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
    February 14, 2022 at 3:40 am

    I made this before and it was great. This time, the cheese just turned into a giant gob and picking up all the broccoli and wouldn’t melt into the noddles. Just a big ball of cheese and broccoli separate from the rest of the noodles and carrots. Any tips?

  • Reply
    Breanna Bannister
    February 8, 2022 at 9:39 pm

    I started making this recipe a couple of times a week when I was pregnant with my second and neither my husband or toddler ever complained! Just used Rotisserie for added protein but followed the rest of the recipe exactly.
    This is now my 2.5 year olds favorite recipe and she requests it multiple times every week!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2022 at 5:46 pm

    Love this recipe! It’s so simple, but I find myself coming back to it a lot! I’ve added frozen peas and frozen corn for more veggies. I’ve topped with some shredded rotisserie chicken for added protein. It’s delish no matter what! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    December 20, 2021 at 1:48 am

    I made this tonight exactly as written and loved it! I’m 12 weeks pregnant and it’s hard for me to eat veggies right now (thanks, food aversions) but this was the comforting, delicious meal I needed! Finally something I can eat and enjoy and also feel good about:)

    • Reply
      December 20, 2021 at 12:32 pm

      Aw yay Katie I am so glad. I ate this also when pregnant with my girls! it’s perfect!

  • 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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