Easiest Pasta and Broccoli Recipe

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The Easiest Pasta and Broccoli Recipe that my whole family loves, including my kids. Only 5 ingredients and one pot, ready in under 15 minutes!

The Easiest Pasta and Broccoli Recipe that my whole family loves, including my kids. Only 5 ingredients and one pot, ready in under 15 minutes!
Pasta and Broccoli Recipe

I make this pasta and broccoli recipe at least twice a month when I need a quick meal I know everyone will enjoy. The best part, it’s made with just 5 ingredients (not counting salt and pepper) and another one-pot recipe. Start to finish dinner is on the table in 15 minutes – a dinner time win!! For a sausage version you may like this Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli.

The Easiest Pasta and Broccoli Recipe that my whole family loves, including my kids. Only 5 ingredients and one pot, ready in under 15 minutes!

I’m really not sure why I haven’t posted this sooner, this is the recipe my oldest daughter wanted to learn how to make when she went away at college. In fact, as I was photographing this today, she was standing right next to me with a plate and bowl in hand.

Typically I don’t like mushy broccoli, but for this recipe I over-cook it on purpose. I basically boil the pasta and broccoli together at the same time, then drain them together. When everything is mixed in with the garlic and cheese, it creates a sort of pesto-like sauce that coats the pasta and the kids can’t pick out and it’s delicious!

I’ve since made variations of it adding sausage in this Pasta with Broccoli and Sausage recipe, which is also divine if your family insists on having meat. To be honest, I never miss it. You can see all my pasta recipes here for more dinner ideas!

Pasta and Broccoli Tips for Success

A few quick tips for making this perfect every time.

  1. Don’t overcook the pasta, there is nothing worse than mushy pasta.
  2. Reserve some of the pasta water before draining, you’ll add some of it back in after which will keep it from being dry, without having to add too much oil.
  3. And most importantly, use good cheese! I like Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano, don’t buy the cheap stuff, it’s just not the same.
  4. If you like a little spice, add some crushed red pepper flakes.

How To Make

The Easiest Pasta and Broccoli Recipe that my whole family loves, including my kids. Only 5 ingredients and one pot, ready in under 15 minutes!

More Pasta Recipe You May Like:

The Easiest Pasta and Broccoli Recipe that my whole family loves, including my kids. Only 5 ingredients and one pot, ready in under 15 minutes!
Print WW Personal Points
4.54 from 30 votes
Did you make this recipe?

Easiest Pasta and Broccoli Recipe

289 Cals 11.5 Protein 48 Carbs 7 Fats
Prep Time: 3 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Yield: 6 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Italian
The Easiest Pasta and Broccoli Recipe that my whole family loves, including my kids. Only 5 ingredients and one pot, ready in under 15 minutes!


  • 12 oz uncooked pasta, use brown rice or quinoa pasta for gluten-free
  • 6 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets, no stems
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • When water boils, add pasta and broccoli at the same time and cook according to pasta instructions for al dente.
  • When pasta is almost done cooking, reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside. Drain pasta and broccoli.
  • Return the pot to the stove and set heat to high; add 1 tbsp olive oil, when hot, add garlic. Cook until golden, reduce flame to low and add pasta back to the pot.
  • Mix well, add remaining olive oil, grated cheese, salt and pepper to taste mixing well and smashing any large pieces of broccoli to break up.
  • Add 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water and mix well adding more if needed.
  • Serve in pasta bowls with additional grated cheese on the side.



Serving: 11/2 cups, Calories: 289kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 11.5g, Fat: 7g, Sodium: 104mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 1g
WW Points Plus: 8
Keywords: Easiest Pasta and Broccoli Recipe, one pot pasta and broccoli, Pasta and broccoli

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  1. I used 10 oz of cavatappi and I really enjoyed the slightly higher ratio of broccoli “sauce” to pasta. For extra protein, I also cut up 2 chicken breasts and cooked them on the side and mixed them into the finished pasta recipe. A great template of a recipe that will tolerate additions well IMHO.

    To those who think it’s bland: Since there are so few ingredients, it’s extra important to use a good olive oil, good garlic and obv good parm as Gina said.

  2. Well, this was a surprise! I loved it! So simple, and such little fat, few calories and very tasty. I will be making this again. I did also add some chopped onion to the garlic. The reserve pasta water is a great idea, because it also helps melt the cheese. My husband who is a true carnivore liked it as well, and said, “yes, let’s have this again. Things I love about this recipe:
    1. Quick and easy
    2. Calorie friendly
    3. Adaptable to add different things such as meat, more veggies, different spices.
    4. Budget friendly

  3. I absolutely love this, I’m going to make this for my baby sisters tomorrow for lunch. I really hope this will be a hit in our family! Thank you so much!

  4. Super yummy and easy to control portion size, add lemon juice and red pepper flakes and it’s delicious!

  5. Just coming here to say thanks for this, Gina. After a long week, I fell back on this familiar old friend of a dish, and it was just what I needed after such a stressful day.
    Kicking off toddler bedtime with a full stomach is certainly a luxury lately and just had to say from crazy moms everywhere: we are grateful for all you do. 👍🏻

  6. Hi Gina, This was so good. I was hesitant to smash up the broccoli but it worked really well. My husband isn’t fond of broccoli but said it was ok (which is high praise if you know what I mean).

  7. I followed the recipe exactly as written, using the best ingredients, and made this tonight for dinner, and it was good. I’m not the most experienced cook, so the prep time was half an hour for me, cook time 15 – 20 minutes. I used bow tie pasta and I loved how the garlic and broccoli mixture would stick inside the folds of the pasta and gave great flavor. However, not all of the pasta was flavored equally. I’d say about half of it was kind of bland, the other half delicious. I think I should have used more garlic and perhaps sautéed an onion with it to make it even better, as others have suggested. I can’t wait to make this again with a little modification. Pasta and cooked broccoli are two of my favorite combos, so I’ll definitely be trying this one again.

  8. Can you please list the cholesterol in recipes. I’m on a low cholesterol eater plan. I would appreciate it very much.

    • you can subscribe to the loseit app, log your recipes in there, and it will tell you the amounts of cholesterol for each meal/food (as well as all other macros and nutrients).

