Meet your new favorite pasta! No, but seriously, it’s really really good.
This creamy goat cheese pasta is a mouthwatering medley of flavors and textures. Crispy roasted broccoli, sweet potato and walnuts provide a delightfully sweet and earthy crunch, while the al dente pasta coated in a decadent goat cheese sauce infuses every bite with a rich, tangy creaminess that harmonizes the savory and sweet elements.
This colorful and satisfying pasta dish not only tantalizes the taste buds but also offers a visually appealing and nutrition-packed dining experience, making it a delightful choice for those seeking a comforting yet gourmet meal.
• Ready in less than an hour.
• Comes with multiple healthy servings of vegetables.
• Because of the acid from the goat cheese and lemon, you don’t get the post pasta heaviness that often comes hand in hand with a delicious cream based sauce. (tragic, I know)
• Highly customizable – you can put almost anything in this pasta, and the ingredients are very interchangeable. Don’t have sweet potato, but have squash? Toss it in.
• Any type of pasta can be used in this recipe. My favorites are rigatoni and farfalle because of the way they become ideal vessels for the sauce, but I’ve tried it with linguine, fettuccini, penne, you name it. All were delicious.
You know what the real super-star of this recipe is though? Unsurprisingly, the goat cheese. I don’t care what anyone says – goat cheese makes the best cream sauces, and it’s one of the most superior cheeses, by far. If you aren’t convinced (I’m looking at you nonbelievers) here’s a list I’ve compiled of reasons we should all incorporate more goat cheese in our diet, at least in moderation.
- Lower in Calories, Fat and Cholesterol: Goat cheese typically contains fewer calories and less fat than cheese made from cow’s milk, making it a lighter option for those watching their calorie and fat intake.
- Contains Healthy Fats: A lot of the fats that goat cheese does contain are medium-chain fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.
- Easier to Digest: Goat cheese contains less lactose and different proteins than cow’s milk, making it easier to digest, especially for individuals who are lactose intolerant or sensitive to cow’s milk proteins.
- High in Proteins: Goat cheese is a good source of high-quality proteins, essential for building and repairing tissues in the body.
- Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Goat cheese contains essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and magnesium.
- Natural Probiotics: Like other fermented dairy products, goat cheese can contain beneficial bacteria (probiotics) that promote a healthy gut environment and aid in digestion.
- Lower Sodium Content: Goat cheese generally has lower sodium content than many other cheese varieties, making it a suitable option for individuals watching their sodium intake.
To make this recipe, here are some of the key ingredients you’ll need.
• Sweet potatoes: These give the pasta a sweetness that helps balance out the other flavors. Alternatively, butternut squash pairs wonderfully.
• Broccoli: This is important – get them nice and crispy. If you don’t have broccoli, quartered brussel sprouts are also great in this recipe. I often opt for brussel sprouts instead of broccoli myself!
• Walnuts: These add an earthy flavor to the pasta that I just can’t get enough of. Pecans are a good substitute.
• Garlic: And lots of it. I’m talking a whole head of garlic, if not more – it’s really just dependent on how much you love garlic. I throw a whole bulb in this recipe.
• Goat cheese: Any soft goat cheese will go well with this dish – I’ve tried plain, herbed, and honey varieties and the were all yummy. (I actually like the honey goat cheese the most myself!)
• Dried cranberries: While these are optional, the tartness they add to this dish is just lovely.
Peel the sweet potato & chop it into cubes. You want small cubes so they crisp up in the oven. Next, chop the broccoli into small florets. You also want these small so they can get crispy in the oven.
Toss the garlic into a garlic press. Finely mincing also works, but I almost always prefer pressing garlic, especially for sauces.
Grate your wedge of parmesan cheese. While pre-shredded cheese will totally work, self-grated cheese will always be superior. It has a more intense flavor, better texture, and no additives to prevent clumping, which are often the culprit of a grainy sauce.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and combine the broccoli, sweet potatoes and walnuts on sheet pan. Add the extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt, then mix together until well combined. Once the oven is preheated, roast the vegetables for 35 minutes, stirring halfway.
