Colorful Pasta Recipes to Brighten Up Your Family Meals

Spring is here! Capture the tastes of the season with six delicious recipes that add lemon zest, spinach, broccoli, roasted red peppers and other yummy ingredients.

These pasta dishes are infused with color to brighten up your family’s dinner. But the color isn’t all for show – the same compounds that give carrots their orange hue and spinach their deep, green leaves signal they also contain nutrients. That’s right: The bright-colored food in the produce section (not the cereal aisle) mean that these vegetables are packed with a pigment called beta-carotene. The beta-carotene in carrots, spinach, bell peppers and other vegetables, and even some grains, tells you that you’ll be getting an extra dose of nutrients in your meal.

More good news: Most of these colorful pasta recipes have only a few ingredients, saving you time in the kitchen – and money at the grocery store. So get clicking – and cooking!


Lemon-Basil Pasta

Spruce up a simple bowl of linguine with this lemon-basil pasta recipe from Better Homes & Gardens. The fresh basil combines with the zest of lemon and cannellini (white kidney) beans and a drizzling of olive oil for a quick dinner your whole family will love.


Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

The Pioneer Woman walks you through how to roast red peppers to create a smoky sauce that’s perfect on pasta. The roasted red peppers are blended with heavy cream and mixed with sauteed onion, garlic and pine nuts for a robust dish that’ll wake up your taste buds!


Spinach-Pasta Toss

With only four ingredients, this spinach-pasta toss from Kraft relies on the spices in Italian-style diced tomatoes to infuse this dish with flavor. Mix in a generous helping of baby spinach and shredded Italian cheese for a healthy, colorful meal that’s ready to serve in minutes.


Broccoli-Pasta Side Dish Recipe

When it comes to veggies, broccoli is often a kid favorite. Play up the flavor – and the color – with this broccoli-pasta side dish recipe from Taste of Home. Saute chopped broccoli, garlic, olive oil and a dash of cayenne pepper to pour over linguine. Place the pasta into a casserole dish first – then add the broccoli mixture. Top with Parmesan cheese and then bake until the cheese is melted.


Garden Pasta Salad

This garden pasta salad recipe from Eating Well mixes cooled, cooked pasta with fresh salad. Kalamata olives, basil, diced bell pepper, carrots and tomatoes are then tossed in with tuna for a variety of tasty, healthy ingredients.


Vegetable Mac & Cheese

This vegetable mac and cheese recipe from Spoonful remakes a kid classic with better-for-them ingredients like low-fat cottage cheese for cream and a peppering of peas and carrots. To spruce up the flavor of the dish, mix in Dijon mustard and Tabasco sauce.


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