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25 Minute Creamy Broccoli Pasta (25g Protein per Bowl)

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This garlicky, lemony, creamy broccoli pasta is the perfect quick & healthy pasta dish for busy weekdays that will please the whole family. Get ready to meet your new go-to easy pasta recipe!

A frying pan full of tagliatelle and broccoli in a creamy sauce | Hurry The Food Up

I’ll be the first to admit: not everyone loves broccoli. It’s one of those notorious veggies, like brussel sprouts, that kids love to hate and adults feel a reluctant duty to consume. Well, I am here to show you just what an amazing broccoli recipe can look like.

So how about it: perfectly cooked broccoli, stirred into a creamy garlicky sauce with a lemon & chilli kick, all tossed together with pasta and maybe even sprinkled with a few crunchy sunflower seeds? Broccoli is looking a bit more appealing now, am I right?

A frying pan full of broccoli pasta with a wooden spoon in it | Hurry The Food Up

Broccoli Pasta Ingredients

Pasta
Any pasta works! I like it with penne pasta or tagliatelle. I always try to choose whole grain pasta if I can – whole grain foods are generally healthier!

Broccoli
Fresh broccoli works best, but there’s nothing wrong with frozen broccoli. It has even been suggested that frozen veggies have as much (if not more) nutrients than fresh veggies!

Vegetable broth
Vegetable broth is what brings the rich, salty flavour to this vegetarian pasta recipe. Try and buy low sodium if you can!

Cream Cheese
Instead of using heavy cream, I stick to cream cheese for this sauce. It’s lighter, while still being super creamy and delicious. If you are trying to cut down on fat, why not go for low fat cream cheese?

We love cream cheese in everything – if you fancy something sweet try our cream cheese muffins!

Lemon
A squeeze of lemon, or if you fancied it, a scraping of lemon zest, really brightens up the dish. Creamy pasta can feel a bit heavy or bland, but with a kick of citrus to cut through the cream, you’re in pasta heaven!

Olive Oil
Olive oil is such a healthy fat, we can’t sing its praises enough!

Garlic
I would suggest 2 cloves garlic, but you are welcome to add more. Garlic powder is also an option, but it is just never as flavourful as the fresh stuff.

Broccoli and tagliatelle in a creamy sauce, stirred with a wooden spoon | Hurry The Food Up

How many calories are in this Broccoli Pasta?

This broccoli pasta contains 537 calories per serving.

Here is a quick rundown of the macros:

kcal 537kcal

Carbs 78g

Fat 18g

Protein 25g

What’s more, it’s vegetarian (like all our recipes) and egg-free!

Health Benefits

Broccoli contains notable levels of vitamin K, A, B1, B2, B3, B6, fibre, iron, zinc…the list goes on! These all help with cancer prevention, better cardiovascular health through lowering of cholesterol, digestive support and providing antioxidants!

Between them, the broccoli and cream cheese provide you with protein, which is crucial to any healthy diet. Protein is particularly important if you are trying to build muscle – if that’s you, you should check out our High Protein Vegetarian Meal Plan.

A bowl of broccoli pasta with a fork in it and a lemon in the background | Hurry The Food Up

How to make the best broccoli pasta

  • Prep work: Cook the pasta in a large pot of water, according to package instructions! Chop the veggies: broccoli, onion and garlic. Even frozen pasta will chop fairly well, if you use that.
  • Cook work: If you’re using frozen broccoli florets, whack them in a pan with olive oil,, some water and cover, it will thaw quicker that way. Add onion, garlic and the vegetable broth. Cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes or so! Make sure the broccoli is al dente, if you overcook it will get soggy and bland.
  • Sauce time: Now it’s time to get that creamy sauce going!! Add the cream cheese and mix. Keep an eye on the mixture while adding the broth – if it’s looking watery, stop! But don’t worry, once we add the cornstarch mix, everything will ‘cream up’ nicely.
  • Drain the cooked pasta and add to the broccoli cream mix. Stir in the salt, black pepper, lemon juice and red pepper flakes. A teaspoon of honey is a great addition to enhance the overall flavour!
  • Assemble: Plate the broccoli pasta and garnish with sunflower seeds, halved olives and crumbled feta cheese. You could even go the extra mile and roast the seeds!

FAQ’s & Pro Tips

Can I make this ahead?

You could prepare the pasta sauce ahead and store in an airtight container for a couple of days/freeze, but the broccoli really needs to be fresh!

How to store and reheat

This will keep in the fridge for a couple of days until the next time you want to eat it! Best to reheat in a pan with a couple of tablespoons of water, because the cream cheese will have solidified somewhat and you’ll want to stir it smooth.

Is broccoli pasta healthy?

Yes! It contains plenty of fibre, protein and nutrients – mostly thanks to the broccoli. Cream cheese is a healthier alternative to cream sauce, though of course it still contains fat.

But for most people, fat isn’t something to be too afraid of – it is an important macro!

What goes well with broccoli?

A million different things! I’ve stuck to simple ingredients that even picky eaters will love – like lemon, chilli & garlic!

Furthermore, broccoli lends itself to a cream sauce, because when cooked properly it stays crunchy and firm, so the whole dish doesn’t turn to mush.

Does broccoli cook faster than pasta?

Yes! That’s why this isn’t a one-pot pasta recipe. Broccoli has a shorter cooking time than pasta so if you boiled them together you’d get mush!

