Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Broccoli and Cauliflower

Spaghetti with Broccoli and Cauliflower | recipe | Aggie's Kitchen

One thing about my college years that I truly miss is time with my friends. Since college life consisted of pretty much classes, work, classes, work and partying, my friends were like family and a big part of my everyday. My good friend Belle and I were pretty inseparable for a good part of my time at UF, and I miss her dearly. We worked together, we lived in the same neighborhood (and eventually became roommates) and hung out in the same friend circle. We were pretty much attached at the hip, starting off our days watching morning tv with coffee, then hitting the gym for a couple of hours and coming home to make a huge pasta lunch for us (and her roommates) before making our way to the evening shift at work.

Our pasta dishes were always a work of art. At least we thought so. I remember we would get so creative in doctoring up jarred sauce with tons of dried herbs and spices and Parmesan cheese. Because that’s all pasta needed in college right?

These days, I still like to consider my pasta dishes pretty special. Though, they are a lot different. White pasta has turned into whole grain pasta, and you’ll pretty much always find a vegetable or two included in the pasta party. But what hasn’t changed is the feeling of pure comfort a big bowl of pasta brings me. And for some reason, this pasta that I made for dinner last night made me think of my friend and our good ole days of college.

What makes this pasta special is that it comes together in less than 20 minutes, is good for you and your family will love it. I picked up a couple of packages of broccoli and cauliflower florets on sale last week and they had to be used up (like now). I kept things simple and didn’t bother chopping up any onion or fresh garlic (this was hard for me!) but instead added a good amount of seasoning to make sure it tasted special.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Broccoli and Cauliflower

Yield: 4-5 servings

We all have those nights when there's not a lot of time to make a healthy, nutritious dinner. Whole wheat pasta is always a great option, especially when you have a couple of bags of pre-cut veggies already in the fridge. This pasta dish is one you can feel good about and that your family will love.


  • 1 13 oz box whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, cut small (or 1 package Eat Smart Broccoli Florets)
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets, cut small (or 1 package Eat Smart Cauliflower Florets)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, for sauteeing
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Blend (or a mix of Italian seasoning and garlic powder)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, for drizzling
  • pinch salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • pinch red pepper flakes, to taste
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese, to taste


  1. Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large non stick skillet. Add broccoli and cauliflower to pan and gently saute over low to medium heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of pasta water over vegetables to help cook it (see this post on how to water saute vegetables). Season with pinch salt and pepper.
  3. When pasta is almost done, set aside 1/2 - 1 cup pasta water before draining. Strain pasta and add to skillet with vegetables. Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and gently toss to combine. Add seasoning, salt and pepper and continue to toss until water is absorbed. Add more water if necessary.
  4. Drizzle pasta and vegetable mixture with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Serve with red pepper flakes and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


Whole wheat pasta usually has a good amount of protein on its own so I didn't feel it necessary to add any more to our meal. However, add additional protein to this easy pasta dish with leftover grilled chicken, shrimp or even a can of white beans.



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33 Responses to “Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Broccoli and Cauliflower”

  1. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl posted January 16, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Love bulking up my pasta with veggies!!! Looks relish – simple and easy. Love it!!!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted January 16, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      I’m all about simple right now. And yest to bulking up the pasta with veggie…I feel like I can eat a bigger bowl that way :)

  2. shelly (cookies and cups) posted January 16, 2013 at 10:37 am

    This looks perfect! My kids love broccoli and cauliflower, so I know they will love this!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted January 16, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      We eat a lot of broccoli and cauliflower around here because my kids love them so much, I was tired of roasting them (not really), but adding it to pasta changed it up a bit. Hope your kids love it! :)

  3. Robyn | Add a Pinch posted January 16, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Such a beautiful plate of pasta!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted January 16, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      Thanks Robyn!

  4. claire @ the realistic nutritionist posted January 16, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Beautiful and healthy, yes yes yes :)

    • Aggies Kitchen posted January 16, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      aww, thanks friend! :)

  5. Erica posted January 16, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Im a big fan of the eat smart veggie packs!! So nice to not have to chop sometimes. Our doctored up food in college? Nachos! Sad but true ;)

    • Aggies Kitchen posted January 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      I have a hard time resisting those bags, especially when they are on sale ;) And nachos?? YES please!

  6. Kim | At Home With Kim posted January 16, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I love your blog. That story is so cool! And I LOVE that even in college you were in the kitchen creating. You know my girl is such a picky eater…. I’m always looking for ways to sneak veggies in. She loves pasta so I will totally try this. Ironically she LOVES Italian Seasoning (puts it on her pasta and pizza). Love this. It’s simple and quick. I would NEVER have thought of it on my own. Thanks for sharing it!!! {hugs}

    • Aggies Kitchen posted January 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      That’s so cute that she loves Italian seasoning. My kids really loved this simple little pasta, I think next time I’m going to add some Italian chicken sausages to it.

  7. Becky @ So Very Blessed posted January 16, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Yum! This looks fantastic!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted January 16, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      Thank you Becky!

  8. Cassie | Bake Your Day posted January 16, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    I lived on pasta in college – it was so cheap! I love this, Aggie!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted January 16, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      Pasta was truly the perfect college meal. :)

  9. Colleen, The Smart Cookie Cook posted January 16, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Pasta really is one of the most comforting dishes. I love the simplicity of this dish, and that you chose whole wheat pasta. Personally, I like it better.

    • Aggies Kitchen posted January 16, 2013 at 8:46 pm

      I like it so much better too! I switched over many years ago and still prefer it over regular pasta. I feel good after I eat it too!

  10. bellini posted January 17, 2013 at 12:13 am

    A big bowl of pasta is pretty comforting on days like these.

  11. Jen @ Savory Simple posted January 17, 2013 at 7:52 am

    I think the only thing about college I miss is the extended vacations. I was a road trip junkie back then. Love the pasta!

  12. kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts posted January 17, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I am thinking about comfort too, and this pasta dish sounds and looks very comforting indeed. And so easy! My daughter loves broccoli in all forms, but cheese sauce has been necessary for cauliflower in our house. Perhaps this will win them over?

  13. Minnie(@thelady8home) posted January 17, 2013 at 9:57 am

    This sounds yummy, not so difficult to make and also refreshing. :-D This one I am going to try for sure.

  14. Lori @ RecipeGirl.com posted January 17, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Pasta is my nemesis at the moment, but I’ll soon return to the world of carbs and try this one out one of these days. Love the simple ingredients!

  15. wholesome kids posted January 17, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Love to see a recipe with whole wheat pasta! The idea of adding white beans sounds like the perfect combination.

  16. Julia posted January 17, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    So my kinda pasta!! I’d probably add lemon pepper also. Just cuz, ya know, that’s how I roll.

  17. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies posted January 17, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I love adding lots of veggies to my pasta so it goes a little further (and fills me up more!). This is perfect!

  18. Kristen posted January 17, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Oh wow – what a delicious combination! I had canned biscuits for dinner many nights in college… I want to be your roommate!

  19. BRee posted January 18, 2013 at 12:05 am

    I love a great veggie pasta with parm! And who doesn’t love to reflect on the glory years of college?!

  20. patsy posted January 18, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I’ve got to get back to eating whole wheat pasta again! Your dish is making me think that this week I’ll add that to my shopping list. This would make a great lunch for me to bring to work, too!

  21. leslie posted January 18, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Ohhh, love it. Nice and easy and healthy!

  22. Paula - bell'alimento posted January 18, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Simple & satisfying. Love adding veggies to the pasta!


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