Broccoli and Cheddar Pasta Bake
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.
Lightened Up Broccoli and Cheddar Pasta Bake
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 4-6 Servings 1x
- Category: Pasta, Casserole
A quick and easy, lightened up recipe for a Broccoli and Cheddar Pasta Bake.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
great flavours. Delicious, I agree though that the broccoli needs to be doubled for the pasta. I also fried some chicken in garlic onion and celery and added to the bake.
Thank you, Ninaad!!
Absolutely wonderfully tasty and comforting! Regular mac & cheese is way too caloric for us. I actually used powdered milk which worked fine and 1/4 cup farmer’s cheese ( sumilar to cottage cheese but low salt). The mix of spices was unusual but extremely successful! Yum!!
Thank you, Judith!
Very tasty! I have cooked it last night for the whole family and liked it a lot!
I added some zucchini which I roasted in the pan and also I didn’t finish it in the oven. I served it a step before!! Thank you for sharing the recipe 💙💙
does anyone know what size pan I should use? making this right now! 🙂