March 13, 2013

Broccoli and Cheddar Pasta Bake

asta Bake | Fork Knife Swoon

This lightened up Broccoli and Cheddar Pasta Bake has all the flavor and creamy texture of a classic broccoli and cheese dish, but with a lot less guilt than traditionally calorie-packed recipes. I threw this together last night after a non-stop day and it was just the sort of comforting, indulgent dinner I was craving.

This version uses ingredients we generally have in the pantry, but you could spice it up with other fresh or frozen veggies and any kind of cheese – think corn and bell peppers with pepper jack or sweet peas with a Swiss/gruyere combo.


4.8 from 4 reviews
Lightened Up Broccoli and Cheddar Pasta Bake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A quick and easy, lightened up recipe for a Broccoli and Cheddar Pasta Bake.
Recipe by:
Recipe type: Pasta, Casserole
Yield: 4-6 Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb dry whole-wheat pasta (rigatoni, penne, or other macaroni pasta with ridges)
  • 2 cups broccoli, cut into 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1 tbsp spicy brown or Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup low-fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the pasta al dente according to the package directions. Add the broccoli florets to the boiling water for the last two minutes of cooking the pasta. Drain the pasta and broccoli and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the garlic and cook for a minute or two until it begins to brown. Add the flour, and whisk until a smooth roux forms. Add the milk, mustard and the spices and continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 1-2 minutes. When the sauce begins to bubble, add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted.
  3. Add the pasta and broccoli to the sauce and stir until combined. Pour the pasta mixture into an oven-safe casserole dish and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake until the pasta is warmed through and the top is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Andy
    March 30, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    It is good. But you have to double up on the broccoli if you don’t want to search for it with a magnifying glass. Otherwise we love it.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Jenny Bender
    October 15, 2014 at 4:51 am

    I made this last night and LOVED it! It’s on my blog today! πŸ™‚ http://applesandkale.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/broccoli-cheese-pasta-bake/

    THANKS for a great recipe!!

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 16, 2014 at 9:42 am

      Thanks, Jenny!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Carleza
    March 16, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Can’t wait to try it

  • Reply
    Becky
    February 26, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Do you know the nutrition info? Thanks~!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    rosanne
    August 20, 2013 at 1:25 am

    Made this tonight only I didn’t use skim or fat free dairy. It was a nice dish! My 2 and 4 yr olds inhaled it! I topped with breadcrumbs and turned on the broiler for the last few minutes. Delicious!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    April 2, 2013 at 1:56 am

    I made this last night thanks to Pinterest… Simple to make, even in South Korea! Thank you, Laura!

    http://studiobites.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/broccoli-and-cheddar-pasta-bake/

    • Reply
      Laura
      April 2, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      I’m glad you liked it! We have some friends stationed in your part of the world…

  • Reply
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    April 1, 2013 at 10:17 pm

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  • Reply
    Emanuelle
    March 14, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Looks absolutely delicious!! πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Laura
      March 20, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      Thanks Emanuelle!

      • Reply
        Jaclyn Crawford
        August 28, 2014 at 6:21 pm

        Making this for dinner, do you cook covered or uncovered?

        • Reply
          Laura
          August 28, 2014 at 7:28 pm

          Uncovered! πŸ™‚