Recipe: One-Pot Creamy Broccoli Pasta

updated Feb 3, 2020
Broccoli Pasta

A quick 5-ingredient pasta dinner filled with broccoli and cheese that's made in just one pot.


Prep5 minutes

Cook8 minutes to 9 minutes

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

After working my way through our new collection of one-pot pasta recipes, I finally realized what so many of you have known all along: They’re completely and utterly magical. Since the pasta boils directly with the sauce ingredients and soaks everything up as it cooks, the resulting dish is even more flavorful than I ever imagined.

I’ll be honest with you: I was always a little dubious of the one-pot pasta method. I mean, I can’t argue with the convenience factor, but I assumed the vegetables would be overcooked or the sauce would be watery. But boy was I wrong. My latest favorite is this family-friendly mix of al dente shells and crisp-tender broccoli, coated in a thick and creamy (but not at all heavy) sauce, thanks to one surprising ingredient.

Greek Yogurt Is the Creamy Secret to This Feel-Good Pasta

Plain Greek yogurt isn’t the most common ingredient in a pasta dish, but trust me when I say after you’ve tried it once, you may never go back. Using it in place of heavy cream not only gives this one-pot pasta a wholesome protein kick, but it also lends a bit of tang to keep it from feeling too rich and heavy. The finished dish doesn’t taste like yogurt, and your whole family will likely be left guessing what the secret ingredient is.

The recipe calls for either grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese — both lend their signature saltiness to the dish. While I love the extra-nutty kick Pecorino gives, use whichever you have in your fridge. No matter what, this is a one-pot pasta you’ll definitely be putting on repeat.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Broccoli Pasta

A quick 5-ingredient pasta dinner filled with broccoli and cheese that's made in just one pot.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 8 minutes to 9 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1 pound

    broccoli (about 2 medium heads), cut into bite-sized florets

  • 12 ounces

    dried small shell or ditalini pasta

  • 4 1/2 cups


  • 1/2 cup

    whole-milk plain Greek yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 4 cloves

    garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 1/2 cup

    freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce), plus more for serving


  1. Place the broccoli, pasta, water, yogurt, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, if using, and water in a large pot or straight-sided skillet and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Continue to boil uncovered, stirring occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking, until the pasta is al dente and almost all the liquid is evaporated, 8 to 9 minutes.

  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the 1/2 cup cheese. Taste and season with additional salt as needed. Serve in shallow bowls topped with more cheese.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days.