Pasta Alfredo with Broccoli and Mushrooms

Garden Recipes, Italian, Main Dish, Pasta, Vegetarian | 24 comments

We made this recipe a lot back when we had broccoli growing in our garden. I loved that it tasted like a nice Italian meal, but it was really simple to put together. It doesn’t contain any fancy ingredients, just good quality basics that everyone should have on hand.


I always substitute half and half for cream in alfredo sauces. I don’t like eating super heavy feeling meals and this lightens it up while maintaining that creaminess. You don’t even notice the missing calories. I have been experimenting with whole wheat pasta to try to find a brand we like the best. I can’t remember which I used with this recipe. Do you have a favorite?


It’s not health food, but it is a lightened version of a favorite and with the added vegetables and whole wheat pasta it feels a little less indulgent. If you’re not so worried about indulgence. Maybe it’s a special occasion and you want to fancy it up a bit more, I think that some sliced Italian sausage would be a really tasty addition to the meal. As is, it’s a great meatless meal if you’re a vegetarian or maybe just want to cut meat out once in a while by participating in Meatless Monday


Pasta Alfredo with Broccoli and Mushrooms

adapted from The New Best Recipe by Cook's Illustrated (recipe: Fettuccini Alfredo)

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10 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups, approximately, broccoli florets
1 2/3 c half and half
5 Tbs butter
1 lb. pasta
1 c (2 oz.) fresh grated Parmesan
ground black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
salt, to taste


In a medium saute pan, heat olive oil for sauteing, about a tablespoon. Add the mushrooms, balsamic vinegar. Add salt to taste, if desired. Saute until mushrooms are tender and have absorbed the vinegar. Set aside.

Bring 4 quarts water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add 1 Tbs salt and the pasta to the water. Stir to separate pasta. Cook pasta until almost al dente. Add the broccoli to the boiling water during the last 2 minutes of the pasta’s cooking time.

Combine 1 1/3 c of the half and half and the butter in a saute pan large enough to accommodate the cooked pasta. Heat over low until the butter is melted and the cream comes to a bare simmer. Turn the heat off and set aside. (I found that this took the length of the time it took the pasta to cook, so I never turned it off and set it aside).

Drain cooked pasta and broccoli and add it to the saute pan. Add the remaining 1/3 c of half and half, Parmesan, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook on very low heat, tossing to combine the ingredients, until sauce is slightly thick, 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately in heated pasta bowls.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Jessica - May 19, 2010 @ 7:39 pm

    It is has alfredo in it, I'm sold! Looks delicious!


  • 2
    Cherine - May 19, 2010 @ 7:56 pm

    This looks delicious!


  • 3
    Amy - May 19, 2010 @ 8:57 pm

    The amount of half-and-half in the ingredient list is different from what you have in the method. Would you clarify? Thanks!


  • 4
    Katie @ goodLife {eats} - May 19, 2010 @ 9:01 pm

    The first amount in the instructions should have been 1 1/3 instead of 1 2/3…sorry for the typo. Fixed now.


  • 5
    Maria - May 19, 2010 @ 9:10 pm

    I am not a fan of creamy auces, but I love all of the veggies in there:)


  • 6
    Jules - May 19, 2010 @ 10:18 pm

    You had me at cream sauce.


  • 7
    Tracey Johnson - May 19, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

    This really looks wonderful. One good meal right here. Haven't met a cream sauce I don't like, lol. I adore the rustic bowls they are in. They are great!!!!


  • 8
    Dana - May 19, 2010 @ 11:50 pm

    You manage to make a simple dish look so lovely and interesting! I want to dig that pretty fork right in!


  • 9
    Jessica - May 20, 2010 @ 4:04 am

    We make basically the exact same dish and LOVE it! We do two things differently. 1. Add some pressed garlic in with the mushroom saute. 2. Use evaporated milk in place of cream or half and half. We really can't tell a difference and it makes me feel a little better about all the butter :)


  • 10
    Kristen - May 20, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

    That looks delicious – and like something my entire family would love.We like Martha Gooch's wheat pasta.


  • 11
    Amy from She Wears Many Hats - May 20, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

    Yum! That's a great combo anytime. You're making me hungry Katie!


  • 12
    Tasty Eats At Home - May 20, 2010 @ 3:24 pm

    This is right up my alley. Yum.


  • 13
    Maris - May 20, 2010 @ 3:35 pm

    I always loved alfredo sauce until I was in high school or college and the word "calorie" snuck into my vocabulary. Love this lightened version!


  • 14
    Anonymous - May 20, 2010 @ 4:21 pm

    Garofalo whole wheat pasta…the best, but not always easy to find


  • 15
    Anonymous - May 20, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

    I want to make this! Minus the mushrooms ofcourse….. and I will be lucky to sell jon on the brocolli haha- Stephanie


  • 16
    Trudy ~ veggie num num - May 21, 2010 @ 12:06 am

    Lovely simple ingredients, I love both mushrooms and broccoli in pasta, this looks wonderful.


  • 17
    Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen - May 21, 2010 @ 12:40 am

    This pasta looks absolutely gorgeous! And your photos are beautiful. I love the plate.


  • 18
    Jessie @ simplysifted - May 21, 2010 @ 12:53 am

    I made slight a variation on this last night. It was really good, and really easy.Cooking the broccoli with the pasta for the last 2 minutes is such a great idea. It keeps another pan clean. I can't tell you how happy that makes me.


  • 19
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - May 21, 2010 @ 1:27 am

    This looks great! I tend to use half and half in cream sauces, as well. I cook with a lot of whole wheat pasta, and lately I've been using Barilla quite a bit.


  • 20
    Maria - May 21, 2010 @ 2:23 am

    A beautiful dish! Love the flavors … yes simple, but oh so delicious! And those are stunning plates … I am very much into the light blue/turquoise tints as of late.


  • 21
    Amanda - September 06, 2010 @ 12:00 am

    Thanks Katie, this looks awesome. Linking to it in my post tonight :)


  • 22
    Michelle - February 01, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

    Adding this recipe to my *must make* list.


  • 23
    Brandie (@ Home Cooking Memories) - September 19, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

    Looks so VERY good! Definitely saving this.


  • 24
    Kaitlin - July 30, 2012 @ 9:54 am

    Since finding this recipe I’ve tried it and it’s become an absolute favorite. I make it on an almost weekly basis. Simply delicious!!


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