  9. This dish is a pantry staple. It’s just as delicious as it is quick & easy.

  10. I burned my whole hand trying to get the pasta water out of the pot because i wasnt sure how could you at least give an idea how we get boiling water out of a pot ):

    • To “reserve about 1 cup of pasta water” use a measuring cup, coffee cup, etc. I expect using your “whole hand” to scoop hot liquid from a pot was painful and impractical.

      •  Your response is so calm and empathetic and I am literally laughing so hard.  Thank you for this moment. 

    • and you’re the reason why they have incredibly obvious labels on products that people laugh at, wondering who could have possibly tried to do whatever dumb thing is being advised against. now you know: hot things are hot. don’t touch them with your hands. i can’t believe this is how you had to learn that lesson, but here we are.

      you should be a little less angry and a lot more embarrassed.

    • I seriously doubt this person tried to get the water out with her hand. My guess is she used a measuring cup and either the steam burned her or she had trouble scooping without her hand getting too close to the hot water. (To the original person, try a ladle with a long handle.)

  11. Even got my non broccoli eating child to eat this. Very easy to make and good flavor. Definitely a dish you can dress up/add to easily!

  12. Excellent recipe – almost no fat. I changed this a little by adding the juice of one fresh lemon – I also wanted a little heat and added some red pepper flakes. I also heated some chicken broth and added that for moisture.

  13. Love it so simple and delicious!

  14. When it says to cook the pasta for the same time as the broccoli, as that fresh or dry pasta. I feel like there would be a huge difference between 4 minutes and 15 minutes.

  15. Made this last night. Love that it comes together so quickly. I took Gina’s suggestion using freshly grated, high quality parm. I had to adjust the salt. Hubs and I both topped with red pepper flakes. Hubs stirred in some low-fat sour cream for more flavor. I enjoyed just as written. Used bow tie pasta – 12 oz. is 6 servings, used that as portion guide.
    You could easily add cooked chicken or shrimp to this dish.
    I wonder how it might work with some fresh basil?

  16. Great very Flavorful

  17. I loved this; however I added some leftovers from fridge – halved cherry tomatoes, black olives, yellow pepper, broasted chicken and herbs (oregano and basil) from garden. I feel it needs a little more flavor maybe even some red pepper flakes or Italian seasoning. Very easy to make.

  18. So yummy! I love how the cooked broccoli makes a sauce-like addition on its own, while adding nutrients. This recipe quickly became a favourite, and I will definitely be using again! I think this would be delicious with maybe a side of grilled chicken or some other meat, too. When draining the pasta and broccoli, I recommend simply scooping out a bit of the water, to save you the hassle of draining a big pot of pasta and broccoli into a strainer, and then into a bowl. Other than that, this recipe is extremely quick and easy for those last-minute meals. Thank you for the lovely recipe! 💕

  19. I’ve made this the same way for years! I also add cherry or grape tomatoes sliced horizontally at the end of cooking. And here I thought I created this recipe. 

  20. Delicious! I’ve made it a few times. I used asparagus instead of broccoli and it was just as good. Also, Giada has a similar recipe with way too much olive oil but prosciutto. I added a few prosciutto strips the last time, cooked with the garlic. It was yummy.

  21. I did find this recipe a bit bland and not as filling as I’d like, so when I heated up the leftovers, I threw in some white beans and a little chicken broth. It helped. I’m definitely going to keep playing around with this recipe, as it’s a good base. I like how the broccoli kind of becomes part of the sauce. Might try sautéing some onions with the garlic next time to bump up the flavor. Thanks!


  23. USE REAL PARMIGIANO!! Do not, for the love of god, use the green can of sawdust. I guarantee that’s why people think this is bland.

  24. So easy, and so good. I usually cut the recipes down since there are two of us in the house, but we happily ate this 3 nights – leftovers were great. We ate this with a salad on the side – perfect.

  25. Soooo easy and Delish! I did add juice of 1/2 lemon. My hubby said it was good except for the lemon, lol! Keep these great recipes coming! I’ve started WW and have been using so many of your recipes…all very good! Thank you for helping “the cause”

  26. Super easy. Loved it and the kids ate it too, even the picky one. Loved the reference to using only 1 pot rather than sauteeing the garlic in a separate pan and leaving more clean up! Did seem like pesto to me, as someone else mentioned. I will definitely make it again. Thank you!

  27. I make my own version of this. I cook my broccoli first in low sodium chicken broth. I separate the veggies from the water after cooking and use that liquid to cook the pasta. I prefer orechiette or shells so the broccoli mixture collects inside the pasta for more flavor. I take the cooked broccoli and saute it a pan with olive oil and roasted garlic for about 5 mins, mashing it up with a potato masher. I add the veggies to the cooked pasta (al dente) and then add in some grated romano and parm. Drizzle a little olive oil just before serving. Delicious!

  28. Wow, so easy and delicious, I just bookmarked it. Will share with friends. Thank You!

  29. I wasn’t so sure about this recipe as it seemed like it might be a little bland, but wow, all three of my kids went crazy over this one!! I even got “I love you mommy, thank you for making the best dinner ever”.  Will definitely be adding this to our rotation – thank you!!

  30. If I want to pre-make this for a party and put in in a chafing dish – what do you think the best way to reheat it is?  Thanks:)

  31. I’ve been making this for years, and for the first time, my 14 month old had it today for lunch. He had a half portion, and left crumbs and a couple of rotinis on the floor. That’s it! This dish is a winner for our house, and super-easy to make on a weeknight.

  32. Pingback: Weekly Meal Plan & Groceries | Kindly, Caroline

  33. HOLY HOT DAMN that was incredible!!!  Don’t be afraid to leave the broccoli ? on the larger size. 4 minutes is enough to cook them (with the boiling pasta). Don’t rinse after draining – just leave them warm. Cook the  plenty of olive oil and garlic. Add red pepper flakes, salt & pepper to taste. Put the pasta & broccoli back in, add cheese and mix. Now you’re ready to enter heaven!

