This Creamy Broccoli Pasta takes only 30 minutes to make! It's simple, yet restaurant-worthy, and it can be made gluten-free and vegan friendly!
Why This Recipe Works
- It takes 30 minutes to make - This pasta is the perfect dinner for those busy days when you want a proper meal but don't have time to make anything that requires a lot of time.
- It's simple and easy to make but still fancy - Make this for your guests! They'll never guess it took you so little time. This pasta is restaurant-worthy without the extra work!
- It's easy to make vegan-friendly - The sauce has Pecorino cheese in it but you can easily turn this dish vegan by using nutritional yeast instead of the cheese.
- Broccoli - You can use both fresh or frozen. I use frozen more often than fresh, especially in the winter months. Plus it's so convenient!
- Pasta - Any pasta shape works here. I like using brown-rice pasta to keep it glunten-free but any pasta works.
- Onion and garlic - These give the sauce most of its flavor so don't skip them! The sauce also has dried oregano and red pepper flakes.
- Cashew milk - I like using cashew milk to keep the sauce completely dairy-free if needed. You can use any milk you like most! I use cashew because it doesn't have much flavor which is great for savory dishes.
- Pecorino cheese - Pecorino is saltier than parmesan and tends to have a stronger flavor but you can use them interchangably. It should be made with sheep milk but be sure to check ingredients. Keep in mind pecorino and parmesan aren't vegetarian because they are made with sheep's rennet. Use nutritional yeast to keep the dish vegan.
The sauce can be made in four easy steps. I usually do this while the broccoli and pasta are cooking which is explained after these four steps.
- Sautee the onion with avocado oil, dried oregano, and chili flakes for a few minutes. Once it's translucent, add garlic and sautee for 30 seconds more.
- Add cashew milk and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add grated pecorino cheese and stir to melt and combine.
- The sauce should be slighly thicker and reduced. Take off heat and mix with the pasta and broccoli.
4. Cooking broccoli and pasta is really simple. Broccoli doesn't need much time to cook, only about 5 minutes. Just make sure that it's hot all the way through when using frozen.
5. Take the broccoli out of the water and set it aside. Cook the pasta in the same water to save time and water! Add more water if needed.
6. + 7. Once the pasta is cooked, don't forget to save some of the pasta water before draining. Add the pasta and broccoli to the sauce and toss gently. Add reserved pasta water if needed and more grated Pecorino.
Serving and Storing
Serving: Serve the pasta immediately with an extra sprinkle of red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt, or more Pecorino. You can also use nutritional yeast for flavor if you'd like to keep this dish vegan-friendly. You can also add a squeeze of lemon to the pasta for some freshness.
Storing: Store the pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. To reheat, add it to a saucepan with a splash of water and gently warm up. Keep in mind the pasta might fall apart slightly when warming up. This means this recipe isn't ideal for meal prep but the leftovers can definitely be stored and reheated!
Definitely! Just swap the pecorino for vegan cheese or use nutritional yeast instead.
Unfortunately, pasta tends to soak up any sauce very well which makes it hard to meal prep any pasta recipe. You can store leftovers in the fridge and reheat them but the pasta will fall apart slightly. This dish is best served freshly made.
Yes, totally! I've used frozen broccoli for this pasta many times and it's really good.
Similar Pasta Recipes
I'm a big fan of creamy pasta so here are four of my favorites! If you want to see more, take a look at the Pasta Recipes category. It's constantly being updated so you'll always find the latest pasta recipes there!
- Spinach Green Pasta Sauce
- Light Asparagus Pasta with Fresh Basil
- Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Capers and Dill
- Vegan Pumpkin Pasta with Sage
This broccoli pasta can be made in just 30 minutes, it's simple yet fancy, and it can be made vegan and gluten-free!
- 1 large head of broccoli (or approx. 400g frozen)
- 250g pasta (any kind works)
- 1 tbsp avocado oil (or other cooking oil)
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (makes about 1 cup)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cup milk of choice (I like cashew milk)
- 1 cup grated pecorino cheese (or parmesan)
- A squeeze of lemon (approx. 1 teaspoon - 1 tbsp)
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Chili flakes (for serving, optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Add the broccoli and cook for 5 minutes. If using frozen broccoli, you might need a little longer to bring it back to a boil but frozen broccoli is usually already blanched so it doesn’t need to be cooked as much, just heated up.
- Take the broccoli out and bring the water back to a boil (add more if needed) and cook the pasta in it according to the package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water and drain and rinse when soft.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat a pan over medium-high heat and add avocado oil.
- Add the chopped yellow onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.
- Lower the heat to medium and pour in the milk. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add ½ cup of the pecorino cheese and a squeeze of lemon, and stir to melt and combine.
- Add the broccoli and pasta and toss gently. Let them warm up and add pasta water as needed to thin out the sauce.
- Serve with more Pecorino, pepper, and chili flakes if desired.
Salt: I only add ¼ teaspoon to the onion (this helps the onion to release water, soften, and cook better) because Pecorino is a very salty cheese. If you’re using parmesan or no cheese, I recommend adding more salt.
No cheese: If you want to keep this dish vegetarian or vegan, use nutritional yeast instead of Pecorino. I recommend adding 2-3 tablespoon to the sauce and adding more to taste.
Keywords: creamy pasta, broccoli