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

4.7 from 15 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. Amazing sauce! At first, I thought it was pretty bland, even after adding salt. But after waiting a little bit for it to thicken up, it was mind blowingly awesome.

  2. Cristina says:

    I loved this recipe. 5 stars!!!
    I used low fat milk and less butter and I calculated out how many calories this dish had per serving. I also added some chicken to mine. I divided it into 7 servings and each had about 290 calories. A perfect amount for a delicious dinner! Thanks so much!

  3. Alicia says:

    This came out pretty good but there are a few things I probably could improve next time. The sauce came out too thick so the pasta was a little on the sticky side. I used half light cream and half milk, I think I will add more milk next time. Or maybe I screwed up the cooking process when making the roux. I used dried parmesan cheese instaed of fresh parmesan, but the cheese still had good flavor in the sauce.

  4. Antonia says:

    This recipe was great. I have never tried broccoli in fettuccine alfredo but I loved it! Made me feel better about eating such a heavy pasta dish :P I used half heavy cream and half milk because I had some to use up but next time I’ll try it with just the milk to keep it a bit lighter. Thanks for another keeper :)

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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 :)

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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. =)

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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. :)

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

  20. Carla says:

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

  21. 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 :)

  22. 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.

  23. Anonymous says:

    we are 2 for 2….this is excellent!

  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. 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!

  27. 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!

  28. 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!

  29. 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!!

  30. Came out like soup. Way too much milk!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Will be making this in half and hour; can’t wait to taste it. I really apprreciate fast recipes like this one. Thanks.

  32. Kara R. says:

    Just made it and it was yummy. I tried to add more salt like you suggested, but ended up still not putting enough. A couple of dashes of Tabasco on mine and I was in alfredo heaven!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Just made this an added grilled chicken in top soooo good. Plus I used lactaid milk to help my fiance be able to digest it without to many woes.

  34. carlee p says:

    I made mine with extra extra garlic :) some chopped up red peppers, peas, ham, and served with a side of chicken breast, toasted garlic bread (I know I have a problem…) and homemade tomato fresca. So GOOD.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Mine turned out kind of bland and gummy:(

  36. Anonymous says:

    this sounds delish.. could you make it with skim plus milk?That would be even healthier…and skim plus tastes just as good in cereal as whole milk!

  37. I made this with angel hair pasta and did broccoli AND peas! Wham bam, more veggies, ma’am! It came out fantastic. So delicious, thank you for expanding my repertoire of roux-based sauce and pasta dishes past mac n’ cheese.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I’m eating this RIGHT NOW.. amazing!

  39. Amanda says:

    Love, Love, LOVE this website! Making this for dinner. Using bow tie pasta because it is toddler friendly! (oh & mincing a mix of veggies so said toddler will actually EAT the veggies… LoL)

  40. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Beth! All the work you do on this blog is crazy. I have made a bunch of your recipes and I cannot thank you enough. You Rock… seriously

  41. It will still be creamy and delicious without the nutmeg. The nutmeg just kind of adds a sparkle of flavor. Maybe add a little extra black pepper for zing!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Kind of a stupid ?. Nutmeg (which I am not a huge fan of) is about $6 clams here in Cleveland – can’t believe it!! Any great loss without it?

  43. Anonymous says:


  44. Wow, I’m so glad I found this website. Just made this recipe – took me half an hour, came out delicious, relatively healthy, and so cheap. Thanks, this is my new favorite fettucine alfredo recipe. <3

  45. I just made this tonight with cream instead of milk (I am still pretty young so can afford the calories haha), and it was VERY easy and pretty tasty as well. I won’t say it’s the best alfredo sauce I’ve ever had, but it was good enough that I’m adding it to my “easy meals to cook when you’re feeling lazy” list!

  46. Alison – it’s a generic/store brand parmesan in a fairly large sized container.

  47. Alison says:

    Where/what kind of parmesan cheese are you buying that it’s less than a dollar for a cup? I live in Canada and I know that cheese is considered expensive here, but parmesan cheese is especially tough on my wallet.

  48. Karyl says:

    I made this tonight with peas, served over whole wheat pasta, and it was easy AND delicious! Thank you so much!

  49. Just discovered your site and i’m in LOVE!

    Thanks for doing this blog.

    I think asparagus would also be quite nice.

  50. Oooh yum, yum, yum! I’m starving… Can I come visit? Tee-hee… Just found your blog again and LOVE you ingenious plan to work out the cost… You are a superstar! Xxxx

  51. It looks no different than regular fettucine alfredo! Wonderful, thank you for the recipe. Definitely going down for date night.

  52. Yay! I love alfredo too, but also am not fond of 2000 calorie meals. ^_^ I went to an awesome cooking class a few weekends ago that went through how to “lighten up” a few recipes, and it’s been nice to east cream of broccoli now without feeling terrible about it.

    • Juan says:

      Its roughly 306 calories per person and quite high in protein, although lightening it up wouldn’t be too bad.

  53. Anonymous says:

    This looks so yummy!

  54. That looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!

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