  34. Pingback: Weekly Meal Plan & Groceries | Kindly, Caroline

  35. So good! And EASY! I was full after eating without feeling toooo full. I will definitely add lemon next time, and more pepper.

  36. Trick is to salt enough and use delicious parmigiana. Kids love it and it’s a true 1 pot easiest pasta ever!

  37. BORING! I found I had to add a lot of (good) parmasean to amp up the flavor. Wish I had read the comments about adding lemon and other herbs.

  38. Had picked up fresh broccoli at a farmstand. It was so fresh and tender that  sliced the stems and added them after pasta had cooked for 3 minutes. 
    Excellent will make again. Added hot pepper flakes 
    Once the cherry tomatoes start producing, will add when I sauté the garlic. 

  39. Pingback: Meal Planning: Weekly Dinner Plan - Week 18 • The Jane Effect

  40. Loved it. Will make often. Just learned about putting some pasta water back in pasta to make more of a sauce. For some reason I had not realized the benefit of doing that and of course it works well in this recipe. Another favorite, and I don’t eat pasta too often due to carbs, but exception will be made for this.

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  43. Disappointed with the instructions. Boiling broccoli for as long as you boil pasta? Cooking garlic on higher than low? Mushy broccoli and burnt bitter garlic will result. Also lacked a little flavor. I added a chopped shallot and the one comment about adding a bit of lemon would have been spot on.

  44. Super and simple dish……thankz to u

  45. Pingback: PASTA AND BROCCOLI RECIPE – Artfact Blog

  46. Pingback: Easiest Pasta and Broccoli Recipe | Skinnytaste – Delectable Salads

  47. My mother used to make this all the time. She would put toasted bread crumbs cooked in oil mixed in. I guess it would ruin the points but it was delicious. I make it now.

  48. I make this all the time but with chopped onion instead of garlic. So much better.

  49. Love this!! Such an easy dinner and healthy. The garlic gives it such a nice flavor too!

  50. Made this tonight. When I put the pasta back in after browning the garlic, the pasta stuck a bit to the bottom of the pot and the garlic got a little burned. I think next time I will try to coat the olive oil on the pasta while it’s still in the colander.

    • OK I am now kinda obsessed with this recipe! I didn’t really need to worry about burning/sticking, everything worked out fine. Made it again last night when friends came over to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. Gonna try the version with sausage next!

  51. This was on the easiest things I have ever made! My 5 year old loved it as well! Two thumbs up from this chef!

  52. This was great! I used whole wheat spaghetti and added red pepper flakes. I will definitely make this again!

  53. I made this last night, I am one person so I didn't follow your quantities, 2 oz pasta, one tsp oil and a bunch of garlic, red pepper and black pepper. Oh, and I had a half onion in the fridge so that got sauteed with the garlic and a few baby bella mushrooms got thrown in too because they needed to be used. Also, did not cook the broccoli with the pasta, 10 mins boiling broccoli just didn't appeal to me so I steamed it till still crisp. And then sticking with the meatless Monday theme I added a sliced up Trader Joe's sausageless sausage (3 pts) to brown ( am not vegetarian but I really like this product) before adding back other stuff to pan,and right before I dished out this humongous 11 pt dinner into my bowl I threw in a 1/4 cup fat free ricotta. SO much food and so satisfying!

  54. I was a little hesitant to make this tonight since I'm not the biggest fan of cooked broccoli, but it's really tasty. I will definitely be making this again.

  55. Made this tonight. Both my husband and 14 month old loved it! Plus, it's super easy to make

  56. I make this pasta dish all the time. I love the texture with the broccoli cooked with the pasta. I usually use frozen and it always comes out great. The picky kiddos gobble it up and ask for seconds and thirds……

  57. 2 things my kids love, pasta and broccoli, plus easy….a win-win! Yum!

  58. I have made this before and we love it. I am trying to clean out my freezer and have a Costco sized bag of frozen broccoli to use up. Would frozen work in this dish? Would you do it the same way or maybe thaw the broccoli a little in the microwave before dumping into the boiling water? Thanks!

    • It would, but it won't taste as good.

    • I’ve been making ‘broccoli and pasta’ for the past 30 years, and my mom for decades before that. The key to the flavour is salting the water and–as the authors says–using a good quality freshly grated cheese. Increasing olive oil and garlic will also help with the flavour, but it’s definitely all about the cheese! (I think Italians like myself use the pasta as a vehicle for the cheese haha!)

  59. Also delicious if you add some sliced cherry tomatoes to the pan when browning the garlic. It cooks down quickly and adds beautiful color to the dish.

  60. I bought some good parmesan cheese at the farmer's market last weekend so I could try this. I only had about 4 cups of broccoli after it was chopped up, and that was enough I found, not too little at least. I was excited to try it due to the simplicity and rave reviews, so I made it tonight for my son (7) and I. I gotta say I feel like the odd one out…it wasn't amazing for me. I liked it, but not as much as I expected from the reviews. My son says he loved it and it was 'very yummy'. Will definitely keep it in our repertoire for a nice quick easy dinner.

  61. I'm really picky when it comes to cheese due to not liking the majority of cheeses. Would this recipe work with Alfredo sauce without adding too many calories? If not, is there another cheese similar to Alfredo that you would recommend instead?

  62. were these points calculated with wheat pasta or white?

  63. Looking for a healthy alternative for dinner tonight- this will work beautifully.

  64. Perfect! I'm trying this tonight. Sounds delicious and easy after a long day!

  65. I made this recipe last week – so delicious!!
    There's an Italian restaurant near my house that make a broccoli pasta which I LOVE. However, it has probably a quarter cup more oil per serve! This was definitely a spot-on healthy alternative.
    I'm a vegetarian so this is my kind of meal but even my meat-eating, Italian boyfriend loved it!
    I added a little bit of fresh chilli to the garlic frying stage – delish!
    This is going on my fortnightly meal rotation for sure!

