The Cozy Cook

Creamy Broccoli Pasta – One Pot!

This Creamy Broccoli Pasta has pasta shells smothered in a buttery Garlic Parmesan Sauce with herbs and lots of broccoli! Add a hint of lemon juice at the end for the ultimate flavor that your family will love.

Serve this with some Garlic Bread with Cheese or Cheddar Bay Biscuits.

Creamy Broccoli Pasta with pasta shells in a bowl.

Broccoli Pasta

If you ask me, it doesn’t get much better than savory pasta shells smothered in a flavorful cream sauce. I never have to worry about getting my family to eat their broccoli when I make this for dinner.

BONUS: This is one pot meal that you can make in 30 minutes or less!

Check out my PRO tips below for different types of pasta options and what you need to do to make sure your sauce is EXTRA creamy.

Want to add more to this meal? Serve these creamy shells with some homemade chicken nuggets and some garlic bread with cheese.

How to Make It

Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the chicken broth, half and half, and seasonings. Bring to a boil.

A pot with butter, garlic, broth, and seasonings to make broccoli pasta.

Add the pasta. Submerge the pasta into the liquid and let it return to a boil. Cook according to package instructions, partially covered. Plan on adding the broccoli during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Run a silicone spatula along the bottom of the pot occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking to it.

Adding shell pasta and broccoli to a pot of sauce to make broccoli pasta.

Remove from heat. Add the lemon juice and use a silicone spatula to gently mix in the Parmesan cheese. Sauce will continue to thicken upon standing.

Adding cheese to pasta shells and stirring to combine to make creamy broccoli pasta.

Pro Tips

  • Grate the cheese from a block so that it melts and tastes the best. Packaged grated or shredded Parmesan cheese contains cellulose to prevent it from clumping together, which also prevents it from melting as well.
  • A combination of Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano cheese tastes great as well.
  • Don’t add the cheese to a super hot base as this will cause the dairy to separate and the consistency will be grainy instead of smooth.
  • Similarly-sized pastas may be substituted, refer to package for approximate cooking time. Examples include Fusilli (spiral) and Farfalle (bowtie).

Storage

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. The consistency of the dairy is altered slightly once reheated but I love heating it in the microwave for a quick lunch!

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

  • Measuring Spoons– Comes with small spoons that makes it easy to measure out the herbs in this recipe.
  • Box Grater– Makes it easy to shred or grate cheese in a variety of sizes. We grate the Parmesan cheese into a fine powder in this recipe, this grater makes it easy.
  • 10-inch pan– with lid, the perfect size for this recipe.
  • Pasta Shells I used Colavita brand for this recipe, (I like the shape)!
  • Garlic Twister it’s much more flavorful to mince fresh garlic. This twister does it in seconds and is easy to clean and store.

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Broccoli Pasta

5 from 17 ratings
This Creamy Broccoli Pasta has pasta shells smothered in a buttery Garlic Parmesan Sauce with herbs, a hint of lemon juice, and lots of broccoli!

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups half and half
  • ½ lb. medium pasta shells
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoons pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • 3 ½ cups broccoli florets
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¾ cup Parmesan Cheese, finely grated into a powder

Instructions

  • Measure out all ingredients prior to beginning. (This is called “mise en place” and is a good idea for quick recipes.)
  • Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken broth, half and half, and seasonings.
  • Bring to a boil and add the pasta. Submerge the pasta into the liquid and let it return to a boil. Cook partially covered according to package instructions. Add the broccoli during the last 5 minutes. Run a silicone spatula along the bottom of the pan occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking to it.
  • Remove cover taste-test a pasta noodle for doneness before proceeding. If needed, cover and cook longer, until your desired doneness is obtained.
  • Remove from heat. Add the lemon juice and use a silicone spatula to gently mix in the Parmesan cheese.
  • Sauce will continue to thicken upon standing. Garnish with parsley and serve with garlic bread with cheese.

Notes

Pro Tips
  • Grate the cheese from a block so that it melts and tastes the best. Packaged grated or shredded Parmesan cheese contains cellulose to prevent it from clumping together, which also prevents it from melting as well.
  • A combination of Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano cheese tastes great as well.
  • Don't add the cheese to a super hot base as this will cause the dairy to separate and the consistency will be grainy instead of smooth.
  • Similarly-sized pastas may be substituted, refer to package for approximate cooking time. Examples include Fusilli (spiral) and Farfalle (bowtie).

Nutrition

Calories: 495kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 71mg, Sodium: 866mg, Potassium: 363mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 783IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 335mg, Iron: 1mg

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38 comments on “Creamy Broccoli Pasta – One Pot!”

  1. This was absolutely delicious! Thank you for the idea 🙂

  2. Made this for dinner tonight. LOVED it.

    I’ll be sharing this with family & friends.

    • I am so happy to hear that Karri!! Thank you SO much for sharing the recipe and for taking the time to leave a review, I appreciate it so much!!! -Stephanie

  3. This was delicious and very flavorful! I added a few more splashes of milk, grated the garlic, and used cavatappi pasta! I let it sit in the pan to thicken the sauce for a few minutes before serving. So yummy! Perfect recipe!

  4. You are very close here to a cecillian pasta con broccoli. Remove the lemon from the recipe. Add some tomato sauce (when the sauce turns pink you know that’s enough) and add one oz sweet vermouth to finish.. obviously simmer to let alcohol cook out of it. Give a try.

  5. Delicious, quick, and easy. This recipe was great for a week night meal. It’s also easy to other ingredients to. I added diced bell peppers and Trader Joe’s chicken sausage. We loved it!

    • Hey Nikki! I am so happy that you enjoyed this recipe and I love the ingredient additions that you made, sausage in this sounds incredible, as do the bell peppers! 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this review, I really appreciate it! -Stephanie

  6. Yummy! I added extra pasta so needed extra liquid! Loved it!

  7. This was such a delicious and easy dinner! I lightened it up by reducing the butter and replaced half of the half and half with milk. Served with a side salad. Couldn’t have been easier for a busy week night!

    • I’m so happy this helped you out during a busy week night! That’s why I love One Pots so much!❤️ Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!

  8. Absolutely delicious and way to make. Loved it

  9. Hi can the Broccoli be frozen? Thanks!

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