Boil your chosen pasta (any will work, but rigatoni and farfalle are my favorites) and cook till al dente. Make sure to reserve the pasta water you need for later when draining!
In a big sauce pan, add the butter and remaining olive oil. Once hot, add the garlic and cook until golden, around 2 minutes. Add the thyme and oregano and cook 1 additional minute.
Now add the heavy cream, half of the reserved pasta water, and cook on medium-low heat until simmering. Once ready, incorporate the goat cheese, parmesan cheese and lemon juice into the sauce.
Combine the sauce, pasta, and 3/4 of the roasted vegetables.
Add the last half of pasta water if the sauce is too thick, and salt to taste. Plate with roasted vegetables, dried cranberries and chopped parsley on top.
Storage & Serving Suggestions
This scrumdiliumcious goat cheese pasta is best when enjoyed right away. That being said, you can definitely meal prep it, as it stores very well compared to most cream based pasta dishes and is very filling.
Just fill some lidded containers and pop them in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to reheat, adding a bit of water or milk can help restore some of the liquid back to the sauce that the pasta inevitably absorbed.
The One Requirement
I’m sure many of you know this already, but I just want to make sure. Smoked paprika and regular paprika ARE NOT the same. At all. Not even a little bit. Regular paprika has almost no taste – its there almost entirely to look pretty.
Smoked paprika though? It is a flavor power house, and one I cook with all the time. I go through it faster than any other herb and spice, and that is saying something! (I’m known to be quite liberal with my spice usage lol)
Seriously, when I first began cooking I spent the first few years bewildered as to why people even added paprika to recipes. The only kind that I had in the pantry at the time was your standard stuff, but let me tell you, the first time bought, smelled and tasted smoked paprika it was akin to a holy experience.
It’s a culinary delight that is both smoky (think a campfire) and subtly sweet, and I’m a firm believer that we should all have a least one bottle of the stuff. If you don’t have any at home, you should definitely, definitely go get you some.
Did you make this recipe and like it? Be sure to leave a comment below! I’d love to hear what you have to say 🙂
Creamy Roasted Broccoli Goat Cheese Pasta
- 1 large sweet potato (peeled & chopped into small cubes)
- 1 large head of broccoli (chopped into small florets)
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Pasta & Sauce
- 12 ounces pasta of choice (rigatoni)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 bulb (8 cloves) garlic (pressed or minced)
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup reserved pasta water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 3 tablespoons parsley (chopped)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Combine the broccoli, sweet potatoes and walnuts on sheet pan. Add the extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Mix together until well combined.
- Once the oven is preheated, roast the vegetables for 35 minutes, stirring halfway.
- While the vegetable are cooking, fill a large pot with salted water and set the stove on high.
- Once the water has reached a rolling boil, add your chosen pasta and cook till al dente. Make sure to reserve the needed pasta water when draining!
- In a separate pan, add the butter and remaining olive oil and set the stove to medium-low. Once hot, add the garlic and cook until golden, around 2 minutes. Add the thyme and oregano and cook 1 additional minute.
- Add the heavy cream, half of the reserved pasta water, and cook on medium-low heat until simmering.
- Toss in the goat cheese, parmesan cheese and lemon juice and fully incorporate into the sauce.
- Combine the sauce, pasta, and 3/4 of the roasted vegetables. Add the last half of pasta water if the sauce is too thick, and salt to taste.
- When plating, top with roasted vegetables, dried cranberries and chopped parsley if desired.
- This pasta also pairs extraordinarily well with bacon, if that’s something up your alley.
- Any soft goat cheese will go well with this dish – I’ve tried plain, herbed, and honey varieties and the were all yummy. (I actually like the honey goat cheese the most myself!)