Guilt-Free Broccoli Cheddar Pasta
- Cook Time 15 minutes
- Serves 2
- Difficulty Easy
LOW-CARB BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA
Is there a better combination than fresh broccoli and tangy cheese? We would argue that there isn't! Fresh, bright, herbaceous broccoli pairs perfectly with tangy, creamy, cheesy goodness. If you love broccoli cheddar soup or just topping your side of broccoli with a bit of melted cheese, you know this is a killer combo.
But how do we turn broccoli and cheese into a meal (especially a keto recipe)? Historically, a baked potato or maybe some pasta would do the trick. If you're following a low-carb diet, you probably say no to pasta. Well, guess what? We've made this low-carb broccoli cheddar pasta just for you! It's the best recipe if you're craving a little more than your favorite soup or side dishes, but need something fast and easy.
WHY WE LOVE BROCCOLI AND CHEESE
Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse. It's one vegetable that almost everyone loves, especially when combined with salt, butter, and cheese. Those little "trees" taste delicious!
Broccoli is rich in many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, iron, potassium, and antioxidants. It’s low in calories and easy to cook with. If you use frozen broccoli, you might even get more benefits because it’s often flash-frozen at the peak of harvest, sealing in the nutrients before it starts to break down.
You can enjoy broccoli raw, of course, but it's at its best when just lightly cooked. Next time you're craving broccoli, try this pasta. In this recipe, we give the vegetable a quick boil (you could also steam it) until it's tender but not overdone. Broccoli should still be bright green and never mushy.
If you’re not a huge fan of this cruciferous veggie, it’s likely because you’ve had poorly prepared broccoli in the past. No one likes a vegetable that’s brown and mushy. Yuck! Plus, overcooking broccoli can cause it to lose some of its nutritional oomph.
We all know that nothing makes a few cups of broccoli sing quite like some cheesy goodness. Cheddar has just the right tang and creaminess to be best friends with broccoli. But why settle for one cheese when you could have two? We added American cheese to this broccoli cheese recipe because it adds to the creaminess and meltiness factors.
If you're a cheese purist, you can stick with cheddar-only, but we recommend trying a nice blend of the two—cheddar and American. American cheese often gets a bad rap because it’s “processed,” but research tells us that ALL cheese is processed. This melting cheese works the best in this great recipe.
The American cheese process includes taking scraps of other cheese like Colby and cheddar and combining them with milk, cream, salt, seasonings, and emulsifiers to form a cheese product. The advantage of American cheese is that it melts smoothly without breaking up and becoming oily like other types of cheese can.
Cheddar, on the other hand, gets its name from the village of Cheddar in Somerset, England. It comes from cows' milk, combined salt, rennet, and culture. Once aged, the cheddar gets a distinct tangy "sharpness" that is delicious (and downright addictive). We use sharp cheddar cheese cubes, but you could use pre-grated cheese, too.
We think both kinds of cheese are simply lovely here in this low-carb broccoli cheese pasta!
IT’S SKINNY: THE SECRET TO FILLING MEALS
Given all that we've said about broccoli and cheese above, you might think that the cheese (and broccoli) stands alone. However, broccoli and cheese are really more of a side dish. You could combine them into broccoli soups, top a baked potato with them, or have them with some ham, turkey, chicken, or another protein…but they really aren’t a meal or main dish by themselves.
Until you add Pasta, that is! However, low-carb dieters know that traditional pasta and potatoes are off the menu. While an entire plate of broccoli and cheese could be a meal, it won’t be nearly filling enough on its own.
It’s Skinny saves the day! It’s Skinny Angel Hair Pasta is the ideal solution for turning a traditional side dish into a complete, delicious, and oh-so-filling meal. Just like its traditional pasta counterpart, It’s Skinny rounds out the meal as a delicious platform for showcasing the sauce and toppings.
With It’s Skinny, you don’t need to worry about carbs or calories, though. An entire pack of It’s Skinny Pasta has only 9 calories and ZERO net carbs! That’s guilt-free dining at its best! It's perfect for a low carb diet or ketogenic diet. If you're on a weight loss journey, It's Skinny is the answer!
It's Skinny gets those crazy-impressive stats from the main ingredient, known as konjac root. Konjac is a root veggie that's been around for years in Japan. It's similar to a turnip or a radish. It’s very high in glucomannan fiber, a filling type of fiber that keeps your stomach feeling nice and satisfied without weighing you down.
