Baked pasta and broccoli dish
Appetizers Dinner International Lunch Pasta

Creamy Pasta and Broccoli Dish You Can Make in 30 Minutes or Less

Are you in search of a delicious and comforting dish that will have you coming back for seconds? This irresistible creamy pasta and broccoli dish is bursting with flavor and loaded with nutrients, and a true winner in every sense. Whether you’re a pasta lover or a veggie enthusiast, this dish offers the best of both worlds.

What makes this recipe even more enticing is its simplicity. With just a handful of simple ingredients and minimal prep work, you can whip up a wholesome and satisfying meal in no time. It’s the ideal choice for busy weeknights or lazy weekends when you want to indulge without spending hours in the kitchen.

So, why keep searching for that perfect meal when this Creamy Pasta and Broccoli dish is waiting to be savored?

Health Benefits of Pasta and Broccoli

A pasta and broccoli dish typically includes a generous portion of broccoli florets which are rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. In contrast, the pasta contributes carbohydrates that supply our bodies with needed energy.

Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable, is particularly high in vitamin C and K, and research suggests that it may have cancer-fighting properties due to its high levels of sulforaphane. When combined with pasta, especially if it’s a whole-grain variety, you also gain the added benefit of increased fiber, which can aid in digestion and help maintain a healthy gut.

When the dish is cooked with fresh garlic, diced onions in virgin olive oil, you can expect an additional boost of antioxidants. The addition of cream and mozzarella cheese can elevate the flavors, as well as offer a hint of calcium and protein.

To maximize the benefits, including broccoli in its fresh form is optimal, as fresh broccoli retains the most nutrients. When pasta is cooked al dente, it has a lower glycemic index than overly soft pasta, which is better for blood sugar management.

With such a variety of health benefits stemming from pasta and broccoli, it’s evident that a simple dish combining these two ingredients can be a smart addition to a balanced diet — serving not only to satisfy hunger but also to nourish the body.

Ingredients for Pasta and Broccoli Dish

Creating a wholesome and flavorful pasta and broccoli dish starts with assembling the right ingredients. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Fresh broccoli: Typically, one pound of broccoli or one head of broccoli is enough. Being addicted to green vegetables, I added lots of broccoli to this dish.
  • Pasta: Choose your favorite variety. Follow the package instructions to cook until al dente.
  • Chicken Breast. Slices of chicken breast for some protein and meat taste.
  • Olive oil: A few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil will be used for sautéing.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic is preferred, with 2-3 cloves minced to infuse flavor.
  • Vegetable broth: This will add depth to the sauce. Alternatively, you can reserve pasta cooking water.
  • Heavy cream. To help create a creamy sauce.
  • Cheese: Grated mozzarellla cheese adds a nutty, salty component that pairs beautifully with broccoli.
  • Seasonings: Salt, freshly ground black pepper, and pepper flakes will enhance the dish’s taste.

Ingredient Substitutions

When whipping up a delightful pasta dish, like this shrimp and pasta with spinach, you may find the need to make some ingredient substitutions to cater to dietary preferences or pantry availability. Instead of using fresh broccoli, frozen broccoli is a viable substitute, but make sure to adjust cooking times accordingly.

If you’re out of Parmesan cheese, try nutritional yeast for a similar umami flavor that’s vegan-friendly.

Lacking heavy cream? A mix of milk and butter, or even a non-dairy milk thickened with a bit of flour, can help create a creamy sauce.

For those avoiding pasta made from wheat, gluten-free pasta options are readily available and will work well in this dish. If virgin olive oil is not on hand, any neutral-tasting oil like vegetable oil can do the trick, although the flavor profile will slightly change.

Lastly, in place of fresh garlic, garlic powder can be used, but remember that the concentrated flavor means you should use it sparingly.

Here’s a brief substitution guide:

  • Fresh Broccoli → Frozen Broccoli (adjust cooking time)
  • Parmesan Cheese → Nutritional Yeast
  • Heavy Cream → Milk + Butter or Non-Dairy Milk + Flour
  • Virgin Olive Oil → Vegetable Oil
  • Fresh Garlic → Garlic Powder (use less)
  • A good sprinkling of parmesan cheese will elevate the flavor as well.

