Easy Weeknight Alfredo Pasta
Some weeknights are such a whirlwind. Yesterday was Ms. Little A’s back to school parent teacher night. 5:30 – 7:30 PM – a whopping two hours taken out of the already crazy weekday evening schedule. Planning our week’s menu ahead on the weekend is a life saver in situations like this. We knew that back to school night would bring dinner challenges with it since mommy and daddy go to school and kids cannot come along. So there goes the option of going to eat out after the event. Since carry out was not an option (everyone voted against it), I jotted down pasta and garlic bread on the menu planner for this night. In my mind – “we shall see”. On the day of, I had some gorgeous fresh corn and zucchini from the farmer’s market sitting on the counter. And that is when the idea of this super easy weeknight alfredo pasta was born.
Jump to Recipe
Fall has started knocking on our doors here in the Midwest. We have had lot of rains and the temps have started cooling down. I love love love fall but then I am not ready to bid goodbye to all the fresh vegetable (and corn) bounty that the hot and humid weather of summer brings with it. There is still abundant corn, zucchini, tomatoes, and herbs on the farm stands. Guess what? Each one of these made it to this easy weeknight Alfredo pasta dish.
Between coming home from work and leaving for the back to school night, I was able to talk Ms. A through some steps for getting dinner ready. I walked her through what she needed to do boil and keep the pasta and corn ready by the time we got home later. That would save me so much time later.
What Ms. Little A did:
So she was able to set a big pot 3/4 full of water on stove, salt it and wait for it to boil. After the water reached a “roaring boil”, carefully she added the whole wheat penne pasta to the pan and set the timer to 12 minutes. While she waited for the pasta to cook, she dehusked and silked two cobs of corn. At 12 minute mark she added the corn to boiling pasta and set the timer to 3 minutes. At which point, she was supposed to turn the heat off, carefully remove the corn with tongs and drain the pasta. I told her to return the pasta to same pot, add cold water to cover the pasta and drizzle some olive oil. Then she waited for me.
See, if a middle schooler can do this, so can you. Confidence!!
Use of whole wheat pasta and whole wheat flour while making the roux for the pasta makes this recipe healthier as it does not involve any all purpose flour. Use whatever veggie you have on hand. I kept it summer produce focused s used zucchini, cherry tomatoes, corn along with onions and spinach. Freshly grated parmesan is a must. I request you to not use the already grated powdered stuff that is full of unnecessary additives. Buy a block of Parmesan – it is economical, free of harmful chemicals and grating is oddly satisfying.
Recipe Run Down
Onions, garlic and zucchini get a saute in butter and olive oil. I then added the flour, roasted it fr a bit, followed by adding milk/cream, cream cheese to make a sauce. Then added the spinach and corn followed b halved cherry tomatoes. Seasonings go in next, followed b boiled pasta. Parmesan and lot of fresh basil finish the dish. Serve this up with garlic bread or this foccacia (recipe here) Find the recipe details below.
Easy Weeknight Alfredo Pasta with summer vegetables
This easy weeknight alfredo pasta is made with a healthier version of classic alfredo sauce and is full of summer vegetable goodness.
- 1 lb Whole wheat penne pasta
- 2 ears corn see notes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 zucchini small cubed
- 2 tablespoon whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup heavy cream see notes
- 3/4 cup whole milk see notes
- 1 tablespoon herbed cream cheese
- 2 cups chopped spinach packed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved, see notes
- A pinch nutmeg optional
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh basil cut into ribbons
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Set a big pot 3/4 full of water on high heat to boil. Liberally salt this water
Once the water comes to a boil, add pasta and cook according to package directions
3 minutes before the pasta gets cooked, add the two ears of corn(husks and silks removed) into the pot too.
While the pasta is cooking, set a wide, heavy bottomed pan on medium high heat. Add olive oil and butter to it and wait for the butter to melt.
Now add the minced garlic, chopped onions and cubed zucchini to the melted butter+olive oil
Cook for a minute or two and then sprinkle the two tablespoon of whole wheat flour. Cook the flour for two minutes or until it is lightly browned and the raw flour smell goes away. If the flour and veggies look too dry you can add some more butter/olive oil
Now add the heavy cream and milk. Using a wooden spoon or a whisk, mix the liquid vigorously with the veggies and flour mixture until uniform.
Once the sauce starts to thicken (after a couple minutes) add chopped spinach and tomatoes. Cook for two minutes or until the spinach is wilted. Turn the heat to low.
If the pasta is cooked by now, take the corn out, save a cup of pasta water and then drain the pasta.
Use a very sharp knife to carefully cut the kernels off of the corn cob. Add it to the sauce.
Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to sauce along with Parmesan cheese. Add drained pasta to the sauce and veggies mixture.
Turn the heat up to medium high, add basil and toss everything around. If the sauce is too thick, adjust the consistency with pasta water.
Adjust seasning if needed and serve the pasta hot with extra parmesan for garnish. This focaccia bread is an excellent accompaniment to this pasta.
1. You can also use frozen corn. About 2 cups.
2. If you do not want to use heavy cream, use 1 cup whole milk. The sauce might not turn out as thick and creamy.
3. If you do not have cherry tomatoes, use 1 cup chopped tomatoes.
I always like to add some more freshly cracked black pepper on the pasta. I hope you will give this pasta a try while all these summer veggies are still in season. If you do, please tag The Kitchen Docs and share on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook.
Love – Vaishali.
Measuring Cups: Measuring Spoons:
ali aliAugust 23, 2018 at 9:26 pm
Very good article.thanks for sharing.
