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Creamy Pasta with Broccoli

Amy Palanjian
Feel free to cut this recipe in half to make a smaller portion for your family. (Or make the full batch and enjoy the leftovers!)
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8
Calories 309 kcal


  • 16 ounces pasta
  • 16 ounces broccoli florets (about 2 small heads)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder


  • Prepare pasta according to package directions, using a very large pot. Add the broccoli for the last 3 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  • Drain the pasta and broccoli in a colander. Return to the pot. Toss with the butter.
  • Meanwhile, add the ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, Parmesan cheese, and 1/4 cup cold water to blender. Blend smooth.
  • Add the cheese mixture to the pot with the pasta and broccoli. Use a spatula to toss the pasta until coated, adding a little of the reserved pasta water at a time until a smooth, but thick sauce forms.
  • Transfer pasta to a large bowl and top with additional cheese to serve—if desired.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat to serve, stirring in a little of the reserved pasta water, regular water, or broth if needed.


  • Ladle out some of the pasta water before you drain so you have it set aside and ready to use.
  • Use whichever type of pasta your family prefers.
  • If using gluten-free pasta, you can use stock or broth instead of pasta water to smooth out the sauce.
  • Save any remaining pasta cooking water to add moisture when reheating the pasta.
  • To use frozen broccoli instead of fresh, add it to the pasta cooking pot for just the final minute of cooking.
  • This does taste lemony so you may want to reduce the amount of lemon juice slightly if that flavor is new to your kids.
  • Use cottage cheese instead of ricotta if preferred.


Calories: 309kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 14gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 359mgPotassium: 348mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 532IUVitamin C: 53mgCalcium: 132mgIron: 1mg
Keyword broccoli pasta, creamy broccoli pasta, pasta with broccoli
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