30-Minute Dinner/ Dinner/ pasta/ vegetarian dinner

Lemon Broccoli Pasta

12 July 2021 By Aleksandra

This delicious lemon broccoli pasta will be ready in 30 minutes and it’s packed with flavor! It’s made with al dente spaghetti, crunchy broccoli, lemony butter olive oil sauce, seasoned with garlic, chili flakes, and tossed with lots of parmesan cheese. It’s so easy and delicious!

Lemon broccoli pasta in a white bowl. Lemon slices and parmesan cheese in the background.

Ingredients

To make this delicious lemon broccoli pasta you’ll need:

  • Pasta – I like to use spaghetti but you can also use short pasta types like fusilli, penne, macaroni, or small shells
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic – must be fresh, don’t skimp on the garlic!
  • Butter and olive oil – each one gives the sauce an amazing flavor
  • Lemon – we will need the juice and the zest – they brighten up the whole dish!
  • Red pepper flakes – add them to your taste, I like this dish mildly spiced, you can also use chopped fresh chili pepper
  • Parmesan – you can also use grana padano, grate the cheese yourself for the best flavor!
  • Pasta cooking water – helps to thicken the sauce. If you forgot to reserve it (it happens to me all the time!) you can make corn starch flurry by stirring 1/4 teaspoon of corn starch with 1/4 cup of water.
Labeled ingredients for lemon broccoli pasta.

How to make it step by step

STEP 1: Divide the broccoli into small florets, peel the core and cut into thick slices. Finely chop the garlic.

STEP 2: Cook the pasta and broccoli together in a large pot. Cook the pasta for 5 minutes, then add the broccoli and cook for a further 3 minutes. (the total time of cooking spaghetti is 8 minutes). Drain pasta and broccoli, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water. Set aside.

STEP 3: Heat butter and olive oil in a large frying pan. When hot add garlic and red pepper flakes, cook, stirring for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Leave to cool for a minute.

STEP 4: Whisk in pasta cooking water, lemon juice, lemon zest.

STEP 5: Leave to cool for a minute then whisk in grated parmesan.

STEP 6: Add the broccoli and cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss until evenly coated. Add more lemon juice and red pepper flakes if necessary.

Enjoy!

Storage

Like any pasta dish, it tastes best freshly prepared. On the next day, the pasta will be a little bit mushy (it will soak up the sauce) and the broccoli will be dull green, but it will taste good anyway!

Top tips – how to prepare this dish perfectly

  • The most important part of preparing this simple dish – don’t overcook the pasta and broccoli! Pasta should be cooked al dente, which means it should have a little bite to it but be cooked through. Broccoli should be nicely crunchy.
  • Reserve the pasta cooking water – it thickens the sauce. If you forgot to reserve it (it happens to me all the time!) you can make corn starch flurry by stirring 1/4 teaspoon of corn starch with 1/4 cup of water.
  • Don’t add parmesan cheese directly into the hot pan sauce – it can clump. Let it cool for 1-2 minutes then stir in the cheese.
  • Don’t skimp on the garlic and lemon juice!
Lemon broccoli pasta in a white bowl. Lemon slices and parmesan cheese in the background.

More quick pasta dishes you may like

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Lemon Broccoli Pasta

This delicious lemon broccoli pasta will be ready in 30 minutes and it’s packed with flavor! It’s made with al dente spaghetti, crunchy broccoli, lemony butter olive oil sauce, seasoned with garlic, chili flakes, and tossed with lots of parmesan cheese. It’s so easy and delicious!
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Lemon broccoli pasta in a white bowl. Lemon slices and parmesan cheese in the background.
Print Recipe
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Prep Time 18 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Calories 566kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 8 oz spaghetti 230g
  • 1 head broccoli 1 lb (450g)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
  • lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice or to taste
  • 1/4 cup pasta cooking water
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 70g
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Divide the broccoli into small florets, peel the core and cut into thick slices. Finely chop the garlic.
  • Cook the pasta and broccoli together in a large pot: cook the pasta for 5 minutes, then add the broccoli and cook for a further 3 minutes (the total time of cooking spaghetti is 8 minutes). Drain pasta and broccoli, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water. Set aside.
  • Heat butter and olive oil in a large frying pan. When hot add garlic and red pepper flakes, cook, stirring for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  • Whisk in pasta cooking water, lemon juice, lemon zest. Leave to cool for a minute then whisk in grated parmesan.
  • Add the broccoli and cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss until evenly coated. Add more lemon juice and red pepper flakes if necessary.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you forgot to reserve pasta cooking water you can make corn starch flurry by stirring 1/4 teaspoon of corn starch with 1/4 cup of water.
  • The most important part of preparing this simple dish – don’t overcook the pasta and broccoli! Pasta should be cooked al dente, which means it should have a little bite to it but be cooked through. Broccoli should be nicely crunchy.
  • Servings = 3 medium servings or 2 generous servings.
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/3 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Main Course
Cuisine international
Keyword lemon broccoli pasta, quick pasta with broccoli

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