Italian broccoli & salmon bake

Italian broccoli & salmon bake

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(185 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins - 35 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 4

Take a fresh look at broccoli with this creamy pasta bake

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal817
  • fat42g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs64g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre5g
  • protein49g
  • salt1.3g
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  • 250g penne
  • 300g broccoli, cut into large florets



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

  • 25g butter



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

  • 25g plain flour
  • 600ml milk



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

  • 100g mascarpone
  • 8 sundried tomato (preserved in olive oil), drained and thickly sliced
  • 2 tbsp small capers (optional) rinsed to remove excess salt or vinegar



    Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub, which grows in the Mediterranean. As…

  • 8 anchovy fillets, halved (optional)



    Silver, slender salty little fish found mainly around the Black Sea and the Pacific and Atlantic…

  • 10 large fresh basil leaves, roughly torn



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

  • 4 fresh skinless salmon fillets



    With its delicate, sweet flesh and wide availability, salmon is one of the most popular fish.…

  • 50g mature cheddar, finely grated



    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5/fan 170C and get out an ovenproof dish (measuring 20 by 30cm, and about 5cm deep). Meanwhile, put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta. When it is boiling rapidly, tip in the pasta with a generous sprinkling of salt. Give it a stir, return to the boil and cook for 6 minutes. Add the broccoli, then return the water to the boil and cook for 4 minutes more, until the broccoli is on the firm side of just tender. Drain well.

  2. While the pasta is cooking, put the butter, flour and milk in a large pan and heat, whisking or stirring continuously, until it thickens to make a smooth sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the mascarpone, sun-dried tomatoes, capers (if using), anchovies (if using) and basil, then add the pasta and broccoli and season well.

  3. Halve the salmon fillets widthways (you will see that there is an obvious divide on each fillet) then place the pieces in a single layer on the base of the ovenproof dish. Spoon the broccoli mixture on top, then scatter with the grated cheddar. (You can chill this for up to 4 hours if you want to get ahead.)

  4. Bake for 30 minutes until the mixture is just starting to bubble round the edges and the mixture is pale golden – don’t let it go too dark or the fish will overcook.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (180)

benni's picture

Absolutely one of our favourites!! I doubled the amount of roux, and added a whole 250g tub of mascarpone to the sauce mix. Really delicious and have made it several times now.

jule955's picture

Very nice. I replaced anchovies with olives, and I made a puree of olives, capers and sundried tomatoes which I added to the white sauce instead of having chunky bits in. I'm not sure about the cheddar on top though, it didn't seem to go well with the salmon. Won't use it next time, I'll just scatter parmesan instead.

MarinaJ78's picture

Hi, is there anyway a tomato sauce can be used, with compromising on flavour. I can't have dairy.

x-x-x-faerie-x-x-x's picture

This was delicious! I subbed some of the broccoli for cauliflower and added peas and sweetcorn, but used all of the other ingredients (capers, sun-dried toms and anchovies etc) and generous seasoning having read other comments. It was wonderful, the whole family loved it, even my two year old. Next time, I might pop some spinach in too, should go nicely with it all. I do think you need the anchovies for a stronger taste, without them I can see it being quite a subtle flavour and I don't really do subtle... for the anchovies I just used 1 can from Tesco and chopped them up and that was plenty.

missjcaley's picture

So I made a variation on this last night, a slightly healthier variation, and it was delicious! I used onions and garlic (obviously..) and for the bulk of the sauce a tub of creme fraiche and parmesan to add the cheesy gooey ness. I only used one tub of creme fraiche though and to be fair I think it was a little dry - next time I'll do either a pot and a half or two pots. Also, I used the smoked salmon filets from Aldi which were delish. Served with avocado tomato and rocket salad.. Bliss.

honeymustard's picture

This is soooo good. I've made it many times and it's always well received by friends and family. Certainly not bland. I read many of the comments below and made a few modifications. I used sundried tomato puree and also added one smoked salmon fillet and I use a whole jar of the anchovies. Oh and added garlic too.