We make It’s Skinny Shirataki noodles in several great varieties. If you're following a clean eating plan, you can enjoy It’s Skinny's Organic line, featuring Spaghetti, Fettuccine, Angel Hair, and Rice. If you're watching your carbs or gluten, traditional It's Skinny is available in all the same great shapes!
- Angel Hair
No matter the recipe, It's Skinny is a great way to spruce up the stats. Our Rice makes the perfect low-carb rice pudding, poke bowls, and even risotto. Our spaghetti holds its own in all sorts of noodle bowls and pasta dishes. As for Fettuccine and Angel Hair, they’re perfect pairings for thicker sauces (Fettuccine) and more delicate toppings (Angel Hair). If you're looking for new recipes for comfort food, don't miss our database of low carb recipes.
If you’ve never worked with It’s Skinny before, don’t worry—it couldn’t be easier, even for first time cooks. Open the pack, drain, and add to your other ingredients at the end of cooking. It’s Skinny is ready in about 3 minutes. Once it heats through, it takes on the flavors of the surrounding ingredients. It won't overpower the other ingredients or leave an aftertaste like some other low-carb pasta alternatives.
If you’re ready to try It’s Skinny, order some today! We suggest starting with a variety pack so you can choose your favorite noodle shape!
QUESTIONS ABOUT LOW-CARB BROCCOLI AND CHEESE PASTA
All home cooks like to customize and make adjustments. At It's Skinny, we fully encourage you to make these dishes your own. Of course, if you have questions about how to customize your meal, we have a few suggestions.
CAN I ADD OTHER VEGETABLES TO BROCCOLI AND CHEESE PASTA?
We threw a little shallot in this pasta dish to give a little oniony bite to the dish. You can do the same with any onion, garlic, or other aromatic you like. Even add garlic powder or more black pepper for extra flavor. Add red bell pepper or a spicy pepper if you want your broccoli and cheese with a little kick.
Try adding some dill, which goes well with cheese and broccoli. You could also add parsley or any other fresh herb you like to this easy recipe. This dish would be great with cauliflower florets (you could completely swap the broccoli if you'd like a different veggie). Have fun with it and make it your very own.
COULD I ADD CHICKEN TO THIS RECIPE?
Want to kick up the protein? What a great idea! Chicken is a perfect addition to broccoli and cheese pasta. Chicken broccoli cheese casserole is a true classic comfort dish, and the flavors work in this recipe, too (no oven required). You could sauté cubed chicken breast or even shred some leftover rotisserie chicken if you’d like.
Ham and bacon also go very well with the creamy cheese sauce. The saltiness of cured pork gives added flavor and pairs very well with the sweetness of the broccoli and the tanginess of the cheddar. You could go with pulled pork, too, if you like. It's really about finding a combination that speaks to your tastebuds.
WHAT OTHER CHEESE WOULD WORK IN BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA?
If you’d rather not use American or you’re not a fan of cheddar, you can swap the cheese for any type you like. Colby and Monterey Jack are both great options with broccoli. Pepper Jack would give a little heat. Gruyere cheese melts well, and Swiss is a mild but delicious choice!
You could take this dish in an Italian direction by including mozzarella, parmesan cheese, or a little ricotta cheese with the broccoli. You could also make a mock Alfredo sauce using cream cheese (or a jarred creamy sauce of your preference).
LOW-CARB BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA RECIPE
Ready to cook? Here’s everything you need to know about making perfectly creamy, comforting, and delicious broccoli cheddar pasta with It’s Skinny Angel Hair. Perfect for the keto diet, paleo, and low carb! Follow the step-by-step instructions for a great addition to your recipe repertoire.
WATCH CHEF MICHELE MAKE THIS QUICK AND EASY BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA RECIPE ON OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL!
NUTRITION INFORMATION FOR LOW-CARB BROCCOLI CHEDDAR PASTA
- Angel Hair | It's Skinny
- 1 package It's Skinny Angel Hair
- 5 cups water (reserve 1/4 cup)
- 10 broccoli florets (about 1 small head of broccoli)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 shallot, sliced thin
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup cubed American cheese
- 1/4 cup cubed cheddar cheese