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Pasta With Broccoli: An Easy Pasta Recipe

Pasta with broccoli is a tasty and easy to make vegetarian main dish.

This pasta with broccoli (in Italian pasta con broccoli) recipe comes together with just 5 simple ingredients.

It’s a quick and easy dish to prepare, making it perfect for a fast lunch or busy weeknights.

The combination of tender broccoli florets, pungent garlic, creamy Parmesan, and al dente pasta is simply delicious.

Best of all, broccoli is a nutrient-powerhouse superfood, packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

With its ease of preparation, great taste, and nutritional profile, this pasta with broccoli is a winner all around.

broccoli pasta in a fork


Ingredients You Need to Make Broccoli Pasta

The ingredients are simple store cupboard staples that most home cooks will have on hand.

Broccoli – Choose broccoli with an dark green, vibrant color, and firm florets. This signifies freshness. Frozen broccoli can also be used.

Pasta – I prefer tagliatelle but any type of pasta, long or short pasta works well such as spaghetti, penne, orecchiette pasta, farfalle, etc.

Fresh garlic – Minced or grated garlic adds delicious flavor.

Extra virgin olive oil – For sautéing the garlic and broccoli.

Parmesan cheese – Broccoli and Parmesan is a classic combo.

If you prefer a strong flavor you can use pecorino cheese.

Red chilli pepper (optional) – A pinch of red pepper flakes adds a nice heat to the pasta. Omit if you don’t like spicy flavors.

Kosher salt and black pepper – Season to taste.

How To Make This Easy creamy broccoli pasta

Step 1 

Bring a large pot of water to the boil, and add salt just when it starts to boil.

Add the broccoli florets to the boiling water and blanch for 10 minutes, until slightly softened but still bright green.

Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Step 2

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium. Sauté the sliced garlic, until fragrant, for about 1 minute.

Add the broccoli florets to the skillet. Continue cooking with some broccoli water for about 10 more minutes.

Step 3

Return the pot of pasta water to the boil.

Add the pasta and cook until al dente (about 2 minutes before the package instructions).

While the pasta cooks, use an immersion blender to blend half the broccoli florets into a smooth puree.

Alternatively, mash well with a fork.

broccoli cream

Step 4

Once the pasta is al dente, reserve a cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and add to the skillet with the broccoli.

Stir in the creamy sauce. Mix well to coat all the pasta, adding the reserved pasta water if becomes too dry.

Serve immediately.

pasta with broccoli in a pan

Recipe Tips:

  • Cut broccoli into small florets.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta, as there’s nothing worse than mushy pasta.
  • Reserve some of the pasta cooking water before draining, as this will help to bring everything together.
  • If you like a little spice, add some crushed red pepper flakes.
  • If you prefer your broccoli to be a little crunchier, you can boil it for less time and not blend it.
pasta e broccoli vegetarian close photos

Recipe variations on Pasta With broccoli

Add lemon: Make a tasty lemon broccoli pasta. 

Add two tablespoons of lemon juice while cooking and finish with a sprinkle of lemon zest before serving, the lemon adds an extra flavor and a touch of freshness.

Baked version: Add cherry tomatoes cut in half, mozzarella cheese, a little béchamel sauce and a sprinkling of pecorino romano cheese or parmesan cheese on top and put in the oven. 

This version is perfect for busy weeknight dinners, you can make it in advance and then put it in the oven when it’s time for dinner.

Use broccoli rabe instead of regular broccoli.

Add chicken or sausages: For a complete and delicious meal add chicken or sausage to this broccoli pasta recipe.

Sicilian version: A Sicilian secret is to add anchovies when you brown the garlic in the pan, and to finish with some toasted breadcrumbs on top.


I recommend eating the broccoli pasta as soon as it is prepared! 

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 day.

Reheat the pasta in a saucepan with a splash of water or vegetable broth. Heat gently over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot throughout.

I don’t recommend freezing it. For future meals, consider making a double batch of just the cooked broccoli sauce. 

Looking for more recipes to make with broccoli? 

Try these delicious broccoli fritters, they are perfect as a snack!

For the perfect dinner for busy evenings, however, try this air fryer chicken and broccoli, juicy bites of chicken with tender, crisp broccoli florets make up an amazing healthy dinner.

easy broccoli pasta recipe

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Yield: Servings 2

Pasta With Broccoli Recipe

broccoli pasta

A delicious and easy recipe for pasta with broccoli!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 or 2 Heads of broccoli (depending on size)
  • 3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 250g Pasta (I used Tagliatelle) (2 1/2 cup)
  • Red chilli pepper (optional)
  • 20g Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. With a small knife, remove the leathery lower part of the stalk and divide into florets of the same size.
  2. Wash the broccoli under cold running water to remove impurities; Boil large pot of salted water and cook the broccoli for 10 minutes.*
  3. Meanwhile, cut the garlic into rounds and brown it in a large skillet with extra virgin olive oil. Add chilli pepper if you like.
  4. When the broccoli has softened, transfer it to the pan with the garlic.
  5. Let the broccoli cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. Break apart the broccoli with a spatula into tiny pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. In the same pot where we cooked the broccoli, we cook the pasta.
  7. While the pasta is cooking, blend half of the broccoli and add parmesan cheese and 1 or 2 tablespoons of cooking water to smooth out the mixture. broccoli cream
  8. Drain the pasta slightly al dente and transfer it to the pan with the broccoli. Remember to save half a cup of pasta cooking water.
  9. Toss the pasta with the broccoli and add the broccoli creamy sauce that you prepared earlier and half a cup of the pasta cooking water.
  10. Mix well, and serve hot.


  • * In the same water in which you cooked the broccoli, cook the pasta.
  • Follow the package directions of the pasta for cooking, they usually give the indication for al dente pasta, in case taste the pasta two minutes before the indicated time on the package instructions.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 562Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 337mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 15gSugar: 7gProtein: 20g

Did you make this recipe?

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Is Broccoli A Superfood?

Yes, broccoli is known to be a hearty and tasty vegetable, packed with dozens of nutrients.

Broccoli is a great source of vitamins K and C, a good source of folate, and also provides potassium.

Can I make it vegetarian/vegan?

Yes, omit the Parmesan cheese or use a substitute. 

More simple pasta recipes

Pasta with zucchini, a light and refreshing dish.

Pasta with fresh tomatoes,  it’s a perfect choice for a quick and satisfying meal.

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, a classic Italian dish.

Pasta e Fagioli, packed with vegetables, beans, and pasta, it’s a filling and nutritious dish.

Editor’s Note: Originally published on March 15, 2022

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Friday 21st of April 2023

Can you steam the broccoli instead of boiling directly in water?


Friday 21st of April 2023

Yes, 100 %


Monday 24th of October 2022

Has anyone ever tried roasting the broccoli in the oven (vs boiling)?


Monday 24th of October 2022

No, for this recipe I have never tried. But I think I prefer to boil them, because they will be softer and you will have a creamier result.

amy liu dong

Friday 16th of September 2022

I have never tried to make this type of pasta, but it looks delicious and easy to make. I am going to try this at home.


Friday 16th of September 2022

This is one of my family's favorite pasta recipes! We make it all the time and it's so delicious!


Thursday 18th of August 2022

Broccoli easy pasta sounds not only delicious but also healthy and kids friendly version. Needs to try for my kids.

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