This is an easy vegan “khao pad sapparod” aka pineapple fried rice recipe, where you can turn leftover rice into a delicious meal by adding scrambled tofu, sweet pineapples, tomatoes, and green peas seasoned with a curry spice mix. If you h…
This is an easy vegan “khao pad sapparod” aka pineapple fried rice recipe, where you can turn leftover rice into a delicious meal by adding scrambled tofu, sweet pineapples, tomatoes, and green peas seasoned with a curry spice mix. If you have 30 minutes, just skip ordering a take-out and make this aromatic vegan recipe....
Here’s a quickie recipe for those nights when you just need something fast and delicious. This Lemon Ricotta Pasta is super fast, light, and fresh, which makes it perfect for an easy weeknight dinner during the summer. The bright lemon flavor perfectly compliments the light and creamy ricotta, and the little pops of sweetness from the peas make every bite a little more interesting. Simple, fresh, and easy.
Originally posted 3-4-2011, updated 6-8-2022.
Do I Have to Use Fresh Lemon?
This is one of those recipes where you really do want to use a fresh lemon instead of bottled juice. The zest from the lemon adds a ton of bright, summery lemon flavor to the pasta without making the sauce too sour. We add just a little of the juice to balance the creaminess of the ricotta, but the zest is where you’re getting all that gorgeous sunny lemon flavor!
Not All Ricotta is Created Equal
I find there is quite a bit of variation in the quality of ricotta from brand to brand. Some are smooth, mild, and sweet like fresh milk, while others are bland and grainy. My preferred brand is Galbani, but they didn’t have any at the store when I went, so I got the generic Kroger brand. It was definitely a bit grainy, but the pasta was still quite delicious despite that!
Also, make sure to get whole milk ricotta. Low-fat ricotta just doesn’t hit the same in this recipe.
What Else Can I Add?
This simple pasta is a great jumping-off point for making a more elaborate pasta, if that’s what you’re in the mood for. Try adding some sliced chicken breast, fresh basil, or fresh spinach. Garlic butter shrimp would also go great with this pasta!
Lemon Ricotta Pasta is light, fresh, and quick to prepare, making it the perfect pasta for weeknight dinners in the summer.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Total Cost $4.27 recipe / $1.07 serving
Prep Time 10minutes
Cook Time 20minutes
Total Time 30minutes
Author Beth - Budget Bytes
1cupwhole milk ricotta$1.60
1/4tspsalt (or to taste)$0.02
1/4tspfreshly cracked black pepper (or to taste)$0.02
1pinchcrushed red pepper (or to taste)$0.02
Zest and juice the lemon. You'll need about ½ tsp zest and 1 Tbsp lemon juice.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Before draining, reserve about 1 cup of the starchy water from the pot.
Place the frozen peas in the colander before draining the pasta so the pasta will thaw the peas as it drains.
Add the butter and minced garlic to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic is fragrant.
Add the drained pasta and peas, and about ½ cup of the starchy pasta cooking water to the skillet with the butter and garlic. Stir to combine, then turn off the heat.
Add the ricotta, Parmesan, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon lemon zest to the skillet. Stir until everything is well combined, the residual heat from the skillet and pasta have warmed the ricotta, and the ricotta has formed a creamy sauce. Add more of the warm reserved pasta water if needed.
Season the pasta with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Serve warm.
How to Make Lemon Ricotta Pasta – Step By Step Photos
Zest and juice one lemon. You’ll need about ½ tsp of zest and 1 Tbsp juice.
Cook 8oz. pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Reserve about 1 cup of the starchy pasta water before draining.
Add 1 cup of frozen peas to a colander, then pour the boiled pasta over top to thaw the peas as you drain the pasta.
Add 1 Tbsp butter and 1 clove garlic to a large skillet. Sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic becomes very fragrant.
Add the still-hot pasta and peas to the skillet along with about ½ cup of the hot reserved pasta water. Stir to combine, then turn off the heat.
Add 1 cup whole milk ricotta, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and ½ tsp lemon zest to the pasta. Stir until the ingredients are combined, the residual heat from the pasta and skillet have warmed the ricotta, and the ricotta has turned into a creamy sauce.