  66. This was so so so good.

  67. Was really great tasting, almost as good as my old Italian MIL used to make me. 😉 I added the italian red peppers 'pepperoncino'. I didn't find the fresh broccoli overcooked or got mushy, I kept the stems rather large as I knew they would somewhat break apart. Undercooked the pasta somewhat as it continues cooking after draining and during the last stage when everything is being amalgamated together. A keeper this one. 🙂

  68. Delicious, and yes, EASY! Great for a no fuss meal. All three kids GOBBLED it up. I love love love the garlic/olive oil combo….perfect with the pasta and broccoli. Thanks again!

  69. I just made this tonight and my 5 year old had 2 servings and requested more broccoli in the bowl.

    Putting in her lunch for tomorrow.

  70. I've made this mutliple times, and it is great. My 2 year old loves it. I occasionally add red pepper flakes too.

  71. My 10 month old twins LOVE this meal! Thank you

  72. This was so simple but tasted so good! My husband and I both loved it. I added a couple dashes of red pepper. Perfect and SO easy.

  73. Delicious. I also added a little chopped onion while sauteing the garlic and I sprinkled lemon pepper on mine at the end, which added a lot of flavor. I also used white fiber pasta. My 3 year old loves it too. Thank you Gina!

  74. Thank you for this recipe. I have gone through the comments and most are saying that this tastes really good so I certainly will be trying this out for the weekend. For the broccoli not to be mushy, I think you can put it in after a few minutes of boiling or can cook it separately. I am sure that other readers as well as restaurant Fort Lauderdale owners will also appreciate this. Anyhow, I am actually excited to try this out.

  75. this is one of the Italian poor mans meals , it can be done with almost any vegetable or beans , a favorite of mine was called pasta and cheeche , but the pasta is cooked separately and added last with a fair amount of the water to make a soup also while the pasta is boiling , in a separate pan you fry garlic in olive oil then saute what you want in a vegetable right with the garlic and pour it into the pot with the pasta, a little fresh basil and Romano and you are done

  76. I love that your easy recipes are legitimately easy, and also so full of flavor! My previous idea of pasta and broccoli was just putting whole wheat pasta on steamed broccoli, spraying it with butter spray, and calling it a night. This was just as easy, but so much tastier! It must be so awesome to live in your house when even your quick dinners like this are so bursting with flavor!

  77. i love it with a little lemon pepper sprinkled in

  78. I squashed up the broccoli with the pasta to make a "sauce" like you mentioned and loved it! Such a tasty, easy weeknight dish! This one is a repeat for sure.

  79. Excellent! Your recipes never disappoint. This was so easy and went well with some leftover grilled shrimp I had. Definitely a staple dish!

  80. I personally think whole wheat pasta tastes like glue so I thought I would share; if you are looking for pasta with fiber and nutrients try kamut – it tastes better than regular white pasta, or spelt which has a bit more substance and a slight nuttiness. both do contain gluten but are generally better tolerated than regular wheat products

  81. This looks so tasty, and sounds pretty simple to make! I'll definately be putting this one in the recipe book! 🙂

  82. Needed an easy pasta recipe because it is what my 4 year old requested. I didnt have any spaghetti sauce like she wanted so i turned to google and found your blog! Made the recipe just like you said except i used farfalle pasta, added the broccoli at the last 4 minutes and topped with chopped tomatoes! My 4 year old loved it despite the fact she wanted green beans! I added the crushed red pepper to my bowl and its a must have for spicy fans! thanks so much for this quick & wasy recipe i never would have thought to add the broccoli to the pasta water!

  83. I love your wesbite! I am on weight watchers as well as living in an apartment away at college and there are tons of recipes that I can make with what I have on hand!

  84. Yep – delish!! Made it last night and added some cut up ham for the carnivores in my family. Loved the red pepper flakes addition!

  85. Just made this, and it is very easy and very good! I added some left over chicken, and tastes great! Love how easy it is!

  86. Has anyone tried frozen broccoli with this recipe?

    • I did half fresh broccoli and half frozen, cuz that's all i had. I let the frozen broccoli thaw a bit and then added it after the pasta was done cooking. Otherwise the frozen would get too mushy if boiled. It warms up as you mix it in the pasta.

  87. Made this a few weeks ago, and was a bit disappointed that the broccoli was obliterated when I went to stir everything up. Didn't realize that was the point until I read the comments. It was still very, very tasty, and next time I will just add the broccoli a few minuets later to keep them whole.

  88. I made this tonight and it was so simple and tasty! I like my broccoli soft and loved how it fell apart and coated the pasta. Now I can't wait to have leftovers at lunch tomorrow!

  89. Cook pasta separately and scoop out when al dente. Then put in broccoli and cook for EXACTLY 3 MINUTES.

    If cooked on high, too easy to brown garlic and ruin the dish. Cook garlic ON LOW until it just starts to color. Then add other ingredients.

    NOTE – As early comment says, Bionaturae is only edible whole wheat pasta if you go that route.

  90. I just made this tonight and it was great!!! The broccoli was mushy but it was ok since I was able to get my 6 year old son to actually eat it. Thank you!!!

  91. Hi Gina,

    Ty so much for this delicious recipe!!! The garlic was perfect. My family loved it!

  92. Add some lemon juice and marjoram, you"ll see this recipe burst with flavor!!!

  93. Trying this tonight! I love how I can type this recipe In on Myfitnesspal and It shows up! Helps me out a lot 🙂

  94. Really need to steam broccoli separate. Mine was too mushy even only cooking half way through. Otherwise it was okay.

  95. I'm making this tonight, but I'm using whole wheat penne and adding chicken to it as well.

  96. This is pretty good and easy. Also tasty if you replace the broccoli with cauliflower.

  97. So delicious! I made this tonight with orzo and also added a pound of shrimp when sauteeing the garlic. My son's friend lingered to be asked to dinner when he smelled the shrimp and garlic cooking, and then gobbled it all up even though he claims never to have eaten broccoli before.

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipes.

  98. I made this tonight and it was wonderful! I boiled the broccoli and added some cauliflower right with the pasta and it did not come out mushy at all. My husband (who I thought was going to scoff at it) raved about it. Both my picky girls ate it without complaint. This is so much more healthy than those bag noodle side dishes — it is definitely going to be in the regular rotation now! Thanks Gina!!!

