Cheesy broccoli pasta bake

Broccoli pasta bake

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(41 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


  • 1l milk



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

  • 2 garlic cloves, bashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 75g plain flour
  • a little freshly grated nutmeg



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 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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12th May, 2020
Made this last night and it was really nice. Quite simple and quick to do I halved the recipe, will definitely make this again.
9th Mar, 2020
Great idea for quick dinner, tasty and much better than ready cheese sauces available in stores. Good idea is garnish with cutted parsley leaves.
11th Feb, 2017
I used this recipe only as a rough guide - I have to create meals that suit us - me a health conscious 60 year old and my 19 yr old junk food loving son. So I added chicken for him and mushrooms for me. Had to pick out his mushrooms as he hates them and give him most of my chicken instead. I also used quark instead of cheese and he grated cheddar on top of his which I didn't have as I am on a diet. Also used wholegrain pasta. He said it was lovely and that the broccoli (which is something he is not that keen on), added to the flavour. I shall be doing this one again.
19th Jan, 2016
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.
31st May, 2015
Is there a way to add Imperial measurements? I refuse to do metric and it's a pain converting.
jadedermody's picture
9th May, 2015
didnt have enough flour so sauce didnt thicken. Instead put it in oven and baked for 15 minutes. Came out very nice
10th Mar, 2015
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.
30th Jan, 2013
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.
7th Nov, 2013
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.
28th Jan, 2013
Nice one


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3rd Oct, 2013
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. Yum!
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