Add more of the reserved pasta water if the mixture is too thick or too dry. Season the pasta with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste.
This pasta primavera recipe is bursting with fresh veggies and a creamy Parmesan sauce! It’s a veggie-packed dinner that pleases everyone.
Looking for a vegetarian pasta to impress? Try Pasta Primavera, the Italian-sounding American dish from the 1970’s that’s here to liven up your mealtimes! There are many ways to make a primavera, so here’s our spin. Tender pasta is mixed with spring vegetables like asparagus, broccolini, peas and carrots, then tossed with a creamy, luxurious Parmesan sauce. You won’t want the bowl to end!
The story behind pasta primavera
Pasta Primavera is an American pasta dish featuring fresh vegetables invented in the 1970’s. The dish was created by a New York chef named Sirio Maccioni at the home of an Italian businessman in Nova Scotia of all places. The dish mixed butter, cream, cheese, pasta and fresh vegetables, and went on to become popular all over the world. While it doesn’t sound like a revolutionary combination to our modern ears, it was the first of its kind.
What’s in this pasta primavera recipe?
Since then, Pasta Primavera has popped up on restaurant menus across the globe, popularly at Italian American chains like Olive Garden. There’s really no “correct” way to make this dish: no specifications on the exact sauce or the type of vegetables. Primavera means spring in Italian, so often you’ll see it with spring vegetables like asparagus and carrot. But just as many spins use summer vegetables like zucchini and tomatoes: so there’s a lot of variation!
In our opinion, a good Pasta Primavera should feature spring vegetables just like the title indicates, so that’s what we’ve used here. The veggies are accessorized with a creamy Parmesan sauce that makes everything taste irresistible. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:
Pasta: any shape! we like tortelli (shown), but any short or long shape works
Baby bella mushrooms
Leek: leek is a uniquely tasty spring vegetable; substitute shallot if you can’t find it
Broccolini: we love the elegant shape of broccolini here! You can substitute broccoli
For the sauce: butter, garlic, flour, milk and Parmesan cheese
The basic idea? Cook the pasta, saute the veggies, make a quick cream sauce and mix it all together. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve warm.
Tips for cooking pasta to al dente
When it comes to any pasta dish, here’s the key: cook the pasta to the perfect al dente. Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian: pasta that’s tender with a firm center. Overcooked pasta turns out rubbery and unappetizing. Interestingly, it also has less nutrients and makes you less full. Here are some tips on how to cook pasta to al dente:
Set your timer a few minutes before the package instructions indicate. The timing on many pasta packages makes for overcooked pasta. Start taste testing the pasta a few minutes before the package says to.
Taste test and look for small white fleck at the core. You want to catch it right when there’s a small white fleck at the core, or just when it disappears.
Making the pasta primavera sauce
A few tips on the pasta primavera sauce: the sauce is a quick Parmesan sauce made with a roux. A “roux” is flour and butter cooked together (usually equal parts) that’s sed to thicken sauces. The cooking does go quickly, so you’ll want to understand the basic idea before you start.
Measure out the ingredients first, and don’t leave the stove. The cooking process goes so fast, you’ll want to have everything measured in advance.
Melt butter and saute the grated garlic 30 seconds. Be careful not to overcook: you don’t want it to brown!
Add flour and whisk constantly. Whisk constantly and cook just until it’s a golden color; be careful not to overcook.
Whisk in the milk gradually. Add a splash of milk and whisk constantly, then keep adding a few splashes at a time until the sauce is smooth. Simmer for several minutes, and the roux will thicken the sauce! It may feel like it won’t thicken, but just wait: it will come together in about 5 minutes.
Serving pasta primavera
This pasta primavera recipe takes a little over 30 minutes to make, but it’s pretty hands on: you don’t have a lot of waiting time to prep other items. So to make it into a meal, you’ll want some quick and simple sides. You can also add cooked protein to make the dish more filling. Here are a few ideas:
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to garnish
Bring a salted pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente (taste testing a minute or two before the package instructions indicate). Drain and toss the pasta with a bit of olive oil.
