Broccoli, cheese, and pancetta cubes are the perfect combination for this broccoli cheese pasta casserole - true comfort food that everyone can enjoy.
I've been baking a lot of sweets and bread lately, so it's time to shift my focus to my other passion - pasta; more specifically, baked pasta. This broccoli and cheese pasta casserole is one of those recipes I love to prepare on a cozy night in. It's a true comfort dinner that everyone can enjoy - unless you don't like broccoli, but that's another story.. On top of all, this recipe is quick, easy and made with simple everyday ingredients!
Ingredients for Broccoli Cheese Pasta Casserole
This recipe is made using only a handful of ingredients, which are easily available in your pantry
- Pasta - any dry pasta works for this recipe. Here I used mezze penne, which is the mini version of full-size penne. You can use white or whole-wheat pasta in any shape or size, but I would personally go for any type of fusilli, macaroni, or penne pasta for this particular recipe.
- Broccoli - this is the star of the show for this recipe. I would suggest buying a whole medium-sized fresh broccoli and chopping it into small florets, according to your tastes.
- Cheese - for the broccoli cheese pasta casserole, you will need two types of cheese; grated parmesan and shredded cheese of your choice. For the latter, I love to use store-bought shredded emmental cheese, simply because I love its taste and consistency when baked, but again, this really depends on your tastes. Shredded cheddar would be good as well for this recipe.
- Breadcrumbs, butter, flour, milk, and salt - the rest of the ingredients are very basic ingredients used for making the sauce and for topping up your pasta casserole.
Steps for for Broccoli Cheese Pasta Casserole
As I said before, this recipe is quick and easy and only needs a few steps:
- Cook the pasta - Boil the pasta of your choice according to package instructions minus 2 minutes. You would want your pasta to remain quite firm at this point, or al-dente. I cook my pasta for about 8 minutes. Then, drain your pasta as you would usually do and place it back into its empty pot or a large bowl and toss in broccoli florets and pancetta.
- Prepare the sauce - In a small saucepan, prepare your pasta sauce. Start by mixing butter and flour and whisk until smooth. Add milk and salt and bring to a simmer. Add shredded cheese, mix well and turn off the heat.
- Mix the pasta - Mix the cooked pasta, broccoli and pancetta with the cheese sauce until combined. Place into a casserole and top with breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese, and add milk.
- Bake - Bake the pasta in a preheated oven at 200 degrees (400F) for 30 minutes until golden brown at the top and edges. Bring out of the oven, cool slightly, serve &...
If you've tried this Broccoli Cheese Pasta Casserole, let me know your thoughts in the comments below and don't forget to rate the recipe! Also, don't forget to follow me on Pinterest, and Instagram to stay updated with any new recipes! If you prefer a more "meaty" baked pasta recipe, check out my Cannelloni Bolognese recipe here.
Broccoli Cheese Pasta Casserole
- 300 g dry pasta any type but fusilli, penne, mezze penne or macaroni are ideal
- 1 medium-sized broccoli cut into small florets
- 200 g pancetta cubes
- 100 g shredded cheese emmental or cheddar
- 70 g grated parmesan cheese
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 1 ½ cup. milk semi-skimmed or whole
- ½ tsp. salt
- 3 tbsp. breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400F).
- In a large pot, cook the pasta according to package instructions minus 2 minutes. You would want your pasta to remain quite firm at this point, or al-dente. Drain pasta and place back into its empty pot or a large bowl.
- Wash and cut broccoli into small florets. Toss broccoli florets and pancetta with cooked pasta.
- In a small saucepan on medium heat, start by mixing butter and flour and whisk until smooth. Add 1 cup milk and salt and bring to a simmer. Add shredded cheese, mix well and turn off the heat.
- Mix the cooked pasta, broccoli and pancetta with the cheese sauce until combined. Place into a casserole and top with breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese, and pour remaining milk (½ cup) at the sides of the casserole.
- Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown at the top and edges. Serve warm.