  99. I loathe broccoli and this dish was just fantastic. And really reasonable in points. So many ways to customize it — i added some extra garlic, shallots and red pepper flakes. I've been hitting the wall with the diet thing (6 weeks into it and I have a long, long way to go) and dishes like this keep me going. Thanks so much for your great ideas!

  100. I wouldn't boil the broccoli with the pasta (mushy and loses nutritional value) but rather steam it above the boiling pasta. 😉

  101. I make a higher-calorie version of this and was happy your version is just as good. My husband was pleased. We tossed in some grilled chicken. Thanks for helping me stay on program without sacrifing the flavor!

  102. I've made this a couple of times, my husband and I love it! It's the perfect recipe for wednesday nights between work and church. I added some chopped up deli ham because we always have it in the fridge for lunches and it tastes great!

  103. I did it w/ whole wheat pasta and for veggies, used artichokes and spinach. So delish! I love this website. 🙂

  104. The Broccoli totally disintegrated and got mushy. Next time I might add the Broccoli just for the last few mins.

  105. Just made this for my daughter and I for dinner….YUMMMM..my hubby is italian..need to make this for him..thanks for sharing!

  106. My family is Italian and we have been eating this ever since I can remember. Sometimes we modify it by using cheese tortellini instead of regular macaronis. (of course that ruins the healthy part, but it is so good)

  107. This looks so delicious! I love having a bowl of pasta and garlic when I'm in a hurry, and adding broccoli sounds AMAZING.
    I just discovered your blog today, and I'm drooling over every single post! I can't wait until I have more time to cook; I'm definitely trying tons of your recipes!

  108. My daughter and I have loved a recipe like this for years! Hubby's not that fond of it, no meat….

  109. What type of pasta was used for this? I can't figure out how the whole thing only weighed in at 289 calories for 1.5 cups. I used Ronzoni Smart Taste elbow pasta, and a 1/2 cup alone of that is 180 calories right there.

    • Broccoli has very few calories, thats how the dish stays under 300 calories., so enjoy this dish guilt free, by sticking to the serving size suggested. Vegetables are a dieters best friend. The more you eat, the more you’ll lose.

  110. Thanks so much for this recipe! I like to make it early in the week and then take it to work for lunch in subsequent days. I add extra garlic, and since I use Smart Taste High Fiber Rotini, it's 7 points! The last time I made this, though, I added 3 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts (just used the toaster and watched them carefully), which put it at 8 points per serving. What a perfect, easy, meal!

  111. I do something similar…I use chicken broth (10 calories for my brand) instead of water to boil/steam the noodles/broccoli and cut out the oil completely…definately add a little red pepper for kick…quick and delicious….it's also good with shredded chicken mixed in. My husband says the left overs are better than the first serving.

  112. Looks simple and tasty! I would advise adding the broccoli in the last 3 minutes of the pasta cooking to preserve the vitamins in it and keep some texture. I like my veggies al dente too:-)
    Whole wheat pasta for us too. Thanks for the recipe!

  113. This was soo good! perfect for college students! i halved the recipe and ate it up soo fast. thank you!!!!!

  114. What kind of pasta did you use in this?!?!? I used Ronzoni Smart Taste and 1 1/2 cups weighs in at a whopping 28 points on Weight Watchers… how the heck did you get only 8 points out of this?!? I am really curious to know!

  115. I have been making this over and over again since I printed it this past summer. It is sooooooooo good!


  116. I made this tonight, and added the pasta and the broccoli together as suggested. WELL, I didn't realize that since I had a long-cooking pasta (11 minutes), the broccoli got really really well done. It turned into a broccoli paste! It looks like a pesto sauce, almost. I grated the garlic with a rasp and cooked it with a couple shakes of red pepper. The flavor was good, so I'll try again. But next time I'll cook the broccoli less!

  117. Just tried the dish tonight. It was delicious, however the points plus listed does not jive with what i put into my WW tracker. It says 8pts, but really is 12pts.

  118. This may be a dumb question – but by "1-1/2 cups" does it mean to make the entire meal, and scoop it out and measure the final product? And that goes for all meals. I'm sure it does, I just want to be positive. Thank you

  119. I LOVE THIS!!! its a little higher in points than i would like but i cant complain!!! the taste makes up for it! PLUS, you get a cup and a half! I wonder if using wheat pasta would make the points go down?? but either way VERY GOOD! thanks gina!!

  120. I loved this dish! I even made it with whole grain pasta. Definitely worth the points+! So simple and easy too! Thanks, Gina, for your awesome blog. Hope you do a cookbook someday!

  121. It's so funny to see this recipe as it has been a staple in my Italian family for years! My grandmother showed my mom how to make it when she married my dad. We call it broccoli & ziti and is usually the go to side dish for most things grilled or baked chicken cutlets. I'm glad to see it is not just our family that loves this tasty treasure!!!

  122. I made this last night! Gorgeous! I used gorgonzola instead of parmesan and cooked onions as well as garlic in the oil. Would you believe it's actually 10 times nicer again cold for my lunch today! Fantastic!

  123. This was a huge hit! Thanks for the recipe!

  124. Gina, Do you use fresh cheese and grate it yourself or do you buy the cheese that comes in the plastic containters on the shelf, like the Kraft Cheese in the green container?

  125. Your blog is really great, I learned a lot of new technicians and recipes. Thanks

  126. This pasta is really healthy my mom will surely love this one. Thanks.

  127. This was amazing. I actually forgot to add the broccoli until the last 2 minutes, but I like the broccoli to have a firmer texture so this was perfect. I could see how making a "sauce" with the broccoli would be perfect for my picky 8 year old who chewed the tops off her veggies and left a mess in the bowl. Either way, I loved it, I love your site, I love the recipes! Thanks so much.

  128. I'm so glad I was shown your blog by a dear friend. I added lots of your recipes to my ziplist and went shopping. I made this Pasta tonight (as the first recipe I'm trying) and it was a HUGE hit with the family. It's amazing how so little ingredients combined can be VERY tasteful.

