Whole-Family Pasta with Broccoli and Cauliflower


Many children, especially picky eaters, love pasta loaded with plain butter — a dish that clearly earns low marks on the health scale. This combination of broccoli, cauliflower, and pasta is a great alternative that adds fiber and protein with cannellini beans, which kids actually love!

close up overhead view of Whole-Family Pasta with Broccoli, beans and Cauliflower, garnished with cheese, on a white plate
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
25 mins


  • 12 ounces penne pasta

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 3 cups broccoli florets

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets

  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided

  • 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

  • cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost (but not quite) done, about 9 minutes. Drain.

  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden, 2 to 4 minutes. Add broccoli and cauliflower florets; cook for 1 minute. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, cover, and cook for 3 minutes.

  3. Add beans, broth, butter, pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook until beans are warm and sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

  4. Add pasta; cook and stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.


Use whole grain or whole wheat pasta for added fiber.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

387 Calories
12g Fat
56g Carbs
15g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 387
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 16mg 5%
Sodium 395mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 56g 20%
Dietary Fiber 15g 53%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 55mg 277%
Calcium 119mg 9%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 364mg 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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