Creamy Broccoli Pasta (One Pot!)

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

A bowl full of broccoli pasta with herbs and cracked pepper on top.

Broccoli Pasta

If you’re looking for a clever little trick to get your family to eat their broccoli, then you just found your answer! I like to chop the broccoli up super fine so that it’s not even worth it for my daughter to pick it out. She’s WAY more interested in devouring the shells to worry about the broccoli. 😁

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 make this a complete family meal? Serve these creamy shells with some homemade chicken nuggets and some cheesy garlic bread!

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.

Cooking butter, garlic, chicken broth, cream, and herbs for Broccoli Pasta.

Add the pasta and submerge the shells into the liquid. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and let it bubble gently, partially covered, for 5 minutes.

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

Adding shells to a cream sauce for baking Broccoli Pasta.

Add the broccoli and cook for 2-3 more minutes, or until the pasta has reached your desired level of doneness. The broccoli needs to be finely chopped so that it cooks quickly.

Adding broccoli to cooked shells for 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. Garnish with parsley and serve with cheesy garlic bread.

Adding grated Parmesan Cheese to pasta shells and broccoli for Broccoli Pasta.

Pro Tips

  • Chop the broccoli finely so that it cooks fast.
  • 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 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.

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Broccoli Pasta

5 from 6 votes
This creamy Broccoli Pasta has pasta shells in a buttery Garlic Parmesan Sauce with herbs and lots of broccoli! Add a hint of lemon at the end for the ultimate flavor that your family will love.

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • Chop the broccoli, grate the cheese, and measure out seasonings prior to beginning.
  • 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.
  • Add the pasta and submerge the shells into the liquid. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and let it bubble gently, partially covered, for 5 minutes. Run a silicone spatula along the bottom of the pan occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking to it.
  • Add the broccoli and cook for 2-3 more minutes, or until the pasta has reached your desired level of doneness. (Refer to box for approximate cooking time).
  • 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 cheesy garlic bread.

Notes

Pro Tips

  • Chop the broccoli finely so that it cooks fast.
  • 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 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).

Want to make this a complete family meal? Serve these creamy shells with some homemade chicken nuggets and some cheesy garlic bread!

Nutrition

Calories: 518kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Cholesterol: 71mg, Sodium: 790mg, Potassium: 564mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1189IU, Vitamin C: 72mg, Calcium: 361mg, Iron: 2mg