This Broccoli Pasta is the perfect easy weeknight dinner. Made in 15 minutes, it's quick, creamy and will be a new family favourite!
Broccoli Pasta is a super nostalgic pasta dish that screams comfort food! It's a recipe that all children and adults love and it's also really healthy too.
It has to be one of my favorite pasta dishes!! It's creamy and delicious, not to mention really simple to make with only a handful of ingredients. Trust me you will be making it on repeat!
The best part is that it comes together in 15 minutes making it the perfect easy weeknight dinner. You can also easily make it vegan too with just one easy substitution.
This recipe is a traditional Italian dish where it's named Pasta Broccoli or Pasta con Broccoli. It's common to top the pasta with pangrattato which are Italian toasted breadcrumbs for a little bit of crunch and texture. The pangrattato is super easy to make and is my favorite part.
Here I’ve made it with homemade orecchiette pasta (Orecchiette con broccoli), but you can really use any pasta shape. I personally prefer it with a short pasta.
Table of Contents
Why you'll love this recipe
- Quick and Easy. With just a few simple steps and a handful of ingredients, this broccoli pasta makes the perfect wholesome weeknight dinner
- Nutritional Powerhouse. The main star is the Broccoli which is packed with fiber and essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- Family Friendly. Pasta and Broccoli is a great way to introduce more vegetables into your family's bellies. Even kids that aren't fans of broccoli will love this dish! I mean who doesn't love a creamy cheesy pasta
Ingredients to make this Broccoli Pasta recipe
- Broccoli is the star of course, I mean you can't have Broccoli and Pasta without broccoli right 🙂 I always use the whole broccoli including the stem which is also packed with nutrients. Fresh broccoli is best, but you can also use frozen broccoli
- Pasta, here I've made homemade orecchiette pasta which are the cutest little shape to capture the creamy sauce but you can choose your favorite type of pasta, such as penne, farfalle, fusilli, or even spaghetti. Whole wheat or gluten-free pasta can also be used
- Garlic for all my fellow garlic lovers which is sauteed in olive oil for a light and yummy aroma and taste
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil is of course my standard oil to use for all of my cooking, especially pasta dishes. I also love adding a little drizzle right before serving. Alternatively, you can use avocado oil for a different flavor profile.
- Parmesan Cheese, grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is added with pasta water to create a creamy sauce without having to add any heavy cream. Freshly grated parmesan is always best. You can also substitute with nutritional yeast or a plant based cheese if you are vegan or dairy free to make a vegan broccoli pasta
- pangrattato is the key to take your pasta broccoli to the next level! They are Italian toasted breadcrumbs and are really easy to make. Here is my simple recipe that you can add to so many dishes and other pastas
- Red Pepper Flakes can be added or chili oil if you would like a little touch of heat and spice
How to make Broccoli Pasta
This Broccoli Pasta will be a family favourite, with minimal ingredients it makes for the perfect weeknight dinner. Below are my easy steps.
- Dice the broccoli into small florets including cutting the stems into small cubes (as pictured)
- Boil broccoli in a large pot of salted water for about 5- 8 minutes, until fork tender
- At the same time, dice garlic cloves into cubes and saute in a large pan with olive oil on a low heat
- Add broccoli to the pan with a ladle of the cooking water. Stir it through
- Cook pasta in the same boiling water until almost cooked (remove a few minutes before cooking time on the package instructions). At this time, ensure to save some pasta cooking water on the side
- Add drained pasta to the pan with grated parmesan cheese and a ladle of reserved pasta water. Stir for a few minutes over a medium heat. (TIP, add more pasta water as needed to finish cooking the pasta to al dente or to desired consistency and to create a creamy sauce)
Tips and Tricks
- When cooking the pasta, always drain a few minutes before the cooking time noted on the package instructions. Finish the cooking in the pan with the sauce, which will always give you the best flavor
- Make sure to reserve some pasta water before you drain the pasta. This helps create the creamy sauce and glossy consistency
- Add protein, you can increase the protein content of this dish by adding cooked chicken, shrimp, tofu or beans
- Garnish, garnish, garnish is key with this broccoli pasta which will take it to the next level! Some additions I love to add are pangrattato, extra parmesan cheese, drizzle of olive oil, red pepper flakes and even a little squeeze of lemon juice or lemon zest for freshness
Storage and Reheating
- Broccoli pasta is best served fresh, but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days
- To reheat, you can use a microwave, but I find pasta is best when reheated in a pan or pot with two or three tablespoons of water and cooked for a few minutes until heated through
- I wouldn't recommend freezing pasta and broccoli as it can alter the taste and the texture can become too mushy
More Pasta Recipes
- Burrata Pasta
- Pasta with Peas
- Spinach Lasagna
- Baked Feta Pasta
- Vegan Bolognese
- Lemon Pasta
- Pasta e Fagioli
- Pappardelle Pasta with Mushrooms
- Cherry Tomato Pasta
I love seeing your creations and remakes, so be sure to rate the recipe, comment and share your Broccoli Pasta photo on Instagram so I can share the love!
Broccoli Pasta (15 Minutes)
- 180 grams pasta (I’ve used orecchiette)
- 300 grams broccoli
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 40 grams freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano cheese (parmesan cheese)
- Salt and black pepper
- Garnish with pangrattato, extra parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes (optional)
- Dice the broccoli into small florets including cutting the stems into small cubes. Boil the broccoli florets and stems in a large pot of salted water for about 5- 8 minutes until fork tender
- At the same time, dice the garlic cloves into cubes and sautee in a large pan or skillet with olive oil on a low heat
- Add the cooked broccoli to the pan with a ladle of the cooking water and stir through
- Cook the pasta in the same boiling water until almost cooked ( a few minutes before the provided cooking time on the package instructions) then drain and add to the pan with the broccoli. ** Ensure to save some pasta cooking water
- Add the freshly grated parmigiano cheese with a ladle of reserved pasta water and stir for a few minutes over a medium heat. Add more pasta water as needed to finish cooking the pasta to al dente or to desired consistency and to create a creamy sauceServe with pangrattato, extra parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy your creamy cheesy Broccoli Pasta!