broccoli fettuccine alfredo

$5.48 recipe / $0.69 serving

So, this isn’t really alfredo, it’s more of a (not) alfredo recipe… I’ve made too many alterations for it to truly be alfredo, but it’s still creamy and delicious!

I mean, I love alfredo with all of its buttery, creamy, parmesan-y goodness, but I also know that I can’t afford to eat a 2,000 calorie meal. So, I made a few switches to lighten it up a smidge and added some broccoli florets to get in some green. If you like to live dangerously, go all out and use cream in place of the milk.

This pasta comes together super quick and uses staple ingredients so it’s a nice standby for those nights that you just really don’t feel like cooking. If you want to up the protein, you can quickly grill up some chicken breast on a countertop grill, slice it up, and then serve it on top. This is a super versatile recipe!

Oh, also, this recipe is super easy to cut in half… I just wanted to use the entire package of pasta and broccoli so I made a large batch.

Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo

broccoli fettuccine alfredo

4.6 from 12 reviews
broccoli fettuccine alfredo
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $5.48
Cost Per Serving: $0.69
Serves: 8
  • 16 oz. dry fettuccine $1.63
  • 16 oz. frozen broccoli florets $1.29
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 4 Tbsp butter $0.45
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.06
  • 3 cups milk $0.94
  • 1 cup grated parmesan $0.96
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg $0.02
  • to taste salt & pepper $0.05
  1. Begin to boil a large pot of water to cook the pasta. When it reaches a full boil, add the pasta and cook for 7-10 minutes or until al dente. When the pasta is finished cooking, reserve ½ cup of the starchy pasta water and then drain the pasta in a colander.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, thaw the broccoli in the microwave and begin to make the parmesan sauce. Mince the garlic and cook it over medium heat in a medium sauce pot with the butter until the garlic has softened slightly (3-5 minutes). Add the flour, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes more. This is the “roux” that will thicken the sauce.
  3. Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the milk mixture until it comes up to a light simmer. As soon as it reaches a simmer it will thicken and should be able to coat a wooden spoon (see photos below). Turn the heat off and whisk in the parmesan cheese. Add freshly cracked black pepper, nutmeg, and salt to taste. Make the sauce slightly saltier than you’d prefer if you were eating the sauce alone. Once it’s spread out over the pasta and broccoli it will taste more mild.
  4. Return the cooked pasta to the large pot that it was boiled in (with the burner turned off). Add the reserved pasta cooking water and toss the pasta to loosen it up. Add the thawed broccoli and then pour the parmesan sauce over top. Stir to coat everything in the sauce and then serve!


broccoli fettuccine alfredo

Step By Step Photos

cook pastaBegin by boiling the water for the pasta. Once it reaches a full boil, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve about a 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining it in a colander.

butter garlicMeanwhile, cook the minced garlic and butter in a medium pot over medium heat until the garlic is softened (3-5 minutes).

rouxStir in the flour and continue to cook and stir this mixture for 2-3 minutes. It’s important to cook this for a few minutes to slightly toast the flour. This prevents a “floury” flavor in the final sauce. Make sure to continually stir while it’s cooking.

whisk in milkNext, whisk in the milk and increase the heat slightly (to medium-high). Allow the sauce to come up to a light simmer, whisking occasionally.

thickened white sauceWhen the liquid reaches a simmer, the starch granules in the flour will swell and thicken the sauce. It should be thick enough to coat a wooden spoon as shown.

add parmesanTurn the heat off as soon as it has thickened. Add the parmesan cheese and whisk until it melts in.

thicker sauceThe cheese will further thicken the sauce. It should now coat a wooden spoon even more.

Season parmesan sauceSeason the sauce with salt, freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch (1/8th tsp or so) of nutmeg. Make the sauce slightly saltier than you’d think because once it’s spread out over the pasta and broccoli, it will taste more mild.

combineAdd the drained pasta back to the large pot that it was boiled in. Make sure the burner is turned off. Add the reserved pasta water and toss to loosen the pasta. Add the broccoli (thawed), and pour the parmesan sauce over top.

finished broccoli fettuccine alfredoToss the pasta and broccoli in the sauce until everything is well coated. Serve warm!

broccoli fettuccine alfredoEasy-peasy! Ooh, peas would be nice in this instead of broccoli, too!


  1. Clarissa says:

    It turns out that this recipe is not just easy to halve, it’s easy to quarter :). I made it tonight and it was delicious. Thank you as always, Beth!

  2. Monica says:

    So I tried this tonight with almond milk and it worked fine. Just put a bit of corn starch in it to thicken it up a bit more. Also used fresh mushrooms when sautéing the garlic at the beginning. This came out delicious, used peas as well. Creamy and didn’t feel too heavy. Great recipe, thank you as always.

  3. Ashley says:

    We had this tonight, and it was super yummy, and super easy. We’re big garlic eaters, so I used 3 cloves, and I used fresh grated parmesan cheese. I also had some leftover chicken breast that I cubed in at the end when I mixed in the broccoli. My almost 7 year old had 2 servings :)

  4. Valerie says:

    I thought this was spot on! The sauce was delish and didn’t contain anything weird that comes in canned sauces. It also made soo much food! I think this recipe will feed my boyfriend and I at least twice. Plus I had left over sauce that I’ll be keeping for the week.

