Really Quick Broccoli Pasta

This is one of my best emergency quick dinner ideas and 2-in-1 veg plus carb side dish. Broccoli, pasta and not much else, it’s a little bit lemony, a little bit cheesy and a whole lot of yum. The broccoli is cooked with the pasta then stirred vigorously with sauce to make it juicy and... Get the Recipe The post Really Quick Broccoli Pasta appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.

Really Quick Broccoli Pasta

This is one of my best emergency quick dinner ideas and 2-in-1 veg plus carb side dish. Broccoli, pasta and not much else, it’s a little bit lemony, a little bit cheesy and a whole lot of yum. The broccoli is cooked with the pasta then stirred vigorously with sauce to make it juicy and saucy

Add this to your arsenal of broccoli recipes – this one is a keeper!

Close up of cheesy broccoli pasta in a bowl, ready to be eaten

Super QUICK broccoli pasta!

If you dream of 12 minute dinner magic, you’re going to love this broccoli recipe as much as I do. It’s for all those days when:

  • you’re staring at broccoli with not much else in the pantry, wondering how on earth you’re going to transform that into a totally delicious meal;

  • it’s a mad house and you just need to get dinner on the table, stat!

  • you want to hide a LOT of broccoli in something that everyone will love. There’s 2 whole heads in this – but it definitely doesn’t seem like it!

  • you’re after a quick side dish to serve with that charcoal chook you picked up enroute home, the sticky chicken thighs or crispy pan fried fish you’re making, those marinated pork chops or the garlic butter mushrooms you’re roasting in the oven.

It’s also what you make when you’re a food blogger who can’t resist a bargain and “accidentally” brought home SIX heads of broccoli…..????

Broccoli pasta in a serving bowl, ready to be served

What goes in broccoli pasta

Here’s what all you need to make this:

Ingredients in broccoli pasta
  • Broccoli – TWO BIG HEADS!

  • Some kind of pasta – preferably short, but even long will work

  • Some kind of cheese – either parmesan or something that can melt into the sauce (both is the best case scenario)

  • Some kind of fat – preferably extra virgin olive oil, otherwise normal olive oil or butter

So even if you have just the above 4 ingredients, your broccoli pasta is still going to be very tasty – everything else I use is a flavour bonus!

I love using lemon in this recipe – but it’s optional. It’s not a strong tangy lemon flavour, it’s in the background and helps create more sauce to toss through the pasta without adding tons of oil.


12 minute broccoli recipe!

This is not a Jamie Oliver 15 Minute Meals type recipe where you use every appliance, pot and pan in your kitchen and it’s a whirlwind of frantic chaos for 15 30 minutes then you spend a good 40 minutes cleaning up afterwards.

No no no! This is a totally effortless 12 minute recipe with a great flow to it. Here’s how it goes down:

  1. Cook pasta per the packet directions.

  2. Chop & cook broccoli – While the pasta is cooking, chop the broccoli then add it into the water when the pasta is 2 minutes from being done.

  3. Make sauce – Make the simple lemony pasta sauce

  4. Scoop out 1 cup pasta cooking water <– KEY STEP! This is how we make plenty of sauce without using tons of oil! Add 1/2 cup of this into the sauce and shake (reserve the rest of the water for later in case you need it).

  5. Put everything in pot – Drain the pasta and return to the same pot. Add the Sauce and cheese,

  6. Toss the pasta, sauce, water and cheese until it’s nice and juicy. Then DEVOUR!!

I always struggle to capture how juicy pastas like this are – when the sauce is clear rather than bright red and meaty like Bolognese. If you’re not convinced with the photos, watch the quick recipe video below!

Close up of broccoli pasta in a pot, ready to be served
Cheesy broccoli pasta in a rustic blue bowl, ready to be eaten

I haven’t loaded this Broccoli Pasta with tons of cheese. I use it more to create the sauce, rather than making this a really cheesy pasta. Also an attempt to keep the calorie count to a respectable level for a big bowl.

However, this Cheese-Loving Carb Monster will certainly not judge if you choose to be (way) more generous with the cheese.

Go on, do it, do it, do it! *she whispers cheekily in your ear* ???? ~ Nagi x


Watch how to make it

Close up of cheesy broccoli pasta in a bowl, ready to be eaten
Print

Really Quick Broccoli Pasta

Recipe video above. This is a great emergency meal OR carb + veg side for all those times when your cupboards are bare except for broccoli, pasta, and some kind of cheese. It's saucy without using tons of oil, and there's loads of sub options. Quick and utterly scrumptious – loaded with tons of broccoli!
Course Mains, Side
Cuisine Western
Keyword Broccoli pasta, broccoli recipes, quick pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 634cal
Author Nagi

Ingredients

  • 350g / 12 oz dried short pasta (I used small shells)
  • 2 broccoli heads (BIG!)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (or more!)

