Broccoli Cheese Pasta is a creamy, cheesy dish made with sauteed onions, pasta, fresh broccoli, and two kinds of cheese, all made in one skillet! It’s a comforting and flavorful meal that is easy to throw together and that the entire family will enjoy. And, it’s a great way to sneak in some vegetables! I also have a Chicken and Broccoli Pasta if you want some added protein in the dish.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Onion: A yellow onion is diced and sauteed in butter to provide a savory base for the sauce.
Chicken Broth: If you don’t have chicken broth, chicken stock would also work in this recipe.
Half-and-Half: Half-and-half is a mixture of equal parts milk and cream. It contributes to the creamy consistency of the sauce, making it rich and smooth. For an even creamier sauce, you could use an equal amount of heavy cream.
Pasta: The spiral shape of Gemelli pasta holds the creamy cheese sauce really well. Of course, you can use pasta you have on hand or make your own homemade-shaped pasta!
Broccoli: You will need about a pound of broccoli to use in this recipe. Cut the florets into bite-sized pieces. If using frozen broccoli, first, let it thaw. Then, add it in the final few minutes of cooking the pasta.
Cheese: I used both Muenster and sharp cheddar cheese in this recipe. They are both used in the sauce and as a topping. Muenster cheese is mild and creamy with a slightly tangy flavor. Sharp cheddar cheese has a more robust flavor. You can experiment with your favorite kinds of cheese or use all of one flavor if preferred.
Variations To Broccoli Cheese Pasta
Although this dish is delicious on its own, you can always add to it. Try adding cooked chicken, crispy bacon, or cooked sausage for some meat. Or, customize it by adding your favorite vegetables like spinach, bell peppers, mustard, or peas.
Storing & Reheating Broccoli Cheese Pasta
To store broccoli cheese pasta, first, let it come to room temperature. Then, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop when ready to enjoy. I like to get this made in advance and portion it out for lunches throughout the week!
Can I Freeze Broccoli Cheese Pasta?
Sure! First, let it come to room temperature. Then, broccoli cheese pasta can be stored in a freezer-safe container for up to 2-3 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. Be aware that the texture of the pasta and the sauce may change slightly after freezing and reheating. You might need to add a little extra liquid (such as milk or broth) when reheating to restore the desired consistency.
Broccoli Cheese Pasta
- ½ cup (1 stick / 113 g) salted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 cups (480 g) chicken broth
- 1 cup (242 g) half-and-half
- 3 teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces Gemelli pasta
- 2 heads fresh broccoli, cut into small florets (about 1 pound)
- 1 cup (113 g) Muenster cheese, shredded, divided
- 2 cups (226 g) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
- parsley, chopped for garnish
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Add the diced onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until softened.
- Pour in the chicken broth, half-and-half, garlic powder, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the pasta and the broccoli florets, stirring to combine. Make sure your pasta is completely submerged in the mixture. Cover and cook until the pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally, about 9-10 minutes.
- Stir in ½ cup of Muenster cheese and 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese.
- Top the pasta with the remaining ½ cup of Muenster cheese and 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese. Cover for 5 minutes and heat until cheese is melted.
- Garnish with parsley. Serve warm.
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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:
This is a delicious pasta combining three of my favorites, broccoli, cheese, and pasta! Perfect if you are looking for an easy weeknight meal, but still craving some comfort food!
Creamy, cheesy pasta dish made in one skillet…yes, please!
Broccoli and cheese are such a great combination of flavors, and this one-pot pasta dish is so easy!
I'm not the biggest fan of broccoli, but this is delicious! I would definitely make this at home!
I love broccoli cheese anything, and this pasta did not disappoint. It works amazingly as a pasta dish! So cheesy and delicious.
Super yummy and cheesy. I really liked it and the ease of making it.