This One-Pot Pasta with Zucchini is the perfect summer comfort food you’ll find yourself craving all year long! Tender rigatoni noodles combine with fresh veggies in a creamy cheese sauce. Topped with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, it’s a satisfying combination of tastes and textures that will have you coming back for more.
Table of Contents
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. 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.
Ingredients You’ll Need
As usual, we kept the ingredient list for this pasta with zucchini short and sweet. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 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
If you’ve never made a one-pot pasta dish before, prepare for your life to be changed! Seriously, dinner doesn’t get any easier than this.
- Boil. Add the pasta, zucchini, onion, herbs, seasonings, and broth to a large pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
Common Questions About One-Pot 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.
Nope! It will cook and become soft. So, all you have to do is slice it up and through it in the pot.
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!
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!
One-Pot Pasta with Zucchini Recipe
- 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
- 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.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.