If you’ve got a bag of frozen broccoli, I’ve got your new favorite dinner recipe right here.
This healthy Broccoli Alfredo pasta will blow your mind with only 3 ingredients. It’s creamy AF, so you might be wondering: where’s the cream, Liz?? Where the freaking dairy??? But there is NONE. Nay, this sauce gets its creamy touch from blending quick-sautéed broccoli with pasta water. With some garlic for flavor and optional lemon to add a bit of acid, it becomes smooth and silky and magical. This healthy Broccoli Alfredo MIGHT be the most delicious way to stuff your face with cruciferous vegetables.
How is this dairy-free Broccoli Alfredo so creamy?
Get ready to get your mind blown! Pasta water is an amazing Italian secret to super creamy sauces with a positively luxurious texture.
Packed with starch from the pasta and salt, pasta water makes anything it’s added to thicker and creamier. In most Italian recipes, it’s tossed with the final sauce and pasta to bring everything together, but here, it’s actually blended with broccoli and smashed garlic to make a creamy “alfredo,” no dairy necessary. It is so simple but it is seriously a game-changer, especially when you might be low on ingredients but hungry for quick and easy dinner.
Is pasta a healthy dinner option?
I’m not a fan of leaving anything out of a balanced, healthy diet (deprivation isn’t fun or sustainable). Instead, I prefer to amp up the amount of vegetables in any dish—the more produce, the better. This quick and easy recipe utilizes two of my favorite ingredients: broccoli and garlic:
- Broccoli—Broccoli is a great source good source of fiber and protein and contains a million other healthy ingredients like magnesium and B vitamins (including folic acid!). Because it’s a cruciferous vegetable (like Brussels sprouts or kale), it also contains sulfuric compounds that can help fight cancer and inflammation.
- Garlic—Ahhhhhh GARLIC. Garlic adds a ton of delicious flavor to a dish, but it also contains allicin, a compound that’s super supportive of immune health, which is obviously more important now than ever.
Enjoy, and tag me if you make it on Instagram (@lizmoody)—I can’t wait to see!Print
- One bag of frozen broccoli florets OR one head of chopped broccoli
- 3–4 smashed garlic cloves
- 4 servings of pasta (pick your favorite!)
- Olive oil, for cooking
- Fine grain sea salt
- Juice of 1 lemon (optional, but adds brightness)
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts (optional, but adds creaminess and protein)
- Bring a pot of water with a generous palmful of salt to a boil.
- In a skillet, warm a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the broccoli, smashed garlic cloves and a generous sprinkle of salt. Cook until broccoli is bright green and cooked through.
- Cook the pasta until just al dente. Drain, reserving the pasta water.
- Blend the broccoli (you can pluck out a few first if you want live broccoli bits in your pasta!) and garlic with enough pasta water (I used 1/4 cup!) to get your desired texture. Blend in the lemon juice and the hemp hearts, if using.
- Add more salt to taste, toss with pasta, and enjoy!
Keywords: healthy broccoli alfredo, healthy broccoli alfredo recipe, 3-ingredient broccoli alfredo