Does anyone else feel like cooking dinner takes an hour, eating dinner takes about 10 minutes and then washing all of the dishes takes the seven hours? Yeah, this is how I normally feel about making myself a semi-complete meal: I enjoy making and eating my dinner, but when it comes times to do the dishes, I would literally rather throw away my dishes than washing them. That's where this recipe comes in handy; it only requires you to dirty one pot and one bowl. 

This recipe holds a special place in my heart because it is adapted off of a family classic. Growing up in an Italian-American household, pasta was a big deal for my family.

Sunday dinners would not be Sunday dinners without all of the family, the loud conversations, and an amazing pasta dish cooked by Grandma herself. My favorite dish that Grandma would make was Pasta Con Broccolo, which is just what it sounds like, pasta with broccoli – but if you could taste it, you would understand why it's not just pasta with broccoli. There were amazing hints of garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese to round out the robustness of the broccoli. All of these strong and powerful notes of flavor harmonized with simple farfalle pasta. I would always offer to go to Grandma's house early and help her cook, hoping to learn how she turned such simple ingredients into a dish with such complex and sophisticated tastes. 

To this day, my grandmother is one of my greatest role models and biggest supporter. She is a strong, funny, and compassionate woman who has fostered my love for cooking. I look forward to school breaks when I can come home and help her cook like when I was a child. 

Brianna Sa

For the times when I can't cook with her, I like to take my own spin on some of her recipes. One of my favorites is my take on Pasta Con Broccoli, which is my brown rice pasta with garlic, broccoli, and kale. I replaced the regular pasta with brown rice pasta (making this recipe gluten-free), removed all dairy (making it vegan), and added in some kale to round out the dish. While it's not simple farfalle like Grandma uses, the brown rice pasta adds a nutty flavor that contrasts against the aromatic garlic and fresh notes from the broccoli and kale.

One-Pot Brown Rice Pasta with Garlic Broccoli and Kale

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:15 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Easy


  • 1/2 cup brown rice penne pasta
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt + salt for pasta water
Brianna Sa
  • Step 1

    Prepare all of your ingredients.

    Brianna Sa
  • Step 2

    Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add in pasta and cook pasta for 3 minutes less than the package instructions.

    Brianna Sa
  • Step 3

    Drain pasta and rinse with cold water (this helps the pasta from overcooking). Save half of a cup of the pasta water.

    Brianna Sa
  • Step 4

    Steam broccoli for about 5 minutes.

    Brianna Sa
  • Step 5

    Add olive oil to a preheated pot and then add minced garlic.

    Brianna Sa
  • Step 6

    Add in broccoli, pepper, and half of the salt. Sautee for a few minutes.

    Brianna Sa
  • Step 7

    Add in kale and pre-cooked pasta, along with 1/2 tsp of olive oil and the remaining salt. Cook together for around 3 minutes.

    Brianna Sa
  • Step 8

    Drizzle with 1/2 tsp of olive oil and serve.

    Brianna Sa

#SpoonTip: you could even just make the garlic broccoli and kale ahead of time and when you want to eat, cook the pasta fresh and combine with the pre-made vegetables. 

This recipe is perfect for when you are crunched for time, as it only takes 15 minutes to make and uses a handful of ingredients. This can also be made in large batches and just reheated with some reserved pasta water.

Now go live out all of your pasta dreams!

Looking For More? Check out these other quick pasta dishes:

Tomato, Onion & Basil One-Pan Pasta 

21 Easy One-Pot Dinners to Make When You Don’t Want to Do Dishes 

Vegan, Gluten-Free, and Authentic One Pot Pastas for Fall