Pasta Sauce (Notes for subs):

  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (or more!)
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup parmesan , finely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs (or fresh!)
  • 1/2 tsp+ red pepper flakes (add more if you want spicy!)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Serving:

  • More parmesan

Instructions

  • Cook pasta: Boil a large pot of water with 2 tsp salt, add pasta.

While pasta is cooking:

  • Chop broccoli: Chop broccoli into small florets.
  • Cook broccoli: Add broccoli into water 1 – 2 minutes before pasta is cooked.
  • Sauce ingredients in jar: Place Sauce ingredients in a jar with lid.
  • Reserve pasta water: SCOOP OUT 1 cup pasta cooking water just before draining. Then drain and return pasta back into same pot on turned off stove.
  • Add pasta water into Sauce: Add 1/2 cup pasta water to Pasta Sauce jar, shake well.
  • Add Sauce & Cheese to pasta: Pour Sauce and add cheese into pot with pasta.
  • Stir then serve! Stir vigorously, adding more pasta water if required. Add more salt and pepper if required. Serve immediately, garnished with parmesan.

Notes

This recipe will serve 4 as a main or 6 to 8 as a side. To scale recipe, click Servings and slide.
Recipe substitutions:
  • Pasta – any short pasta is fine here, macaroni/elbow, twirls, penne, ziti, orecchiette etc.
  • Broccoli – this dish can take loads of broccoli, and still worth making even if you’re a bit short (or scale recipe down – click on servings and slide).
  • Cheese – any melting cheese fine here, preferably flavoured like cheddar, Monterey Jack, tasty, gruyere, Swiss. Mozzarella also fine but you’ll probably need more salt.
  • Parmesan – store bought pre grated fine in this recipe. OK if you don’t have (as long as you have shredded cheese!)
  • Lemon – not intended to be a full on lemon pasta, but the subtle tang and hint of lemon is terrific. Feel free to jack up the lemon flavour. Subs: 1.5 tbsp more oil or a mild vinegar like white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, even rice wine.
  • Garlic – could stir through green onions instead, or add 1/2 tsp garlic or onion powder into Sauce. OR finely grate any onion and add 2 tbsp it into dressing (juices and all).
  • Herbs – mixed herbs includes a bit of rosemary, thyme, parsley, oregano, dried basil. Feel free to use any you want, skip it, OR use fresh herbs
    • 1/2 cup sliced fresh basil right at the end would be amazing
    • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chives, parsley
    • 2 tbsp oregano
  • Red pepper flakes – for touch of heat, totally optional
  • Sugar – totally optional (takes edge off the sour)
Nutrition per serving as a main (4 servings).

Nutrition

Calories: 634cal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 768mg | Potassium: 609mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1270IU | Vitamin C: 116.2mg | Calcium: 347mg | Iron: 2.4mg

Originally published April 2019. Post refreshed in October 2021 along with new video edits. No change to recipe – I wouldn’t dare touch it!

More broccoli recipes

I’m a big fan of broccoli so I’ve shared quite a few recipes. Love the flavour, how versatile it is and it’s good for you!

  • Chicken broccoli rice casserole – tastes like a cheesy risotto, but so much easier to make!

  • Broccoli gratin – creamy yet no cream with a golden crunchy top

  • Broccoli Fritters – plus Chicken Broccoli Fritters

  • Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup or Healthy Creamy Broccoli Soup

  • Browse all


Life of Dozer

Dozer on the RIGHT side of the counter at Pet-O! I swear that place is Disney Land for dogs. He gets lavished with attention by everyone who works there, sooo many treats, then he runs around like a loon in the warehouse, grabbing toys and treats off the shelves, leaving me with no option other than to buy them.

I grumble and complain every time I spend way more than intended, and yet the thought of leaving him at home to go to the pet store without him never crosses my mind (and the one time I had to, the staff were very concerned about his well being!).

Dozer at Pet-O

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15-Minute Goulash

I know what you’re thinking… ‘A real Hungarian goulash in 15 minutes? Impossible’. And if you’re expecting a dish of soft slow cooked meat that’s been simmered for hours. You’re right. That ain’t going to happen in 15 minutes. BUT if you’re in the mood for something that tastes deeply meaty and savoury with some […] The post 15-Minute Goulash appeared first on Stonesoup.

