orecchiette with broccoli and lemon on a patterned plate with lemons and parmesan

Orecchiette with Broccoli and Lemon

This quick and easy Orecchiette with Broccoli and Lemon is a perfect weeknight dinner. It's loaded with veggies, comes together in a flash, and is simple yet still sophisticated. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Broccoli, pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 499 kcal
Author Katie Trant


  • 1 bunch broccoli about 1 1/2 lbs / 700g
  • 12 ounces orecchiette
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • freshly grated parmesan
US Customary - Metric


  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil over high heat. 

  2. Roughly break the broccoli into florets and chop the stems. Add to the boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the broccoli from the water and onto a clean kitchen towel. Allow the broccoli to cool slightly.

  3. Generously salt the same water, and add the orecchiette. Stir to break up the pasta, and then cook until al dente, about 12 minutes.

  4. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed skillet. 

  5. Add the garlic, and cook gently until fragrant, careful to not let the garlic brown. 

  6. Squeeze the water from the broccoli and transfer to a cutting board. Chop the florets and stems into small pieces, and then transfer into the pan with the garlic. Add the lemon zest and red pepper flakes. 

  7. When the pasta is done, use a slotted spoon to transfer it directly into the pan with the broccoli, adding a little pasta water as you do so. 

  8. Toss well, add a squeeze of lemon juice and some salt and pepper. If needed, add a bit of extra pasta water to thin it out. 

  9. Serve with freshly grated parmesan and wedges of lemon to squeeze over top. 

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Orecchiette with Broccoli and Lemon
Amount Per Serving
Calories 499 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Sodium 60mg3%
Potassium 719mg21%
Carbohydrates 77g26%
Fiber 7g28%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 1020IU20%
Vitamin C 150.8mg183%
Calcium 102mg10%
Iron 2.5mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.