Keep up the good work
Arnab MajumdarAugust 25, 2018 at 12:51 pm
This looks so delicious. I am definitely going to try this at my home. Thanks for the recipe.
mdaisiAugust 25, 2018 at 12:56 pm
Looks like an easy to follow recipe. I will try a vegan version this weekend. Thanks for sharing.
MonidipaAugust 25, 2018 at 3:09 pm
This pasts looks very delicious, and it’s easy to make too. I would love to try this out any weekday, I totally love Pastas.
Scott GombarAugust 25, 2018 at 7:24 pm
I love alfredo anything. This looks great. Thanks for sharing
Fran JorgensenAugust 26, 2018 at 2:39 am
What a yummy recipe! I was just looking for something easy and this looks like the perfect combination of yummy and healthy.
CheapcialisAugust 26, 2018 at 5:36 am
I do a very similar thing when making an alfredo or creamy sauce to go with chicken, or any meat really, where I very lightly saute onions & mushrooms. Then plate them up & pour the sauce over the lot. So yummy with some other steamed veg on the side, though really I end up dipping all my veg in any sauce on the plate lol http://wasabimon.com/
JuliAugust 26, 2018 at 7:51 am
To me anything that corn is in will always be a winner for me.
HeatherAugust 26, 2018 at 8:20 am
My kids LOVE alfredo! I love that this one incorporates more veggies. I’ll have to try it!
alison netzerAugust 26, 2018 at 8:57 am
I was sold once I saw the corn in it. I love fresh ingredients and this past looks delicious while the weather is still warm. Thank you for sharing this recipe and I am on it!
Yunus Caner GünerAugust 26, 2018 at 9:14 am
Great article, well done.
Melanie FrostAugust 26, 2018 at 10:25 am
That looks really delicious. I love corn mixed with pasta. It tends to bring out a sweetness in the flavor that is just so yummy.
VaishaliAugust 27, 2018 at 8:58 am
Thanks Melanie. That is so true…sweet corn adds a great flavor!
krishAugust 26, 2018 at 10:47 am
Pasta.. specially whole wheat is always a great meal…recipe looks yummy..and you a nice style of narrating..make it all.look easy .
prabashiAugust 26, 2018 at 11:57 am
this looks so craving to make. the pictures make me want to eat them,
ChaiAugust 26, 2018 at 12:30 pm
Really looks like an easy alfredo pasta that me and my hubby can try.
Devyani RayAugust 26, 2018 at 1:48 pm
I made it for lunch today and it turned out pretty good 🙂
Devyani RayAugust 26, 2018 at 1:48 pm
I made it for lunch tody and it turned out pretty good!
Nina NicholsAugust 26, 2018 at 6:19 pm
That’s the best looking Alfredo pasta I’ve ever seen! Definitely worth trying. 😀
Nina NicholsAugust 26, 2018 at 6:27 pm
That’s the best looking Alfredo pasta I’ve ever seen! Definitely worth trying. 🙂
JaredAugust 26, 2018 at 11:50 pm
Thanks for the recipe. Looks delicious. I love Alfredo.
SreekarAugust 27, 2018 at 1:11 am
Thats a great combination of yummy snack and heathy food! Moreover its pretty easy to make for kitchen newbies like me. So great recipe all in all!
holistic fishAugust 27, 2018 at 5:35 am
don’t really eat pasta but love the sauce, so i will try on some of my pasta alternatives!
KetkiAugust 27, 2018 at 7:28 am
I love alfredo pasta so much that i can have it everyday. My recipe is similar to yours but doesn’t look as appealing. I will def. try and improvise 🙂
Dominique BrooksAugust 27, 2018 at 1:00 pm
This looks really tasty! And it doesn’t look to difficult either. Thanks for sharing!
VaishaliAugust 27, 2018 at 1:38 pm
Yup, not too hard…and very flexible based on what veggies you want to add.
Evelyn HernandezAugust 27, 2018 at 1:00 pm
My son loves alfredo sauce, we are always trying to create a healthier version for him.
VaishaliAugust 27, 2018 at 1:39 pm
Yes. Adding whole wheat flour makes it healthier. You can also skip heavy cream. Thanks
MayszAugust 27, 2018 at 8:47 pm
I never head about Alfredo Pasta before. This pasta is different from ordinary pasta recipes and looks yummy and healthy I like it!
The Beauty FlicksAugust 28, 2018 at 12:45 am
I love to eat pasta but never tried with whole wheat. Definitely going to try it now. Thanks for sharing…
TiffanyAugust 28, 2018 at 4:28 am
This look so good and delish! Pasta is my fave. Thanks for sharing ♥️ ♥️ By any chance you are interested on doing collaborations, you can check out the collaborations portal of Phlanx.com and connect with amazing brands!
VaishaliAugust 28, 2018 at 10:16 am
Thanks Tiffany. I will check out phlanx.com.
Neil Alvin NicerioAugust 28, 2018 at 7:15 am
Yummy. I juat had pasta today. Would love to try one of those.
angieAugust 28, 2018 at 10:09 am
we are definitely a pasta loving family, thanks for sharing this recipe love that it is packed full of so much that is yummy and good.
XoLiviAugust 28, 2018 at 4:49 pm
oh my gosh, this looks so delicious. It looks easy to make!
PrashantAugust 30, 2018 at 12:12 am
Pasta looks really yummy.. and seems easy to prepare. Will give a try to make.. My kids love pasta. Thanks for sharing.
Simerbir SinghAugust 30, 2018 at 1:24 am
Delicious looking dish once again. I don’t know cooking much but I have tried some recipes you shared here.
VaishaliAugust 30, 2018 at 11:35 am