Crusty pasta & broccoli bake

Crusty pasta & broccoli bake

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(78 ratings)

Ready in 20 mins


Serves 4

Super-fast veggie dish, on the table in 20 minutes

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal652
  • fat25g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs88g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre5g
  • protein24g
  • salt1.98g
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  • 400g penne or macaroni
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 250g head broccoli, stalks chopped and florets halved



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

  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tsp French or German mustard



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

  • 200g pot half fat crème fraîche
  • 100g grated mature gruyère or cheddar



    Gruyère is an undoubted pinnacle of traditional Swiss cheese-making, a culinary masterpiece as…

  • small handful parsley leaves, chopped



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

  • 4 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs (or put 1 slice crustless white bread through a food processor)
  • ½ tsp dried mixed herbs or thyme


  1. Boil the pasta, onion and broccoli stalks in plenty of lightly salted boiling water for about 7 mins, then add the florets and cook for another 3 mins. Reserve about 400ml of the water, then drain the pasta and vegetables.

  2. Return the reserved water to the pan and dissolve the stock cube, whisk in the mustard and crème fraîche, then season to taste. Bring to the boil. Stir in the drained pasta, vegetables and half the cheese, mixing until melted. Stir in the parsley.

  3. Heat the grill for 3 mins. Tip the pasta and vegetables into a shallow, ovenproof dish. Mix together the remaining cheese, breadcrumbs and herbs, then scatter on top.

  4. Stand the dish on the base of a grill pan and grill for about 3 mins, turning if it starts to brown. Keep watching so the top doesn’t start to burn or the cheese will toughen. Remove and leave to stand for 5 mins before serving.

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Comments, questions and tips

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laura_dickson's picture
12th Feb, 2013
I didn't have as much success with this one. It turned out rather gloopy, but that could be down to the fact that I used gluten free small pasta spirals instead of penne, as I didn't have any. I also used unsweetened greek yoghurt instead of creme fraiche. It tasted a bit bland, and the gluey consistency was not very appetising. I would maybe make it again with creme fraiche and add more mustard and strong cheddar as some other people have suggested.
16th Jan, 2013
Delicious, a big hit with us! Really tasty sauce because of stock and herbs in it. I didn't put the full amount of water in, still a great sauce. Not dry, even warmed up next day. I will try half broccoli, half cauliflower next time as I think it would add to it. Lush, as my daughter described it!
12th Nov, 2012
Used 300g of broccoli, 300 ml creme fraiche, slightly less pasta, maybe 350g, a cheddar and gruyere mix, and baked on gas mark 5 for 20 mins, rather than grilled. I might boil the pasta and veg in water with a stock cube rather than just salt next time, just to increase the depth of flavour, but my meat eating family still polished off their plates, and my veggie status didn't draw looks of pity for once. I served decent enough portions with a small tricolore salad, but this served way more than 4! I could have easily halved this.
26th Jul, 2012
Very nice indeed. As has previously been suggested I used yoghurt instead of the creme fraise. I also used half broccoli/half cauliflower and added some mushrooms as they happened to be handy. I found using the stock cube made a much lighter (almost dauphinoise) sauce rather than my "normal" gravy base (made using yeast extract) which may have overwhelmed it and baked the dish in a fan assisted electric oven for 20 minutes @ 180. I'll definitely be doing this one again.
17th May, 2012
Simple to make, no fuss and tasted delicious, will definitely make again
19th Jul, 2011
Absolutely gorgeous recipe! Really tasty, followed the recipe exactly and it turned out great! I would maybe add a bit more French mustard, and more breadcrumbs too. This is just my personal preference though. This will definitely be a favourite from now on.
3rd Feb, 2011
I found this to be very tasteless. Needs a lot more flavours added.
14th Oct, 2010
Less pasta, more broccoli, more cheese (I used Stilton) plus some chopped fried bacon for the non-veggies. I also baked rather than toasted for 15 mins at gas 6. Very good, lighter than you would expect.
18th Aug, 2010
Further to the above comment, had leftovers the next day and tasted just as good. Left in original dish, covered with foil and baked slowly (about 170 degrees) for about 35 mins. Was concerned it looked really dry after night in fridge, but was absolutely fine.
14th Aug, 2010
Read all of the comments first, then fiddled. Fried the onion with some left over bacon and mushrooms and used cauliflower as well as broccoli. (When eating it was pleased I did as felt all broccoli would have been too much). Cut down the amount of pasta to 300g and added more creme fraiche (almost 300g). Was concerned at first that the sauce was too thin, but after baking in the oven for 25 mins it was perfect.The only other thing I would think about changing next time would be to add the mixed herbs to the sauce rather than the topping - wasn't quite sure about that bit!


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