recipe from Foodie Crush.

2. Spring Pea Pasta with Burrata

Spring Pea Pasta with Burrata

Courtesy of What’s Gabby Cooking

Looking for a weeknight dish that feels a little more special? This recipe is for you. It doesn’t require a lot of time or ingredients, but the burrata makes it feel luxurious. What’s Gaby Cooking uses small tube-shaped pasta for this recipe, but it’d also be great with orecchiette or elbow pasta.

Try the recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking.

3. Angel Hair with Shrimp and Asparagus

Angel Hair with Shrimp and Asparagus

Courtesy of Skinnytaste

This simple pasta dish is packed with flavor without a lot of ingredients. You cook the asparagus in simmered tomatoes, chicken broth, and white wine before adding in the cooked pasta and shrimp. Use deveined and peeled shrimp to make things even easier on yourself. 

Try the recipe from Skinnytaste.

4. Lemony Spring Pasta Salad with Vegetables and Herbs

Lemony Spring Pasta Salad with Vegetables and Herbs

Courtesy of The First Mess

This vegan pasta recipe would be great to take on a picnic. It’s highly shareable and would be great cold. So what’s in it? There are chickpeas for added protein, and tons of spring vegetables like radishes, asparagus, and peas. The lemon dressing is the star of the recipe and includes both lemon juice and zest, Dijon mustard, a little agave sweetener, shallot, and a neutral oil like avocado. 

Try the recipe from The First Mess.

5. Creamy Cashew-Miso Pasta with Peas and Fava Beans

Creamy Cashew-Miso Pasta with Peas and Fava Beans

Courtesy of The Bojon Gourmet

Cooks like to ooh and ahh over peas and asparagus when April hits, but I think fava beans deserve some recognition! Yes, they can be a little bit tedious to prepare (you have to shell them, after all), but they add a particular texture and freshness to whatever they’re in. I also love the creamy cashew sauce in this recipe. It mimics a traditional cream sauce, but you get the punch from the mustard, lemon, and miso.  

Try the recipe from The Bojon Gourmet.

6. Chicken Pasta Puttanesca

Chicken Pasta Puttanesca

Courtesy of Healthy Fitness Meals

If you’re a die-hard tomato sauce fan, this is the spring pasta for you. It’s brighter than other red sauce recipes thanks to capers, kalamata olives, and parsley. The addition of chicken makes this recipe more filling, so it’s a great option for dinner. 

Try the recipe from Healthy Fitness Meals.

7. Spring Gnocchi with Mustardy Arugula Pesto

Spring Gnocchi with Mustardy Arugula Pesto

Courtesy of Well and Full

I always feel like I’ve unlocked some secret cook’s code when I make pesto that doesn’t have pine nuts, basil, or Parmesan. Anyone else? Here’s a new one: The pesto is made with arugula, walnuts, and Dijon mustard — so it’s sharp, lightly bitter, and packs a punch. It pairs perfectly with pillowy gnocchi and a handful of fresh peas and chives. 

Try the recipe from Well and Full.

8. Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

Courtesy of Two Peas and their Pod

Classic Pasta Primavera is one part vegetable, one part pasta. In other words, it’s chock-full of vegetables, like asparagus, peas, broccoli, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers. You can play around with the type of vegetables you use based on what you find at the grocery store or farmers’ market. A light lemon-Parmesan cream sauce pulls it all together and sprinkling fresh herbs on top is never a bad idea. 

Try the recipe from Two Peas and their Pod.

Read next: 12 Seasonal Spring Recipes That Are Super Easy to Make

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