A cheesy, savory broccoli cheese pasta bake made with Parmesan and Gruyere cheeses! It's a warm and comforting casserole everyone will love.
Over the years, we've made a lot of pasta recipes like our spicy fettuccine alfredo, easy tuna casserole, and creamy chicken noodle casserole. Of course, we also have more complicated dishes, like our ricotta spinach stuffed pasta shells and spaghetti pie.
Today, it's all about our broccoli cheese pasta bake. This pasta bake is a casserole that combines two flavors most people enjoy, broccoli and cheese. It's very similar to John's cheesy pasta bake casserole that we shared back in 2019.
This recipe starts with a short pasta noodle and fresh broccoli florets tossed in a creamy cheese sauce topped with freshly shredded cheese. It doesn't get much better than that!
How to Make Broccoli Cheese Pasta Bake
- First, preheat your oven to 350°F, and grease a 2.5 quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Next, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add the pasta noodles. Let them cook for 5-6 minutes. Then, toss in the broccoli florets. Cook for 1 more minute. You want the noodles al dente and the broccoli florets lightly blanched.
- Drain off the pasta water, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Then, set aside.
- Afterward, place a large skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Once it's melted, whisk in the flour. Cook the flour for 2-3 minutes to remove any raw flavor. Add the minced garlic, salt, basil, and oregano, and whisk to combine.
- Reduce the heat to low and slowly pour in the broth and heavy cream while continuing to whisk. As the liquid begins to steam, sprinkle in half of the Parmesan cheese and half of the Gruyere cheese.
- Continue whisking while the cheese melts. Otherwise, it will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. Once the cheese melts, remove the skillet from heat.
- Transfer the broccoli and pasta to the casserole dish. Then, pour the cheese sauce over the pasta. Stir the mixture to combine the ingredients, and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
- Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese on top is golden brown and edges of the casserole are bubbling.
- Last, remove the broccoli cheese pasta bake from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
Broccoli Cheese Pasta Bake Tips and Variations:
- Add cooked chicken (like leftover rotisserie chicken) or cooked ham for some added protein.
- If you're using frozen broccoli, then do NOT add it to the boiling pasta. Simply thaw it out under cold water then continue the recipe as it's written.
- You can skip the baking step if you wish. Once the pasta and veggies are drained, return them to the pot, and make the cheese sauce as it's written. Now, combine the pasta, veggies, and cheese sauce in the same pot you used to cook the pasta. Reheat the pasta and veggies over low heat. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the hot pasta and serve.
- Swap the Gruyere cheese with mozzarella shredded off the block.
Refrigerator: Store this broccoli cheese pasta bake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Freezer: This pasta bake freezes well. Wrap the fully cooked and cooled pasta bake in a layer of plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil. Enjoy within 2 months.
To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight and bake on 350°F until heated through. For best results, cover with a new layer of aluminum foil to lock in moisture and keep the pasta bake from drying out.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 8 ounces penne pasta, or other short pasta noodle, uncooked
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup Gruyere cheese, or mozzarella, shredded off the block and divided
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded off the block and divided
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and lightly grease a 2.5 quart baking dish. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta for 5-6 minutes. Add the broccoli florets and cook for an additional 1 minute. The pasta should be al dente, and the broccoli should be lightly blanched.8 ounces penne pasta4 cups broccoli florets
- Drain the pasta and broccoli, rinse under cold water, drain again, and set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then, add the garlic, salt, basil, and oregano, and whisk to combine.2 tablespoons unsalted butter2 tablespoons all-purpose flour2 tablespoons garlic cloves1 teaspoon kosher salt½ teaspoon dried basil½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Adjust the heat to low. While continuing to whisk, slowly pour in the heavy cream and broth. Continue whisking until wisps of steam begin to rise from the liquid. Then, add ½ cup of Gruyere and ½ cup of Parmesan cheese a little at a time, whisking between each addition until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat.1 cup heavy cream1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- Transfer the pasta, broccoli, and sauce to the prepared baking dish. Stir to combine. Top with the remaining ½ cup of Gruyere and ½ cup of Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. See post for storage options.