Mushroom broccoli pasta is an easy dinner recipe that’s packed with fresh flavors and nutrients. And since the ingredients list is so simple, you probably won’t need to make an extra trip to the grocery store!
Mushroom broccoli pasta is a tasty and healthy dish that combines the earthy flavor of mushrooms, the sweetness of caramelized onions and the crunchy texture of broccoli. It’s an easy way to add more vegetables to your diet while still indulging in a comforting bowl of pasta.
This is a pasta dish that can be served on its own. Or serve it with an easy green salad tossed with a homemade balsamic dressing.
For extra protein, add some legumes (chickpeas and white beans are my favorites in this recipes). Or stir in shredded chicken or seared shrimp.
💙 What’s to love about this Mushroom and Broccoli Pasta:
▪️ EASY INGREDIENTS: This recipe uses ingredients that are probably already stashed away in your pantry. Great for a last-minute dinners!
▪️ HEALTHY: Full of veggies and free from heavy ingredients such as cream. The flavor of the caramelized onions, mushrooms, broccoli and garlic shine through.
▪️ MAKE-AHEAD: This pasta keeps well for up to 3 days, making it a great option for meal prep, quick lunches and leftovers dinners.
INGREDIENTS FOR MUSHROOM BROCCOLI PASTA:
- PASTA: Almost any pasta shape works for this recipe. I happen to prefer long, slightly thicker noodles and my family adores bucatini, which is available at our local grocery store. Bucatini has a very small hole running done the center of it and it has a really nice texture, provided it’s not overcooked.
- MUSHROOMS: The recipe calls for crimini mushrooms. Feel free to substitute white button mushrooms. You could also opt for portobello or shiitake mushrooms, thought the flavor will change slightly.
- BROCCOLI: Use bite-sized broccoli florets.
- ONION: Use a large yellow onion. A sweet yellow onion, such as Vidalia, Walla or Maui, are also good options.
- OLIVE OIL: A couple of teaspoons to caramelize the onions.
- HERBS AND SPICES: Garlic, red pepper flakes (crushed red pepper) and parsley all add layers of flavor to the sauce. And don’t forget the salt and pepper!
- PARMESAN: I suggest buy a block of Parmesan cheese, then grating it home, rather than buying pre-grated cheese. The texture tends to be much nicer. In addition, fillers are often added to pre-grated cheese to stop them from clumping. If serving a vegetarian dish is your goal, look for Parmesan cheese made with vegetable rennet rather than the traditional animal rennet.
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How to make mushroom broccoli pasta:
The instructions for this recipe follow three basic steps: Caramelize the onions and mushrooms, cook the pasta and broccoli and toss it all together to make a light, silky sauce. Let’s talk details…
CARAMELIZE THE ONIONS: Start by heating a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. I like to use a large, enameled cast iron skillet or nonstick skillet with a lid. If you use a stainless steel skillet, you made need to add additional olive oil or water to stop the onions from sticking.
Heat a little olive oil in the skillet and add the sliced onions. Cook until the onions are softened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook until the onions are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add ¼ cup water, cover the skillet again and cook until the onions are deep golden brown, about 15 minutes.
ADD THE MUSHROOMS: In go the mushrooms! Add them to the pan and cook until the mushrooms are tender and start to brown.
SEASON: Stir in the minced garlic and season with red pepper flakes and pepper.
COOK THE PASTA AND BROCCOLI: Cook the pasta while the onions caramelize. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and season well with kosher salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Follow the package instructions for an approximate cooking time.
In the last minute of cooking, add the broccoli. Cooking the broccoli in the pasta water save you from using another skillet.
SAVE THE WATER: Before draining the pasta and broccoli, carefully scoop out 1 cup of the cooking water. DON’T FORGET THIS STEP! The starchy water is used to make the sauce. Drain the pasta and broccoli into a colander.
COMBINE: Toss the drained pasta and broccoli with the onion mixture. Add ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, along with the Parmesan cheese and parsley. Toss until the cheese melts and forms a silky sauce that coats the pasta. Use additional pasta water if needed.
SEASON AND SERVE: Be sure to give it a taste! Then adjust the seasoning to suit your tastes, adding salt and ground pepper as needed.
Storage and Reheating Tips:
Tomato soup with rice is a fantastic make-ahead meal for lunches or light dinners.
REFRIGERATOR: Cool the pasta, then transfer to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
REHEATING: Serve the pasta at room temperature. Or heat it for a minute in the microwave or in a skillet on the stovetop. Add additional olive oil, cheese and/or salt to revive the flavors, if needed.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes! Almost any pasta shape works in this recipe. I like a thicker noodle like bucatini, but you could use other long noodles such as spaghetti, linguini or fettucine. Or try penne pasta, farfalle or rotini.
That completely depends on the type of Parmesan cheese you use. Many hard grating cheeses, include Parmigiano Reggiano, are made using animal rennet, which is not vegetarian.
However, several companies in North America are starting to make Parmesan cheeses using vegetable rennet, which is compliant for a vegetarian diet. For example, the Bel Gioioso brand makes a vegetarian Parmesan, specifically noted on the label.
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Easy Mushroom Broccoli Pasta
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion cut in half and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup water
- 8 ounces crimini mushrooms thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 12 ounces bucatini pasta (See Note 1)
- 2 cups small broccoli florets
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (See Note 2 for vegetarian info)
- ¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cover and cook until the onions are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add ¼ cup water, cover the skillet again and cook until the onions are deep golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender and just starting to brown. Stir in the garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and red pepper flakes.
- While the onions are caramelizing, cook the pasta. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Season well with kosher salt. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions, until the pasta is al dente. One minute before the end of the cooking time, add the broccoli florets.
- IMPORTANT: Before draining the pasta, scoop out 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. This starchy water will be used to make the sauce. You may not need all of it.
- Drain the pasta and broccoli into a colander. Transfer to the skillet with the onions and mushrooms.
- Add the Parmesan cheese, parsley, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ½ cup of the pasta cooking water. Using tongs, toss everything together until the cheese melts to form a sauce, coating the pasta. Use more of the pasta cooking water, as needed.
- Taste and season with additional salt and ground pepper as desired.
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