Cheesy broccoli pasta bake

Cheesy broccoli pasta bake

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(31 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 6 - 8
A versatile pasta bake is a midweek staple and this recipe can even be made ahead and frozen for extra convenience

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal667
  • fat27g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs82g
  • sugars11g
  • fibre5g
  • protein28g
  • salt0.98g
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  • 1l milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 2 garlic cloves, bashed
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 500g dried pasta



    Pasta is the Italian name for Italy's version of a basic foodstuff which is made in many…

  • 350g broccoli, in small florets



    Like cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli is a brassica and is sometimes known by its Italian name…

  • 75g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 75g plain flour
  • a little freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp mustard powder



    A condiment made by mixing the ground seeds of the mustard plant with a combination of…

  • small bunch parsley, roughly chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • 200g cheese, grated (cheddar, Parmesan, Gruyère, or a mixture)


  1. Bring the milk, garlic and bay leaves to the boil in a small saucepan, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse. Cook the pasta to al dente following pack instructions (if you’re freezing, cook for 1 min less), adding the broccoli for the final 2 mins. Drain.

  2. Strain the milk into a jug. Heat the butter in the pan until foaming then stir in the flour for 1 min. Add the milk a little at a time, stirring or whisking constantly to remove any lumps. Bubble for 1-2 mins, stirring constantly until you have a thick, lump-free sauce.

  3. Remove from the heat and stir in some nutmeg, the mustard powder, parsley, three-quarters of the cheese and seasoning. Combine with the pasta and broccoli and transfer to one large, or individual, heatproof dishes. Scatter over the remaining cheese and cool and freeze for up to three months, or heat the grill to high and cook for 2-3 mins until golden and bubbling. If frozen, defrost in the fridge overnight, then cook at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 30-40 mins until piping hot.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (33)

marybourkeis's picture

Followed recipe. The cheese sauce worked out perfectly. It thickened and no burnt saucepan ! I chopped up 2 chicken fillets and fried them . Then mixed them in with the pasta and sauce before grilling.

stinger2001's picture

Is there a way to add Imperial measurements? I refuse to do metric and it's a pain converting.

jadedermody's picture

didnt have enough flour so sauce didnt thicken. Instead put it in oven and baked for 15 minutes. Came out very nice

malf196's picture

hope_fornow - I used to have that problem with white sauces, but if you take the saucepan off the heat before you add the milk it works much better. You can put it back on the heat from time to time (e.g. when adding cheese to help it melt) but the sauce is definitely less lumpy if the milk is added away from the heat.

hope_fornow's picture

Really enjoyed this! I'm still new to cooking so I had a bit of a problem getting the sauce to be smooth and without lumps! I ended up having to sieve them out of the sauce before adding the final ingredients, but hopefully this was just something I can remedy next time. Very tasty and filling, i will be making this again.

elizabethannelouise's picture

Many traditional cooks use this roux method for making sauces however, I use cornflour to thicken. It is easier, quicker and healthier to use as it doesn't require butter. Buy cornflour and use guidelines on the pack for the amount of liquid being used. Make sure you mix the cornflour with a little COLD milk or water to make a paste then add, stirring, to the heated milk. It should start to thicken straight away. If not bring it back up to the boil on the hob or in a jug in the microwave.

cathy_youd's picture

Lovely! I REALLY liked the flavour of the sauce and might try it again with chicken and mushroom instead of broccoli (in the hope that it will turn out like my favourite dish from Ask!)

shiningfaery's picture

Used 1 litre milk as in recipe makes a lot of beautiful cheese sauce definitely needed to cover all that pasta.

Makes ALOT. I made this and froze into portions. Its is absolutely lovely the nutmeg and mustard as essential to the sauce and give a lovely flavour takes it from good to fabulous.

Could add more veg or different veg or even chicken to make different.

madamscragz's picture

This is fantastic! To clear it up, it is one litre not one pint. You need the litre because look at how many is serves, it is a pasta bake and sauce is copious. I didn't have the right cheese and so used one that when melted, became super melted like on a pizza, so for me even woith the one litre, the suace was hard to get from the saucepan to teh pasta (Kinda like glue), but once heated in teh oven was fine. I assume with the right cheese ( I accidentaly use a cheddar mozzerella blend) It wouldn't be so hard.

This is a great recipe, and tasted fantazmical!

profilea2's picture

To all intense and purposes this is macaroni cheese with broccoli. Nevertheless it is delicious.

kylah16's picture

I halved the recipe and it fed an adult and two kids with enough left over to feed us all again. Added smoked turkey rashers for extra flavour and found it was very tasty.

eitholeng's picture

It is a lovely dish. Easy to do and very filling. Defiantly one of my favorite vegetarian dish.

eitholeng's picture

It is a lovely dish.Easy to do and very filling.It is defiantly one of my favorite vegetarian dish.

alicepennbrooke's picture

Has anyone made this to freeze ahead and then used it successfully?
I am planning a large wedding buffet with some vegetarians attending and wondered if this really is a good recipe, or does it alter in consistency with freezing? Thanks!

meganthompson2011's picture

Really nice and easy to make :D Will do again.

emmabuckley's picture

This was absolutely delicious - halved the recipe which was perfect for 3 portions. All the flavourings came through in the sauce and it was really tasty. I only used cheddar cheese, but would certainly try it again with different cheeses.

josie101's picture

And also, as far as leftovers go, I splashed a bit of milk over the pasta and covered it in the oven for a bit, then uncovered it to crisp up the top and it was fine. Sauce was almost as good as previous day - it was helped by the milk which was almost all absorbed and when all stirred up just added to the sauce

josie101's picture

I kinda made it up as I went along with the quantities and made it in a dish to serve 4. I added some bacon sprinkled on the top over the pasta and broccoli before I poured the sauce over and sprinkled cheese on top. Served with garlic bread and my boyfriend who is not that keen on pasta thought it was great! Quick and easy and will make again!


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Tips (1)

dexychik's picture

Cheaty shortcut: buy a jar of bechamel (white lasagna sauce). Fry an onion, add the sauce, add the other ingredients (I used wholegrain mustard, which made it attractively speckled) and keep warm until the pasta and broccoli is ready. If there's not quite enough bechamel, loosen it with milk and put it in the oven for ten minutes instead of under the grill.