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Broccoli Pasta is one of those weeknight dinner recipes that I’ve learned by heart. Made with just a few simple ingredients that I always have on hand, it’s a 20 minute meal that I can always turn to.

Broccoli Pasta served in a white bowl photographed from above.

Tender broccoli and toasted garlic tossed with pasta and finished with a gentle kick of spice and a sprinkle of cheese: what’s not to love? It’s a pasta dish that strikes a great balance between decadent and wholesome, because broccoli is the star. What a versatile and delicious vegetable! You can steam it, sauté it, roast it, and even add it to soups. It’s one of those powerhouse cruciferous vegetables that packs a fiber and nutrient dense punch, so I feel good about including this in our regular meal rotation.

Ingredients You Need to Make Broccoli Pasta

Broccoli Pasta Ingredients on a white marble board.
  • Spaghetti: or other long, thin pasta
  • Olive Oil: ideally extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic: fresh, large garlic cloves
  • Broccoli: cut into small florets
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper 
  • Parmesan Cheese: or Pecorino Romano

Recipe Options

  • Add brightness with a generous splash of fresh lemon juice and/or a teaspoon or two of lemon zest.
  • Broccoli lover? Increase the amount of broccoli (as I often do).
  • Add leftover rotisserie chicken or pan fry diced chicken breast along with the garlic and broccoli in step 2 of the recipe.
  • Top with torn leaves of fresh basil to add an herbaceous element to the dish.
  • Stir in chopped sun-dried tomatoes for added depth of flavor.
  • Swap in crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese for the parmesan.

More Must Try Pasta Dishes

Serve as a Side to:

How to Make Broccoli Pasta

Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions; reserve 1 1/2 cups of cooking water.

boiling dry spaghetti noodles in a stainless steel pot of boiling water

Meanwhile, in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook and stir garlic, broccoli and kosher salt in 2 tablespoons of hot olive oil until broccoli is tender and garlic is lightly browned, about 5 minutes (see recipe note for softer broccoli option). Add cooked pasta, remaining olive oil, red pepper flakes and 1/2 cup or more of the reserved pasta water; cook and stir until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl and serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled evenly over the top.

Recipe Video

Broccoli Pasta

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Calories: 508
Servings: 4
A quick and easy, crowd pleasing pasta made with fresh broccoli and a handful of pantry staples that you probably have on hand!

Ingredients  

  • 10 ounces spaghetti or other long, thin pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil divided
  • 3 large garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1 pound broccoli cut into small florets, or more
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or more
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions 

  • Cook spaghetti until al dente according to package instructions, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water.
  • When pasta has about 5 minutes left to cook, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, broccoli and kosher salt; cook and stir until broccoli is tender and garlic is lightly browned, about 5 minutes (see recipe note #1 for softer broccoli). Add cooked pasta, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, red pepper flakes and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water (plus more as desired); cook and stir until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle parmesan cheese evenly over the top; serve.

Notes

  1. At this point the broccoli will be crisp-tender. If you prefer a softer broccoli, add 2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water and cover to steam to your desired tenderness (2 to 4 minutes or longer), adding more water if needed. Then add cooked pasta and proceed with recipe.
  2. If you have leftover pasta, save any remaining cooking water to add to the pan while reheating.

Nutrition

Calories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 532mg | Potassium: 550mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 947IU | Vitamin C: 102mg | Calcium: 325mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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20 Comments

  1. Cheryl says:

    5 stars
    We made this last night. We love pasta and we love broccoli. So easy and delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      My pleasure, Cheryl! So glad you enjoyed this.

  2. Lorraine says:

    I made this last night, and both me and my husband loved it! My husband told me afterwards that he really didn’t expect to like it—but he loved it. I used a little more garlic, added fresh lemon juice, freshly shredded Parmesan and topped it with lime zest. I didn’t have any parsley, but I bet that would be nice too. Thanks for this simple and delicious recipe! LA

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      That’s wonderful to hear, Lorraine! Thank you for coming back to let me know.

  3. Samantha Lewis says:

    5 stars
    It was great.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Samantha!

  4. Joanna says:

    Made this and it didn’t turn out good. Despite the much added pasta water and oil, it was very dry and not enjoyable. Only thing I changed was the type of pasta as I used grain free cassava spaghetti

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Oh no, Joanna! I haven’t tested this recipe with alternative pastas, so I’m not sure how that would effect the dish. I’m sorry this one wasn’t what you were hoping for.

  5. Tom says:

    This was good. I think I used a little too much pasta so my pasta to Broccoli ratio was a little off. I took your advice and added lemon and lemon zest and sun dried tomatoes for nice pop of color. Also I deglazed the pan with a little white wine.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it and made it your own, Tom!