Mushroom broccoli pasta is a flavorful dish full of tender mushrooms, broccoli florets, and perfectly cooked pasta tossed in a creamy white sauce.
Mushroom broccoli pasta is any easy meal that goes from prep to table in about 35 minutes.
This recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner but is elegant enough for a special weekend meal, too.
What is mushroom broccoli pasta?
Mushroom broccoli pasta starts with short pasta noodles cooked al dente. Then, the noodles are tossed with blanched broccoli florets and a creamy béchamel sauce filled with mushrooms.
What is a béchamel sauce?
A béchamel sauce is also known as a white sauce. A basic béchamel sauce consists of a roux (equal parts butter and flour) and milk. Heavy cream will work as a substitute for milk in a pinch. The result is a creamy, silky sauce that is often used as a base for other sauces.
Béchamel sauce tastes wonderful with earthy spices like nutmeg or thyme. It also makes a great base for cheese sauce on dishes like au gratin potatoes, lasagna, and pasta.
Is a béchamel sauce the same as an Alfredo sauce?
A béchamel sauce and an Alfredo sauce are not the same. However, a béchamel sauce sauce can be a base for an Alfredo sauce. Although, it may not be the way a "traditional" Alfredo sauce is prepared. It will taste similar.
To make this mushroom pasta with Alfredo sauce, simply add some shredded Parmesan cheese to the béchamel sauce, and whisk until it's completely melted.
What protein is good with broccoli pasta?
Mushrooms add some heartiness to this pasta and are a good choice to replace protein for a vegetarian option. However, there are several varieties of protein that will pair well with the mushrooms and broccoli.
Chicken, beef, shrimp, or tuna would work great. Cook the meat separately and toss with the pasta along with the sauce when everything is finished.
What are the best mushrooms to use for this pasta?
Any mushrooms will work great in mushroom broccoli pasta. Depending on the variety, the flavor will vary slightly.
Baby Bellas are readily available, so those are a good choice, as are oyster, crimini, or shiitake, or a combination of different mushrooms.
Can this pasta be prepared ahead of time?
Mushroom broccoli pasta is best enjoyed immediately after preparation. Making this dish several hours ahead of time is not recommended.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat the pasta over low heat to retain as much moisture as possible and to keep the white sauce from separating. If needed, add a couple of tablespoons of whole milk or heavy cream while reheating.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 8 ounce(s) short pasta noodles, rigatoni, penne, ziti, etc.
- 1 ½ cups broccoli florets, washed
- 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ tsp. thyme, dried, or to taste
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 cups baby bella mushrooms, washed, dried, and sliced if they’re large
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta to the package directions. About 1 minute before the pasta finishes cooking, add the broccoli florets to the pot. Drain the water, briefly rinse with cool water, set aside. While the pasta cooks, make the white sauce.8 ounce(s) short pasta noodles1 ½ cups broccoli florets
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low to medium heat. Add the flour and whisk to combine. The mixture should be smooth and free of lumps.5 Tbsp. unsalted butter5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- Add the whole milk, heavy cream, thyme, salt, and pepper. Continue to whisk until the ingredients are well combined. Add the mushrooms and reduce the heat to low. Use a wooden spoon to stir constantly until the sauce begins to thicken. Don't let it bubble or boil; otherwise, it will separate. It should be smooth and creamy in consistency. Remove from heat.1 cup whole milk1 cup heavy cream½ tsp. thyme½ tsp. kosher salt¼ tsp. ground black pepper2 cups baby bella mushrooms
- Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta noodles and blanched broccoli. Gently toss to combine.