Meanwhile, prep the vegetables as noted above. In a dutch oven or large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Cook mushrooms for 4 minutes, until starting to brown. Add asparagus, leeks, broccolini, carrots and ½ teaspoon kosher salt and cook additional 4 to 5 minutes until asparagus is tender and bright green. Add peas and continue cooking until peas are bright green, about 1 minute.
In a small or medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the grated garlic and cook 30 seconds until fragrant but not browned. Add the flour and whisk constantly for 1 minute to 90 seconds, until bubbly and golden. Add a splash of milk and whisk it in: the sauce will instantly turn chunky. Constantly whisking, continue to add splashes of milk and whisk them in until the entire quantity is incorporated and the sauce is smooth. Reduce the heat and whisk until the sauce thickens and no longer tastes like raw flour, about 5 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon kosher salt and the Parmesan cheese.
Drain the pasta, then add it to the skillet with the veggies and stir in the sauce. Taste and add the additional ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Serve warm, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese. Leftovers store well refrigerated.
We always love the chance to highlight our favorite veggies, and the star of the show today is the (crunchy & sweet) snap pea! Our obsession with snap peas started earlier this year when we discovered the magic that is sautéed snap peas, and now we…
We always love the chance to highlight our favorite veggies, and the star of the show today is the (crunchy & sweet) snap pea! Our obsession with snap peas started earlier this year when we discovered the magic that is sautéed snap peas, and now we’re bringing you a simple and fresh snap pea salad!
This salad is the perfect balance of bright, tangy, and savory.
My classic lentil salad is one of my favorite salads. I make it all of the time. Have you tried it? I sure hope so, it always hits the spot. I also have a sweet potato lentil salad that is super satisfying and delicious. I love using lentils in salads …
My classic lentil salad is one of my favorite salads. I make it all of the time. Have you tried it? I sure hope so, it always hits the spot. I also have a sweet potato lentil salad that is super satisfying and delicious. I love using lentils in salads because they are hearty, a…
Delicious Coconut Rice Bowl is healthy and adaptable! Curried jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk and topped with tofu or your choice of protein and seasonal vegetables. All tossed with a simple, flavorful sauce, fresh cilantro, mint and toasted coco…
Delicious Coconut Rice Bowl is healthy and adaptable! Curried jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk and topped with tofu or your choice of protein and seasonal vegetables. All tossed with a simple, flavorful sauce, fresh cilantro, mint and toasted coconut flakes. Vegan.
If snap peas aren’t on your list of favorite veggies, we think you’ll reconsider when you give these sautéed sugar snap peas a try! They’re fresh, perfectly crunchy, and a little zesty. It’s no surprise they’re one of our new favorite sides! …
If snap peas aren’t on your list of favorite veggies, we think you’ll reconsider when you give these sautéed sugar snap peas a try! They’re fresh, perfectlycrunchy, and a little zesty. It’s no surprise they’re one of our new favorite sides!
Even better?! They’re SO easy. Just 1 pan, 5 minutes, and 3 ingredients required! We promise you won’t regret giving these (bright, salty, delightful) snap peas a try.
Fried rice is a take-out classic because it’s fast, easy, filling, delicious, and inexpensive, which is everything I want from a meal made at home, too! I love making vegetable fried rice at home because it’s an easy way to use up odds and ends in my fridge, it’s always satisfying, and it’s FAST. Plus, I can always add some meat or seafood if I’m feeling it!
Originally posted 6/2/2010, updated 3/30/2022.
What is Fried Rice?
Fried rice is a Chinese dish made with cooked rice that is then stir-fried in a wok with other ingredients, like meat, seafood, vegetables, and eggs, and then seasoned with a savory sauce. It’s extremely flexible and budget-friendly, which is why we love this dish! The recipe below is an American adaptation, using a skillet instead of a wok and ingredients that are easily sourced in most American grocery stores. If you’d like to try an authentic Chinese Fried Rice recipe, be sure to check out Chinese Fried Rice from Rasa Malaysia, Egg Fried Rice from Red House Spice, or Classic Chicken Fried Rice from The Woks of Life.
