In these late summer months, fresh zucchini and squash are abundant. Maybe you are lucky enough to have a garden or have a gardener friend, but even if you are just shopping at markets, zucchini and squash will be cheap and delicious right now! This Vegetable Fettuccine Alfredo is the perfect use for these fresh veggies! (This Heirloom Tomato Tart is perfect for your fresh tomatoes!)
While you can buy jarred alfredo sauce, the homemade version is surprisingly easy to make. It’s basically just butter and cream simmered for a short amount of time and tossed with the pasta. It might be the easiest of white sauces to make!
Even though I think this pasta has some fancy elements to it, it’s seriously a 30-minute dinner. It always surprises me how fast an alfredo comes together!
What vegetables work best for this recipe
There are no hard and fast rules here with a pasta dish like this. Personally, I like more mild summer vegetables like squash and zucchini and even fresh peas would be nice. You want to choose vegetables that don’t turn to mush when cooked, but also aren’t too sturdy or overpowering.
Personally, I would stay away from carrots, broccoli or cauliflower in this recipe, but thin asparagus would work fine as they tend to be more tender after a quick saute.
I’m kind of on the fence on mushrooms for this recipe. They would work okay, but I prefer them in a pasta recipe like this mushroom carbonara.
How to Cook the Vegetables
There are a few tricks to make these vegetables tender in this dish and also avoiding turning them to mush. One trick is to slice them and sear them in a hot skillet over medium-high heat so they have some color, BUT you don’t want them to get mushy.
Just a few minutes of cooking will be enough.
Add the sweet corn as well and continue to cook. Again, this is a quick sear on the vegetables. Don’t overcook them or your finished vegetables will be too mushy in the pasta.
Once the vegetables are cooked, scoop them into a bowl and reserve them for later. Wipe out the skillet and you are ready to make the sauce!
Making the Alfredo Sauce
This is a fun sauce to make. You want a low to medium heat here or it will scald the heavy cream.
Melt the butter in the same large skillet along with the garlic. Then add the cream and bring it to a simmer.
When the sauce has simmered for a few minutes, add the parmesan cheese and it’s done!
It’s okay if the sauce looks a little thin at this point. It will continue to thicken when it mixes with the cooked pasta.
Finishing the Fettuccine Alfredo
Cook your fettuccine in salted water until it is just al dente and then add it to the skillet along with the reserved vegetables.
Toss everything together to finish the vegetable fettuccine alfredo!
Use tongs to really mix the fettuccine alfredo together well. If the sauce seems too thick, add some reserved pasta water to thin it out. If it seems too thin, just continue to toss the pasta together over low heat and it will thicken up just fine.
Season the finished pasta with salt and pepper (probably needs a pinch of both).
Serve the vegetable fettuccine alfredo up with some lemon zest and fresh chives or scallions!
This is a very flexible fettuccine alfredo and I encourage you to experiment with the vegetables and pasta you use.
We already talked about some of the vegetable substitutions, but feel free to experiment there. You could also change up the pasta though by using something like penne, bucatini, or even spaghetti in a pinch. I think wider noodles tend to be more common in alfredo recipes though.
While the focus of this recipe is the vegetables, if you wanted to add some extra protein to the dish, you could add grilled chicken breast or even crunchy bacon bits to the pasta as a big protein and flavor boost.
Storing and Reheating this Fettuccine Alfredo
Leftover alfredo doesn’t have a super long shelf life. It’ll keep okay for a few days in the fridge though. Whatever you do, don’t microwave the leftovers!
Reheat the pasta over low heat in a skillet with a splash of water and it’ll come back to life!
Vegetable Fettuccine Alfredo
- 10 ounces fettuccine, cooked
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced
- 1 summer squash, sliced
- 1 ear sweet corn, kernels removed
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 lemon, zest only
- Fresh scallion, garnish
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Boil fettuccine in salted water until it’s cooked through al dente. When done, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain pasta and set aside.
- Meanwhile, add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and squash and sautee with a pinch of salt and pepper until the vegetables start to take on some color, but don’t get mushy, maybe 2-3 minutes. Then add corn and cook for another minute or two.
- Remove vegetables from the skillet. Wipe out skillet and add butter and garlic. When butter is melted, turn heat down to medium and add cream. Stir together and bring to a slight simmer. Simmer sauce for 2-3 minutes and then turn heat down to low. Stir in parmesan cheese near the end.
- Add pasta to the skillet along with vegetables. Toss to combine. If sauce seems too thick, add reserved pasta water to thin it out. The sauce will continue to thicken as the pasta cools.
- Season alfredo pasta with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately garnished with lemon zest and fresh scallion or chives.
- Leftover fettuccine keeps fine in the fridge for a few days. Reheat gently in a skillet over low heat with a splash of water. Do not microwave.