Get ready to satisfy your comfort food craving with our One-Pot Pasta with Zucchini – a summer sensation that’s here for the whole year! Imagine tender rigatoni noodles mingling with fresh veggies, all cocooned in a creamy cheese sauce. And for that extra kick, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to elevate the tastes and textures. It’s a symphony of satisfaction that guarantees you’ll be coming back for seconds, thirds, and beyond! 

Overhead image of a pot of pasta with zucchini topped with extra Parmesan.

Pasta + Zucchini = Elevated Comfort Food 

If you know us, you know we LOVE one-pot recipes! Quick, easy, and crowd-pleasing, they’re our go-to for every occasion from weeknight dinners to holiday parties. 

With tons of options like easy one pot lasagna, one pot fettuccine alfredo, one pot lemon pasta, and so many more, we really do have something for every occasion. However, recently, we’ve been making this one-pot pasta with zucchini on repeat! 

The perfect summer comfort food, it’s the best way to put all that zucchini to use in a recipe the whole family will look forward to sinking their forks into. But wait! You can store your zucchini or get it store-bought year-round and make it any time.

Not only is it so good you’ll be tempted to lick your plate, but it also:

  • Uses just a handful of ingredients
  • Comes together in one pot in around 20 minutes
  • Is naturally vegetarian yet can easily be bulked up with protein
  • Pairs with all your favorite sides and appetizers for a crowd-worthy dinner. 
A pot full of rigatoni noodles, zucchini, onion, and spices.

Ingredients You’ll Need

As usual, we kept the ingredient list for this pasta with zucchini short and sweet. Here’s your quick ticket to zucchini and pasta perfection:

  • Pasta – We prefer to use rigatoni noodles for this recipe, but any pasta shape or size you like best can be used. 
  • Veggies – Fresh zucchini and yellow or white onions combine to add extra vitamins, nutrients, and flavor. For the best results, cut the zucchini into bite-sized pieces. 
  • Garlic – Whole, fresh cloves are best, but pre-minced garlic can be substituted. 
  • Seasonings – Dried oregano, dried thyme, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper combine to add a savory, herbaceous flavor with just a hint of spice. 
  • Broth – Use chicken or vegetable broth to cook the noodles, infusing extra flavor. Whichever you choose, we recommend opting for low-sodium varieties so as not to overpower the dish with tons of salt. 
  • Heavy Cream – This is key to creating a velvety, indulgent sauce. 
  • Parmesan Cheese – For the best taste and texture, use a bloc of Parmesan and grate it yourself. 

One-Pot, Infinite Flavor: How to Make This Easy Pasta with Zucchini

Hold on tight because if you’ve never ventured into the world of one-pot pasta, get ready for a life-changing experience! Brace yourself because dinner is about to hit peak simplicity. Seriously, it doesn’t get any easier than this!

  1. Boil. Add the pasta, zucchini, onion, herbs, seasonings, and broth to a large pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. 
  2. Simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and allow the ingredients to simmer until the pasta is al dente and the zucchini is tender. 
  3. Stir in the Remaining Ingredients. Remove the pot from the heat, and stir in the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese until it is well combined and the sauce is creamy. 
  4. Serve. Allow the dish to stand for a few minutes to thicken. Then, serve with extra cheese and seasonings, and dig in while it’s warm! 
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Close up image of cooked pasta with zucchini topped with Parmesan cheese.

Optional Add-Ins

Feel free to experiment with different ingredients to make this pasta with zucchini recipe fit your flavor preferences and needs! For instance, some of our favorite additions include: 

  • Protein: Shredded chicken, ground beef, or turkey all make for a great way to add extra protein. 
  • Extra Veggies: Add extra health benefits to your pasta by including more vegetables such as broccoli, mushrooms, or baby spinach. 
  • Fresh Herbs: Top off your pasta with a sprinkle of fresh basil, cilantro, or mint for a vibrant, refreshing taste.

Serving Suggestions

You can easily serve this one-pot pasta with zucchini on its own as a complete meal. However, it also pairs wonderfully with sides like a green goddess salad or focaccia with tomatoes

Or, enjoy it as a side with protein sources including beef brisket, cooked whole chicken, or Middle Eastern chicken. No matter how you serve it, you really can’t go wrong! 

A serving of one-pot pasta with zucchini on a plate with a fork.

Common Questions About One-Pot Zucchini Pasta 

How healthy is zucchini pasta? 

Everyone’s definition of healthy is different. However, this pasta provides a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber from the veggies! Plus, it has lots of calcium thanks to the dairy. 

Do I need to peel zucchini?

Nope! It will cook and become soft. So, all you have to do is slice it up and through it in the pot. 

What does pasta with zucchini taste like? 

This recipe has a rich, cheesy taste with refreshing, savory notes from the herbs and spices used. Depending on how much red pepper you include, it could also contain a punch of heat! 

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

This pasta with zucchini is best enjoyed right away. However, if you have leftovers, they can be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to two to three days.

More Ways to Use Zucchini

Have more zucchini than you know what to do with? Put it to use with these easy zucchini-filled recipes! 

Overhead image of a pot of one-pot pasta with zucchini.

One-Pot Pasta with Zucchini Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 17 minutes
Make meal times easy with this 20-minute, one-pot pasta with zucchini recipe for a comfort food full of veggies

Ingredients  

  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 2 large zucchini sliced
  • 1/2 white onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper to taste
  • 4 cups broth vegetable or chicken
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated

Instructions 

  • In a large pot, combine the rigatoni, zucchini, onion, garlic, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and broth.
  • Place the pot over high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot.
  • Allow the mixture to simmer for 12-14 minutes, or until the rigatoni is cooked al dente and the zucchini is tender.
  • Remove the pot from heat and stir in the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese until well combined.
  • Let the dish sit for a few minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
  • Serve the creamy rigatoni with zucchini hot and garnish with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Equipment

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 663kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 1946mg | Potassium: 614mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1376IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 387mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! Didn’t have rigatoni, so I made it with paccheri noodles and it was creamy yet fresh tasting because of the zucchini.
    Easy recipe!