Use Leftover Rice for Best Results
To avoid clumpy or gummy fried rice, use rice that has been previously cooked and completely cooled, preferably overnight. The slightly drier, less starchy rice is perfect for stir-frying because it can absorb moisture from the sauce and vegetables without becoming overly sticky. If you don’t have leftover rice from the day before, simply cook some rice, spread it out thin on a baking sheet or wide baking dish for faster cooling, then refrigerate until completely cool before using in the stir fry.
Do I Need a Wok?
Woks are wonderful for stir fry because the large surface area makes it possible to add a lot of ingredients without overcrowding. While using a frying pan doesn’t work quite as well, we can make up for the crowding issue by cooking the ingredients separately, then combining them at the very end.
What Else Can I Add to Vegetable Stir Fry?
Here’s my favorite part. A simple Vegetable Stiry is a blank slate for all sorts of add ins, whether it’s more vegetables, a meat or seafood, a different sauce, or even a crunchy topping! Here are some other fun add-ins for your stir fry:
Other vegetables like beansprouts, mushrooms, green beans, corn, broccoli, red chiles, or kimchi
Meat or seafood like chicken, beef, shrimp, pork, or sausage
Other sauces like oyster sauce, sriracha, or chili crisp
Crunchy toppers like cashews, peanuts, sesame seeds, crushed ramen noodles
Vegetable Fried Rice
Vegetable Fried Rice is a fast, easy, delicious, and budget-friendly meal that you can whip up with ingredients on hand at any time!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Chinese
Total Cost $4.50 recipe / $1.13 serving
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 12minutes
Total Time 27minutes
Servings 4about 1.25 cups each
Author Beth - Budget Bytes
1tspgrated fresh ginger$0.10
1red bell pepper, diced$1.50
4green onions, sliced$0.40
3Tbspcooking oil, divided$0.12
3cupscooked and cooled rice$0.62
1Tbsptoasted sesame oil$0.30
Prepare the vegetables before hand so they're ready to go when needed. Mince the garlic, grate the ginger, dice the carrot and bell pepper, slice the green onions (separate the green ends from the white ends), and measure the frozen peas.
Lightly whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp of cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the eggs and gently scramble until cooked through. Transfer the cooked eggs to a clean bowl or plate.
There should be a good amount of oil left in the skillet. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the diced carrots and stir and cook for about two minutes. Next add the bell pepper and the white firm ends of the green onions. Cook and stir for one minute more. Finally, add the frozen peas and stir and cook until heated through. Transfer the vegetables to a clean bowl or plate.
Add the remaining 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the surface. Add the garlic, ginger, and cooked and cooled rice to the skillet. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the rice is heated through.
Pour the soy sauce and toasted sesame oil over the rice. Stir the rice and sauce together until evenly combined. Turn the heat off.
Add the eggs and vegetables back to the skillet with the rice and stir to combine. Allow the residual heat to heat everything through. Top with the remaining green ends of the sliced green onions. Taste and adjust the soy sauce or sesame oil to your liking.
Prep the vegetables before you begin cooking because once you start, it will go fast! Mince two cloves of garlic and mince or grate about 1 tsp fresh ginger. Peel and dice one large carrot and one red bell pepper. Slice four green onions, separating the tender green top half from the firm lower half, and measure out one cup of frozen peas.
Lightly whisk two large eggs. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the eggs to the skillet and gently scramble until cooked through. Remove the scrambled eggs to a clean bowl or plate.
There should be quite a bit of oil left in the skillet after removing the eggs. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the diced carrot to the skillet and stir fry for about two minutes. Next, add the bell pepper and the firm white ends of the sliced green onion. Stir fry for about a minute more. Lastly, add the frozen peas and stir fry just until heated through. Remove the vegetables to a clean bowl or plate.
Add another tablespoon of cooking oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the surface again. Add the minced garlic, ginger, and three cups of cooked and cooled rice to the hot skillet. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. Don’t worry if the rice sticks a bit to the bottom. It will loosen after the sauce is added.
