Quick Broccoli Pasta


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Broccoli pasta is a really quick and hearty recipe the whole family will love!

Extra creamy, cheese-coated broccoli mixed with a choice of pasta! Serve on its own or add in a side salad and some garlic bread.

broccoli pasta on a white plate with a wooden spoon

Quick & Easy Broccoli Pasta

  • It’s a one-dish meal or even a side dish that’s perfect for busy nights.
  • This meal is ready in less than 30 minutes start to finish.
  • Easy to make and versatile, it’s a great recipe for using up leftovers.
  • An inexpensive recipe that’s perfect for feeding a hungry crowd.

Totally customizable! Add leftover chicken, shrimp, salmon, sausage, and top with bacon bits!

ingredients for broccoli pasta on a pan

Ingredients

VEGETABLES: Broccoli is the main veggie for this broccoli pasta and it cooks quickly in the pasta water. Short on time? Use frozen broccoli or a frozen vegetable medley. Cauliflower works well in this recipe too.

SAUCE: This basic white sauce is really quick and easy. Stir in a couple of spoonfuls of pesto sauce to change it up. If you’d like you can always swap in a jar of store-bought Alfredo sauce.

FLAVORS: Onion powder and garlic salt flavor this dish along with making sure you’re using bold cheeses like sharp cheddar and parmesan. Medium or mild cheeses work but don’t add enough flavor to this pasta.

PASTA: Any medium pasta works in this recipe. I love penne, farfalle, or rotini.

Variations

  • Cheese: swiss or gruyere is great in place of part of the cheddar. Bleu cheese can be sprinkled on top.
  • Protein: Chicken, ham or smoked sausage are great add-ins to this recipe.
  • Add Ins: Chili flakes, cauliflower, peas, diced tomatoes
  • Toppings:  French fried onions, bread crumb topping, extra cheese.

steps for making broccoli pasta

How to Make Broccoli Pasta

Super easy and quick, this dish is the perfect hot lunch for kids or quick dinner for all:

  1. Cook pasta al dente adding the broccoli in the last few minutes. Drain & set aside.
  2. Whisk sauce ingredients together, simmer until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted.
  3. Combine broccoli & pasta with the sauce, adjust seasonings & serve.

Tips

  • Shred your own cheeses for best results, pre-shredded cheeses don’t melt as well.
  • Don’t overcook the broccoli, add it just during the last few minutes of cooking.
  • If using frozen broccoli, it doesn’t need to cook it just needs to thaw so add it at the end.
  • A pinch of nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard are great additions to the cheese sauce.
  • Whisk the cheese after removing it from the heat, if cheese is heated too much it can separate.

broccoli pasta in a pan

Got Leftovers?

Keep broccoli pasta in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Add a little splash of milk or cream while reheating.

More Cheese, Please!

Did you make this Broccoli Pasta? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

broccoli pasta on a white plate with a wooden spoon
4.93 from 13 votes
Review Recipe

Quick Broccoli Pasta

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Easy & quick broccoli pasta is the perfect tasty hot lunch or easy dinner when time is short!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces medium pasta such as penne or rotini (approx 3 cups dry)
  • 4 cups broccoli chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth not low sodium
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper or to taste

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

Instructions

  • Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook al dente according to package directions. Add broccoli to the pasta water for the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain well (do not rinse pasta) and set aside.
  • Combine broth, cream, cornstarch, onion powder, and garlic salt in the saucepan and mix well. Bring to a simmer over medium heat while whisking until it comes to a boil and thickens.
  • Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted.
  • Toss with broccoli and pasta and season with salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • Shred your own cheeses for best results, pre-shredded cheeses don't melt as well.
  • Don't overcook the broccoli, add it just during the last few minutes of cooking.
  • If using frozen broccoli, it doesn't need to cook it just needs to thaw so add it at the end.
  • A pinch of nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard are great additions to cheese sauce.
  • Whisk the cheese after removing from the heat, if cheese is heated too much it can separate.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 2cups, Calories: 504, Carbohydrates: 58g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 67mg, Sodium: 826mg, Potassium: 528mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1205IU, Vitamin C: 86mg, Calcium: 358mg, Iron: 2mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword broccoli and cheese pasta, easy broccoli and cheese pasta, how to make broccoli and cheese, quick broccoli pasta
Course Dinner, Entree, Lunch, Main Course, Pasta, Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine American
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broccoli pasta with text
broccoli pasta with wooden spoon with text
broccoli pasta on a white plate with text
broccoli pasta and ingredients with text

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Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Comments

  1. DELICIOUS! And very quick and easy. The cheese sauce is very tasty and creamy. I added 2 cups of cooked, cubed ham to make it a main dish. This recipe is a keeper.5 stars

  2. Hi Holly, I enjoy your recipe ideas, but I was wondering if you have an option to convert American quantities into metric (as I’ve seen this option on some other food websites)? For me as an European, cups very difficult to work with and rather vague. I know Americans are used to them, so could we have the best of both worlds, please? :)

    1. Unfortunately I am unable to provide metric conversions. There are many conversion tools available online. I hope that helps.

  3. Fairly straightforward recipe the taste is good. I do not like the roux recipe I prefer the standard roux flour butter cream has a heartier texture and taste. The variations you can add are endless so I say mix it up a little with different ingredients. Quick night dinner, most everything is on hand in everyone’s home.4 stars