    Beth, your recipes never disappoint! Thanks!

  5. Beth, love this website, this is my go-to site for so many recipes! You’re doing a great job. Thank you.

    So I’ve been dying for this for a while, but always feel guilty making it, so thank you for the *lighter* version. I made this last night and used Lactaid milk and it came out delicious!

    I added mushrooms and tried out the nutmeg, which came out sweeter than we expected. My hubs and I are enjoy more savory meals than sweet, so we might skip that next time. But was great to try none the less.

    Thank you Beth!

  6. Melissa says:

    Would this work with something like almond milk?

    • I think it might, although I haven’t actually tried it. The only issue is that almond milk is much thinner than regular milk, so it will make the sauce much less creamy.

  7. Awesome stuff! When i reheated this, i added some frozen peas and a teaspoon of water, and microwaved it with the lid on to cook the peas. =)

  8. Megan says:

    Just made this alfredo for the first time! My husband and I just moved and have a light pantry from all the expenses. I already had everything for this meal and it sure was a hit with the hubs! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Mariah says:

    This is the third time I’ve made the sauce (added different veggies and meat each time) and I think this might become a staple meal, its just so easy and the alfredo that comes in a jar from the store is just plain gross.

  10. Cherlyn says:

    Hello Beth, your pastas look so awfully delicious. May I know the rough gauge in millilitres for a cup that you used for the milk and parmesan cheese? Thank you!

  11. Doubled the garlic per the other reviews and it really was excellent. If you are making this and not getting a good result i would recommend real cheese, not the green cap stuff.

    This recipe was a hit!

  12. Bobbi Schmidt says:

    Hi! Did you cook the broccoli at all? Thanks

    • I used frozen broccoli florets which are partially cooked (blanched) before being frozen. So, when you thaw them they are already a little soft and the raw edge has already been taken off. I still wanted them slightly crisp, so I didn’t cook them any further. If you want a softer/more cooked broccoli, you can add it to the pasta water during the last couple of minutes that the pasta is cooking, then drain them all together in a colander. :)

  13. Esther says:

    Looking forward to making this. Anytime the recipe says garlic I just go ahead and use a whole head of garlic. Ummm, yeah, I like garlic. And everyone else walks on the other side of the street.

  14. Samantha says:

    nice quite and tasty meal. I added chicken and it is great. I also substituted cinnamon for nutmeg and it worked out great.

  15. Definitely a winner. As a caution, you should take her seriously when she warns to “over-season” the sauce. It does bland once you add everything else back in, and it’s just not the same if you don’t cook the spices in. I like mine VERY garlicy, so I used two cloves. YUM!

  16. Carla says:

    Not my favorite of the recipes on here, but it was worth a shot!

  17. MacKenzie says:

    So, I’m planning on making this recipe this week, but I have a head of broccoli so if I’m using fresh instead of frozen broccoli, how would that change the prep/cooking steps? Any help would be great. Thank you!

    • I would cut the broccoli into very small florets and then add the broccoli to the pasta water for the last two minutes or so of cooking the pasta. That will lightly cook the broccoli so that it doesn’t taste raw and you won’t have to use a second pot :)

  18. Lauren says:

    Yummy! My boyfriend out of the blue asked me to make alfredo, so I did a search on your website and was thrilled to see this. I added some roasted red peppers that I got on a mega sale and topped with grilled chicken. I didn’t have nutmeg so I added extra garlic and pepper and it was really tasty! The consistency and taste were perfect even with 2% milk.

  19. Anonymous says:

    we are 2 for 2….this is excellent!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Just made this and it is SO good! I used finely shredded cheese because that’s all I had. It took extra time to melt. I also added a little basil to the sauce mixture. Yum!!! Thanks

  21. Brittney says:

    I know this has been up a while, but I finally got around to making it last night. Yummy! I used skim milk and swapped out for whole grain pasta, and it clocked in at 354 calories a serving (insanely low for alfredo). I served with a side of grilled chicken in order to save my husband from having to eat two meatless meals in one week. It was VERY filling and delicious, and as a bonus my 3 year old actually ate everything off of her plate. Kudos to you! This is a recipe that you should be very proud of.

  22. Oh Wow. I made this last night!!! I never thought I could make white sauce.. never mind have it taste that good!!! I grilled up some chicken and tossed it in with the pasta and broccoli! Was a great supper! Thank you soo much for your recipes! I am trying your root beer pulled pork tonight! I can’t wait!

  23. Anonymous says:

    You should totally add red, yellow, and orange baby bell peppers. A bag of them at Walmart is around 3.50 and I only used about 1/3 of the bag. Yumm!

  24. Oh my word, I thought I was the only weird person who liked to do this! I stumbled into this goodness a month ago when I thought “let’s try some broccoli in this.” I actually made this last night but added my secret weapon- oven baked turkey bacon. =)
    Somehow it made it more light and perfect for a summer evening.
    Try it!

  25. Anonymous says:

    I made this last night it was a big hit, I grilled up some chicken breast and served it with salad and I love how much it made for the cost I have a large family and it fed all of us with 2-3 servings left over :) thanks for sharing!!

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