Quick Penne Pasta with Veggies Recipe

Quick Penne Pasta with Veggies Recipe

Rebecca Clyde MS, RDN, CD

Many of my Cleveland heart patients wanted a heart-healthy recipe that their kids would like, too. From many reports, this fits the bill. Make a great meatless meal with broccoli, pasta, and freshly shredded Parmesan cheese. It's kid-friendly, packed with vitamins and minerals, and bursting with layers of rich flavor. 


8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 16-ounce package frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1 16-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium-size red bell pepper, thinly sliced; slices halved
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup freshly grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the package directions.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over low heat.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to fully release into the oil.
  4. Add the broccoli, beans, pepper, 3 tablespoons water, and salt.
  5. Cover and adjust heat to medium. Steam, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until the broccoli is hot and the pepper is crisp tender.
  6. Toss the pasta with the vegetables. Top with the Parmesan cheese and fresh pepper.

For a spicier flavor, add more garlic and/or pepper.

Substitute any vegetables your children (or you) like, varying cooking time as needed.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 Cup


Serves 8

Calories: 265; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 2mg; Sodium: 215mg; Total Carbohydrate: 41g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Protein: 12g.