Ree Drummond’s Lightened up Broccoli Carbonara Is an Easy 6-Ingredient Pioneer Woman Pasta

Ree Drummond’s Skinnyish Broccoli Carbonara isn’t only a lighter take on an Italian classic. One of many Pioneer Woman pasta recipes from the celebrity chef and Food Network star, it’s also simple and easy to make. 

The Pioneer Woman dish is ready in 30 minutes

Ree Drummond smiles and looks on wearing a pink top
Ree Drummond | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Have a half-hour to make dinner? That’s just enough time to whip up Drummond’s Skinnyish Broccoli Carbonara. Per her Food Network recipe instructions, it takes 30 minutes to make the creamy pasta dish. 

However, only half of that time is considered “active.” That means 15 minutes is spent waiting on pasta, broccoli, and pancetta to cook. All in all, it’s an easy Pioneer Woman pasta dish that’s made using only six ingredients, not counting salt and pepper. 

How to make Ree Drummond’s Skinnyish Broccoli Carbonara

Savannah Guthrie and Ree Drummond stand next to a kitchen island on the set of 'Today'
Savannah Guthrie and Ree Drummond | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Like most other pasta dishes Drummond’s Skinnyish Broccoli Carbonara begins with boiling a pot of water. Once the water’s boiling she adds the pasta. Her preference is whole-wheat spaghetti. 

While the pasta cooks the Super Easy cookbook author browns pancetta in a skillet with minced garlic. Then she makes the carbonara element of the dish which involves whisking together eggs and Parmesan cheese. 

Next is what Drummond calls a “really cool” step in the cooking process. “I’m adding broccoli to the mix. But instead of cooking it in the skillet, I’m going to put the broccoli into the water with the pasta,” she explained on The Pioneer Woman

“It just needs about two minutes but the pasta’s just about there so they’re both going to be ready right at the same time,” she added. 

Drummond then drains the water being sure to put some aside. She adds the broccoli and pasta to the skillet along with some of the reserved pasta water. 

Next, it’s back to the carbonara. The Food Network star slowly adds hot water leftover from the pasta to the egg and cheese mixture. 

“What I’m doing now is tempering it,” she explained. “I’m just gradually adding hot water. That way when this hits the pasta it doesn’t shock and turn into scrambled eggs.” 

Finally, she drizzles the egg and cheese mixture over the pasta while tossing everything together. 

The Pioneer Woman pasta recipe has 5 stars

Ree Drummond smiles wearing a blue shirt in front of an orange-printed backdrop
Ree Drummond | Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Despite not making the cut as one of Drummond’s most popular recipes on Food Network her Skinnyish Broccoli Carbonara has gone over well with reviewers. At the time of writing, the Pioneer Woman dish has been reviewed a modest four times.

However, each person who made the dish at home gave it positive reviewers which is why the recipe has a five-star rating. 

One reviewer kept their remarks short and sweet saying Drummond’s Skinnyish Broccoli Carbonara tasted “great” in addition to being “easy and fast.” 

Another called it “super tasty and extremely easy.” Noting that it also came together quickly the reviewer said not only did their teenage daughter love it, but everyone enjoyed the recipe. Lastly a tip from the reviewer: “Toss the pasta mixture quickly and continuously as you add the eggs.” 

Another reviewer swapped whole-wheat spaghetti for gluten-free pasta and described the final dish as “so good.” The one thing they’d do differently next time? Add more pancetta because they’re big fans. 

Finally, the last person to review the recipe called it children and husband-approved. “My 6-year-old even said that his favorite part is the broccoli. In my books, that’s a win,” they said. 

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