Our Favorite Pasta Recipes to Make During Spring

Photo: Bryan Gardner

Fresh tasting and colorful, these spring pasta recipes are packed with seasonal produce like asparagus and peas—add them to your weeknight dinner rotation and you won't be disappointed.

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cheesy asparagus pasta in red pot
Chris Simpson

Coming off the long winter, spring produce is refreshing and bright, offering a reprise from cold weather and short days, earning its place in the spotlight. We have no shortage of spring recipes, but one of our favorite ways to feature the season's bounty—asparagus, peas, greens, herbs, and more is to pair it with a bowl of crowd-pleasing, comforting, al dente pasta. The Cheesy Asparagus Pasta pictured here is the perfect example: For a gourmet take on family-friendly mac and cheese, we gave our recipe a seasonal boost by adding a pound of asparagus to the pasta.

Pasta is a perfect vehicle for transforming peak season produce into delicious meals. It's adaptable, versatile, and ideal for pairing with the lighter sauces and crisper vegetables that come with spring. Faster and fresher than winter recipes, spring pastas forgo the longer cooked sauces such as marinara and ragú in favor of preparations that come right together in the pan. Filled with spring vegetables and bound with bright sauces that have herbal notes and fresh lemony flavor, these pastas embrace the color of seasonal market produce and are so quick to prepare. With these recipes, you truly could have pasta every night of the week and never get bored.

Start by exploring one of our favorite pasta sauces that showcases produce: pesto. Prepare a traditional basil pesto dish and serve it with trofie, a short, twisted pasta and green beans and potatoes, just like they do in Italy. Blend pistachios with mint instead of basil and toss the resulting sauce with with campanelle, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes. Don't just lean on herbs, though. Try preparing a pesto made from vegetables, like our vibrant orange carrot pesto, which pairs beautifully with orecchiette, or one made from sweet, tender peas, which we like to use to coat handkerchief-shaped pieces of pasta.

Next, explore the versatility of pasta by pairing different shapes with spring vegetables. Orecchiette or "little ears" have a perfect cradle for tender-young spring greens and creamy artisanal goat cheese. Homemade pea and mint ravioli are the perfect pockets of sweet spring flavor. Curvy cavatappi cradle peas, salmon, and herbs in a cream sauce for a noodle casserole that is both comforting and light in flavor. Hungry and ready to explore further? Check out these favorite spring pasta recipes.

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Egg Noodles with Asparagus and Grated Egg Yolks

egg noodles with asparagus and grated egg yolks
Ryan Liebe

This sunny bowl of egg noodles screams spring thanks to the addition of crisp-tender asparagus and a pretty yellow grating of hard-boiled egg yolk. The decadent creamy sauce is made from mascarpone and pecorino romano cheeses with a touch of tart lemon.

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Orecchiette with Carrot-Hazelnut Pesto

Johnny Miller

Sweet and tender spring carrots are paired with nutty hazelnuts and salty pecorino to make a tasty and unexpected base for the pesto that's tossed with orecchiette. Layer on extra seasonal flavor with a sprinkle of fresh chopped leafy greens—try basil, parsley, chives, or chervil.

04 of 14

Salmon Noodle Casserole

Bryan Gardner

When spring weather is still cool enough to justify one last casserole before you turn the oven off for the summer, try this dish. It's inspired by the classic tuna noodle casserole, but this salmon version adds in sweet spring peas and lightens up the cream sauce with lemon zest and fresh dill and scallions.

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Pea Pesto Handkerchiefs

pea pesto handkerchiefs pasta in bowl with spoon
Chris Simpson

With its handkerchief-shaped pasta, this spring recipe looks like it came right out of a restaurant, but it's a quick and flavorful dish made using curly lasagna sheets torn into two-inch pieces. And that pesto! If it isn't clear yet, we could riff on pesto endlessly, but this sweet pea version is a definite highlight.

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Tuscan Kale with Orecchiette


The arrival of spring brings a new crop of young and tender greens, and a dish like this kale pasta topped with creamy goat cheese is the perfect excuse to enjoy them. You'll find that this recipe is very versatile; substitute the kale for any spring green at the market—we love it with baby Swiss chard or baby kale.

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Beet Pasta with Ricotta


A must-make, this recipe is the perfect way to enjoy the extra-sweet beets available in the spring, which are smaller and less earthy in flavor than the cooler weather crop. Roast the beets per the recipe, but make sure to give them a check earlier—their small size might mean they cook in just 30 minutes. If you get really sweet, tender young beets from the market, you might consider skipping the roast all together and trying this dish using raw vegetables.

08 of 14

Penne with Shrimp, Feta, and Spring Vegetables


An easy meal with minimal cleanup, this smart recipe pairs pasta with shrimp, feta, snow peas, and asparagus—and the entire dish is cooked in one pot. Fresh mint adds a subtle herbal note, but any leafy green herb would be just as tasty—try basil or parsley.

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Campanelle with Pistachio-Mint Pesto, Asparagus, and Cherry Tomatoes

pasta pistachio mint pesto asparagus tomatoes
Christopher Testani

The star of this dish is crisp-tender asparagus, cherry tomatoes play a supporting role. Serve this pasta warm right off the stovetop or make it ahead and serve at room temperature like a pasta salad—it's one of those recipes that tastes great either way.

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Primavera Penne

Andrew Purcell

Penne meets asparagus and (frozen) peas in this light main course. A little white wine, lemon zest, and fresh mint bring it all together, and Parmesan seals the deal.

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Easy Pea Ravioli with Mint

John Kernick

Store bought wonton wrappers make homemade ravioli a weeknight possibility in this recipe that highlights a favorite spring pairing: peas and mint. This recipe is intended to be a first course for four, but since it's so easy and delicious, you just might want to make it a main by doubling it.

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Linguine with Tapenade, Tomatoes, and Arugula


Sometimes the formula for dinner success includes leaning on a key pantry ingredient. Here, we dollop store-bought black olive tapenade right into the dish to create a flavorful sauce along with burst cherry tomatoes. We toss it all with linguini and fresh peppery arugula leaves for bright spring flavor.

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Trofie with Pesto, Green Beans, and Potato


Pair small, tender spring potatoes and green beans with a classic basil pesto in this recipe which is based off a classic Ligurian dish. If you can't find trofie pasta, select a similar shape such as fusilli or penne rigate that has ridges in it for the pesto to cling to.

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Pasta with Salmon, Broccoli Rabe, and Garlic


Here's a robust take on spring pasta made with beautiful wild salmon, broccoli rabe, and plenty of garlic. Using canned wild salmon means you can make this recipe any night of the week, or cook fresh salmon, then flake and add it in.

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