Broccoli pasta is a great tasty dish that can be prepared in one pot, in under 30 minutes and is extremely flexible, as ingredients can be added to taste (or bulk!).
Broccoli is a funny vegetable: so versatile, yet so affordable and tasty!
There is one meal that reminds me of my middle school time and that, funny enough, is pasta with broccoli.
My Gramma knows – and knew then – how much I love this dish and growing up she would make sure to prepare it at least once a week… and now that I write it down I realize how odd it is that a teenager was so excited to eat vegetables!
This is an easy, one-pot, flavorful, and healthy meal that can be ready in very little time and can be modified as needed and wanted.
If you’re not so much into the chili side of this dish, then you can easily omit the ingredient… but if, like me, you like it fiery add a bit extra!
Increase the amount of broccoli and make it a bigger, more filling pasta dish… or add some crumbled vegan feta when cold and off you go… lunchbox ready!
Do you, like me, love cruciferous vegetables? Then you have to try this Easy-Peasy Vegan Roasted Cauliflower Soup and you will have a new way of enjoying this as well!
~~ Who said vegan meals have to be boring? You’ll change everyone’s mind after making them try any of these recipes: Cook: Vegan
Let’s talk nutrition!
Let’s focus on broccoli, flavorsome, versatile, and nutritious ingredients.
This vegetable has only 34 calories per 100g yet its nutrients are vast!
Broccoli is a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, although it is important to select the correct cooking methods to maintain as much of these, especially Vitamin C, as possible. It can be eaten either raw or cooked.
When considering Vitamins, the following are the highest in Broccoli:
– Vitamin C: also known as ascorbic acid, is a vitamin found in multiple foods, essential for the repair, growth, and development of body tissues.
It is also involved in other functions the body performs, such as the formation of collagen, the absorption of iron, and, its most famous role, the correct functioning of the immune system, amongst others.
– Vitamin A: although it is often considered a single nutrient, Vitamin A is the name used to refer to a whole group of fat-soluble compounds, which can be found in both humans and animals; these are needed for the health of the eyes, vision, the function of the immune system, the growth of the body cells, the human reproduction and the development of the fetus.
– Vitamin K: also Vitamin K refers to a group of nutrients, which are needed for blood clotting, as it assists with the healing of the wounds. Some studies show how it may also assist with bone health.
How to cook broccoli for pasta?
In this recipe you will cook both the broccoli and the pasta in the same pot; to do so, check on the packet of pasta the recommended cooking time, then decide how long you like your broccoli cooked for and cook accordingly.
As an example, I like penne (cooking time: 10-12 minutes) cooked just right (a tiny bit al dente) and my broccoli mushy, so that they break into pieces and coat the pasta; in order to achieve this result, I add the broccoli to the boiling water before the pasta (just a couple of minutes or so) and drain the whole lot together once the pasta is cooked.
Should you like your broccoli firmer and not as mushy as I do, you can add them later on; for example, if you like your broccoli boiled for just 5 minutes, add them to the boiling water after the pasta has been simmering for already 5-7 minutes (if the cooking time of the pasta is 10-12 minutes).
This is the ideal recipe to follow if you are looking for a lunch idea ready in less than 30 minutes, low in calories and there is not much to clean!
~~ Looking for different ways to cook broccoli? Low Carb Broccoli Pancakes and Gammon | Healthy Breakfast
How to cook broccoli pasta with chili and garlic?
One pot is all you need (and a strainer) for this incredible, tasty, recipe!
Wash and chop the broccoli in bite-size pieces; bring a pot of water to the boil, add salt, broccoli and after a couple of minutes the pasta (or vice versa if you like your broccoli firmer). Once both pasta and broccoli are cooked, drain and keep aside.
In the same pot, warm up the olive oil; once the oil is warm add the flaked chilies and chopped garlic and once the smell of rawness has gone add the broccoli pasta to it.
Mix well and serve!
~~ Love vegan pasta recipes? Lighter Pasta All’Arrabbiata | Vegan Penne Arrabiata
What can I add to this recipe to make it different?
The sky is the limit as this dish is complete alone, yet a blank canvas at the same time!
To keep it vegan, try adding some chopped cherry tomatoes or sautéed mushrooms; another great option is to sprinkle some vegan cheese or add a few seeds for crunchiness (I tried with some sesame seeds and it was glorious!)
For the non-vegan crowd:
Should you like it (and I know I do!) you can add some crumbled feta to the pot while you are mixing the pasta and broccoli.
~~ If, like me you’re a lover of feta cheese give this 30-Minute lunch idea a try: Lemon Zucchini Pasta with Crumbled Feta Cheese
Another great addition is some grated parmesan, chopped grilled chicken to make a healthy chicken broccoli pasta, which can easily be transformed in a pasta salad, or if you have some calories to spare (or are not counting) some sausage works absolutely well with broccoli (very popular in Italy to have sausage and broccoli – friarielli – on pizza for example).
You will love this recipe as it ticks all of the boxes:
- Quick (30-Minute recipe!)
- Weight-Loss Friendly
- Can be adapted to needs
- It requires few and cheap ingredients
What more can one ask for?
Get chopping, get boiling… start counting your 5-a-day!
~~ Busy life and looking for healthy and tasty recipes? Cook: 30-Minute and Under Meals | Quick and Easy Recipes
- 130 g Dry Pasta I used penne
- 300 g Broccoli florets about one big head, cleaned up
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 10 g Chopped Fresh Garlic
- Chilli Flakes to taste
- Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- Chop the broccoli into pieces the same size (or slightly bigger) than the pasta shape chosen, wash them thoroughly, and set aside. Note: Chopping vegetables to the same size as the pasta allows for the whole recipe to mix well and each bite can have a bit of everything.
- On the stove put one big pot of water and bring it to the boil; once the water is boiling, add 1/2 tsp of salt and the pasta to it.
- Check the cooking time of the pasta (penne are normally 10-12 minutes) and compare with the time to cook the broccoli (I like mine quite soft, so I boil them for 8 minutes); this means that after 4 minutes of the pasta being in the water I add the broccoli to it.
- Once broccoli and pasta are ready, drain, and put back in the pot. Do not ‘’over-drain’’ the food… a tiny amount of cooking water (and I mean tiny) won’t hurt.
- If you want to keep this recipe to one pot, you can leave the pasta and broccoli in the colander, alternatively you can use a frying pan… in any case, take your selected pan and add to it 1 tbsp of olive oil. Once the oil is warm (not too hot) add the chopped garlic and lower the flame to low; after about 1 minute (when you can no longer smell the rawness of the garlic) add the chili flakes to the pan, stir well and add the broccoli and pasta. Mix well and add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Divide into two plates and serve!!