Broccoli pasta is a creamy, cheesy, and simple recipe that is ready in less than 30 minutes. The perfect weekday dinner, this pasta will satisfy your cheese craving while still providing your family all the wholesome goodness of fresh broccoli. This take on broccoli mac and cheese will be a family favorite!
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Quick and Easy Creamy Broccoli Pasta Recipe
Our quick and easy creamy broccoli pasta recipe is the perfect way to get your little ones and picky eaters to eat more broccoli. Loaded with cream and cheddar cheese, it is the perfect winter or cool night comfort food.
Our recipe uses the Instant Pot, which makes it a simple one pot meal that is ready in about half the time.
Why is this Pasta and Broccoli Recipe awesome
We love our Instant Pot! If you love yours as much as we do ours, then you’ll appreciate that we make the whole recipe in the Instant Pot.
Hello one pot meal that is ready in less than a half hour!
Our broccoli pasta is also vegetarian, which means it easily fits into your diet with no need to modify the base recipe. And it’s loaded with broccoli, which means you’ll get plenty of this healthy green veggie!
Also, if you follow a gluten free diet, you can easily substitute in gluten-free noodles with no other modifications.
What goes in Broccoli Pasta - Ingredients
When making broccoli pasta, you’ll need these ingredients:
- Fusilli pasta - Any short, round pasta will work well in this pasta.
- Broth - You could use water instead if you prefer.
- Broccoli - It is best to use fresh, but you could thaw florets and use them instead if you prefer.
- Seasonings - You’ll need garlic powder, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and red chili flakes.
- Unsalted butter - In a pinch, you could use salted, but you may need to adjust the amount of salt you add later.
- Sharp cheddar cheese block - You could use mild cheddar or a different cheese, like monterey jack, if you prefer.
- Heavy cream - This forms the base of the sauce and should be nice and thick. If you use light cream, half and half, or milk, the sauce will likely be a bit more watery.
How to make Broccoli Pasta in an Instant Pot
- First, add the pasta to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Next, add the butter, salt to taste, and the water or broth.
- Once you add in the broth, close the lid and set to pressure cook on high for 4 minutes.
- After the pressure cooking cycle is complete, do a quick release of the pressure and then carefully unlock and remove the lid.
- Next, switch to the high sauté setting. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, which will take about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Once the broccoli is ready, stir in the Dijon and garlic powder.
- Finally, add in the heavy cream and gradually whisk in cheese until melted and then sprinkle some red chili flakes on top.
- Serve with warm garlic bread, bread sticks, ciabatta bread.
Pro tips and tricks
Follow these easy tips and tricks for best results:
- Add the cheese little by little and stir to ensure a smooth consistency.
- Don’t over cook the pasta. It only needs 4 minutes and a quick release to fully cook.
- Do not add the broccoli until after you pressure cook it to avoid making mushy broccoli.
What type of Pasta can I use for making this Broccoli and Pasta
We use fusilli, which is a short, curly pasta. When you make it, you could use any short noodle, including:
How can I store Broccoli Pasta
For best results, we recommend eating the pasta fresh when you make it. But if you have leftovers, you can easily store them in an airtight container.
To store, allow the pasta to cool so it is no longer steaming. Once it is ready, scoop into an airtight container and place in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To reheat, you can microwave on high for 1 to 3 minutes or until warmed through or gently warm it in a pot set over low heat on the stove. You’ll want to stir it occasionally to avoid burning the pasta and ensure an even heat.
How long to cook pasta for broccoli and pasta
In our recipe, we use the Instant Pot. In the Instant Pot, you only need to set it to cook for 4 minutes and then do a quick release.
If you use the stove top to make the pasta, you should follow the directions on the box of pasta. These times can vary, but generally range between 8 and 12 minutes.
How to add flavor to pasta broccoli?
We use Dijon mustard in our recipe to flavor the broccoli pasta. It also gets some flavor from the garlic powder, butter, and cheddar cheese too.
If you like, you can add additional flavors and spices to increase the heat or change the flavor some. Smoked paprika can taste good in a cheesy pasta. You may also find south west seasonings taste good in the pasta.
Does the recipe have pasta with broccoli and garlic?
Our recipe uses garlic powder, through you could easily add some additional fresh garlic when you add the broccoli.
However, our recipe is not a version of a garlic and broccoli pasta that you may find in Chinese inspired recipes. It uses a cheddar cheese sauce to create a creamy, tasty flavor that is perfect for cold winter nights.
What type of cheese can I add to the recipe?
When we make this recipe, we like the strong flavor of a good sharp cheddar cheese. But if you prefer, you can mix and match or add just one of your favorite cheeses. Some suggestions include:
- Monterey jack
- mild cheddar
- mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- pepper jack (for a bit more heat)
Can I use frozen broccoli?
You can use frozen broccoli if you prefer. If you do, allow it to thaw completely and then drain and pat dry before using.
For best flavor, we recommend using fresh broccoli, but the pasta still tastes great with frozen broccoli.
Can I add other veggies to the broccoli pasta recipe
Yes! You can easily add more frozen or fresh veggies. We recommend adding them at the end when you add the broccoli. Some great additions include:
- roasted veggies like bell peppers, cauliflower, or onions
- fresh herbs like chives or parsley
More super easy and delicious Kid friendly Pasta Recipes
- Minestrone soup
- Black bean Pasta
- Sopa de fideo
- Cacio e pepe
- Pesto Cavatappi
- Spaghetti Aglio E Olio
- Penne Pomodoro
Let us know what you think
- 8 oz fusilli pasta
- 2-1/2 cups Broth (or water)
- 2 cups broccoli, small florets
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese block, grated, adjust to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Add the pasta in the inner pot of the instant pot
- Add the butter, salt to taste and the water or broth.
- Close the lid and set to pressure cook on high for 4 minutes.
- After the pressure cook cycle is complete do a quick release QR.
- Carefully unlock and remove the lid and switch to high saute setting.
- Add the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in Dijon and garlic powder.
- Add in the heavy cream and gradually whisk in cheese until melted.
- sprinkle some red chili flakes.
- serve with a warm garlic bread
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 324Total Fat 20gSaturated Fat 14gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 67mgSodium 189mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 4gSugar 5gProtein 21g
All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. We are not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on TheBellyRulesTheMind.net should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though we try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of our ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.