While substitutions can alter taste and texture, experimenting can lead to new and delightful culinary discoveries.

Cooking Tips: Mastering the Pasta and Broccoli Dish

  • Select fresh broccoli and quality ingredients.
  • Add salt and olive oil in pasta water to prep the taste of the pasta.
  • Craft creamy sauce with pasta water and mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and mix them with the pre-cooked pasta and blanched broccoli.
  • For a complete vegetarian meal, consider removing the sliced chicken breast, and replacing them with fried tofu cubes, or chickpeas. You can toss them in with the pasta during the last minutes of cooking.
  • Use chicken broth (instead of pasta water) for a more enhanced taste. Reduce the amount of salt, as necessary.
  • Add a splash of milk to the final mixing of ingredients for a creamier sauce.
  • Replace sliced chicken breasts with shredded leftover rotisserie chicken, if this comes handy.
  • Store leftovers properly for future meals.

Serving Suggestions

As main meal:

  • Bread: A side of crusty bread like sourdough, focaccia or garlic bread is great.
  • Salad: A light and refreshing salad with a simple vinaigrette dressing is a nice accompaniment to cut through the richness of the pasta dish.

For a side dish:

  • Protein focus: If your main course is a protein-heavy dish like grilled steak or roast chicken, your pasta and broccoli can be a simple side dish.
  • Roasted vegetables: Roasted vegetables like carrots, peppers, or asparagus complement the flavors of the broccoli and pasta well.

How to Store Leftovers

When storing leftovers of your delicious broccoli pasta dish, there are a few key steps to ensure it stays fresh and flavorful. First, allow the dish to cool completely at room temperature. This preventive measure deters bacterial growth.

Transfer the cooled pasta and broccoli into an airtight container, which will keep out moisture and other contaminants. If you already know that your leftover portion will be used in the next few days, refrigeration is the way to go.

For longer storage, you might consider freezing this leftover pasta and broccoli dish. Freeze in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. When you’re ready to enjoy your meal, reheat it on medium heat to preserve the dish’s texture and flavors, adding a bit of water or vegetable broth if it seems dry.

Remember to always store leftovers within two hours of cooking to maintain safety and quality.

Storing Leftovers – Quick Guide

Storage LocationCooling TimeContainer TypeShelf Life
RefrigeratorCool CompletelyAirtight Container3-4 days
FreezerCool CompletelyAirtight Container/Freezer BagsUp to 3 months

Don’t forget to label your container with the date before storage to keep track of its shelf life. Enjoy your meal safely!

Chicken, Pasta an Broccoli Bake
Creamy pasta and broccoli bake
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Baked pasta and broccoli dish

Creamy Pasta and Broccoli Dish You Can Make in 30 Minutes or Less

  • Author: Magida
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International


Craving an easy, veggie-packed pasta dish? This recipe for pasta and broccoli is bursting with flavor and ready in under 30 minutes. Perfect for a weeknight dinner! Get serving suggestions and variations to make it vegetarian or a delicious side dish.


  • 2 small heads of broccoli (about 3 cups when cut into florets)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium-sized onions, diced
  • 400g boneless chicken breast (cut into thin slices)
  • 450g pasta (elbow macaroni or penne)
  • 5 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese (divided)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated parmesan cheese for toppings (optional)


  • Cut broccoli heads into florets and blanch them in hot water. Transfer to a pot of cold or room-temperature water to halt further cooking. Drain and set aside.
  • Cook pasta in a pot of water until aldente. Add a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Drain and set aside. Comfortable with the package directions instead? Feel free, please.
  • Using a wooden slotted spoon, sautee garlic and onions in olive oil until fragrant.
  • Add sliced chicken breasts and cook while stirring until all the juices from the meat come out and evaporated – do not overdo this as the mixture might become dry.
  • Add pre-cooked pasta, cooked broccoli, cream, and mozzarella cheese (leave some for the toppings). Mix until pasta is well coated; it does not hurt to let the broccoli retain its green color. Add pasta cooking water, if you feel that the mixture is dry.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer onto a baking dish and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese (and parmesan cheese, if using). Your cheesy pasta is a few minutes away.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 325F for 20 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and broil on low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Serve your creamy broccoli pasta and enjoy.

Keywords: pasta and broccoli dish

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