One-Pot Broccoli Pasta: Creamy, Cheesy, and Full of Flavor

This easy-to-make broccoli pasta is a delicious and healthy meal that cooks in just one pot. It’s creamy, cheesy, and full of tender broccoli florets. You can also add shredded chicken or keep it vegetarian.

Why You’ll Love This Creamy Broccoli Pasta Recipe

  • It’s a one-pot pasta recipe, which means less cleanup.
  • It’s creamy and cheesy, without being too heavy.
  • It’s a versatile dish that can be served as a main course or a side dish.
  • It’s packed with flavor, thanks to the garlic, herbs, and lemon juice.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
  • 8 ounces dry whole wheat ziti, rotini, or similar pasta
  • 1 medium head broccoli, cut into small florets

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or basil


  1. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or similar large, sturdy pot over medium heat.
  2. Once the butter is melted, add the onion, salt, and black pepper. Sauté until the onion begins to soften, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Slowly stir in the broth and milk. Bring to a boil, then add the pasta.
  5. Let boil for 5 minutes, stirring periodically to keep the pasta from sticking to the pot, then stir in the broccoli florets.
  6. Continue boiling until the pasta is al dente, about 5 to 7 minutes more. Stir often to make sure the pasta cooks evenly.
  7. Stir in the lemon juice, Parmesan, and parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning as you like.
  8. Let rest 5 minutes, then stir once more.
  9. Enjoy hot, with a sprinkle of extra Parmesan and parsley as desired.

Recipe Variations

  • Creamy Broccoli Pasta With Roasted Garlic: Make a whole head of Roasted Garlic. Mash it with a fork and use this instead of the fresh garlic.
  • Broccoli Pasta With Sausage: Cook crumbled Italian sausage in the pot; remove to a plate, then proceed with the recipe as written. At the end of the cooking, stir the sausage into the pasta.
  • Pasta With Broccoli and Chicken: Stir leftover Air Fryer Whole Chicken (or rotisserie chicken!) into the pasta during the last few minutes of cooking time to heat it through.

Storage Tips

  • To store: Store leftover creamy broccoli pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To reheat: Reheat in the microwave or over medium-low heat in a skillet with a splash of milk or broth. Adding more fresh herbs and cheese will help revive the flavor.
  • To freeze: Broccoli pasta is best enjoyed fresh, as the texture will become soft after freezing and thawing. That said, if you’ve got leftovers you can’t eat within a few days, you can freeze in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Meal Prep Tip

  • Cut the onions and broccoli a day or two in advance to get a head start on the recipe. Store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

What to Serve with Broccoli Pasta

  • Salads: For a light dinner, pair broccoli pasta with Arugula Salad, Spinach Strawberry Salad, or Salad with Burrata.
  • Pork: Baked Pork Tenderloin or Air Fryer Pork Chops would both be fab as a main for this pasta.

  • Chicken: Air Fryer Chicken Breast, Baked Bone In Chicken Breast, or any other simple chicken recipe would also be perfect.
  • Bread: Because sometimes the only acceptable side for carbs is more carbs. Try No Knead Foccacia or Rosemary Olive Oil Bread with your broccoli cheese pasta.


Hi! I’m Debbi!

I am no chef, I am just a mom who loves to eat good food. I enjoy making healthy, low calorie meals without compromising taste. It’s not all healthy here but I do try!


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