    Can't wait to make more!

    Thank you Gina.

  129. So glad all the kiddies (and boyfriends) like this! My 2 yr old will only eat broccoli like this too.

  130. My kids actually request this all of the time! If I put broccoli out alone they wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole, but in this recipe they gobble it up!! Thank you SO much!!

  131. Thank you so very much for this recipe! I made this tonight for my family. My three kiddos (all under age 5) all ate it and asked for seconds… even my two year old who only eats applesauce, cheerios, and chicken nuggets ate it! I will definitely make this regularly!

  132. I made this last night and it was great! I was worried my boyfriend wouldn't like it because of the veggies, but he loved it too! Thanks so much Gina for all your recipes…I have really enjoyed everything I have made from this site.

  133. My friends taught me a similar recipe. They make their's with fresh spinach. The combo of the spinach and broccoli is so good. This is a favorite of ours and so easy to. Thanks for all your great recipes!

  134. If you use a pasta that takes longer to cook or if you want a firm broccoli you can add it the last 2 minutes of cooking time. But what we like is that it almost creates a sauce, and for little ones it's perfect (they can't pick out out).

    • Gina, This sounds amazing. Can you tell me what kind of pasta you used back when this picture was taken? or what pasta you use now. Thanks so much. Chris

  135. how is it that no one found the broccoli to be mushy and inedible? i followed your steps exactly and it's way too much time to boil broccoli like this. i saw it getting soft within a minute or 2 steeping in the boiling water, so i started scooping it out. too mushy. i think i found something worse than mushy pasta 😉

  136. Have you ever tried this using cauliflower instead of noodles?

  137. Has anyone tried freezing this, either before or after cooking?


  138. Samantha, its hard not having seconds!

    KT- I love adding red pepper flakes!

  139. Made this (again) tonight – after a long day with patients and then teaching two classes – I was hungry and tired but this was super simple – I used frozen broccoli florets – added them about half way through the cooking time – they worked out perfectly. Kids ate is as is and I added lots of red pepper flakes 😉 yum!!! Thanks!

  140. Gina, I have 5 of your recipes on my list to try this week alone. I've always enjoyed your recipes! Tonight I made this and it was wonderful! I had to resist having a second helping! I halved the amount of pasta because there is only 2 of us. The only other thing I did differently was brown up some chicken (9 oz, 1 boneless, skinless breast) in the EVOO w/ the garlic before I added the broccoli and pasta back to the pan. I plugged everything into Recipe Builder. My version made 4 servings, still 8 PP per serving with the chicken, score! Thanks for all you do!

  141. Anna- so does mine!!

    Alyssa- I'm happy you found my site!

  142. I just discovered your website yesterday and tried this recipe last night (using orzo)…it was DELISH! I am not on WW but have been looking for ideas for yummy "healthy" food to make and try to trick my greasey-cheesey-loving boyfriend into liking….and so far he has loved it!! Thank you so much for sharing your outstanding recipes, I am looking forward to trying many more of them (I have your "roasted chick peas" in the oven right now!!!)

  143. Made this for myself and my 2yo daughter tonight…she gobbled it up!! I love that 🙂 Thanks.

  144. Another EXCELLENT recipe!! I also added your Garlic Shrimp to the plate and it was DELISH!!!

  145. I made this tonight and it was delicious!

  146. Thanks for the recipe! I used rainbow rotini and I added some chopped up ham. The kids loved it!

  147. Candlelight dinner by a lake, I'm so jealous!!

  148. I have made this a couple of times as posted and it's been a hit. I use a whole grain piccolini and I think I will try the splash of lemon juice as someone else suggested! I very recently cooked this for dinner for a friend while we vacationed and he loved it, but I changed it a bit. I also sauteed sliced cherry tomatoes then put the hot pasta on a big bed of fresh baby spinach. The heat from the pasta wilted the spinach. The cherry tomatoes went on top. Perfect follow up to our oysters rockefeller and candlelight out by the lake.

  149. Tried this tonight and my 3yr old and 9 month old both loved it! I used garlic flavored olive oil from trader joes for extra garlickyness :). Thanks, Gina!

  150. Making this tonight with talipia. I have this at one of my favorite italian resturants in Chicago. Can't wait…looks delicious.

  151. This was great! I love everything I make from this website!



  152. This was an excellent Sunday evening meal. I was able to use ingredients I had on hand (I go to the market on Mondays) and instead of having a sandwich or bowl of soup we had a wonderful summertime pasta dish, light, moist and flavorful. I added red pepper because my husband likes some spice and we use whole wheat pasta but other than that followed the recipe. I will definitely make this often..THANKS!

  153. Delicious and easy. Very pretty presentation too. Thank you Gina

  154. I made this this weekend while we had company over (in addition to grilling). I used Pecorino Romano cheese. What surprised me is how the kids loved this recipe! It was the kids diving in for more.. and there is a VEGGIE in this recipe! Wow! So my feedback was positive. People all comented on it. I really did not think using the water was going to be good, but it just helps make it moist. It was more bland then your creamy fattening recipes, so do not think creamy. This was a good but healthy dish! 🙂

  155. Made this tonight and it was QUICK, EASY, and DELISH — thank you for posting it.

  156. I did a switch up with it.. whole wheat pasta and edamames.. It was super good!

  157. I also have a favourite recipe of that kind, with shrimps and cashew nuts… When I am not too lazy or when I got enough time, I cook home-made pastas http://www.dansmacuizine.com/2011/03/tagliatelles-maison-aux-crevettes-et-au-brocoli/
    Please forgive my english level, I certainly do not practice often enough, I hope english-speaking food blogs will help me a little. I really enjoyed what I discovered on this one, thanks a lot !

  158. I made this for my sisters who were visiting from out of state last week. They loved it! I was planning to save it for lunch the next day, but I didn't get a chance too- It was all gone!
    Great recipe, Gina. 🙂

  159. I'm so happy they liked it!

  160. Made this tonight and it was a hit! There isn't much left so I will have to double this recipe next time. Even my 3 1/2 year old son who HATES broccoli ate it and loved it! So I will definitely be making this again soon. The best part as a mother of two under 5 is that this is easy! My infant loved it too! Thanks again GINA! I served this with a side salad.

