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25 Minute Creamy Broccoli Pasta (22g 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?

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 571 calories per serving.

Here is a quick rundown of the macros:

kcal 571kcal

Carbs 81g

Fat 20g

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 and garlic. 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, then slowly pour in the vegetable broth. 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? Maybe this tomato spinach pasta will sort you out!

Creamy Broccoli Pasta
4.65 from 73 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:10 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Total Time:30 minutes
Servings:2 servings
Calories:571kcal

Ingredients

Toppings

Instructions

  • Bring water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
    5 oz whole wheat pasta
  • If you're using frozen broccoli, throw it in a pan right away with olive oil and some water. Cover with a lid – the broccoli thaws more quickly.
    1 tsp olive oil, 3 cups broccoli
  • If using fresh, wash and cut the fresh broccoli into small florets. Next, 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 pan, then add the broccoli, onion and garlic. On medium heat let everything simmer for 8-10 minutes.
    1 tsp olive oil
  • Now it’s time to add the cream cheese and the vegetable broth.
    4 oz low fat cream cheese, ½ cup vegetable broth
  • Add salt, pepper and a few chili flakes to taste. To give it another kick, give a few splashes of lemon juice and a tsp of honey to the mix.
    1 tsp lemon juice, Salt and pepper to taste, 1 tsp chili flakes, 1 tsp honey
  • Mix cornstarch with 2 tbsp cold water, then pour into the sauce. and stir until it thickened.
    1 tsp cornstarch
  • Once ready, drain the pasta in a sieve. Now add them to the broccoli cream mix. Cook on medium heat for another 5 minutes
  • Serve with the toppings and enjoy!
    ¼ cup black olives, 1.5 oz low fat feta cheese, 1 tbsp sunflower seeds

NOTES

NOTES:
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
571
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
20
g
31
%
Saturated Fat
 
8
g
50
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
7
g
Cholesterol
 
42
mg
14
%
Sodium
 
1544
mg
67
%
Potassium
 
880
mg
25
%
Carbohydrates
 
81
g
27
%
Fiber
 
6
g
25
%
Sugar
 
12
g
13
%
Protein
 
25
g
50
%
Vitamin A
 
1655
IU
33
%
Vitamin C
 
128
mg
155
%
Calcium
 
211
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




50 comments
  1. 5 stars
    Love that fork shot and nice idea with the cream cheese. I tend to put pesto through this type of pasta dish. I’ll give this a go.

    1. Thanks a lot, Jac! Hahaa, took me a while to get that shot right 😉

  2. Love the spike of honey! Such a fabulous meal!

  3. I love broccoli, cooked or raw, so this recipe is perfect for me! Love the simplicity of it!

  4. YUMMMMM. i will add this to my list of easy dinner recipes. I also am a sucker for broccoli in pasta (or in stir fries), but any other way I can usually do without. Pinning!

    1. Hahhaa, same as me! Broccoli is really good in pasta and stir fries, but then it not soo much anymore 😉

  5. Looks so go as-is, but love your idea to toss in some olives, too! Great, easy meal!

  6. That sounds amazing. I LOVE broccoli and especially in pasta!

  7. I love broccoli with pasta! This looks so creamy and delicious 🙂

  8. I have been craving broccoli like crazy lately. I’ve been eating huge bowlfuls of roasted broccoli all by itself. I wouldn’t mind a huge bowl of pasta with my broccoli either. So good!

    1. The good old broccoli craving! I wish I knew how that felt 😉
      But this recipe is deffo a cool way to make them tasty!!

  9. 5 stars
    Oh this looks sooooo good. Broccoli adds just such a great flavors to pasta dishes. Great Recipe.

    1. Thanks a lot Molly! 🙂

  10. I love broccoli. Add the creamy sauce and pasta and this is my perfect dinner.

  11. Oh yum, I love the addition of the lemon – I bet it would really set off the other flavours! My little boy is obsessed with broccoli at the moment (strange I know), so I am sure he would be super excited if I popped a plate of this in front of him for dinner 🙂

    1. Oh wow, that is really strange! 😀
      I have a friend who even eats broccoli raw as if it was a carrot. Oh dear..

  12. Looks so delicious !Great pics and nice blog. Thanks

  13. You actually made this broccoli look darn good! Love the creamy pasta goodness paired with a good healthy serving of veggies. A must try!

    1. haha, thank you Karly! Maybe even kids would like broccoli that way, but I doubt it 😉

  14. 1 star
    Sorry but this was bland bland bland. Followed by the book, but virtually no flavour. Won’t be making again.

