Skip to main content

Quick Penne Pasta with Veggies Recipe

Contributors: Melissa Ohlson, MS, RD, LD

Published: January 24, 2018

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


Before you begin: Wash your hands.

  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.

Freshly Picked

Find a Nutrition Expert

Looking for credible nutrition information and recommendations? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' network of credentialed food and nutrition practitioners are ready to help!