Pea Pasta with Parmesan

by | Apr 12, 2024

This Pea Pasta with Parmesan perfectly combines vibrant peas with the flavors of pesto, creating a refreshing spring pasta dish. Plus, you get to choose your favorite type of pasta for the base. Try chickpea pasta, protein pasta, or even lentil pasta for a nutritional boost – the choice is yours!

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by ​Libby’s® Vegetables. All opinions are my own; I never feature a brand that I don’t love!

Why you’ll love it

This pasta with peas, parmesan, and pine nuts is a balanced dish made with minimal effort or prep work. Here’s why you’ll have it on repeat this spring.

  • Pasta Choices: Since we aren’t using a traditional protein source such as meat, we recommend using a protein-rich pasta like Banza or Protein+ to give this an extra protein boost.
  • Aromatic and Light: The combination of fresh basil, lemon, and garlic creates this symphony of flavors that’s super refreshing.
  • Visually Stunning: With its bright green hue, this pasta not only tastes good but also looks beautiful on your plate.
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Is pea pasta healthy?

Absolutely! Let’s break down the health benefits:

  • Protein pasta: By choosing a chickpea or protein pasta, you’re getting an extra boost of protein and fiber–two nutrients that keep you fuller longer and promote muscle recovery.
  • Olive oil and pine nuts: The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in olive oil and pine nuts are beneficial for overall heart health.
  • Canned peas: These little green gems are a fantastic source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Are canned peas healthy?

Absolutely – canned peas add a bit of protein, fiber, and calcium to our bowls. They have a tender, succulent and creamy taste that you know and love.

Libby’s Sweet Peas are grown by American farmers and packed right here in the USA. What’s inside the can? Just peas, water, and a touch of sugar and sea salt for flavor!

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Ingredients you’ll need

  • Pasta: Our base for the recipe that’s extra satisfying.
  • Pine Nuts: If you can’t find pine nuts, you can skip them or swap for sliced almonds or savory glazed walnuts.
  • Garlic & Basil: These aromatic ingredients are simple but super flavorful.
  • Sweet Peas: The star of the show, adding a sweet, fresh burst that perfectly complements the other ingredients.
  • Lemon Juice: Brightens the dish with a touch of acidity.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Brings an element of salty and umami.
Ingredients: basil, red pepper flakes, garlic, pepper, sweet peas, pasta, lemon, parmesan, pine nuts

How to make it

  1. Cook the Pasta: Boil your pasta to al dente, leaving it with a slight bit of chewiness.
  2. Toast the Pine Nuts: Keep a careful eye on the nuts as they can go from toasted to burnt real quick!
  3. Blend the Sauce: This green sauce is where your pasta really comes to life. There’s not much prep work involved thanks to the canned peas.
  4. Combine and Garnish: Fold the pasta into your vibrant pea sauce, then garnish with  fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.

Recipe tips and tricks

  • Serving Suggestions: Pair with crusty bread or a simple arugula salad dressed with olive oil and lemon juice to round the meal out.
  • Troubleshooting Tips: If your sauce is too thick, you can add a touch more water to reach your desired consistency.
  • Scaling Tips: Easily double this recipe to feed a crowd or for meal prep.
Easy pea pasta dish with lemon, basil and peas in background.

Customize it your way

Like all of my recipes, this Pea Pasta is completely customizable. Choose your preferred type of pasta and shape.

  • Pasta of your choice: We prefer chickpea pasta, but you can use protein plus pasta, lentil pasta, or regular pasta! As far as shape goes, common ones to choose from are cavatappi, spirals, penne, or spaghetti. If you are buying a 16-ounce box of pasta, be sure to only cook half of the box for this recipe.
Plain pasta noodles

How do I store leftovers?

Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave, adding a touch of oil on top to refresh the pasta if needed.

Need more help with recipes for your busy schedule?

In my coaching + cooking program, I help busy people with beginner cooking knowledge become confident in the kitchen so that they can enjoy nourishing foods they love and stress less about mealtime. Click here to learn more about this virtual program led by a dietitian.

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Pea Pasta with Parmesan

Mackenzie Burgess, RDN
This Pea Pasta perfectly combines vibrant peas with the flavors of pesto, creating a refreshing spring pasta dish. Customize with your favorite type of pasta for the base, like chickpea pasta, protein pasta, or even lentil pasta – the choice is yours!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 400 kcal

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  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta. Rinse the pasta under cold water then add back into the pot and set aside.
  • Place pine nuts in a large, dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Toast them, stirring frequently until golden and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside for garnish.
  • In the same pan, add oil over medium low heat. Add sliced garlic and sauté until fragrant and slightly browned, about 2-3 minutes.
  • To the same pan, add sweet peas, reserving 3 tablespoons of peas for garnishing the pasta at the end. Sauté peas for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and carefully transfer everything to a blender. Add to the blender lemon juice, basil, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and pasta water. Blend until smooth.
  • Gently fold the pea sauce into the cooked pasta and stir to combine.
  • Garnish with toasted pine nuts, sweet peas, grated parmesan cheese, and more fresh basil leaves.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 400kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 21gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 570mgPotassium: 140mgFiber: 11gSugar: 11gCalcium: 123mgIron: 8mg
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Pea Pasta with Parmesan and Pine Nuts

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Hi, I'm Mackenzie...

nice to meet you!

I’m a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and recipe developer. I create simple recipes with customizable ingredients “of your choice.” I also help busy people gain kitchen confidence through my hands-on program.

Need more hands-on help?

In my coaching + cooking program, I help busy people with beginner cooking knowledge become confident in the kitchen. Click here to learn more about this virtual program with a dietitian!

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