Pasta and Peas

One of the simplest of one pot meals has to be Pasta and Peas. So simple, I almost didn’t post it!

close up of spaghetti with peas topped with cheese


Pasta and Peas Recipe

Wholesome and filling, it literally only takes 20 minutes and 6 ingredients to prepare (including time to boil water). You can see why we make this easy pasta recipe so frequently!

tongs holding spaghetti with cheese

Pasta with peas (sometimes called pea pasta) is often thought of a as a children’s dish. You know, when all they want is buttered pasta and cheese?

I like to think of it more as a layperson’s Cacio e Pepe Recipe, a traditional Roman dish of fresh pasta topped with a good quality parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper.

But I like adding veggies and in this case frozen peas will do the trick. I also add sun dried tomatoes and spinach. LOVE!

pasta and peas in a mixing bowl

In Italy you might see this prepared with shell pasta and some sort of broth, almost like a risotto making a creamy sauce from released starch and a smidge of cheese. I like mine to have the toothy texture of freshly grated hard cheese and a long pasta strand.


To ensure you are making the best Spaghetti and Peas, start with quality. A simple dish demands having really good ingredients.

Buy a wedge of Parmesan cheese or use a Pecorino and skip on the pre shredded bottle junk that doesn’t require refrigeration.

ingredients for pasta and peas

Also use a good quality pasta, freshly ground black pepper (not pre-ground) and Maldon sea salt. Of course, you can make allowances and not get all fancy, but try your best for the best staples.

What else you’ll need…

  • Pasta– I exclusively use spaghetti (maybe bucatini) but this really allows you to use whatever type or shape of pasta you desire. My husband’s family prefers it with rigatoni.
  • Coarse Kosher Salt– for seasoning the boiling water “like the sea”.
  • Peas– read more on these below.
  • Unsalted Butter– You can use salted, but I prefer to add my own since Parmesan cheese tends to be on the salty side and I want to control the amount.
  • Grated Parmesan cheese– finely shredded straight from the block.
  • Black pepper– freshly ground!
  • Aleppo pepper, crushed red pepper flakes or Maldon sea salt- for topping.

Some people also like a spritz of fresh lemon juice, but this is optional.


The other concept is simple.

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a full boil.
  2. Boil your pasta until al dente.
  3. Drain and toss with cooked peas, butter, cheese and pepper. The heat from your pasta will melt the butter.

It is super easy- now just serve!

fork digging into pasta and peas in a white bowl

Top with anything you’d like and then serve!

The Peas

I prefer to use frozen peas. Frozen food gets a bad reputation, but can actually be higher in nutrients than fresh. Veggies and fruits start to diminish in nutritional value the moment they are picked, but freezing also freezes all those goodies inside.

cooked peas in a glass bowl

While it can take days, sometimes, weeks, to get fresh produce to the store, frozen vegetables are often processed within a day of harvesting.

You can also use fresh peas. Either these or frozen are best cooked in boiling water or in a pot of water in the microwave. This helps keep them plump and juicy.

fork spinning pasta

I do not recommend using canned peas. They are already bloated and mushy, you’ll just end up with mashed pea pasta. Not a bad concept, but not what we are aiming for here.


I like this dish as a vegetarian for meatless Monday, but if you are like my husband, you might want a little more substance.

Many folks like to combine it with a pork product like ham, bacon pancetta or prosciutto.

close up of noodles in a while pasta dish

Some of our favorites are:

pasta and peas for pinterest

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tongs holding up pasta noodles
overhead of pasta and peas recipe in a bowl

Pasta and Peas

4.11 from 19 votes
Pasta and Peas is an easy pasta recipe that the whole family will love. Only one pot and 10 ingredients to a family friendly meal!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4




  • In a large pot or saucepan, boil water according to spaghetti package directions. Salt well.
  • Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, cook frozen peas by adding them to a microwave safe dish and covering them with water. Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, depending on microwave wattage. Drain well.
  • Strain in a colander and add to a large mixing bowl. Toss with cubed butter, cheese, cooked peas. Top with anything you wish!
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments and ratings!


Calories: 385 kcal, Carbohydrates: 50 g, Protein: 21 g, Fat: 10 g, Saturated Fat: 5 g, Cholesterol: 104 mg, Sodium: 504 mg, Potassium: 296 mg, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 4 g, Vitamin A: 690 IU, Vitamin C: 23.1 mg, Calcium: 220 mg, Iron: 2.3 mg
Author: Chef Jessica Anne
Calories: 385
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: pasta and peas, spaghetti and peas
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!

Comments make us smile, leave us one! 

Close up of pasta and peas for pinterest

Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Chef Jessica Anne Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal, Mashed and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.11 from 19 votes (16 ratings without comment)

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Questions and Reviews

  1. Don’t ever forget the KISS rule, Keep It Simple Stupid…not to call you stupid! 🙂 But often the simplest of recipes are the BEST!!! Glad you posted this!

  2. The simplest pasta dishes are always the best and I love adding peas for a fresh pop of sweet taste. Lovely recipe.

  3. Peas have always been a favorite of mine. There was a time when I was a kid that peas and hot dogs (cold, no bun) were all that I would eat. Though I eat a bit more now, I still love peas, and this looks like a delicious way to enjoy them!