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This creamy broccoli pasta makes a deliciously filling, fresh, one-pot family meal ready in less than 20 minutes.
A satisfying, easy, meatless pasta prefect for busy weeknights.
And if broccoli pasta may sound like the most boring meal of all time, when you lace it with luscious cream cheese, garlic, parmesan, and bright lemon juice, you’ll have a crowd-pleasing pasta dish for dinner.
Added bonus? For starter, you cook everything in one pot and it only takes 15-20 minutes from start to finish.
All you have to do is cook the pasta, add broccoli florets in the final 5 minutes of the cooking time, stir in the cheese mixture until everything looks coated, creamy, and delicious!
Plus, there’s no cooking involved for the cheese sauce, it comes together in a minute or so, it’s full of flavor and gives that comforting creamy coating to the pasta.
Easy, right? Not only is it super easy, but it’s also packed with superfood broccoli, and it’s a breeze to customize with your favourite add-ins.
Yes, this is a creamy broccoli pasta sure to please the whole family.
List of the ingredients
- Broccoli florets
- Cream cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Lemon juice
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Italian herb seasoning
- Salt & pepper
How to make creamy broccoli pasta
(Note: this is a quick description, the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)
- Cut your broccoli florets into small pieces so they cook quickly.
- Add the cheese sauce ingredients to a bowl and toss until well combined.
- Cook your pasta.
- In the final 5 mins of the cooking time add the broccoli florets to the pot.
- Place the lid on, and cook until just tender and still bright.
- Turn the heat off, remove excess water, add the cheese mixture, toss until well coated and creamy.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if desired, and serve.
Creamy broccoli pasta ingredients
Pasta: I would recommend using good-quality short pasta shape such as cavatappi, spirali, or fusilli. I used cavatappi which requires 8-minute cooking time. If you chose a different pasta cut, check the cooking time and adjust the amount of water accordingly.
Broccoli: The recipe uses fresh broccoli florets cut into small pieces as they cook easily and quickly.
Cheese: A combination of full-fat cream cheese and nutty parmesan is guaranteed to add both flavor and creamy texture. And I would recommend grating your own parmesan from a block as freshly grated will melt much better.
Extra virgin olive oil: it brings so much flavor!
Lemon: to add a touch of acidity and freshness. Feel free to use more lemon juice if you wish.
Garlic: You can’t go wrong with fresh garlic and cheese, it’s the perfect combo for any quick pasta recipe.
Herbs: I use a touch of dried Italian herb seasoning, it’s convenient, great to add earthy notes without being overpowering. You’re welcome to use fresh herbs such as parsley or basil if you wish.
Tips to cook broccoli pasta in one pot
- Pasta-to-liquid ratio is important! Different pasta shapes require different amounts of water and cooking times. Feel free to use your fav short cut pasta shape, but make sure the amount of water is just enough to submerge the pasta. Not too little, not too much.
- Don’t overcook the broccoli. Add the florets to the pasta in the last 4-5 minutes of the cooking time and cook just until tender and still bright green. They don’t need to be fully immersed in water, once you cover the pot with a lid, the boiling water and steam will to cook them.
- Don’t overcook the pasta. Turn the heat off while the pasta is still al dente and firm to the bite.
- Remove excess water. Before stirring the cheese in, ladle out and discard excess water until you have about 1/2 cup of pasta water left at the bottom of the pot.
- Toss, season & serve. Once you add the cheese toss until well combined and coated, taste and finish with more salt, and lots of freshly ground black pepper if needed. Garnish with extra parmesan and enjoy!
Add-ins are welcome! Feel free to toss in roasted or grilled vegetables, shredded chicken (if you don’t keep it meatless) along with the cheese, or add green leaves such as spinach or kale in the last couple of minutes of the cooking time.
Easy creamy pasta recipes you’ll love!
- Cream cheese pasta
- Pasta with artichokes
- Creamy spaghetti
- Creamy tomato pasta
- Mushroom ricotta pasta
- Creamy spinach tomato pasta
- One-pot mac & cheese
- Creamy pesto pasta
Lastly, I hope you’ll love this creamy broccoli pasta recipe as much as we do. And if you have any questions, let me know. Leave a comment, send me a message, or rate it. I would love to hear from you!
Creamy Broccoli Pasta
Cream cheese sauce
- 1 cup (approx 200 grams) cream cheese*
- ½ cup (50 grams) grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- ½ teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ lb (8oz/220 grams) short pasta shape (cavatappi, spirali, fusilli…)
- ¾ lb (10oz/300 grams) broccoli florets, cut into small florets
- Add the cheese sauce ingredients to a medium-size bowl and stir until smooth and well combined. Set aside.
- Add water and salt to a large pot, bring to the boil, and add the pasta. The water should be just enough to cover the pasta.
- In the last 5 minutes of the pasta cooking time, stir in the broccoli florets cut into small pieces (about 1-inch thick), cover with a lid, and cook over medium heat until tender. It should take about 4 minutes to get the broccoli done and the pasta al dente. Turn the heat off and remove from the stove.
- Using a ladle, remove and discard the pasta water from the bottom of the pot leaving only about ½ cup of liquid.
- Add the cheese mixture, toss until combined and creamy. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve with freshly ground pepper and grated parmesan cheese if you wish. Enjoy.