Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo

$5.48 recipe / $0.69 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.75 from 40 votes
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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

Top view of a plate of broccoli fettuccine alfredo

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Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo

4.75 from 40 votes
Tender broccoli florets, hearty pasta, and a creamy indulgent sauce make for great vegetarian main dish.
Servings 8
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 30 minutes


  • 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)
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg ($0.02)
  • to taste salt & pepper ($0.05)
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  • 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 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water and then drain the pasta in a colander.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!

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Serving: 1ServingCalories: 399.98kcalCarbohydrates: 54.65gProtein: 16.05gFat: 13.3gSodium: 436.46mgFiber: 3.65g
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Top view of a plate of broccoli fettuccine alfredo with a fork and napkin on the side

Step By Step Photos

fettuccine in package ready to put in pot of boiling water
Begin 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 and garlic being cooked down in pot
Meanwhile, cook the minced garlic and butter in a medium pot over medium heat until the garlic is softened (3-5 minutes).

flour added to butter and garlic in pot to make roux
Stir 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.

milk being whisked into sauce in pot
Next, 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 sauce on wooden spoon
When 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.

parmesan cheese being added to sauce in pot
Turn the heat off as soon as it has thickened. Add the parmesan cheese and whisk until it melts in.

sauce in pot with whisk
The cheese will further thicken the sauce. It should now coat a wooden spoon even more.

Season parmesan sauce (pepper and nutmeg)
Season 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.

broccoli and cooked pasta in pan with sauce being poured over
Add 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 alfredo in pot
Toss the pasta and broccoli in the sauce until everything is well coated. Serve warm!

Top view of broccoli fettuccine alfredo on plate
Easy-peasy! Ooh, peas would be nice in this instead of broccoli, too!

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  1. I made this with a side of pan fried salmon and oh my goodness it was a fantastic dinner! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  2. I never make any other fettuccine recipe anymore, only this one. I never like Alfredo sauce that much because the sauce was too heavy, coated my mouth with fat, and left me feeling sick. But I never feel that way with this “Alfredo” sauce. And it tastes better in my opinion too! Thank you for sharing this!!

  3. My 13-year old son found this recipe on his own, printed it out and asked me to make it. Made it tonight! He had several servings. Will stay in the rotation. Love all of the specific instructions, pictures, etc. If it weren’t for this website, we would starve! 90% of everything we eat is from this site!!

    1. I love that your kiddo is so interested in cooking! Way to go, mom! xoxo -Monti

  4. Would you recommend roasting or streaming fresh broccoli instead of using frozen? About to use this recipe for the first time, but it looks delicious!

    1. Either way would be great! Roasting the broccoli would add a great extra layer of flavor to the dish. However, steaming/blanching may be preferable since frozen broccoli contains some extra moisture (and roasting takes it away). Since cooking thawed, frozen broccoli takes about half the time of fresh (4-5 minutes), I would suggest par cooking fresh broccoli for around the same amount of time and finishing cooking it in the sauce (8-10 minutes total). ~ Marion :)

  5. We love this Alfredo! I like that it uses a roux and milk, instead of heavy cream. Less fattening but still just as good. I do doctor it up just a bit, with some garlic and onion powders, and Tony’s because I find it a little bland otherwise. I also like to brown the butter so my sauce is always on the browner side but so good!

  6. Absolutely devine! I made it today for and it was wonderful. Everyone loved it. Thanks for this gem of a recipe. I’ll definitely be making it again.

  7. So glad to find a good Alfredo made it 2x with the second time being adjusted. I put less flour 1 n half tlbs, and seasoned it with Vegatable seasoning , garlic, and pepper and garlic salt. Soooo good and with sautéed vegetables. Added hot pepper cream cheese.  It was perfect. Not floury 

  8. This was amazing, and will be a keeper. Thank you for sharing a inexpensive alfredo recipie that also calls for no cream!

    1. While I haven’t tried freezing this sauce, sauces that are thickened with a butter and flour roux tend to break (separate) when frozen and thawed.

  9. This was a winner!! Followed the recipe completely, except I didn’t have nutmeg. I added chicken and used 1% milk and it was soo good!! Our family loved it and I was so happy to have not used heavy cream. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. This is my go to recipe and it never disappoints. This time I switched it up a bit. Instead of broccoli I sauteed some mushrooms with garlic and spinach. I also added goat cheese to the sauce as well. It turned out really good.