  161. YUM. i can't wait to try this out… any thoughts on using frozen florets?
    and to echo others- thanks SO much for all these recipes and for including the points!

  162. I've made this twice already and it's always a hit – perfect for guests as well. Thanks for your amazing recipes!

  163. I just tried this recipe and it was delicious! I added shrimp at the end and it came out fantastic. Definitely keeping this recipe!

  164. This is one of my favorites too. I usually make it with whole wheat pasta and add chucks of sauteed chicken breast to boost the protein. I add the broccoli when the pasta is half done to keep it from getting too mushy.

    This is going on my make soon list.

  165. So happy to hear your families all enjoyed it!!! I love getting people to like broccoli!!

  166. I made this for dinner the other night and my boyfried absolutely FLIPPED. He hadn't eaten broccoli in years, didn't like the taste, but ate up the whole pot of pasta, it was so delicious. Not only this, I've followed some of your other recipes and the reaction has always been nothing short of amazing! Thank you so much!

  167. Thanks Gina! I made this for my family last night, and EVERYBODY ate it! That NEVER happens! Simple, inexpensive, and yummy! It's definitely going on the regular meal list!

  168. Thank you for this recipe! Cooked it last night and we really liked it. Will definitely add it to my list of family favorites. See my blog post here where I mentioned your blog.


  169. I tried this last night (and am currently eating the leftovers for lunch)!! It was a little bland to me (I love a ton of flavor) so I made a creamy sauce – in a pan I combined butter, olive oil, and more garlic, added more parmesean, a little balsamic, and fat free milk – it made it amazing!

  170. I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful and easy recipe. I had to make a few changes because, I honestly didn't feel like going to the store tonight. I used frozen broccoli, and (gasp!)the grated Parmesan in the can! 😉 I also added 2 cups of fresh zucchini from our garden. I forgot to reserve the pasta water, so I improvised and used some FF chicken broth instead. I could eat the whole recipe, it was so good! I will definitely make this again and with the proper ingredients, but in a pinch, I made due and it still turned out so good I can only imagine how it would be with fresh grated Parmesan or Romano. Thank you for a very tasty and easy recipe for a tired mom.

  171. Yes!! I lovemaking this with orzo too, it makes like a broccoli sauce and the kids love it. Perfect for picky kids!

  172. I had a little plain past leftover from dinner when I read this recipe – so I almost followed the recipe but I had about 1/4 pasta to 3/4 broccoli and it came out kind of like a light broccoli pesto if there is such a thing. It was delicious. Thanks again, Gina!! Alison in Boston.

  173. I liked this, but especially when I'd get a bite with garlic. I think I'll double the number of cloves next time.

  174. Gina, I messed up the p+ value in the builder. Thanks! ( I should never have questioned! 🙂 )

  175. I am loving this recipe so much and so happy that i just brought fresh broccoli…this might just be the easiest and tastiest recipe!

  176. What an easy way to get the family to eat broccoli and like it.

  177. My 2 year old ate at least 2 bowls of this before he was done! It was fantastic. Pasta and broccoli is my favorite combination of all time. I added some sun-dried tomatoes to mine and it was perfect! Thank you so much Gina!

  178. This is a family favorite, too. But we never used garlic and it is SO yummy! Can't wait to try it with the garlic too!

  179. I think the garlic makes the dish. I personally wouldn't make this without it.

  180. My husband is allergic to garlic… 🙁 Would this still be worth making without it – or could you suggest adding something in place of the garlic? I am pregnant and definitely craving this right now!
    Thanks for all of your awesome recipes!

    • I have a food sensitivity to garlic (and anything in the onion family.) I get really bad headaches for about two days after I eat anything that has a lot of it in there. I love the taste of onions, garlic, etc., but it took me about 30 years of headaches to figure out that's what was causing them. I feel your pain, it's almost impossible to cook without them

  181. I just could not imagine how these few simple ingredients got such rave reviews so I had to try it as I was sure I had everything. HAH…no reggiano OR romano so off to the store during rush hour no less. I can happily say it beat all expectations! I think breaking up the broccoli and adding some pasta water helps make it seem saucy or? Whatever…I can't get enough of it.
    I added another garlic clove and 2 tablespoons minced onions then could not resist throwing in a couple of pinches of red pepper flakes.HEAVEN!

  182. Oh this is soooo good!

    I tried it with Gruyere because it was all I had in the fridge, but I really wish I'd had parmesan for the extra saltiness!

    My vegetarian housemates are going to love me when I make this for them! 🙂

  183. I'm so glad you all liked it, I'm sure seasoned cooks make this all the time, it really is quite simple. I like the idea of adding cauliflower too.

    Melissa, wow you are so young for kidney disease, I am happy to help you in any way that I can!

  184. Hopefully I messed up, did you use uncooked pasta in the recipe?

  185. I popped this into my recipe builder and it came up to have much less P+ than what you have listed. Did I mess up some how?

  186. Gina,
    I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful recipes and adding all of the nutritional information. Your photos are perfect and I always look forward to your next post. As a young twenty something who was recently diagnosed with a kidney disease, keeping an eye on sodium is really important for me. I really cannot thank you enough for this amazing resource. If you charged for these – I would pay you! A million thanks, keep up the excellent work 🙂

  187. I recreated your avocado and crab salad on my blog and it was awesome!! Thanks for sharing!

  188. Eating this as I type. I made it with broccoli and cauliflower and added onion too. Love it! It will now be a staple!

  189. Really similar to my recipe. Mine calls for saute'ing the garlic in the oil first, and adding in diced tomato with the pasta and broccoli.

    I swore I'd never eat broccoli but this recipe changed my mind.

    Sometimes I steam the broccoli, but if I'm in a hurry I toss it in the pasta water for the last minute or so before I drain it….just long enough for it to turn a brilliant green and be fork tender.

