30 Minute Broccoli Basil Pasta

This 30 minute broccoli basil pasta is naturally vegan, easily made gluten-free, delicious, and it happily comes together with 10 main ingredients.

An overhead shot of a creamy green-sauced pasta with broccoli florets and drizzles of deep red chili oil. The 30 minute broccoli basil pasta is shown in a large stainless steel sauté pan.
An up close, overhead shot of a single serving of creamy green-sauced pasta that has basil and broccoli in it. The serving bowls are beige and splattered with royal blue dots.
An overhead shot of ingredients used for a 30 minute broccoli basil pasta.
An overhead shot showing broccoli florets in one bowl and chopped up broccoli stems in another, smaller bowl.
An overhead shot of broccoli stems being sautéed in a stainless steel sauté pan.

Spending most of my spare time cleaning up our gardens and yard these days, so a thirty minute dinner feels extra right! With this pasta, we sauté the stems and incorporate them into the final creamy-dreamy sauce. Minimal waste, maximum taste :)

This recipe has a bit of a pesto pasta feel, but it’s definitely a lot creamier, more mellow, and of course the detectable note of broccoli plays a part. We go heavy on basil, garlic, lemon, and nutritional yeast, so all of those comforting/familiar notes are there. 

The broccoli stems and florets are sautéed first, then we blend up the sauce, cook the pasta, and finally we bring it all together in one pan. Easy!

Old reliable raw, soaked cashews are the creamy sauce MVP with this one. Once we get a super thick base going and add it to the pasta, it’s just a matter of adding pasta cooking water to make the sauce a bit more fluid (but still thick enough to cling to the pasta).

Some Tips for this 30 Minute Broccoli Basil Pasta

  • If you can’t have cashews, I recommend substituting with soaked macadamia nuts, sliced almonds, raw sunflower seeds or pine nuts. Macadamia nuts will need a longer soaking time to soften up—probably around 6-8 hours.
  • For an extra bump of protein, you could add one cup of cooked white beans to this pasta at the end when you’re stirring everything together.
  • My go-to pasta lately is basic whole wheat or whole spelt penne. We love the fiber! The starchy cooking water from this is great and performs well here.
  • Some blistered cherry tomatoes on top of this pasta would be divine! Just sauté whole cherry tomatoes in olive oil until they start bursting and softening.
  • I like to serve all pasta with nut-based vegan “Parmesan” sprinkle. I have a basic recipe for that here.

If you like this vegan pasta dinner recipe, you might also enjoy my Creamy Vegan Spinach and Mushroom Pasta, this Creamy Lemon Orzo with Chickpeas & Broccoli or my Grilled Broccoli and Pepperoncini Pasta Salad.

An overhead shot of a creamy green sauce in a blender pitcher.
An overhead shot of a creamy green sauce being poured over a pan of cooked whole wheat penne pasta.
An up close, overhead shot of a creamy green-sauced pasta with broccoli florets and drizzles of deep red chili oil. The 30 minute broccoli basil pasta is shown in a large stainless steel sauté pan.
A 3/4 angle shot of a creamy, green-sauced penne pasta topped with cooked broccoli florets and drizzles of deep red chili oil.
An overhead shot of a single serving of creamy green-sauced pasta that has basil and broccoli in it. The serving bowls are beige and splattered with royal blue dots.
An up close, overhead shot of a creamy green-sauced pasta with broccoli florets and drizzles of deep red chili oil. The 30 minute broccoli basil pasta is shown in a large stainless steel sauté pan.
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

30 Minute Broccoli Basil Pasta

This 30 minute broccoli basil pasta is naturally vegan, delicious, and comes together with 10 ingredients. Easily made gluten-free as well!
PREP TIME15 mins
COOK TIME30 mins
TOTAL TIME30 mins
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 -6
Author: Laura Wright

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 4 broccoli stalks (600 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup water, plus extra
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes, or to taste
  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup basil leaves, lightly packed (plus extra)
  • 375 grams short pasta of choice

To Serve (optional)

  • chili-infused olive oil
  • vegan “parm” (see notes)
  • extra black pepper

Instructions

  • Cut the stem away from the broccoli and break up the florets into bite sized pieces. Peel the tough outer layer of the broccoli stems, revealing the tender inner stalk. Roughly chop the stems and keep them separate from the florets.
  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Pour in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and swirl it around. Add the broccoli stems and season them with salt and pepper. Sauté the broccoli stems until they turn bright green, about 5 minutes. Then, pour in a splash of water and close a lid on top. Continue cooking until tender, about 3 more minutes. Transfer the sautéed broccoli stems to an upright blender.
  • Return the sauté pan to the stove over medium heat. Pour int he remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the shallot to the pan and sauté until soft about 2-3 minutes. Then, add the broccoli florets to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and chili to the pan as well and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in a big splash of water and place a lid on top. Cook until the broccoli is just starting to get tender, about 6 minutes. Then, turn off the heat.
  • Transfer half of the sautéed broccoli mixture to the blender. Keep the remaining sautéed broccoli in the pan. Into the blender, also add the cashews, nutritional yeast, miso, lemon zest, lemon juice, basil, ¾ cup water, and some salt and pepper. Blend the mixture on high until completely smooth. Pour this thick sauce back into the sauté pan.
  • Cook your pasta according to package directions in well-salted water. Before draining, reserve about 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Once pasta is drained, add it to the sauté pan with the sauce along with the reserved sautéed broccoli mixture. Stir it all together to combine. Add reserved pasta water until you have a creamy and fluid consistency. Serve immediately with extra basil, drizzles of chili oil, extra black pepper etc on top.

Notes

  • If you can’t have cashews, I recommend substituting with soaked macadamia nuts, sliced almonds, raw sunflower seeds or pine nuts. Macadamia nuts will need a longer soaking time to soften up—probably around 8 hours.
  • For an extra bump of protein, you could add one cup of cooked white beans to this pasta at the end when you’re stirring everything together.
  • My go-to pasta lately is basic whole wheat or whole spelt penne. We love the fiber! The starchy cooking water from this performs well here.
  • Some blistered cherry tomatoes on top of this pasta would be divine! Just sauté whole cherry tomatoes in olive oil until they start bursting and softening.
  • I like to serve all pasta with a nut-based vegan “Parmesan” sprinkle. I have a basic recipe for that here.
An overhead shot of a single serving of creamy green-sauced pasta that has basil and broccoli in it. The serving bowls are beige and splattered with royal blue dots.
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