    1. Uhh, this hurt so much I’ll make it again this evening. Thanks for the feedback anyway!

    2. Made the broccoli pasta again two days ago after a while of not trying it. I know tastes are subjective, but I have to objectively say this dish is awesome. I guess you didn’t use enough broth or spices to give the recipe the necessary kick Broccoli Pasta

  15. 5 stars
    Love the recipe-made it yesterday and it was AWESOME! I used honey infused with pepper flakes plus added more p-flakes and damn, it rocked! It is a quick crowd pleaser. Making it again very soon…like tomorrow…

    1. Glad to hear, Monika! Just made it today as well. It’s reaally enjoyable, isn’t it? 😀

  16. This was damn good. I added cayenne pepper and paprika for a little heat and smokiness and I used some trader Joe’s crushed garlic instead of fresh garlic because it has a somewhat sweet flavor that goes well with the dish. I doubled the honey to get the flavor a little more intense and I added thyme and Basil. The dish was good without my tweaks, but as a chef I just had to make it my own.

    1. Really great to hear, Alexis!! Your tweaks sound all good too. I think in the end it comes down to what you have at hand and how intense the spices/broths are that you are using anyway 🙂

  17. 5 stars
    Wow! I expected this to be “just OK” given the recipe is so simple. I was wrong!

    I added cayenne and used just a touch more cream cheese and vege stock as I wanted it to be extra creamy. And I used spiral pasta as I don’t have a pot big enough to cook lengthy pasta.

    Super delicious and leftovers for lunch today were just as good! This one’s definitely going to be a regular recipe for me.

    1. Yaaayy, so great to hear you liked it the pasta, Tim!! Will have to make it again myself as well soon! 🙂

  18. Cld I make it with a cheese sauce or is that th same as cream cheese just never used cream cheese b4 but wld luv to giv this a try it sounds so gd! Thinking of goin to buy th ingredients right now lol!

    1. Hi Charlie! Yep, definitely possible to make this one with cheese sauce! It’s a pretty versatile recipe and changing some parts won’t do any harm at all (in fact you can customise it to your heart’s content) :). If you haven’t tried cream cheese before I do recommend that too – the thickness of it fits really well to the recipe. Have fun!

  19. Wondering if anyone has tried using a vegan cream cheese substitution, like Kitehill? How did it work?

    1. I haven’t myself, I’m afraid. Maybe somebody else has an idea?

  20. Looks yummy but does this actually have 700 calories per portion?

    1. Hi Hannah! Yummy it is, indeed. Yep, it’s pretty much spot on 700 – the pasta, olive oil and cream cheese all add up. Olive oil is almost unbelieveably high – about 120 cals per tbsp. If you would like to cut down the calories, I suggest a slightly smaller serving of pasta and halve the olive oil. I hope that helps!

  21. 5 stars
    We made it last night and it was absolutely delicious. I was really impressed by how perfect the ingredient quantities were in the recipe. For example, 4 oz. cream cheese to half cup of broth made it perfectly creamy. And the amount of chili flakes gave it just the right amount of kick. The only thing I had to change was the broth. I didn’t have veggie, so used chicken. Otherwise, I followed the recipe to the letter! This will become a regular in our dinner rotation 🙂

    1. That’s awesome to hear, J.J! Very pleased you enjoyed it so much. You’ve made me crave it again now, too :D. Thanks for writing!

  22. 5 stars
    My husband pulls a face everytime I say we’re eating broccoli (which admittedly is fairly often as it’s so good for you). Anyway, because he’s not a big greens fan, I try to come up with many new recipes that include a lot of greens but don’t taste boring.

    This recipe he really really liked. He still pulls a face when I say I’m making it, but while eating he has a very happy face lol.

    Long story short, this is a great recipe. It’s stupid simple when I’m not in the mood for an houe of cooking, but it’s super delicious and really tastes like a lot more than goes into it. I’m a fan!

    1. Hahaha, great to hear! Yes, I think this recipe can convince anyone to like broccoli. It’s all about the creamy sauce! Really glad you both enjoyed so much 🙂

  23. I loved this! I am a new veggie and it’s the dish that helped me realise vegetarianism can be great 😀 Also, I have a bit of a Hauke crush…

    1. Yeeeeeess!!! I love it when this recipes gets praise, because I think it’s a hidden champ! Thank you Lucia 😀

  24. I’m thinking of making this as a side dish for a luncheon I am hosting on Friday but would like to make it vegan. Do you think vegan cream cheese would work just as well?

    1. Hi Amber, I would say that as long as you like the flavour of your vegan cream cheese then it will be absolutely fine to sub it in. Enjoy the luncheon!

  25. 5 stars
    This is delicious. What a find, thanks for a brilliant, quick recipe. The lemon juice gives it a real lift and al denté broccoli…yum.

    1. Woohoo! Glad you enjoyed, Andi. Yes agreed, the lemon goes so nicely in there!!

  26. 5 stars
    Loved this!

    1. Yay! Happy to hear it Veronica! I haven’t had this for a while – I know what today’s lunch is now 😀

  27. I have made this recipe so many times! It is so easy, delicious, quick and comforting. I keep coming back to it. Thanks!

    1. Woohoo! Really happy to hear it! Appreciate the comment, too. Have a good Monday!

  28. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time the other day! I used a red onion and spinach pasta from Whole Foods. It turned out beautiful and sooo delicious! Definitely adding it to the rotation!

    1. Thanks Juliet! Really glad you enjoyed. The spinach pasta sounds awesome by the way!

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