plate of pasta with broccoli

I’ve implemented a new #meanmom rule over the past few months of offering salad as the only snack option if my children claim to be hungry between 4pm and dinnertime. This is a great way to a.) sniff out if they’re actually hungry and b.) get an extra serving of veggies into them if they actually are.

Okay, okay, sometimes they opt out of salad “snack” (you’re shocked, I know) but I can still get their greens in — delivered via creamy parmesan pasta — when I serve Parmesan Pasta with Broccoli for dinner! This super simple, 30 minute dinner recipe tastes like the buttery parmesan noodles of our childhoods, mixed with healthy veggies.

Trust me when I tell you it is a HOME RUN!

close up photo of parmesan pasta with broccoli

Easy Pasta with Broccoli Recipe

Buttered parmesan noodles are tossed with steamed broccoli, caramelized mushrooms and shallots, plus seasoned salt and pepper in this meatless main that’s as satisfying as it is simple. So many kids, including mine, love buttered parmesan pasta. It’s tasty, familiar, and a great vehicle to introduce vegetables into their meals.

This dish is light and creamy, yet no cream required. It truly is one of the easiest pasta recipes I know.

Ingredients Needed

One of the many reasons why I love this recipe is because I almost always have all the ingredients on hand since they’re fridge and pantry staples for my family. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pasta: I typically use gluten free spaghetti or angel hair noodles, but use whatever your family likes. Penne is great too.
  • Butter: Feel free to use vegan butter if you need or want to.
  • Broccoli: Broccoli is one vegetable that all three of my kids are on board with eating – they love their “little trees”!
  • Mushrooms: The mushrooms are sauteed until they’re caramelized which gives them incredible flavor. If your family has passed on mushrooms in the past, give this method a try.
  • Shallots: You can swap in a yellow onion if you don’t have shallots on hand.
  • Homemade Seasoned Salt and Pepper: Seasoned salt is SUCH a great way to add loads of flavor to a dish with a simple dash of a shaker. My homemade blend calls for just 4 everyday ingredients – salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder!
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese: Use freshly grated if you can – it really makes a difference in how creamy the final dish ends up. I keep a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano, which you can find at most grocery stores these days, in the fridge then freshly grate with a microplane.

close up view of mushroom parmesan pasta with broccoli on a plate

How to Make Pasta with Broccoli

Step 1: Cook the broccoli. Start by dropping broccoli florets into a large pot of salted, boiling water then simmer until tender, 2-3 minutes. Scoop out the florets then drain and set aside, keeping the water in the pot to boil the pasta.

fresh broccoli florets going into a pot of water

Step 2: Cook the pasta. Add gluten-free pasta noodles to the simmering water then cook until the pasta is al dente.

cooked pasta noodles in a pot

BEFORE DRAINING, scoop out a cup or so of the pasta water to reserve. This is what we’ll use to make a light and silky pasta sauce in a bit!

cup of pasta cooking water

Step 3: Caramelize the mushrooms. While the broccoli and pasta are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt butter inside then add sliced mushrooms and shallots. The mushrooms will release a bunch of liquid so saute until the liquid has cooked off, and then continue to saute until the mushrooms are golden brown and caramelized.

Here are my tips to get golden brown mushrooms vs steamed soggy mushrooms:

How to get caramelized mushrooms vs soggy mushrooms:

  1. Don’t pile all the mushrooms into the center of the pan. Spread them out so there’s some openings to the bottom of the skillet to let the moisture simmer off.
  2. If you don’t have a 12″ or larger skillet, add half the mushrooms then let the moisture simmer out. Scoop out onto a plate then repeat with the second half. Add the first half back into the skillet then continue cooking until the mushrooms all golden brown and caramelized.
  3. Wait to season with salt until the mushrooms are golden brown.

Once the mushrooms and shallots are golden brown and caramelized, season with homemade seasoned salt and pepper.

caramelized mushrooms in a skillet

Step 4: Combine the ingredients. Add the drained pasta, caramelized mushroom mixture, more butter, and freshly grated parmesan cheese to the pasta cooking pot then drizzle in ~1/2 cup pasta cooking water and stir until everything is silky and a light sauce has formed, adding more pasta cooking water to achieve a thin sauce.

Lastly, add in the cooked broccoli plus lots of seasoned salt and pepper then stir to combine again. Scoop onto plates then get to swirling! I hope you love this decadent tasting broccoli pasta recipe – enjoy!!

fork twirling parmesan pasta with broccoli

More Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes

Easy Parmesan Pasta with Broccoli

5/5 (5 REVIEWS)


Easy Parmesan Pasta with Broccoli combines the comfort of parmesan noodles with fresh broccoli and mushrooms. Simple, healthy, and satisfying!


serves 4-6

  • 6 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 16oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 jumbo shallot, sliced
  • homemade seasoned salt and pepper (see notes for recipe)
  • 6oz broccoli florets
  • 10oz gluten free spaghetti
  • heaping 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli then boil until crisp tender, 2-3 minutes. Scoop out florets then drain and set aside. Bring water back to a boil then add pasta and cook until al dente. Scoop out a cup of pasta cooking water then drain pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large, 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tablespoons butter then, once melted, add mushrooms and shallots. Saute until mushrooms and shallots are golden brown and tender, 10-12 minutes, then season with seasoned salt and pepper. Usually the mushrooms and shallots are done before the pasta is ready so I turn the heat down to low and let them continue to caramelize.
  3. Add mushrooms, pasta, remaining 4 Tablespoons butter, and parmesan cheese to the pasta cooking pot then drizzle in some of the pasta cooking water and stir until creamy, adding more pasta cooking water if the pasta seems dry. Add broccoli and lots of seasoned salt and pepper then stir once more to combine, and then serve.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

photo collage of pasta with broccoli