by Olena

Penne with Broccoli in One Pan

by Olena

4.8 from 8 reviews

Penne with broccoli, tomato sauce, garlic, onion and oil cooked in one pan and topped with cheese for an easy healthy dinner recipe. | ifoodreal.com

This penne with broccoli is my-go-to 20 minute dinner for kids when my fridge is empty and they won’t eat my quinoa skillet. It’s affordable, quick, healthy and versatile – use any firm veggies you have on hand/your kids like. Frozen vegetables work too.

Oddly enough my kids love broccoli, not over cooked. Cauliflower, carrots and snap peas are great options as well. You could also add grape tomatoes, peas and corn, why not?!

Penne with broccoli, tomato sauce, garlic, onion and oil cooked in one pan and topped with cheese for an easy healthy dinner recipe. | ifoodreal.com

I added only 3/4 cup cheese, just enough to make the dish creamy and cheesy. Dried and fresh herbs, tomato sauce and good quality pasta take care of the rest. This dish was creamy and delicious.

Penne with broccoli, tomato sauce, garlic, onion and oil cooked in one pan and topped with cheese for an easy healthy dinner recipe. | ifoodreal.com

Sauce consists of onion, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and tomato sauce. Pasta cooks right in the skillet. That’s right, just add water. If it gets too thick the next day, add more boiled water. I always have it in my kettle.

Penne with broccoli, tomato sauce, garlic, onion and oil cooked in one pan and topped with cheese for an easy healthy dinner recipe. | ifoodreal.com

Isn’t it beautiful?! After pasta is cooked, add your vegetables of choice and cheese. We like cooked but still crunchy broccoli but you can increase cooking time for softer vegetables.

This penne with broccoli makes plenty with leftovers to be taken for lunch the next day or frozen. Super simple, isn’t it?!Penne with broccoli, tomato sauce, garlic, onion and oil cooked in one pan and topped with cheese for an easy healthy dinner recipe. | ifoodreal.com

Penne with broccoli, tomato sauce, garlic, onion and oil cooked in one pan and topped with cheese for an easy healthy dinner recipe. | ifoodreal.com

More One Pot Healthy Pasta Recipes

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Penne with Broccoli

4.8 from 8 reviews

Penne pasta with broccoli, tomato sauce, garlic, onion and oil cooked in one pan and topped with cheese for an easy healthy dinner recipe.

  • Author: ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 14 oz can tomato sauce
  • 3 cups or more water
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp thyme, dried
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 2 cups whole wheat or gluten free penne pasta, uncooked (I used organic kamut penne)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz) Mozzarella or Tex Mex cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup parsley/basil, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat large deep skillet on medium heat and add olive oil, onion and garlic. Saute until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add tomato sauce, water, thyme, salt, pepper and stir. Add pasta and stir again. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Add broccoli and cheese, cover and cook for 3 minutes for crispy broccoli and 5 – 6 minutes for softer vegetables. Remove from heat and adjust thickness of the sauce with extra boiled water (I use water from a kettle). You can do this at any time since pasta tends to soak up the sauce, especially the next day. Garnish with parsley or basil and serve hot.

Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 3 days. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

27 comments on “Penne with Broccoli in One Pan

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  1. This was delicious! Such a gorgeous sauce and almost no dishes.
    I used lentil-based penne for a protein boost and vegan cheese – works perfectly.
    Thanks!!

  2. My 16-year old girl loves pasta and I was looking for an easy meal. I checked your site – which is my go-to site for inspiration – and I came across this one pot pasta recipe. Very easy to cook, ready in a short time and delicious too. Instead of 1 1/2 tsp thyme I used 1/2 tsp of thyme, 1/2 tsp oregano and 1/2 tsp Italian herbs.

  3. Actually love it. I had to use half a jar of ragu since that’s all I had but still added everything listed! Yum yum 😋

  4. Way too my thyme. I made it as the recipe stated and it wasn’t great. The thyme was overpowering. Overall it was good which is why I have 3 stars, but Cut the thyme to 1/2 tsp and add 1/2 tsp of oregano and it’s much better.

  5. Was very yummy and very easy. I added some cheddar cheese as well as mozzarella and it tasted really good.

  6. Easy, fast, delicious and in ONE pot! that’s exactly my kind of cooking!
    Thanks for a delicious meal, I had some broccoli I wanted to use up and found your recipe.
    I added shredded meat, used dried basil and oregano (as I didn’t have fresh herbs) + a dash of chili powder. I also only used 1/4 cup cheese and it was still very creamy and rich.
    My 8 year old went for seconds (and me too!)
    I will definitely be making this again, next time I’ll probably use more broccoli and add shredded carrots for extra veggie boost.

  7. I’ve read that you should stay away from no fat low fat because of all the stuff they add for flavor .and to not use baged shreaded cheese it’s better to shered it your self

    1. That is absolutely true. When I first created this recipe, I was still using low fat products – now I don’t, like barely. Sometimes I buy non fat plain organic Greek yogurt because there is no full fat, and that stuff is usually pretty clean. Low fat non organic products are usually loaded with sugar and crap.
      Yes, bagged cheese contains cellulose to prevent it from sticking, and other anti-caking agents etc. You got it all right.:)

  8. Again, a fabulous recipe! So quick, easy, healthy and delicious!! This is my most favorite place for recipes – and my family loves them all! I’ve been sharing you with my friends and on Facebook – so many of them would like to eat better but don’t really know where to start. This is the place to go!

  9. I had to write you and thank you, Olena.
    I’ve been loosing wight for the last six month and your blog has been a huge inspiration and help along the way. I love your recipes and thank you so much for the Nutritional Info in every post so I know how much of this delicious food I’m allowed per meal and when to save the rest for a meal to look forward to. I hope you keep this great blog forever 🙂

    1. Hi Sofie. You are welcome and so rewarding to hear this. It’s important to know what is your food in terms of macros, that way you can control the portions. Learning this for me has been huge as well. Good luck on the rest of your journey.

  10. I love the simple sauce you created and thanks for another 20 minute recipe! Ever since I discovered whole wheat pasta, regular pasta tastes funny and always seems overcooked so I try not to buy it any more.

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