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!
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4.55 from 31 votes
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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. One of my go-to/emergency dinners with fresh or frozen broccoli. So much flavor for such simple ingredients. I could eat this every day.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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!

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

  6. 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. 👍🏻

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

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

  11. 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.)

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. Love it so simple and delicious!

  15. 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.

  16. 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?

  17. Great very Flavorful

  18. 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.

  19. 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! 💕

  20. 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.