Aunt Leigh’s Broccoli and Carrot Pasta

Growing up, my Aunt Leigh’s Broccoli and Carrot Pasta was made every time we stayed with her. It’s a simple, easy pasta dish that will make everyone fall in love with vegetables!

Aunt Leigh’s Broccoli and Carrot Pasta

It’s really nothing all that impressive; however, it’s one of those great everyday dishes you can make for you and your family and feel great about. As a kid, I always ate my veggies so well when I had this bowl of pasta and now that I have kids of my own, I love seeing them do the same! 

My hope is that you enjoy Aunt Leigh’s Broccoli and Carrot Pasta in your own homes as much as I did growing up and as much as my girls do now! A special thank you to my dear Aunt Leigh who has always been so supporting and loving to me all of my life. I am so grateful for her.

Aunt Leigh’s Broccoli and Carrot Pasta

Aunt Leigh’s Broccoli and Carrot Pasta

Serves: 4 people
4.84 from 6 votes
Total Time35 mins


  • 12 ounces fusilli pasta I use Jovial Brown Rice for Gluten-Free *can sub elbows, shells, or any type of pasta here
  • 4 cups broccoli florets or 1 head
  • 2 cups peeled and sliced carrots or 2 carrots
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Juice of 1 lemon about 2 tbsp
  • ½ tsp black pepper or to taste
  • Freshly grated parmesan for serving
  • Crushed red pepper flakes optional for serving


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, add the broccoli florets and carrots to a steamer basket and place it in saucepan filled with the chicken broth or water. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan. Let steam for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the broccoli and carrots are crisp-tender. Remove from heat and set aside until the pasta is cooked.
  • When the water in the pot is boiling, add the pasta and a heavy pinch of salt (about 1 tbsp) and stir to combine. Cook until al dente, according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.
  • In a deep skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the cooked pasta and steamed vegetables and toss to coat in the butter. Add the shredded cheese, the lemon juice, and ½ cup of the reserved pasta water and gently toss until the cheese melts and is incorporated into the pasta, about 4 minutes to ensure it’s well combined. If your pasta seems a little dry, add ¼ cup of the remaining pasta water at a time and toss into the pasta. Season with kosher salt and black pepper, to taste.
  • Serve topped with freshly grated parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes, if using.


  • Reply
    September 8, 2021 at 12:25 am

    5 stars
    So simply but SO GOOD!

  • Reply
    August 25, 2021 at 1:15 am

    Made this recipe tonight for my teen/tween daughters and hubby and it was a hit!

  • Reply
    Sabrina Malkovich2
    August 13, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    5 stars
    Amazing dish I made it vegan with miyoki butter and violife cheese so good a keeper

  • Reply
    Kirsten Hancock
    August 10, 2021 at 12:45 am

    5 stars
    This was SO GOOD! (Made tonight.) Followed the recipe to a T & it was fantastic and flavorful. I subbed Miyoko’s for the butter, Violife mozzarella shreds, and Trader Joe’s dairy free Parmesan shreds – and used TJ’s quinoa/brown rice pasta. The family all raved and asked for more! This will be on rotation. We love our Defined Dish meals, can’t wait for the new cookbook in December. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 10, 2021 at 12:07 am

    5 stars
    Made Aunt Leigh’s pasta tonight… delish!! We were craving a simple pasta dish. My husband keeps saying thanks Aunt Leigh 😂😂

    • Reply
      August 10, 2021 at 11:51 am

      haha, i love it!

  • Reply
    Emma Gutierrez
    August 9, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    5 stars
    So good! The kids loved it and honestly so did I. Very easy too, my favorite.

  • Reply
    August 3, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    4 stars
    Good, slightly bland but very kid-friendly recipe.

    I drained my pasta in a colander then melted the butter/garlic in the pasta pot instead of another skillet.

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