by Olena

Broccoli and Penne Pasta Recipe

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Olena Osipov
4.9 from 30 votes

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

I love the simplicity of quick, vegetarian pasta dishes like this, 10-minute spaghetti, healthy pesto pasta with broccoli, and even a cold healthy pasta salad!

Broccoli and Penne Pasta Recipe

Broccoli Pasta Recipe

This penne pasta recipe 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 overcooked. Cauliflower, carrots, and snap peas are great options as well. You could also add grape tomatoes, peas and corn, why not?!

I love to make pasta dishes when I’m wanting to use up veggies and proteins I have in my fridge and know that the entire family will be satisfied. If I’m not serving this broccoli pasta, then I’m serving healthy mac n’ cheese, Tuscan chicken pasta, ground turkey and broccoli pasta, penne with olives, tomato and goat cheese, or one of my many other healthy pasta recipes!

If you’re a broccoli lover, you’ll probably also love this healthy beef and broccoli, broccoli cheese soup, crustless broccoli quiche, or even a broccoli quinoa salad.

Broccoli and Penne Pasta garnished with parsley

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.

How to Make Broccoli and Penne Pasta

how to make Broccoli and Penne Pasta step by step

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.

how to make Broccoli and Penne Pasta step by step

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?!how to make Broccoli and Penne Pasta step by step

Broccoli and Penne Pasta Recipe

More One-Pot Meals

You might also enjoy this list of 15 healthy one-pot meals for two, or even browse through all my one-pot meals!

Broccoli and Penne Pasta Recipe

Broccoli and Penne Pasta Recipe

Penne Pasta with broccoli, tomato sauce, garlic, onion and oil cooked in one pan and topped with cheese for an easy healthy pasta recipe.
4.91 from 30 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 394kcal
Author: Olena Osipov


  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 14 oz can tomato sauce low sodium
  • 4 cups veggie or chicken stock low sodium
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp rosemary fresh or dried
  • 1/2 tsp thyme dried
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper ground
  • Pinch of hot pepper flakes
  • 3 cups penne pasta uncooked
  • 6 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup 3 oz Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup parsley/basil finely chopped


  • Preheat large deep skillet on medium heat and add olive oil, onion and garlic. Saute until translucent, stirring occasionally.
  • Add tomato sauce, stock, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper and hot pepper flakes. Stir and bring to a boil.
  • Add pasta and stir again.
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
  • Add broccoli, cover and cook for 3 minutes for crispy broccoli and 5 - 6 minutes for softer vegetables.
  • Turn off heat, add cheese and stir until melted.
  • Garnish with parsley or basil and serve hot.

Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 2 days.


    Serving: 1.5cup | Calories: 394kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 463mg | Potassium: 464mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 704IU | Vitamin C: 84mg | Calcium: 162mg | Iron: 2mg
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    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

    58 comments on “Broccoli and Penne Pasta Recipe

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    1. 5 stars
      Absolutely loved if! I’ve been making pasta dishes for decades and I’ve never cooked the pasta with the sauce – amazing technique! I’ll never make pasta the old way again. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

    2. 5 stars
      Absolutely love this recipe for our veggie evening meal. Both my children loved it Delicious, fulling hearty meal for any time of the year ??

    3. 5 stars
      We made this recipe with cauliflower Penne pasta. Had a slightly different texture than normal pasta but it tasted great, we especially loved the addition of broccoli, thanks so much for the great recipe ??.

    4. 5 stars
      ?? Yes, p l e a s e! Bring on the pasta! I’m in love with this recipe – among others I’ve tried!! Love the fact it’s low in cholesterol… pretty healthy indeed! My next recipe im trying is your Chicken Alfredo!! OMG I would love it since i dont eat any dishes with creame sauce BUT… your recipe has change it for me! Im trying it asap! I’m also loved Olive Garden – or should I say USED to. My husband loves all my pasta dishes I make & loves the way I cook it so much so he doesn’t want to go there again – especially when mine is better. Lol
      Anyway, Olena, thank you! Thank-you so much for all you do to make this blog possible…! All the recipes I’ve made from your site have been repeat performers & have passed your blog/site on to many friends.

      1. Hi Tricia! Thank you so much for your amazing review of my recipes and site. I am so thankful that you are enjoying the recipes and passing them along to friends 🙂

    5. 5 stars
      Olena’s recipes are so good they remind me of childhood memories.I love your recipes thank you again!!

    6. 5 stars
      We love this recipe! Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve made it 3 times so far and it’s even better the next day!

      1. 5 stars
        Review part 2
        We also added chicken to ours! Next time I might try meatballs from the air fryer! I’ll check to see if you have air fryer recipes!
        Thank you again!! ?

    7. 5 stars
      Really tasty, healthy. Can add whatever. I can’t eat onion or garlic so I substituted it with garlic infused olive oil . Delicious. Thankyou

    8. 5 stars
      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.

    9. 5 stars
      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.

    10. 5 stars
      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 ?

    11. 3 stars
      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.

    12. 5 stars
      Was very yummy and very easy. I added some cheddar cheese as well as mozzarella and it tasted really good.

    13. 5 stars
      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.

    14. 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.:)

    15. 5 stars
      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!

    16. 5 stars
      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.

    17. 5 stars
      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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