Add 3 Tbsp soy sauce and 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil to the rice. Fold the rice and sauce together until the rice is evenly coated in the sauce.
Add the vegetables and eggs back to the skillet. Turn the heat off and stir to combine, allowing the residual heat to reheat everything through.
Top with the sliced green ends of the green onions and you’re done! Give it a taste and add extra soy sauce or sesame oil to fit your taste buds.
It’s always a good idea to rummage through your pantry and freezer every week to see what ingredients you might need to use up. This week for me it was a half box of pasta, some frozen bacon, and frozen peas that were almost too frosty. So I took my favorite quick meal template (pasta + Parmesan + greens) and added in bacon for a simple and delicious meal. This Pasta with Bacon and Peas is definitely going on my regular rotation list!!
What Kind of Pasta to Use
You can literally use any type of pasta you have on hand for this recipe, which makes it a great option for using up leftovers in your pantry. Spaghetti, bowtie, fusilli, penne, or even ramen would work! I happened to have these little pasta shells, which turned out so cute because the peas would get caught in the shells and that made them look like peas in a pod. :)
What Else Can I Add?
As with most of my recipes, I love creating a nice simple “base” that you can enjoy as is, or add to if you have other ingredients on hand. Here are some other things you can add to this Pasta with Bacon and Peas that would be super delish:
Top with a fried egg or chopped hard boiled egg
Toss in a handful of fresh spinach
Top with crispy fried onions
Sprinkle on a dash of malt vinegar
Add heavy cream to make it saucy
Pasta with Bacon and Peas
Pasta with Bacon and Peas is a quick, satisfying, and inexpensive meal that you can make with ingredients that you can keep on hand.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Total Cost $4.00 recipe / $1.33 serving
Prep Time 5minutes
Cook Time 20minutes
Total Time 25minutes
Author Beth – Budget Bytes
1/4tspfreshly cracked black pepper$0.02
1/8tspcrushed red pepper (optional)$0.01
Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (7-10 minutes). Reserve about a half cup of the starchy pasta water before draining the pasta in a colander.
While the pasta is boiling, cook the bacon. Add the bacon to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until brown and crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon. Drain most of the bacon grease from the pan, leaving about 2 Tbsp.
While the bacon is cooking, finely dice the onion. Add the diced onion to the remaining bacon grease and sauté until tender (about 5 minutes).
Add the frozen peas and about ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water to the skillet. Continue to cook and stir until the peas have heated through.
Add the drained pasta to the skillet, stir to combine, and remove from the heat.
Top the pasta with Parmesan, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and crumbled bacon. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.
How to Make Pasta with Bacon and Peas – Step by Step Photos
Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until tender (7-10 minutes). Reserve ½ cup of the starchy pasta water before draining in a colander.
While the pasta is cooking, begin the bacon. Add 6oz. bacon (or however much you have on hand) to a skillet and cook over medium heat until brown and crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon. Drain all but 2 Tbsp of the bacon grease from the pan.
While the bacon is cooking, finely dice a small yellow onion (or half of a large onion). After removing the bacon from the skillet, add the diced onion to the remaining bacon fat and sauté over medium heat until tender (about 5 minutes). The moisture from the onion will help dissolve some of the browned bits of bacon from the bottom of the pan.
Once the onions are softened, add 1 cup frozen peas and about ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat until the peas have heated through.
Add the drained pasta back to the skillet and stir to combine. Turn off the heat.
Add ¼ cup grated Parmesan, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper to the pasta, then crumble the cooked bacon over top.
Stir until everything is well combined and coated in Parmesan. Taste the pasta and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.
Isn’t a hearty vegan breakfast is the best way to start your day? Fire up your skillet and make fried potatoes, crispy oyster mushroom jerky mixed with a rainbow of veggies like green peans, onions, and bell peppers to create a delicious vegan ha…
Isn’t a hearty vegan breakfast is the best way to start your day? Fire up your skillet and make fried potatoes, crispy oyster mushroom jerky mixed with a rainbow of veggies like green peans, onions, and bell peppers to create a delicious vegan hash. If you also like savory breakfast or brunch recipes try this...