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Easiest One-Pot Pasta and Broccoli

Easiest One-Pot Pasta and Broccoli

Makes 6 servings


  • kosher salt
  • 12 ounces medium pasta shells
  • 6 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and broccoli at the same time and cook until the pasta is al dente according to package directions. Reserving about 1 cup of the water, drain the pasta and broccoli.
2. Return the pot to the stove and set over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the garlic. Cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and add the pasta and broccoli.
3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the Romano, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Stir well, smashing any large pieces of broccoli into smaller pieces. Add ½ cup of the reserved pasta water and stir, adding more as needed to loosen the sauce.
6. Divide among 6 pasta bowls and serve with additional grated cheese on the side, if desired.


With just five ingredients (not counting salt and pepper) and one pot, you’ll have an easy dinner on the table in just about 15 minutes. Madison won’t eat cooked broccoli on its own, but she loves this dish. (Let’s just say that it’s not by accident that it gets all mashed up.) Because the broccoli is used to create a pesto-like sauce, it sticks to the pasta and the kids can’t pick it out. I made this dish weekly for Madison when she got her first set of teeth, using ditalini pasta, a small size that is easy for toddlers to eat. Nowadays, I use shells because they hold more of the yummy sauce, but any pasta shape works fine. Leftovers are great reheated the next day.

skinny scoop
Since this recipe relies on just a few ingredients, it’s important to use good-quality grated cheese such as Pecorino Romano or Parmesan. If you like a little spice, add some crushed red pepper flakes.

Recipe by Gina Homolka of skinnytaste


PER SERVING: 1 1/2 CUPS; CALORIES: 277; FAT: 7.5 g; SATURATED FAT: 1.5 g; CHOLESTEROL: 4 mg; CARBOHYDRATE: 47 g; FIBER: 8.5 g; PROTEIN: 13 g; SUGARS: 4 g; SODIUM: 190 mg