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In need of an easy weeknight dinner? 15 minutes is all it takes to make this healthy one pot creamy broccoli pasta. It may even help your toddler to love their broccoli. That’s a big promise, but you will never know until you try!

Pasta served three ways for an adult, toddler, and baby.
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Easy Broccoli Pasta

Pasta in a large pot.

Why this recipe is going to become one of your go-to weeknight meals!

  • Made with simple, healthy ingredients that you probably have on hand right now!
  • Takes only 15 minutes to make from start to finish
  • Only need to dirty ONE pan! As someone who HATES doing dishes, I am all in!
  • If your child is learning to enjoy their broccoli, this pasta dish may help nudge them in the right direction.
  • Budget-friendly!

And if you are looking for more EASY and creamy pasta dishes, you have to try this lemon ricotta pasta with spinach and 5 ingredient cream cheese pasta as well!

30+ EASY Dinner Ideas for the whole family

Ingredients

All the ingredients laid out on a white background.
  • Pasta – Small shapes, like elbow or orecchiette pasta will work best.
  • Broccoli – can use fresh or frozen broccoli.
  • Milk – I like to use whole fat milk because that’s what I always have on hand, but you can also use half-and-half or heavy cream to make the dish richer.
  • Broth – I like to use chicken broth but feel free to use whatever you wish.
  • Cheese – Use good quality cheese so that its flavor can really shine through in this simple dish. My personal favorite is Cabot (which tastes SO good in this one pot homemade hamburger helper).
  • Yogurt – Greek style works best as it’s nice and thick and also imparts a tangy flavor to the dish.

Step-by-Step Instructions

A four image collage showing step by step.
  • Melt butter over medium heat in a dutch oven or large pot. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to a minute. Add oregano, broth, and milk. Bring to a boil.
  • Add pasta. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 8-10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. Be sure to stir frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan. add chopped broccoli during the last 5 minutes of pasta being done.
  • Turn off the heat and Stir in yogurt, cheese, and lemon juice.

Tips for Success

  • For perfectly cooked broccoli – Add during the last 5 minutes. If serving to your baby or you want it to be very soft, then add it along with the pasta.
  • Use good quality cheese and grate it yourself. It will melt better leaving you with ooey gooey yumminess in each bite.
  • Don’t overcook your pasta – refer to package directions for the cooking time.
  • Be sure to occasionally stir and scrape the bottom of the pot (especially towards the beginning) to prevent the pasta from sticking.

Storage Suggestions

A close up shot of scooped broccoli pasta.

It is best served immediately but if you have any leftovers, transfer to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you plan on freezing, don’t add the stir-ins.

Cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen broccoli?

Absolutely! Simply thaw in the fridge and cook along with the pasta.
Note that it will cook faster than fresh broccoli so you’ll need to adjust when to add it depending on your texture preference.

What is the best pasta to use?

Small shapes, like elbow or orecchiette pasta, work best. You can use gluten-free pasta or legume-based pasta for a boost of protein, iron, and fiber. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time appropriately.

How can I make this broccoli pasta recipe dairy-free?

You can use any plant-based milk or Greek style yogurt. Non-dairy cheese and nutritional yeast are great substitutes for the cheddar cheese.

What is the best way to reheat leftovers?

The pasta won’t be as creamy but will still be good! You can microwave or reheat on the stove with an additional splash of broth or milk to help loosen the pasta.

Serving Suggestions

While this broccoli pasta dish can stand on its own, you can certainly add more protein to boost nutrition.

Some suggestions include:

You can also stir in whatever vegetables you have on hand! Frozen peas and spinach work really well.

For babies

pasta served in a bowl with big broccoli floret and shredded chicken.

Small shaped pasta is hard for young babies (6-8 month olds) to pick up, so if making this dish to enjoy with your baby, then I suggest using a larger shaped pasta, like penne.

Adjust the broccoli size depending on their age as well!

How to cook and serve broccoli to baby

For toddlers

A toddler plate with pasta served deconstructed along with quartered cherry tomatoes.

If your child doesn’t like broccoli or gets squirmy about foods touching each other, then you can separate the broccoli from the pasta as you see here. You can also cut the broccoli into smaller pieces to make it easier to eat.

toddler pushing bowl away

Is your toddler becoming picky?

Arm yourself with these strategies that will transform your mealtimes!

More Creamy pastas to try

Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!

5 from 34 votes

Creamy Broccoli Pasta

In need of an easy weeknight dinner? 15 minutes is all it takes to make this healthy one pot creamy broccoli pasta
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 11 minutes
Servings: 4
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Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (or 2-3 teaspoons garlic powder)
  • 2 cups low sodium broth of choice
  • 1 cup full fat milk, see note
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 8 ounces pasta, small or medium shaped

Stir ins

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar, can add more
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • (optional: lemon zest, grated parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes)

Instructions 

  • Melt butter over medium heat in a dutch oven or large pot. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to a minute. Add oregano, broth, and milk. Bring to a boil.
  • Add pasta. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 8-10 minutes, or until pasta is done. Be sure to stir frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan. add broccoli during the last 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and Stir in yogurt, cheese, and lemon juice.

Notes

  • For perfectly cooked broccoli – Add during the last 5 minutes. If serving to your baby or you want it to be very soft, then add it along with the pasta.
  • Don’t overcook your pasta – refer to package directions for the cooking time.
  • Be sure to occasionally stir and scrape the bottom of the pot.
  • Storage: Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you plan on freezing, don’t add the stir-ins. Cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 231mg | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 263mg | Iron: 2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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Recipe Rating




27 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Another winning recipe! The creamy broccoli pasta was a hit with everyone, adults and kids alike. Just getting out of the haze of a newborn with a toddler and am so happy to have easy recipes that I can feel good about feeding my family.

    1. Oh those newborn days are so so hard. I still hear phantom cries but what everyone says is true – it does get easier! Hang in there mama. And I promise to continue sharing EASY, wholesome recipes!