kimmyno-cook's picture

I agree with some of the comments that it is bland - I did leave out the anchovies so I guess that will contribute to some reduction in flavour. However, the other ingredients do not blend for an overall sauce flavour - it's basically a white sauce. You can taste the capers, broccoli, salmon, grated cheese etc., but individually rather than an enhancement to the overall taste of the dish. For me, pasta is a speedy dish that needs a positive flavour sauce to go with it - I have made better pasta dishes in half the time.

karmasparkle's picture

OMG soooooooo good! I'm not usually a fan of fish + creamy sauces but this is an absolute winner! FYI for people leaving out the capers and/or anchovies and then saying it's bland - that's where the flavour comes from so please give it a go, even if you wouldn't eat them normally. You won't be disappointed!

gfletcher100's picture

Very tasty and would make it again. A little more trouble than my usual mid-week teas but still doable. I used wholewheat pasta but otherwise followed the recipe, including seasoning well. We didn't find it bland. Don't make my mistake and think salmon & broccoli = tasty. It's high calorie and for a treat only In our house

CookDoc's picture

Excellent recipe. Will definitely do this again. Usually bored with salmon, but both my wife and I enjoyed this immensely. I served it with some steamed courgette and red pepper.

ifuamq's picture

Very tasty meal - use a good pasta - the difference is very noticeable....rather basic salmon and good pasta. And use the capers & anchovies - why does everyone leave them out - they really add something.

Harrysbakingmummy's picture

Made for myself and my 3 year old son. Both enjoyed it although I would say it needs a lot of seasoning (taking into account I left out the anchovies and capers) and i also found the broccoli over cooked for my liking so I would cook that for less time before adding to the dish.
The sauce seemed very thin and I was stirring for ages assuming it would thicken- it seemed much less thick than your average white sauce but I realise it was fine as once you add the other ingredients and bake it keeps the dish perfectly moist.

Nickywesterberg's picture

All the family loved it - even the fussy "don't like stuff all mixed together" kids!
I used light creme fraiche instead of mascarpone and added dill and lots of black pepper for extra flavour. Seasoning is essential.

Barbora Briss's picture

delicious! I used linguine pasta and didnt bake it, it was creamy, whole family loved it!
Bit big portions for 4 people!

Jacqui M's picture

One of my favourite recipes to treat the family to (I say treat because it's not cheap to make). I omit the capers and anchovies though cause they're not my thing, and I use cream cheese instead of mascarpone as it's too expensive here in NZ.

luceliawinskill's picture

Lovely dish. Iended up using a whole tub (250gr) of mascarpone and it was absolutely delicious. This is a defone to be made once a week.

macinnes48's picture

I used sun dried tomato pesto to taste as I didn't have sun dried tomatoes or mascarpone. I also left out the capers. It was really tasty and so easy.

yasmin70's picture

Delicious. I just left out the capers as wasn't sure what they would add to the dish. I would chop the sun dried tomatoes a little smaller next time but otherwise would change nothing about this dish. It was lovely.

denidax's picture

Delicious!!!... Made it without the anchovies and capers and everybody in my house loved it, including my 1 year old, who was eating it with both hands! Will definitely make it again

Carla2014's picture

Made this but missed out the tomatoes, capers, basil and anchovy as I thought they may offend my 4 year old. We both loved it, and it always makes me extra happy when my son eats salmon. Good mum award for me :)


Questions (3)

Zoecheese's picture

Please tell me the nutritional information is for the whole thing and not per serving?

somethinggood's picture

This may be thick - but what is Penne? I have neva heard of it b4 or seen it. I may recognise it under a different name! is it the pasta shown in the picture? and is this recipie watery - i hate watery bakes :(

queenbubblemummy's picture

Penne is the pointy pasta like in the picture, and no it is not watery at all.

Tips (3)

macinnes48's picture

I used sun dried tomato pesto to taste, in place of sun dried tomatoes and mascarpone. I also left out the capers and anchovies as I didn't have any. Really tasty and easy.

Arran45's picture

I left out the anchovies but added 2 cloves of crushed garlic instead.

lil1ady's picture

I used a ready made cheese sauce from the fresh pasta section of the supermarket as I had this in the fridge to use up. A great way to speed up the preparation and tasted fab.