Lemon Veggie Pasta For Two Diners

Recipe category

The secret to this quick one-pot dinner is that you cook the vegetables with the pasta.

For most of the frozen vegetables we’ve tried (like broccoli and cauliflower), you want to add them to the pot about 4 minutes before the pasta is done.

So far, broccoli is my favorite along with some green peas (they’re an easy and delicious way to add protein to any dish).

  • Pasta – We like to use whole wheat pasta but I don’t think it matters what kind of dry pasta you use. My sister makes this recipe with lentil pasta and it turns out great.
  • Sauce – The sauce is a simple lemon and olive oil combo, it’s incredibly light and refreshing. If a marinara or pesto is more your thing – you do you!
  • Cheese – You MUST add the cheese, its salty creamy flavor balances out the tart lemon perfectly. I like to use feta because it’s slow to spoil and easy to use up in salads, toaster oven frittatas or on a veggie hummus flatbread.
  • Beans – Creamy white beans are nice but toothier garbanzo beans are a good choice too. If beans aren’t your jam, add more frozen peas or try some edamame. 
  • Tomatoes – Grape or cherry tomatoes are fantastically sweet (even in January) and always taste great with pasta. Slicing them in half isn’t my favorite chore but it really does help to spread their yummy flavor throughout the dish.

While this pasta recipe is easy to adapt to what’s in your fridge and pantry, start with the frozen broccoli and nail down the time/texture you prefer first.

Then have fun experimenting with all of your favorite veggies, frozen or fresh!

The Intuitive Cook Approach
Preparation time
5 minutes
Cooking time
21 minutes
Number of servings
3 ounces Dry Pasta
8 ounces frozen Broccoli Florets, not thawed (about half a standard 16 oz bag)
2 ounces frozen peas, not thawed (about 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup cooked great northern beans, rinsed if using canned
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons feta cheese
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
Salt and black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
Fresh basil or parsley


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and cook pasta according to the package directions. In the last 4 minutes* of the cooking time, carefully add the frozen broccoli and cook until just tender. 
  2. Drain the pasta and vegetables, return to the pot and place on a cool burner. 
  3. Stir in the peas, beans, olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Add the feta and tomatoes. Taste and season with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes as desired.
  4. Divide pasta into two bowls and serve with torn basil or chopped parsley.



Pasta: 3 ounces of dry pasta is about 1½ cups Farfalle (Bowties) or Penne and about 3/4 cup of elbow macaroni or small shells.

*Frozen Vegetables: Depending on the size of the florets, your frozen broccoli might cook faster or slower. If the florets are smaller, test a piece after 3 minutes and add more time as needed. It's always better to undercook than overcook your veggies.