Vegan Lemon Pasta With Pine Nuts and Broccoli Recipe

Lemon pasta with pine nuts and broccoli

Emily Hawkes for The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
224 Calories
14g Fat
22g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 224
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 96mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 28mg 140%
Calcium 24mg 2%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 175mg 4%
*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.)

Pasta is always welcome. It's infinitely adaptable, always delicious, and a trustworthy option - especially on a super busy weeknight. If you're vegan, looking to eschew animal products, or just trying to skip meat for a night—try this delicious, entirely vegan recipe. If you think that you have to give up pasta as a vegan ... you are mistaken. It also doesn't hurt that it comes together in almost no time at all. You'll be stunned by how quickly you can get dinner on the table with this recipe.

This pasta is super flavorful, fragrant with lemon, and dotted with garlic, broccoli, and pine nuts. Any pasta is fine, but we opt for capellini, angel hair, or even small shells. No worries if you don't have those on hand, though, because truly any pasta choice would be delicious in this dish. Fresh or frozen broccoli also both work, just in case. Oftentimes, frozen vegetables are actually 'fresher' than some fresh ones, because they're harvested at their peak ripeness and then immediately frozen. if you're using frozen here, celebrate that! 

Of course, olive oil and garlic are building blocks of many dishes, especially within the pasta lexicon. Here, we also use lemon in two different ways, which helps bolster the acidity and lemon-forward flavor, making this dish very, very lemony and bright. Lastly, the nutty, buttery flavor of pine nuts help tie the whole dish together. For garnish, we think some vegan Parmesan cheese would be an excellent topping, or perhaps some toasted breadcrumbs with lemon zest. Nutritional yeast would also be a great finishing touch.

If you're a carnivore looking for an extra boost of protein but this dish sounds delicious for you, throw some grilled chicken on top of the cooked pasta, or go wild and add bacon or pancetta to the olive oil and garlic base. A touch of cream, white wine, or some sort of stock or broth would also help to up the moisture content—but just a quick splash. 

If you're not a microwave fan, no worries. Add broccoli to the oil and garlic base and sauté the broccoli that way. You're just looking to soften and cook the broccoli here—not give it any color or crisp—so sautéing for a bit would do the trick. Vegan or not, we're pretty sure that the whole family would enjoy this lemon-forward pasta, so don't be shy to make this—we can't recommend it enough. 


  • 1/2 pound pasta

  • 1 cup small broccoli florets, lightly steamed

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for lemon pasta with pine nuts and broccoli
    Emily Hawkes for The Spruce
  2. Prepare pasta according to package instructions. Drain well.

    Prepare pasta
    Emily Hawkes for The Spruce
  3. Steam or microwave broccoli just until tender. Set aside.

    Steam broccoli
    Emily Hawkes for The Spruce
  4. Sauté garlic in olive oil for just a minute or two. Remove from heat, then whisk in lemon juice and lemon zest.

    Saute garlic
    Emily Hawkes for The Spruce
  5. In a large bowl, combine pasta, broccoli, olive oil, lemon and garlic and pine nuts, gently tossing to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper, to taste.

    Combine ingredients
    Emily Hawkes for The Spruce


  • Top it all off with some Parmesan cheese or, if you're following a vegan diet, nutritional yeast.