15-Minute Goulash

I know what you’re thinking…

‘A real Hungarian goulash in 15 minutes? Impossible’.

And if you’re expecting a dish of soft slow cooked meat that’s been simmered for hours. You’re right. That ain’t going to happen in 15 minutes.

BUT if you’re in the mood for something that tastes deeply meaty and savoury with some sweetness from the peppers and the refreshing contrasting tang of sour cream AND you are short on time, you could do much worse than this humble approximation.

I love ground (minced) meat because it’s inexpensive but more importantly it cooks quickly AND all the surface area from the meat being cut so finely means that the flavour permeates your dish much more rapidly than bigger chunks of meat.

Oh and just between you and me…

While the paprika and peppers are essential for making this feel like a goulash, it’s the Worcestershire sauce which magically adds the depth of flavour you’d expect from a much longer cooking time.

With the paprika – make sure you buy SWEET Hungarian paprika not the smoked Spanish stuff. If you only have smoked paprika, reduce the quantity to 1 tablespoon as it will over power with bitter flavours if you go for the whole 4 tablespoons.

15-Minute Goulash
Print

15-Minute Goulash

Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 450 g ground minced beef
  • 3 large roast peppers from a jar
  • 4 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 bag baby spinach

Instructions

  • Heat a large frying pan on a high heat. Add a splash of oil. Then add the meat and cook, stirring to break up the chunks for a few minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.
  • Slice peppers and add to the beef. Then add the paprika, Worcestershire, water and 1/4 teaspoon fine salt. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce has started to thicken slightly.
  • Serve goulash on a bed of baby spinach with sour cream swirled over.

Video

NET CARBS 16g/serve

Variations & Substitutions for 15-Minute Goulash

no sweet Hungarian paprika – use smoked paprika, reduce the quantity to 1 tablespoon as it will over power with bitter flavours if you go for the whole 4 tablespoons.

no Worcestershire sauce – use soy sauce but reduce the quantity to 1 tablespoon. Or 2 teaspoons miso paste.

vegetarian – replace meat with crumbled tofu or cooked lentils. I’m also thinking scrambled eggs in the goulash style would be amazing,

different protein – any ground (minced) meat or poultry will work. Or you could use sliced chicken thigh or breast fillets – just make sure you simmer long enough to cook the chicken through. Scrambled eggs or an omelette with these flavours would be great. And I don’t see why fish wouldn’t work – especially something with stronger flavoured like salmon.

goulash eggs – I made this with eggs instead of the meat and it was amazing. Just substitute 6-8 eggs and use 2 tablespoons each of the Hungarian paprika and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over a medium heat stirring until thickened and serve with spinach and sour cream.

dairy-free – cashew sour cream or use this lemon tahini sauce.

nightshade-free – try this stroganoff instead.

more substantial (carb lovers) – serve with steamed or mashed potatoes or rice or soft egg noodles.

more substantial (low carb) – serve with wonderful cabbage wedges and some roast almonds.

different vegetables – feel free to add any cooked veg to the sauce. Grilled eggplant or zucchini will also work.

pantry-friendly – serve with defrosted frozen green beans, frozen peas, frozen spinach or rice instead of the baby spinach.

more fancy / for entertaining – use one of the more substantial suggestions above.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

ground (minced) beef – freeze it.

roast peppers from a jar – in an unopened jar will last in the pantry for months. Once open keep in the fridge and use for another meal.

sweet paprika / salt – keep them in the pantry.

Worcestershire sauce – keeps in the fridge for months.

sour cream – keeps for weeks in the fridge.

baby spinach – either freeze or wilt down in a pan with a little oil and then keep in the fridge for weeks.

Problem Solving Guide for 15-Minute Goulash

bland – more salt! Or a spash of red wine vinegar or other vinegar. Or add in a flavour bomb.

too dry – add more water. And remember the sour cream will help.

sticking to the pan – next time make sure your pan is hot before adding the oil and make sure the oil is hot before adding the food. For now remove from the heat and stirring in a splash of water will help it release.

Prepare Ahead

Yes! Just cook as per the recipe but keep the sour cream and baby spinach separately. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or can be frozen. To serve, bring back to a simmer.

15-Minute-Goulash

More Recipes like 15-Minute Goulash

  • Magnificent Mince & Cabbage
  • Best Ever Beef Stroganoff
  • Flexitarian Fajitas
  • Beef, Broccolini, Basil
  • Beaut Beef & Blue Cheese

With love,
Jules x

The post 15-Minute Goulash appeared first on Stonesoup.

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