Pasta with Peas

4.99 from 173 votes

Bursting with fresh spring flavors and ready to serve in less than 30 minutes, pasta with peas is a perfect family meal that everyone will love.

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Get a delicious dinner on the table quickly and effortlessly! This pasta with peas is so easy to make and bursting with fresh and vibrant flavors. It’s one tasty way to eat your greens (or hide them from the kiddos!)

Bowl of pasta with peas

Ingredients & substitutions

  • Oil: Used to cook the onions. Use olive oil for best flavor, but vegetable or canola will work well.
  • Onion and garlic: For a rounded flavor, use a yellow or white onion and be sure to use fresh garlic.
  • Peas: Use frozen peas for this recipe. They are frozen at their best so are often richer in vitamins and fresher. You can substitute with fresh peas though.
  • Basil: Use fresh basil leaves. This will give you a wonderful pesto-like flavor to your pasta.
  • Pasta: Any short pasta will work well. Try fusilli, penne or shells and you can use gluten-free pasta if you have intolerances, or whole wheat pasta if you prefer.
  • Parmesan: Use freshly grated parmesan cheese for the best taste and texture, pre-grated can be dry and grainy. Use a rennet free parmesan if you are vegetarian.
Ingredients to make the recipe

How to make pasta with peas

  1. Cook the garlic and onions until soft.
  2. Add the peas (save some to add at then end), basil and some pasta water to the skillet and simmer.
  3. Blend the sauce till smooth.
  4. Add the cooked pasta to the pea sauce and season.
  5. Stir to combine until everything is well mixed.
  6. Add pasta water to thin out the sauce.

Stir in the parmesan cheese if you’re using and the remaining peas and serve!

6 image collage to show how to make the recipe

Tips for making the pasta recipe

  1. Cook the pasta al dente. Pasta continues to cook once you have drained it, and again when you add it to the pea sauce. Don’t over cook it or it can be too soft and mushy in the final dish. Check out these top tips for cooking pasta.
  2. Thaw the peas before using them. If you add them in frozen, the sauce can become too watery. Quickly thaw them by placing them in a sieve and place them under cold running water. They’ll take minutes to defrost.
  3. Be sure to reserve some of the pasta cooking water. The starch will help to stick the sauce to the pasta and also help to thicken it, it’s much better than using tap water. It also helps to add more flavor.
  4. Use a fine mesh sieve to create an extra smooth sauce. Once blended, pass the sauce through the sieve for a creamier texture.
Large pot of pasta with peas with bowl of parmesan cheese and basil on the side

Frequently asked questions

Can you use fresh peas?

Yes, if you have fresh peas to use up, you can of course use those. However, frozen peas are super convenient and a great item to always keep in your freezer for easy meals like this. They are picked at the peak of freshness so they are perfectly sweet and ready to use.

Can you make it ahead of time?

This pasta and peas recipe is best served as soon as you make it. But if you have leftovers they will keep well in the fridge for 4 days and can be reheated on the stovetop. The pea pesto sauce can be made ahead of time and kept covered in the fridge for 4 days.

What do you serve it with?

This pasta and peas recipe can easily be served by itself, but it’s great to serve with a side caprese salad. For a super hearty meal, serve it alongside some homemade garlic bread.

Close up shot of the spring pasta made with peas

Ready to serve in less than 30 minutes, made with simple ingredients and all cooked in one skillet, this pasta with peas recipe is loaded with flavor and perfect after a busy day. You can even add in some cooked shredded chicken to make it even heartier!

More pasta recipes:

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Pasta with Peas

Bursting with fresh spring flavors and ready to serve in less than 30 minutes, pasta with peas is a perfect family meal that everyone will love.
5 from 173 votes
Servings 6 servings
Course Main Course
Calories 315
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced
  • 10 ounces frozen peas thawed
  • ¼ cup packed fresh basil plus more for serving
  • 1 ½ cup pasta water
  • 12 ounces fusilli or other short pasta
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta in a pot of salted water according to package instructions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 ½ cup of the cooking pasta liquid.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 more minute.
  • Transfer the thawed peas to the skillet, saving a couple tablespoons for serving. Add the basil and 1 cup pasta water. Bring sauce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Use an immersion blender to blend the sauce until it’s smooth and consistent. Use a strainer to strain the sauce or an extra creamy consistency.
  • Transfer the cooked pasta to the skillet with the peas sauce, salt and pepper and toss until well coated. Add as much of the extra ½ cup reserved pasta water as desired to thin out the sauce.
  • Add the reserved whole peas, parmesan cheese and stir until everything is well combined. Serve with fresh basil, if desired.

Video

Notes

Storage: The pasta will keep for 4 days in an airtight container.

Nutrition

Calories: 315kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 172mg, Potassium: 280mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 448IU, Vitamin C: 21mg, Calcium: 83mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

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Bowl of pasta with peas

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Comments

  1. The recipe needs work – ingredients say 1 cup pasta water while instructions call for 1.5 cups – ended up 1/2 cup short of pasta water. Instructions say reserve some thawed peas but why don’t these get cooked before serving? I will review next time knowing these points in advance.

    1. Thank you for the feedback! I have gone ahead and updated the recipe, so it is more consistent. The reserved peas get cooked and that is set aside to be added when serving.

  2. Would lentil pasta be a healthier option? also would it be less in calories and carbs in i used lentil pasta?

    1. You could use that for a higher protein option! The calories are for the most part very similar and same goes for the carbs.

  3. Super delicious and easy to make! I’m all about fast weeknight dinner recipes that taste fresh and amazing 😉 I used cavatappi pasta and added red pepper flakes for some heat.

  4. This pea Pasta so creative and one of the best meals I made so delicious!!!

    I can say she is 10/10 on all the dishes I’ve made from her page! 10 star and I don’t eat Meat!!!

  5. I didn’t have frozen peas but canned and it still turned out delicious. It wasn’t as vibrant green but it tasted great!