Creamy Broccoli Pasta

Creamy Broccoli Pasta

The Spruce / Chelsea Ross

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 14 mins
Total: 24 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
573 Calories
32g Fat
54g Carbs
19g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 573
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 20g 98%
Cholesterol 91mg 30%
Sodium 489mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Protein 19g
Calcium 349mg 27%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Many of us know and love the classic combination of broccoli and cheese: It's what makes broccoli cheddar soup so good, for example. That broccoli and cheese combination goes a step further with this pasta dish. Imagine cooked broccoli pureed with cheese, heavy cream, salt, and pepper, along with basil and Parmesan cheese. The combination of flavors makes for a pesto-like broccoli sauce that's rich and incredibly delicious. It is a dish you'll make again and again.

This simple dish comes together really quickly and makes an excellent everyday meal when served with a tossed salad. It's also an unexpectedly flavorful side dish when it accompanies grilled steak, chicken, or fish along with sliced fresh tomatoes. It's ideal for a weeknight—you can have dinner ready in less than 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch (about 4 cups) broccoli florets, drained
  • 5 medium fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Dash salt, or to taste
  • Dash freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 8 ounces pasta

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Creamy broccoli pasta ingredients

    The Spruce / Chelsea Ross

  2. Put the broccoli florets in a saucepan with about 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, cover the pan, and steam until the broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes.

    Broccoli cooking in a pot with water

    The Spruce / Chelsea Ross

  3. Drain cooked broccoli and put it in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.

    Cooked broccoli in a food processor

    The Spruce / Chelsea Ross

  4. Add the basil, butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese. Pulse to puree the mixture. Leave it a little chunky or puree it until it's smooth, depending on your preference. Taste the broccoli mixture and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.

    Basil, butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese added to broccoli in a food processor

    The Spruce / Chelsea Ross

  5. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it following the package recommendations. Drain well.

    Drained pasta in a colander

    The Spruce / Chelsea Ross

  6. In a bowl combine the hot drained pasta with the broccoli mixture. Stir to combine thoroughly. Serve hot as a side dish or main dish. Offer extra Parmesan cheese at the table.

    Creamy broccoli pasta in a bowl

    The Spruce / Chelsea Ross

Variations

  • If you don't have fresh basil, use about 1 teaspoon of dried leaf basil. You might also like this recipe with a clove or two of garlic processed in with the ingredients for the sauce.
  • If you don't have fresh broccoli, use 12 to 16 ounces of frozen broccoli florets. Steam the broccoli on the stovetop or in the microwave oven following the package directions. Drain well before pureeing.

How to Store and Freeze Creamy Broccoli Pasta

This recipe will keep for up to five days in the refrigerator if stored in an airtight container. Microwave gently if you like, but pasta tastes better when reheated in a saucepan with a little water or olive oil over medium-low heat until hot.


The sauce for this dish will keep in the freezer for up to three months. It may need to be whisked together a bit once it's defrosted and reheated—sometimes cream-based sauces lose a bit of their texture when frozen and reheated.