  190. I was making this as a side dish for chicken parm, but ending up eating just a bowl of this pasta. I love it!

  191. My boyfriend and I are pretty much obsessed with broccoli… I can't wait to make this for us 🙂

  192. I made this for dinner tonight and it was YUMOLICIOUS!!! Thanks Gina for another great recipe!!

  193. Thanks for this recipe! I made this tonight for my family and some guests and it was a HUGE success! My husband and guest asked if a third helping was o.k.! I added some chicken to it just because my husband loves his protein. This will become a new staple in my cooking repertoire! Thanks again!

  194. This looks great! Just what I needed to use up some fresh broccoli I bought.

  195. I love this recipe as well. My kids devour it. We also sometimes slice up grilled chicken sausage for the meat eaters in the family. Dinner in one pot!

  196. Love it! Like everything I've made that you've posted. Personally, I like the broccoli a bit al dente also so I wait until the last 4 minutes to add.

  197. I have cooked this same recipe before, one of my tricks is to drop a cube of chicken bouillon in the boiling water before adding the pasta. It gives the noodles and broccoli great flavor. I also like to add grilled chicken to make it more substantial

  198. This was really good! Both of my young girls ate it up! I added some grilled chicken to the dish.

  199. Wow that looks so good! I just found your blog and you have so many amazing recipes!

  200. Yes if you like whole grain or whole wheat even better! Wish we liked it!

    I mentioned the cheese I use in the paragraph at the top, this time I used pecorino Romano. This heats up wonderfully, I also make extra for lunch!

  201. What brand of Parm do you use? I am making this tonight! 🙂 yum -o

  202. This looks delicious. Just wondering – does it re-heat well? I'd love to bring as a work lunch if it does…

  203. I'm definitely doing this one. It's so stinkin simple!!!

  204. I make the exact same thing, only with a splash of lemon juice. It makes a quick and easy (and delicious!) lunch. 🙂

  205. You could get even more bang for your buck if you use whole grain pasta… 🙂

  206. I made something very similar to this last night… only I used a ton of zucchini that I cubed up instead of the broccoli, and added some cottage cheese for a little extra oomph. My husband loved it! Thanks for all the great tips and recipes, Gina!

  207. OMG I make something similar but with a TON more ingredients, this sounds great! This is my first post but I have made almost a dozen of your recipes since discovering your blog a month ago…you even inspired me to make my own blog!

  208. Gloria- I make pasta a broccoli a few ways, one where I roast the broccoli to keep it crisp. This recipe I intentionally cook it with the water so the pieces break up when I mix it with the pasta. The little pieces of broccoli coat the pasta so picky eaters can't pick the broccoli out. Try it this way at least once and see what you think. It makes like a broccoli sauce I guess you can say.

    AJ, I bet they would like this, this dish was designed for broccoli haters! Mash the broccoli even more for those who detest it. 🙂 Impossible to pick out.

    I like the little shapes so I can give them to my one year old. She devours this.

    Natasha, too funny!

  209. This looks so yummy! Great dinner idea.

  210. Oh my goodness! This is also my broccoli pasta recipe! It's the best!!!! And what freaked me out completely is that I only use Pecorino Romano! A girl after my own heart. And it's great for WW points. Thanks for sharing it, so glad that you didn't go OTT with too many ingredients – the good stuff speaks for itself. Great job 🙂

  211. I make this same dish except I use about 4-5 cloves of garlic and lightly cook the garlic in the oil prior to adding the broccoli and pasta. So yummy. Definitely add the red pepper flakes too or plenty of crushed black pepper. Deb

  212. I've got excess broccoli in my garden at the moment, this will be perfect!

  213. I just made this tonight. It was amazing! I added spinage and artichoke hearts. Yum!

  214. So simple, I love it. But say someone detested broccoli with every fiber in their being? Is there any green veggie you would recommend in its place?

  215. I absolutely LOVE to mix broccoli and pasta – it really makes me feel like I get to eat a full plate of pasta without the guilt! Thanks for this recipe, I really can't wait to try it 🙂

  216. If you add the broccoli at the same time as the pasta… doesn't it get mushy? Gloria

    • I just made this and the broccoli DID get mushy, so I suggest adding the broccoli in after the pasta has been boiling for a few minutes 🙂

    • Same…mushy broccoli. Great flavor, however, next time I will add the broccoli a couple minutes prior to the pasta being done.

    • Pasta takes from 11-15 minutes to cook, while fresh broccoli should be boiled no longer than 2-3 minutes, tops, especially if it is to be put back into the pot and cooked even longer. Best bet is to blanch it first and set it aside so you don't overcook it and turn it to a lifeless, flavorless mush.

    • That's the whole idea for this traditional Italian dish. The overcooked broccoli is what helps create the creamy sauce. If it's al dente, it won't mix as well.

    • We are an Italian family. Our grandmothers made this pasta/broccoli dish in Italy, but they sautéed an onion in extra olive oil and added it to the broccoli/pasta after it was cooked and drained. Then a scoop of ricotta was added to each dish to make it a complete meal. Tip: you can warm the ricotta to room temperature by placing it in the microwave for a few seconds so that it can melt into this dish! Try it.

    • If you make fresh pasta by hand it cooks great with the broccoli. Both take about 2 minutes to cook. tried the ricotta. Great Tip!!

    • What I did was cook spaghetti for 5-6 mins. Then, I added frozen broccoli to the boiling water which of course stopped the boiling process. So, then I cut the heat to low and put on the lid, so that the broccoli would just steam. This avoided getting mushy. At the end, I also hit it with a bit of lemon-infused olive oil to crank up the flavor profile. Yum and no one complained that there was no meat in the dish.

  217. I just bought some capricious cheese at the farmers market today…. I have no idea what you typically do with that type of cheese but it was super tasty, I had to buy some. So I'm thinking it will pair well in this dish! Thanks for another great, inspiring recipe!

  218. Yum, definitely going to try this! Just wanted to add that that is one of our favorite pasta shapes, and the Bionaturae whole wheat one is fantastic (chiocciole).

  219. This looks amazing! I can't wait to try!