When spring weather starts to move in, I crave pasta, but not the heavy spaghetti and meatballs that I want during winter. Rather, I go for lighter sauces, lots of crisp, spring veggies, and proteins like chicken or fish mixed in to fill me up without weighing me down. After all, shorts weather is coming up fast.
These are my favorite spring pasta recipes that my kids enjoy, too. In fact, they sometimes even ask for seconds. Even the ones with asparagus tossed in. (I know, I can’t believe it either!) No complaining here since these one-bowl dinners give them the vitamin-filled veggies, light protein, and carbs they need to fuel up after a long day—and for a little more play time with friends in the backyard until the sun goes down.
I will gladly add a rich, runny egg yolk to almost any meal, and this Spring Gemelli Pasta with Sugar Snap Peas and an Egg at Blue Apron (top) looks insanely delicious. If you’ve never added egg to pasta like way, it’s a great way to give the dish some protein without the hassle of cooking meat. It also adds a mouthwatering richness that cannot be beat. Plus, sugar snap peas. Good for you and practically as sweet as candy this year. Well, almost.
If you ask me, the best spring pastas have lemon in their sauce for a bright flavor that matches the weather outside. And, of course, lots of asparagus, too. This recipe for Lemon Asparagus Pasta at Dinner at the Zoo has just the right amount of both, and you can top it with your favorite meat right off the grill, whether salmon, chicken, or pork loin. Yum.
The Fresh Pasta with Sausage and Mushrooms at Fine Cooking is one of my very favorite dinners to make, because everyone in my house loves it. My kids dig through and pick out the chicken sausage and slurp up the noodles, but it’s sophisticated enough that my husband and I feel like we’re getting a nice, grown-up dinner. Don’t be afraid of the fact that this recipe is from Fine Cooking—this is a one-dish meal that you can make pretty quickly with minimal prep. Promise.
I love how Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest is able to go just the right amount overboard with her amazing recipes, and this Everything But the Kitchen Sink Pasta is no exception. It would make an amazing side dish at a spring (or summer!) dinner party and is a perfect entree for your meatless nights. Grilled corn, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, seeds, peppers, and more—whoa.
This One Pot Wonder Tomato Basil Pasta at Apron Strings is another favorite of mine for warmer months, because it’s so, so easy. I get my kids to help me chop the veggies, then dump them all in the pot and let it simmer while I head to the porch to grill some chicken to have on the side. If I slice the chicken before serving, I can easily make 2 or 3 breasts stretch to feed my family of five.
If I’m taking the kids for a spring picnic or on a campout, I’ll whip up a bowl of this tasty Balsamic Chicken, Spinach, and Tomato Pasta Salad at Quick ‘n Easy Recipes beforehand. You serve it cold, which makes it perfect to fix ahead and refreshing to eat on warmer night. Plus, the cheese tortellini and chicken are such kid-friendly flavors, my kids almost always ask for more.
My whole family loves the creamy, spicy flavors of cajun chicken pasta, but alas, we do have tank tops and swim suits in our ever-nearing future. So, I’m turning to our very own Stacie’s Skinny Creamy Cajun Pasta at One Hungry Mama. The tastes you crave, without the extra calories you don’t. Perfection.
I’m planning to grill up chicken kebabs with greek seasoning and veggies like peppers and artichoke to serve with this Spring Orzo Pasta Salad at Swim Eat Repeat. A bowl of the leftover pasta will make a perfect lunch the next day, too.
I love how much green is in this fresh Asparagus and Pea Pasta recipe at Rhubarbarians (which may be my new favorite food blog name). This one lets you get your carbs without overdoing it, because you’re mostly eating green veggies—which is what spring pasta is all about anyway. Am I right?