But don’t worry, it’s still an easy recipe with minimal ingredients and washing up!

Broccoli Pasta Variations

To make this gluten free, swap the regular pasta for gluten-free pasta.

To make this low-fat – swap regular cream cheese for low fat cream cheese!

Making this vegan is a bit more complicated – you could swap the cream cheese for vegan cream cheese or soy cream.

If using something like soy cream, you will probably need less stock, as you don’t want the sauce to get watery!

A fork with tagliatelle and broccoli over a bowl of pasta | Hurry The Food Up

More delicious recipes using broccoli!!

Love cheesy creamy broccoli, but wish it could be vegan? Try our vegan broccoli cheese casserole!

Looking for something lighter? Try this broccoli cauliflower soup!

Or are you after more vegetarian pasta recipes (or vegetarian pasta bakes?)? Maybe this tomato spinach pasta will sort you out!

Creamy Broccoli Pasta
4.69 from 82 votes
Creamy Broccoli Pasta. This vegetarian combo is a real nutrition powerhouse. Ready in 25 minutes, super versatile, and sooooo tasty! Enjoy!
Diet: egg-free
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Total Time:25 minutes
Servings:2 servings
Calories:537kcal

Ingredients

Toppings

Optional

Instructions

  • Bring water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
    5 oz wholegrain pasta
  • Wash and cut the broccoli into small florets. Peel and dice the onion; same with the cloves of garlic.
    3 cups broccoli, 2 cloves garlic, 1 onion
  • Heat up the olive oil in a pot, then add the broccoli, onion, garlic and vegetable broth. On medium heat with lid on let everything simmer for 8-10 minutes.
    1 tsp olive oil, ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • Now it’s time to add the cream cheese.
    4 oz low fat cream cheese
  • Add few chili flakes to taste. To give it another kick, give a few splashes of lemon juice and honey to the mix.
    ½ tsp honey, 1 tsp lemon juice, ½ tsp chili flakes
  • Once ready, drain the pasta in a sieve. Save a cup of pasta water!
  • Now add the pasta to the broccoli cream mix.
  • Add pasta water by the spoon until wonderfully creamy! Cook on medium heat for another 5 minutes. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.
    Salt and pepper to taste
    A frying pan full of broccoli pasta with a wooden spoon in it | Hurry The Food Up

Optional

  • If for some reason the sauce is too watery: mix cornstarch with 2 tbsp cold water, then pour into the sauce and stir until it thickened.
    1 tsp cornstarch
  • Serve with the toppings and enjoy!
    6 black olives, 1.5 oz low fat feta cheese, 2 tsp sunflower seeds

NOTES

Make-ahead? Yes, prep the night before. It can be reheated.
Freezable? Yes, absolutely.
Adapted from Essen und Trinken (awesome recipe!)
IF YOU LIKED THIS RECIPE: Then check out our Tomato Spinach Pasta for a quick Italian-inspired dinner or see if this Asian style Pasta Salad with awesome peanut butter dressing floats your boat.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Broccoli Pasta
Amount per Serving
Calories
537
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
18
g
28
%
Saturated Fat
 
8
g
50
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
6
g
Cholesterol
 
42
mg
14
%
Sodium
 
1051
mg
46
%
Potassium
 
851
mg
24
%
Carbohydrates
 
78
g
26
%
Fiber
 
5
g
21
%
Sugar
 
11
g
12
%
Protein
 
25
g
50
%
Vitamin A
 
1424
IU
28
%
Vitamin C
 
128
mg
155
%
Calcium
 
205
mg
21
%
Iron
 
4
mg
22
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Did you try this easy broccoli pasta? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Comments

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Recipe Rating




52 comments
  1. 5 stars
    Delicious and easy! We enjoyed this dish, I will definitely make again!

    And I very much appreciated the quantities of the ingredients (and correctly doubled, in my case!) showing up within the step-by-step instructions. I wish every online recipe had this feature.

    Couple of clarifications-
    -Do you recommend any particular kind of onion? And are you able to estimate roughly how many cups of chopped onion in the basic recipe? (We doubled the recipe; I had around 1.5 cups of chopped yellow onion)

    -In the description before the recipe card, you indicate to add the broth after the cream cheese, but in the recipe card instructions, it reads to add the broth when steaming the veggies. Which gives a tastier outcome?

    Mine didn’t look anything like the photos; my veggie and cream cheese mixture was very creamy (*not an actual negative ). To confirm – I was to add the cream cheese to the cooked veggies? Stir until combined, then add the drained, cooked pasta? I did add some of the reserved pasta water. But just wondering if I misinterpreted some of the instructions?

    Thanks for any tips you can add!

    1. Hi Angie, so glad you liked this recipe! In fact it’s one of my daughter’s favorite and we have it regularly at home.
      I usually use yellow onion. Reg size: I play it by the eye to be honest, for me a medium onion is about the size of a mandarine or small apple 😉
      My daughter is not a big fan of onions so I actually only use half a medium sized onion nowadays.
      Reg. the broth: you’re completely right, I mixed it up. The broth goes in with the onion, garlic and broc, so the broccoli can cook nicely.
      No, you did it great! The creamier the better! I’m jealous my photographed images weren’t a match to your result!

      Thanks for making the dish, Angie!