Easy Broccolini Pasta Recipe with Garlic

broccolini pasta with ziti on a gray plate.

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5 from 2 reviews

Broccolini gets sautéed with plenty of garlic, then tossed with pasta and Parmesan cheese for an easy and delicious pasta recipe.


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large bunch or 2 small bunches broccolini, chopped (appx. 6 cups chopped broccolini)
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (or Pecorino)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
  • 12 ounces short pasta shape, such as ziti or orecchiette


  1. Sauté the onion: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the onion, cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Start cooking the pasta just before you start the broccolini. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions as the broccolini cooks.
  3. Stir-fry the broccolini: Add the other two tablespoons olive oil, increase heat to medium high. Add the chopped broccolini, and stir-fry the broccolini with the onion for about 5 minutes. It should start turning bright green.
  4. Simmer with garlic: Stir in the garlic, followed by the chicken broth and the red pepper flakes. Add salt to taste. Once the broth has begun to simmer, drop the heat to medium low. Simmer covered for about 5 minutes. The broccolini should be starting to get tender at this point. Turn the heat off the broccolini, and keep warm with the cover on as the pasta finishes cooking.
  5. Drain the pasta and toss immediately with the broccolini. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, and lemon juice if using. Serve immediately and enjoy!


  • Chopping the broccolini: Chop a half inch or so off the end of the broccolini stalks. You can use these thick stalk portions for a stock later or compost them. Chop the thinner portion of the stem into 3 or 4 pieces.
  • Broth: you can substitute white wine or vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to make a vegetarian dish.
  • Optional ingredients: a cup of chickpeas makes a nice addition to the recipe for some additional protein and fiber. You can also add additional vegetables based on what you have on hand, such as chopped red bell pepper or spinach.
  • Lemon juice: I’ve made this with and without the lemon juice. I’d say I prefer it without, but if you’re a big fan of lemon flavor, give it a try!
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